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Subject: Battle report for Tank Combat Scenario 3: Assault rss

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Jon Darlington
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I’ve played a few games of Tank Combat and, while they games are pretty small and simple compared to the full Barbarossa, it was fun to see what could happen on these little battlefields. You can see my review HERE for an overview of the game and the units for both sides.

Experiences have varied; some of the games have turned into simple immediate slugfests with units closing quickly and then blasting away with Supressive Fire to see who could bring more dice to bear sooner.

But this report represents my favourite of the games we played, since enough varied things happened that it serves as a useful demonstration of the game system. It will take me a couple of days to post the whole thing, but I will include illustrations of the orders as written on the cards, and showing the casualties and ammo usage each turn to help show how the system works turn by turn.

The scenario is Assault, the final scenario in the book. A small village is defended by two light Soviet tanks, with the more powerful T-34 a few hexes back. The three German tanks start at various distances from the village. The objective for both sides is to hold the village in six turns by being the sole occupant of both hexes. If that’s not achieved by turn 6, play continues until someone holds the village, or one side is completely destroyed.



The map is simple, but does have many terrain features that block line of sight, and others that give a defensive bonus, hamper movement, or both. On the picture of the map below, I’ve boiled the terrain rules dow to show what:

- blocks line of sight
- prevents movement
- limits movement (by costing extra movement points to enter)
- helps defense (by granting a bonus to the Defense value of any unit in that hex; like extra armour!)

I've also written the hex numbers so that they're readable; that should help make sense of the written orders that refer to hex numbers.

SCENARIO MAP WITH TERRAIN MARKED


This time I played the Germans. Our first couple of games had turned into immediate, clumsy slugfests between the approaching Germans and the defending Soviets. This time, I decided that as the attacking Germans I’d play a long game and try to cross the top of the map first with two tanks, and then use the Forest Road on the opposite side of the map to approach the village from the rear.

In Tank Combat, a Forest is normally completely impenetrable to movement or line of sight for tanks. But if a path (or in this case a road) runs through it, it is treated as a Forest Glade. Tanks can move through such a forest hex via the road, and units can trace line of sight into and out of the forest hex by either of the path (road) exits. Other hex sides without such paths emerging from the forest remain impenetrable to movement or fire.

On this scenario map, this provides a hex close to the rear of the village with a high defense bonus, and limited line of sight to just one village hex. I thought that if I could move two of my tanks to that hex, they’d be able to deal with any Soviets in the rear of the town without suffering fire from any Soviets in the front; and the +2 defensive bonus in that hex should come in handy against whatever Soviet tanks that could see into the it.

The third tank would remain a threat to the village from the original German side, which I hoped would prevent the Soviets from just piling all three of their tanks into the rear village hex in response to my fire from behind.

FOREST ROAD: LINES OF SIGHT TO AND FROM
From the Forest Road hex (in red), a unit can only see into (or be seen from) the hexes marked with yellow dots. Line of sight, and fire, cannot be traced through a hexside that's not broken by an emerging road.


Tanks went onto the map in the assigned positions, and we prepared to issue orders for the first turn. The tanks were at full “wounds” (three apiece) and full ammunition (10 points for the whole battle). Things would not stay this way for long.

STARTING POSITIONS


ALL CARD FRONTS: START OF GAME


OUR CAST OF CHARACTERS:
Here's a brief summary of the tanks in this game, their profiles, and the meaning of each number -- copied and pasted blatantly from my game review.

GERMAN TANKS
# /Type/Name Armour Range/Acc Firepower M/F Fortitude
#52 [L] PzII 3 3*/3/2/2 7/5 -1 9 (-1)
#54 [L] Pz38t 3 2*/2/2/1/1 7/5 -2 9 (-1)
#63 [M] PzIV 4 2*/2/2/2/1 11/9 -1 9 (-1)


SOVIET TANKS
# /Type/Name Armour Range/Acc Firepower M/F Fortitude
#50 [L] T-26 2 2*/2/2/1/1 8/6 -2 9 (-1)
#52 [L] BT-5 3 2*/2/2/1/1 8/6 -1 9 (-1)
#62 [M] T-34 4 2*/2/2/2/1 12/11 -2 9 (-1
)


Armour is the number of hits that the tank can suffer each turn with no damage; more hits in the same turn start to inflict casualties. Units' abilities degrade with the first and second casualty; a third casualty eliminates the unit.

