Hi Duncan here, long time listener – first time caller, bringing you something different from the world of Boss! That’s right today we are looking at the TANKS WW2 Skirmish game from Gale Force 9.
We all know that real life happens when you’d rather be rolling some bones and playing some games and that epic 3+ hour game you had planned is simply not going to happen – so what do you do to get your WW2 gaming fix? Well Tanks is the answer to that particular little conundrum.
Part of what makes games like Bolt Action and K47 cool is the tanks – WW2 has some awesome looking tanks (Hetzer I’m looking at you) and I’m sure that even beyond aesthetics if you play Bolt Action it’s partially because Tanks (is) are awesome.
So you have 45-60 minutes… You have a table… You have some friends… You have you’re your models… what better to play than GF9’s TANKS!
First up let’s address the elephant in the room… THIS GAME IS 15mm NOT 28mm *shocked face*. I know, I know I will be covering at some point playing in 28mm with your lovely painted Bolt Action tanks but in the meantime fear ye not. If you just pick up the basic box set (available from Boss Minis at the usual ridiculous prices) you get a Panther/Jadgpanther and 2 Sherman 75mm/76mm which allows you to start playing straight away.
Frankly I am astonished at how much you get in the boxset for your cash:
• A 20-page Rulebook
• 3 Plastic Tanks (1 Panther, 2 Sherman)
• 12 x Dice
• 16 x Movement/Destroyed Tokens
• 28 x Damage Tokens
• 4 x Objective Tokens
• 2 x Measuring Arrows
• 40 x Tank Identification Tokens
• 2 x Cardboard Forests
• 4 x Cardboard Houses
• 22 x Tank Cards
• 16 x Crew Cards
• 7 x Hero Crew Cards
• 16 x Upgrade Cards
• 32 x Damage Cards
*gets breathe back*
That is a lot of stuff for your hard earned wonga and gets you all the bits you will need to play with straight away – the box set is actually cheaper than buying the 3 separate tanks without taking into account all the cards, counters and cardboard!
The rules are simple – there is no way of getting round that – but just because they are does not mean that there is no complexity to the game, chess is at its core a simple game after all. The core mechanics are well laid out but there is some finesse to certain rules that you need to be aware of and get your head around – the order of operation in cancelling hits for example – but the majority are quick to pick up.
Almost everything you need to know about your tank is on a handy card that you keep in front of you:
So from left to right we have the vehicles: initiative, firepower, defence and hits.
Initiative is important as it dictates when you move and shoot in a turn; the higher the number the later on in the turn you get to move and the earlier you get to shoot.
Firepower is the number of dice you roll when shooting. Generally speaking these are usually unmodified so for the Panther you will be rolling 5 x d6. To score a success you need a 4+ with the roll of a 6 being a potential critical.
Defence is the number of dice you roll when being shot at. These dice are modified by things like: how fast you moved, how fast the shooter moved and any cover you have. To score a success you need a 4+ with the roll of a 6 able to block a potential critical.
Hits is the number of damage that you can suffer before becoming destroyed.
So all pretty simple. We played a couple of the out of the box scenario called Barkmanns Corner and we’re happily belting through turns and felt comfortable afterwards picking 100pt forces based on what we had learnt in those 2 quick games. Adding the various upgrades and differing tanks into the game adds real depth to the game play and does make for some very interesting and tactical adventures all in under an hour.
Well that’s all for now, next time we’ll look more closely at each of the 4 major protagonists forces whose cards are included in the starter box set but until then if you’d like to read more on Tanks then it is definitely worth popping over to the GF9 Tanks website as they have some great alternative scenarios, upcoming releases and even a set of the rules - but but your tanks from Boss Minis at a great price!