What a Tanker

I am usually very busy at wargames shows. My time is pretty precious - I have to spend it talking to readers, traders and reporting on the show. This requires a certain level of discipline, I simply cannot stay in one place too long. As a result, I usually am not able to play any of the great participation games on offer at your typical show.

Last weekend at Crusade 2017, Richard Clarke was running a demonstration of the new TooFat Lardy game, What a Tanker. Rich asked if I fancied giving it a go. At first, I ummed and arred for a bit, but then I thought “Why not?” as I rarely get to try anything at a show. So I decided to give it a go.

Allied tanks, advance!

‘What a Tanker’ is a simple World War Two tank game where players take control of a single tank (although gamers could easily play multiple tanks at once). As with most TooFat Lardies games, there is a strong element of humour in the game. Every time we killed an enemy tank, we’d earn a ‘ring piece’ for our tank’s gun barrel (which was a white ring to place on the end of the barrel).

Rich knows how to wow an audience.

There were three players a side, all competing to earn the coveted title of ‘Complete Tanker’. The mechanisms were simple to learn, you roll six dice and the numbers on the dice determined what your tank could do that turn. For example, a 1 allows you to move, a two to spot the enemy, three to aim your gun and so on. You can choose to be ‘unbuttoned’ which makes enemy tanks easier to spot but also makes you slightly more vulnerable.

Me posting news to WSS Facebook.

I took control of a Sherman, one of three facing off against three Panzer IVs. Each of us was given a bonus card. I cautiously drove forward while my wingman went hell for leather for the Germans. A Panzer IV was advancing in the field opposite, so my commander tried to spot him. However, the canny German player played a card on me called ‘Impressive Bush’ - the German tank was camouflaged with bits of twig and bush, cancelling my attempt to spot him on this occasion. Oh well!

Disaster! Who put that cellar there?

So next turn I managed to get the right combination of dice, spotted the German and hit him! Lucky dice again saw the Hun catch fire and abandon the tank. I had earned my first kill and ‘ring piece’. In the following turn, I looked at advancing. Rich ‘kindly’ suggested I could just drive my tank through the house and like a fool I took him up on his suggestion. This house had a cellar and I’d just driven down into it, knocking myself out! While I wasn’t a complete tanker, I’d earnt a ‘Right Tanker’ sticker.

What a Tanker is a simple to play but great game. I really enjoyed it and it’d be great for a club night. I for one will be picking up a copy when it comes out, I’ll just avoid driving into cellars or rickety bridges! :-)

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