Range and Accuracy are the number OR LESS the tank must roll to hit enemies at that range. The first number with asterisk (*) is for fights in the same hex (which can only be Assaults). Subsequent values are the to-hit numbers for each additional hex up to the maximum range (3 or 4 hexes, depending on the tank.)

The Firepower value is the number of dice the tank rolls against Light or Medium tanks, respectively, when at full strength. A damaged unit's Firepower is reduced by one for each casualty it has suffered.

M/F is the Firepower penalty for using the Move and Fire order instead of firing while standing still. Most tanks lose 2 dice for this; some, just 1.

The last value is the Fortitude (read: Morale) level for each tank. Under some circumstances (like coming under some kinds of fire, or any time a casualty is suffered) units must roll 2d6 equal to or less than Fortitude. Failing this test is very bad news, as it means losing the current turn's order (if not already executed) AND the next turn's order, leaving the tank dangerously vulnerable.

The second number in brackets is the amount by which Fortitude drops with each casualty (here uniformly 1 per casualty; so you start out roling for 9 or less for a fresh unit, then 8 or less after one casualty, and when down to just one "wound" you need 7 or less to pass the test.)

Finally: In the pictures from this battle, you'll see the order markers we use to keep track of who's doing what on the map:



These order markers don't come with the game, but you can download them if you like from the files in the Barbarossa page. We just find them handy as memory aids, and visual aids for reports like this one.

UP NEXT: Orders and outcome for the first turn, in which there is a general dash forward and some defensive fire from the village...

Note: There's a bit of rules commentary in the report that follows, sometimes highlighting basic rules mechanics, differences between Tanks Combat and Barbarossa, or rules questions that have arisen during our games. Where these appear, I've highlighted them in red.
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Jon Darlington
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TURN 1

The German Panzer II and Panzer IV began a swing to the top of the map on their way to the forest on the other side of the map. For the Panzer II, this was direct; but the Panzer IV swing “south” first, to round the impassable forest in front of it without paying the penalty for entering the brush. (In retrospect, I probably should have gone through the brush, but…)

The German Panzer 38(t) moved forward into the light woods. There it was safe from Soviet tanks in the town thanks to the intervening Brush hex that blocked line of sight.

The Soviet tanks in the town chose the Defend order, facing the northeast, while the T-34 used a March order to move at top speed to join the light tanks in the town.

ORDERS TURN 1


The DEFEND order: This order lets a tank prepare to fire at enemies that enter a specific fire arc (what the rules call a “kill zone”) within a certain range. When writing the order, you check the Defend icon, indicate the adjacent hex the tank is facing, and specify a maximum range at which it will fire at a moving enemy. If an enemy unit moves into that arc within the specified range, the defender may* fire. If no enemy moves in the arc and range this turn, no fire is possible; you can’t use this order to fire at enemy units that don’t move this turn, even if they’re in your range and line of sight.

The MARCH order: This order lets a tank move across the map. To issue this order you check the MOVE box on the back of the unit card, and in the path hexes at the top of the card you write the starting hex, and then the hex-by-hex path the tank will follow as it moves. The three small hex icons on the MARCH order icon tell you that a marching tank can normally move three hexes with this order. However some hexes cost more than one point to enter; and if the tank sticks to a road for the entire movement path, it gains additional movement.

(In Barbarossa, other unit types have a different number of movement points and have access to different bonuses and penalties.)


(*This may possibly be “must fire”; I’m going to clarify that rule separately. It’s not clear to me whether a unit can decline an opportunity for defensive fire, either to await a hopefully better target later in the turn or just not to use up ammunition on a long-range shot.)

