This week we returned to 'What a Tanker!', after a long hiatus. When the rules were published, back in 2018, we played half a dozen games, in 1/48th scale, using Corgi diecasts. The success of these games encouraged us to embark upon a desert campaign in 20mm. This was hugely popular, involving about a dozen players, and running for 2 to 3 months. It was great fun but I think we may have burned out, as we've not played it since. [Not counting a remote game, in 15mm, during lockdown.]
So it was great to return to the Corgi diecasts and get the big toys out, once again. We played the Barkmann Corner Overdrive scenario, from the Lard magazine. This was the scenario Rich used to demo the game at WorLard back in 2018, and I recall thinking it looked great fun at the time. The idea is to pit a bunch of Shermans (I used four, as that's all I have) against a lone Panther. The catch is that the Panther is an Ace, with all the benefits that that brings. I had envisaged playing this several times and taking turns running the Panther but after terrain set up and a couple of practice turns, for new players, we only had time for one game.
We diced for sides with Oberscharführer Ernst Philipmann taking the Panther. For the U.S. the Shermans were commanded by Sergeants Quincy, Billy Bob, Jim Bob and Thunderbolt Pea.
We deployed the Shermans on the table edge and then, to represent the ambush nature of the fight, gave the Panther the choice of where to deploy, after seeing the Allied deployment. The allies deployed to the right of the road with only Sgt. Quincy deploying into the field on the left. In response, Philipmann deployed his Panther behind the wood hoping to pick off Quincy's lone Sherman.
|View from the allied lines|
|Allied advance. Quincy already in trouble taking hits from the Panther - damaged running gear. Jim Bob lags behind - no Drive dice!|
|After several scary turns under fire, Quincy breaks out into the cover of the lane. Thunderbolt Pea gets in a shot from the corner of the field, whilst Billy Bob makes a dash for it.|
|A nice attempt at an outflanking move, by Billy Bob, but perhaps a bit foolish!|
The action was quite tense at this point - so much so that I forgot to take photos. So the heroic actions of Sgt. Quincy went sadly unrecorded. With the German's attention focussed on the U.S. right, Sgt. Quincy took a left at the crossroads in an attempt to get on the Panther's flank. Unfortunately, this left Quincy side on to the inevitable response and the second Sherman went up in flames.
However, whilst that unequal duel was taking place, Jim Bob's driver had finally woken up and, with a great run of Drive dice, manoeuvred his Sherman into the Panther's flank. Short range, in the open, with an extra aim dice - he only needed 5 to hit.
|Did I say he needed five? Oh dear!|
|Oh dear, the gunner was obviously flustered|
Unfortunately, for Jim Bob, the Germans still had the requisite dice for a second shot - and this time didn't miss. Three Shermans down and one to go.
A great game and one that is easy to set up with little preparation needed. I think we will play this one again at some point. It will be fun to take turns at playing the Germans. But will four Shermans be enough?