Last Saturday (August 24th) we had a very action-packed game of What a Tanker© using my Normandy Breakout scenario at the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club. I have been tweaking the scenario, some rules, and improving the terrain and markers – and I believe the gamers who played really noticed all of the upgrades and changes. I have been fortunate to get valuable feedback from the gamers which has been invaluable, and this game was no exception. I have acted as a Game Master for this game a couple of times (discussed here), and this, the third iteration, was another great game that had the players highly engaged.
For this post, I will show some of the photos that tell the story – though simultaneously being a photographer and a GM are not always easy. I appreciate the generosity of both Chris Rett and Ted Salonich helping with some photos – as well as playing of course!
The game scenario is:
After a successful D-Day landing and consolidation, the tanks of the Americans and the British are stymied in the hedgerows of Normandy. German armor has set up effective defensive positions in favorable terrain. However, the Allies do not know the exact locations of the German tanks, and the Germans have limited knowledge of where the Allied armor will be coming from and the direction to which they will try to break out. New rules that allow reconnaissance and the effects of other combat forces will challenge both sides in this action-packed game.
The Germans are in secret positions (basically ambush positions) that they choose in advance of the Allies arrival – which is also secret in terms of the exact vehicles that the Allies choose. Both sides get to secretly select their vehicles (with some restrictions), and poker chips are used for the scoring. The Germans here did stop the Allies from breaking out – though the Allies were able to gain more points by both effectively recon of enough blind positions and knocking out enough valuable German vehicles. The final score was 117-109 in favor of the Allies – with the game score turning on the Allies knocking out a Jagdpanther on the last turn. The casualties were:
- Allies – 5 vehicles:
- UK – 3 vehicles:
- 2 Daimler Dingoes
- 1 Firefly
- 1 M10 Achilles
- US – 2 vehicles:
- 1 M3A1 Stuart
- 1 M10 Wolverine
- UK – 3 vehicles:
- Germany – 3 vehicles:
- 1 Sdkfz 233
- 1 Panther D
- 1 Jagdpanther
Let’s see what the day looked like!
The Germans effectively used a Bonus Attack card to draw first blood – calling in a rare Luftwaffe attack on a Daimler Dingo.
As the German vehicles are worth, in general, much more points, the loss of their expensive vehicles made a big difference. Both sides played well, but I have to say the Germans were not very lucky with their dice at times.
I will be tweaking the game scenario in a couple of ways:
- Adding stopping bonuses for the Germans:
- A 20-point bonus for the Germans if no Allied vehicles are able to breakout across the tabletop.
- A 10-point bonus for the Germans if only one Allied vehicle is able to breakout across the tabletop. If 2 or more cross, no German bonus.
- Award the Germans 2 points for each unreconned point. This will incentivize recon, but force the Allies to choose what is most important. (The Allies already get 2 points for each reconned point.)
- Allow a “banked 6” to be used for either an advantage on the next activation (per the rules) or as an automatic “6” on the next activation roll (determined by the player on the turn he banks it). Thanks Ted Salonich!
Thanks again to the all of the players. And for those who follow this blog who wondered if their named vehicle got fried, only one Cromwell (“IRO”) deployed and did not get into action. However, the M10 Achilles “Per” (named for Per from Roll a One) did get knocked out by one of the StuG G’s. Sorry my Swedish friend!
Hope that you enjoyed this – and I will be running this game on Saturday at BARRAGE in Maryland (September 28th) and at the Fort Devens Game Day on October 19th. I may also run it at other upcoming gaming cons if possible. Thanks for looking!