MAP TURN 1


As both sides executed the third point of movement, each of the Soviet tanks in the village was presented with a different target for defensive fire: the T-26 saw the distant Panzer II, and the BT-5 saw the Panzer IV emerge from around a forest. Neither shot was likely to overcome the armour of their targets, but you never know…

(* Here the rules for Tank Combat differ slightly from Barbarossa. In Barbarossa, the target of Defensive Fire must make a Fortitude check if it suffers any hits – not casualties, just hits. That makes Defensive Fire a good opportunity even if you’re unlikely to overcome the target’s defense value with the shot. In Tank Combat this isn’t true; the target of Defensive Fire tests only if it suffers a casualty. As a result, you’ll see some Defensive Fire in this game that doesn’t make a lot of sense – we were accidentally playing by the Barbarossa rules.)

The T-26 rolled no 1s at all on its eight dice versus the Panzer II, but the BT-5 managed two against the Panzer IV even though it rolled only six dice against the medium tank. Still, not enough to get through the Panzer’s four points of thick armour.

Both Soviet tanks marked off one point ammunition for their Defensive Fire. The Panzer IV’s armour was down two points, but would “reset” to full at the start of the next turn.

At the end of the turn there were no casualties, but the Soviet tanks had begun to expend their ammunition.

STATUS END OF TURN 1
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Jon Darlington
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TURN 2

The German Panzers II and IV only had one priority: continue the dash to the Forest Glade. The panzer IV was exposed, but relied on its thick armour (Defense = 4) and the enemy needing 1s to hit at this range to protect it along the way. Meanwhile the Pz 38(t), safe in good cover, waited for its fellows to get into position and posed a threat to the village and its possible actions a question mark to the Soviet player.
For the Soviets, they couldn’t pass up the chance to fire on the Panzer IV. The BT-5 shot with an regular Fire order; this was unlikely to do damage by itself, but would strip away some of the Panzer’s armour and set it up for additional fire from the powerful T-34.

The T-34 couldn’t see the Panzer IV from its current position, but had a Move and Fire order to advance into the forward village hex, and fire at the Panzer IV from there.

ORDERS TURN 2


The OPEN FIRE order: this is the conventional attack order in Tank Combat; on the back of the card you check the Open Fire icon and write the number of the target unit in the order box.

The MOVE AND FIRE order: like it sounds, this order lets you move and fire (or fire and move), with a modest penalty to both your movement distance and firepower. To issue this order, you check the Move and Fire icon on the back of the card, write the target of the fire in the box on the icon, and then write the hex-by-hex path you will move while executing the order. When writing down the movement path, you underline the hex from which you will fire at the specified target. If that target you specified isn’t visible for some reason when you reach that hex, then you don’t fire after all.

The two small hex icons on the Move and Fire order box tell you that movement is limited to two hexes when using this order (remember that a March order lets you move three hexes). Also, on the front of the card, the Move and Fire ability icon shows what the Firepower penalty is for using this order; some tanks deduct one die from their Firepower with this order, others lose two dice.


A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF THE ORDERS SEQUENCE
In Tank Combat, both sides resolve all orders in a specific sequence:

- Defend: units prepare to fire at moving enemies within a specified arc and range. If you make an attack with this order, you expend one point of ammunition.

- Supressive Fire: units fire immediately at a specified target. This is the first fire attack of the turn and gains +50% firepower, but costs three points of ammunition.

- Open Fire: the conventional fire attack, shoots at a specified target with normal Firepower and costs one point of ammunition.

- Assault: advance into an enemy hex and attack a specified unit. Each units resolves an attack against the other using its current firepower at point blank range, and spend one point of ammunition. If one unit has no ammunition to spend, it surrenders instead.

- Ambush: like Defend, but the unit is removed from the board and considered in hiding. Tanks require two turns to complete an Ambush order and enter this hidden state.

- Move Out: all units move along their ordered path. Every unit on both sides moves one hex, then resolves any resulting fire (from Defend or Move and Fire orders), then moves a second hex, and so on.

