In this outing, it's time to turn to Detroit’s Finest: the tanks of the good old US of A.
The American special rule is a doozey and is called Gung Ho. Gung Ho allows the America player to count as moving one less measuring stick of movement when calculating the extra defence dice of its target.
This means for an America player there is no downside to moving once and in fact there is a defence benefit to doing so. This is something the American player MUST factor this in to their turns as it turns your basic one dice defence Sherman into a 2 dice defence Panther with the only downside to their shooting of losing their option to reroll their attack dice. I’d be moving every turn unless there was a compelling reason not to.
In this overview I’m only going to look at the tanks whose cards are available in the Panzer vs. Sherman starter box; the Sherman (75mm), the Sherman (76mm), the Pershing and the Super Pershing.
The Sherman (75mm) is the same as the British Sherman V right? Wrong! The Sherman (75mm) represented here is the M4A3 version and it is significantly better but is 5pts more.
The America Sherman (75mm) has an extra initiative and 2 extra Hull points over its limey counterpart.
This is telling as it now will see how the lesser German vehicles, the Panzer IV and the StuG G, will move before it has to decide and it will fire before them. 50% more hull damage is amazing when you consider the defence benefits of Gung Ho. It is no more offensively dangerous with just 4 attack dice but is still a solid tank for 20pts.
Essentially the Sherman (76mm) is the same as its companion the (75mm) but it pays a hefty 5pts more for a single extra attack dice. No thank you.
For context in a 100pts game you can have 4 x Sherman (76mm) or 5 x Sherman (75mm) – yep I’m going for the extra tank with the extra 6 hull points and the same number of attack dice overall please.
Sorry the Sherman (76mm) is a real loser in its field which is a real shame as with its distinctive turret it’s nice model.
Due to the repeated design and production delays, initially only 20 M26 Pershing tanks were introduced into the European theatre of operations. The Battle of the Bulge showed the serious mismatch between Allied and German armour and the 90mm gun of the Pershing was a welcome, if tardy, addition to the American armoury.
Again in game terms I’m struggling with the cost to benefit of including the Pershing in a list. Offensively it’s a bit better than the Sherman (75mm) but the extra defence die and Hull point means that you are appreciably better at surviving against the bigger guns of the Germans.
33pts is a significant investment in terms of your 100pts list but I think that it’s worth it if you aren’t going down the Sherman spam approach or including the Pershing’s bigger brother – the Super Pershing.
Whoa little doggie! Just when you thought you’d seen it all here come the immense Super Pershing with 3 (THREE) defence dice – this is currently the highest static defensive of any tank in the game. It comes at a cost though: 46pts!
With a 90mm gun with a length of 73 calibres it’s a got some serious punch with 6 attack dice and combined with its unique 3 defence dice and 8 Hull points you have an all-round monster. 46pts is a lot but still gives you flexibility in the rest of the list because the Super Pershing is so self-sufficient – do you know what is better than one Super Pershing? That’s right two! And you can squeeze two into a 100pts list and still give them some upgrades.
I’m not sure that is the strongest play for the American player but it is a) possible and b) scary for the German player as they have to consider the other strong options of list built around the Pershing and the Sherman (75mm)
I think that the USA, USA, USA, USA, USA is one of the stronger starting nations just because the 4 options they have are all viable and reasonable – the Sherman (76mm) is still a good tank I just think that there are better alternatives.
So that concludes our whistle stop tour of the tanks cards that are included in the Panther vs. Sherman Starter Set - I hope it’s been useful for anyone thinking of starting out playing Tanks! Maybe next time we’ll look at some of my favourite upgrade cards that come in the set…
Please like and share this article if you found it useful!