Tank Wars - Quantity has a quality of its own.
As regular readers of my blog will know, my local clubs are very much into World War 2 and have a preference for the Bolt Action rules set. One of my friends, Sam, has collected a large German force (one for Winter 1942 and another for 1944-45), which includes an inordinate amount of tanks.
Last Friday, Chris K (Aka Admiral Drax) had arranged a Tank Wars battle with Sam, which was going to be all his British tanks versus some of Sam's German tanks. My opponent had dropped out so I was left without a game. Being the gentleman he is, Chris kindly said "Come and join us!"
Chris could field 3000 points of British tanks. With some reinforcements from me, we could top 5000 points. Sam matched this (I told you he had a LOT of tanks!).
Chris insisted that ours would be activated by platoons (No 1 - Firefly, 3 Shermans + Wasp, No 2 - Challenger, 3 Cromwells + Wasp, No 3 - Firefly, 3 Shermans + Achilles, No 4 - Firefly, 3 Cromwells + Achilles, Recon - Daimler AC + 3 AEC Mk.IIIs). Sam's forces consisted of 1xPz. IIIJ, 5xPz IV H, 4x Pz. V Panther, 2x Tiger I, 1x Tiger II and 3x StuG H.
We started the game as an encounter battle. In the first turn, as dice were drawn from the bag, vehicles moved onto the table. Given there were more British dice than German, British units were arriving with no Germans in sight. This led to the early loss of a Cromwell and a valuable Firefly, as they entered the table and were sniped by the German coming on the table. However, the same also happened to those first German tanks in turn.
On the right flank, the arriving Tiger II (which had smoked the Cromwell) was soon pinned by every barrel that could be pointed at it. While no damage was done, it'd need to rally in subsequent turns to be at all effective. As it happens, a good shot from one of the Fireflies destroyed it in the second turn.
There was also a desperate fight on the left flank for the city ruins. This was going more in the German favour, resulting in some desperate tactics by the allies, such as driving armoured cars to point-blank range, then retreating them in the following turn with Recon. Nevertheless, the British losses were mounting.
In subsequent turns, the greater number of barrels came into play, while one turn Sam's forces failed to kill a single allied vehicle. The game lasted until the fourth turn where Sam capitulated, having lost just under 1/2 of his tanks. Overall, it was a great and fun game, but it proves to me that the larger cats are a 'points sink' in the game. Had Sam taken all Pz IVs and Pz IIIs, it might have been a very different story.
I'd like to thanks both Chris and Sam for letting me share the fun.