So armed with Tim-tams and coffee, here we go with Tanks!
The first game we played was just raw, with two Sherman’s a pz4 and a panther. The card board stuff really helps with line of sight. The fun was there to have, we didn’t miss the terrain. I took out his pz4 early but the panther was still hard to put away.
Gameplay wise Tanks is like much like FOW under the microscope. The extra level of detail in the tank on tank engagements was very cool. It’s as intense as FOW but more rides on every dice than in FOW. Because if you lose your tanks mastery battle in FOW you can come back with another aspect like artillery, infantry or air power. It was really good not to have to worry about a big table and really just enjoy the tanks. The panther won that one!
Putting the terrain back on the table. We decided to use the points system to play our next game. The building of your tank squad was fun too. Not too many cards to look at and for me the impact of the cards was not a huge as it is in X-Wing. So an ion cannon in xwing put on your y-wing changes the ship’s role and how you play against it completely. I didn’t find that. The panther was still a panther. Strong on gun weak on sides. I like this about Tanks.
So my plan was to have the firefly hold Greg’s attention while the chromwells got in to the big cats side armour. This was going well until the firefly exploaded… Then Greg just backed off and shot until the chomewells died. Well played, victory to the cats.
Next we tested out ‘King of the hill’ mission. Essentially a big centre table blood bath. I decided I was going to let Greg get the hill and shoot him off. He split his force and shot hard with one 1/2 and attacked with the other. Another great game that came down to the wire. We tested the ‘Tie fighter hoard’ in this game. I think more tanks equals more fun! Still had a great game ballence.
Take away: The Tanks movement/shooting system is clever. If a tank is moving fast it should be harder to hit. Also it should be harder for the gunner to hit other tanks when his tank is moving so fast. Because Tanks zooms in to greater detail than FOW this is possible. Tanks has a rule that dead tanks don’t blow up until the end phase. Your dead tank will still get a shot regardless of when it shoots in the initiative order. This is very different to the xwing system. But it is more fun, and it puts less pressure on players to go for high initiative tanks. Giving you more freedom in your choice of force.
Tanks has a big future. It’s a great value, fun, easy to learn game. FOW players can dust of ‘hard to include in FOW list’ tanks and go for a bash. Is THE ground level game BF have always needed to get people away from cards and in to minis. Its not going to compete with FOW like TY does for player base. Unlike Star Trek attack wing and X wing, Tanks has no manuver dial. This is often the reason individual ships in these games are poorly pointed. The ship just can’t turn as well as other ships in its point bracket. Tanks thankfully avoids this with its movement system. These space games also suffer from way too many counters. The prep time and clean up after a game of X wing is quite long. Not so with Tanks.
My hopes for Tanks:
Mid war monster tanks! It makes good sense in this game to go a bit whild and fun. Let’s do late war ones too!
The prize support tanks for the monthly play kits could be MWM, you get em’ at a play kit night early, then GF9 releases them for everyone later on.
Foil or signature cards. How about a foil Wittmann tiger card with his signature printed on it?
A Pershing with a frikken lazer pointer in it! Seriously a GF9 ‘Tanks’ branded laser pointer.
Card board bridges with an intact bridge on one side and a destroyed bridge on the other.
A co-op campaign like the xwing fan built one. I believe this will break Tanks out into a much bigger market if the non-competitive players can team up and play against the game. Plus the history is written already it’s not hard for gf9 to find something amazing from ww2 to write a Tanks campaign about.
Pre-painted tanks. 40k players are lazy painters. That’s most of the reason they play X wing. If gf9 did a run of pre painted tigers for example I think they would see a big jump in turn over.
Bottom line: Tanks is a great fun, great value, introduction to WW2 tabletop gaming. Well worth you cash.