Once the turn arrives at a particular order in that sequence, both sides resolve the order at the same time (not literally, but all effects of that order are considered simultaneous).


MAP TURN 2


The first order resolved is Defend: the T-26 readied itself to fire at moving enemies.

The second order resolved is Suppressive Fire, but nobody had been issued that order this turn.

The third order resolved is Open Fire, and this is when the BT-5 used its Open Fire order to shoot at the Panzer IV, which had not yet moved from its spot. The BT-5 rolls only six dice against medium tanks, and at this range it only hit on 1s. None of its six dice came up 1s, so the shot had no effect. Still, the BT-5 marked off one point of ammunition for making the attack.

No units had orders to Assault or Ambush, so we went directly to Movement. Here the T-34 advanced into the forward village hex from where it intended to fire at the Panzer IV; but at the same time the Panzer IV moved “North” one hex which put it behind a light wood from the T-34’s point of view.

Since the T-34 couldn’t see the Panzer IV at the moment when it had planned its shot, it didn’t get to fire after all. As meagre consolation, the T-34 didn’t have to expend any ammunition since the planned shot wasn’t possible.

As the Panzer IV continued to move though, it entered the “Kill zone” at the extreme range of the T-26. The odds were poor: once again only six dice and 1s to hit. But the T-26 did manage one hit. However this was soaked up by the Panzer IV’s armour, and had no effect. The T-26 marked of a point of ammunition.

STATUS TURN 2

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Jon Darlington
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TURN 3

This turn, the Soviets understood what the lead German tanks were doing and were determined to try to interfere with that plan. Both the T-34 and BT-5 used Suppressive Fire against the distant Panzer IV. By combing their fire on the same target, and with the increased firepower from the Suppressive Fire order, they had a good chance of damaging the Panzer even though they needed 1s to hit at this range. The Panzer was hoping for few 1s, and relying on its four points of armour.

The Panzer II was in position to advance and fire at last on the T-26 in the rear of the village. The T-26, seeing this coming, chose to Defend in the direction of the Forest Glade.

The Panzer 38(t) was tempted to advance, but wanted to wait until its fellow tanks were both in position to attack from the Forest Glade, instead of offering the Soviets a target on the following turn once the Panzer IV was out of sight. So it stayed where it was, Defending just in case the Soviets chose to move and attack (particularly with the T-34, which would make short work of the Pz38(t).

ORDERS TURN 3


The SUPPRESSIVE FIRE order: This is just like the Open Fire order, but with two advantages: it is resolved before the Open Fire order in the turn sequence, and it gains +50% Firepower (rounded up), a considerably more powerful attack. Also, any unit that is the target of Suppressive Fire must pass a Fortitude test, whether it takes casualties or not.

The downside of Suppressive Fire is that it uses three points of ammunition -- triple the cost of a regular Open Fire order. With only 10 points of ammunition for the whole game, you can't afford to make many Suppressive Fire attacks.


MAP TURN 3


The Suppressive Fire on the Panzer IV was effective. The BT-5 normally rolled six dice versus a medium tank; in Suppressive Fire this became nine dice for 1s, and scored two hits. The Panzer IV now had just two points of armour remaining. The T-34 followed up with 17 dice for 1s (11 dice normally, +50% rounded up for Suppressive Fire). This scored three hits – enough to punch through the remaining armour and inflict one casualty on the Panzer IV. Both Soviet tanks marked off three points of ammunition.

Just being the target of Suppressive Fire meant the Panzer IV had to test. Having taken one casualty, its Fortitude dropped from 9 to 8. I rolled two dice and they came up… 8, just barely passing the test. Losing the casualty was bad news, but at least it hadn’t proven disastrous; if I’d failed the test, the Panzer IV would have become Supressed, losing its Movement order for this turn with no chance to recover until the end of the next turn.

In Movement, the not-Supressed Panzer IV proceeded forward, disappearing safely behind the cover of the woods and out of sight of the Soviets.

