This is meant to be, and I quote, 'A Challenging and Fun Game of WWII Tank Combat'. I'm happy to report that this is definitely the case and we have been having tremendous fun with the rules so far. Up until now we have been playing games set in Normandy, using my 1/50th scale Corgi diecasts but we are soon due to begin a campaign set in the Western Desert. The latter will be in 20 mm scale and there has been something of a frenzy to purchase more tanks than we will ever need. In addition several players have purchased commercially produced MDF dashboards for the game. These are entirely unnecessary but what gamer can resist a nice gadget?
The game requires little bookkeeping beyond recording whether your tank is aimed,loaded, buttoned up etc. TFL produce some nice acrylic tokens that can be used in conjunction with the dashboards that can be downloaded from the TFL site.
|Downloaded Dashboard with TFL produced tokens|
Looking at the original design I decided several aspects of the dashboard were unnecessary; as we would only be fielding one tank each the tank name is superfluous. Also my observation, over several games, was that the command dice area was never used; gamers being happy to leave the dice on the table. So really the required information boils down to that recorded by the 4 tokens plus any damage received.
My first thought was to have a small commander's hatch that could be opened and closed to denote buttoned / unbuttoned status. This did make it through to the final design but was now part of the complete top deck of a tank, including turret.
The foot print of the whole contraption is the same as the commercial MDF versions, although this one has a bit more height!
The 4 tokens denoting buttoned, acquired, aimed and loaded are now replaced by small hatches, on the front of the tank, that can be opened or closed as required.The turret and rear deck record critical damage; each rung of the damage ladder corresponding to a removable panel. Temporary loss of command dice is recorded by placing the dice in the stowage bins.
|The dashboard in action|
The above dashboard shows that the tank has acquired a target, is aimed and loaded but is unbuttoned (hatch open). It also has 2 levels of turret damage and 3 levels of hull damage, in addition to the temporary loss of 3 command dice. (Not that this is for illustration purposes only - it is not actually possible to take that much damage in the game.) On the plus side this tank has made one kill; denoted by the kill ring (metal washer) around the aerial.
So now that I have my dashboard and a couple of starter tanks I'm rearing to go with our campaign. So to finish off here is a snap of my level one tanks: Lt. Winston Strangely-Brown in his A13 and his arch nemesis Erwin Rimmer in his Panzer II.