The Panzer II, confident in the cover of the Forest Glade, advanced two hexes and fired at the T-26 in the rear hex of the village. The T-26 had a Defend order in preparation for this, and so both tanks fired simultaneously once the Panzer II had moved and each could see the other.

Fire was largely ineffective; the Panzer II scored one hit on the T-26, whose two points of armour (and extra +1 defense from the village) shrugged this off easily. The T-26 scored three hits on the Panzer II, whose innate 3 armour shrugged of the fire even without the +2 defense from the Forest Glade. Each tank marked off a point of ammunition. But both tanks were now in position for more intensive fire on the following turn…

STATUS TURN 3
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Jon Darlington
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TURN 4

On Turn 4, the Germans committed fully to the battle. After three turns of almost nothing but manoeuver, all of the German tanks were in position to spring into action.

The Panzer II, relatively secure in the Forest Glade hex and with a clear target ahead of it, chose the Suppressive Fire to pour shots on to the T-26. The Panzer IV used a move-and-fire order to advance into the same Forest Glade hex and use its high Firepower to finish off the same tank.

Meanwhile the Panzer 38(t) finally emerged from its hiding place to threaten the BT-5 in the forward hex. Keeping some pressure on here would be important to keep every Soviet tank from just moving over and using their combined firepower against the Panzers II and IV.

On the Soviet side, the T-26 fired back at the Panzer II with Suppressive fire; and in a mirror image of the Panzer IV, the T-24 used Move and Fire to join the T-26 and finish off the Panzer II.

The BT-5, anticipating a threat from the third German tank, chose to Defend in its direction.

ORDERS TURN 4


MAP TURN 4


The results were predictably destructive:

- the Panzer II and T-26 traded Suppressive Fire, rolling 11 and 12 dice respectively for 2s. Each tank stripped away the others’ armour entirely and inflicted a single casualty. Both tanks then had to make a Fortitude test (Just being the target of Suppressive Fire would have been enough). The T-26 needed an 8 or less, and rolled 7; the Panzer II also needed an 8 or less, but rolled 10, and immediately became Suppressed.

Suppression: Luckily for the Panzer II, it had already executed its order for this turn, since being Suppressed meant it lost its order. Suppression also deprives the unit of the cover from terrain in its hex; but this protection had already been stripped away for this turn by the shots from the T-26. The Panzer II, if it survived long enough, could roll to recover at the end of the next turn.

- The Panzer IV and T-34 both moved forward and fired at the enemy light tanks now in sight; and each succeeded in destroying their target (the T-34 rolled four more hits and the Panzer IV rolled five, more than enough to destroy the already-wounded ligh ttanks.)

- On the other side of the village, the BT-5 scored three hits on the Panzer 38t, which scored no hits in return. Armour and cover prevented the Panzer 38t from suffering any damage.

Both sides now had lost one light tank, and the light and medium tanks now faced each other and braced for the next turn’s firing.

STATUS TURN 4
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TURN 5

Turn 5 was the simplest turn of the entire game. With enemies in plain sight, there was no elegance required: everyone chose Suppressive Fire and blasted away with maximum firepower at the enemy.

ORDERS TURN 5


MAP TURN 5


The results were surprisingly modest; even with full firepower, it’s hard for tanks firing one-on-one to do significant damage against an opposing, roughly equal tank (especially one in cover). After all the smoke had cleared, the Panzer IV had suffered hits but no wounds, and passed its Fortitude test (rolling a 6 when needing 8 or less). The BT-5 inflicted one wound on the Pz38(t), but suffered none in return; however both had to test Fortitude (the BT-5 because it was subject to Suppressive Fire). Both passed.

All tanks marked of three more points of ammunition. In the case of the BT-5, the ammunition situation had just become critical...

The T-34, however suffered a game-changing setback. Though it had taken no wounds from the Panzer IV, it had to test for coming under Suppressive Fire… and failed, rolling a 10 when it needed a 9 or less. The T-34 became suppressed, lost the defensive bonus from the village, and sat helpless at least until the end of the following turn...

On the other hand, the game was almost over. If the two Soviet tanks could just remain the sole occupants of both village hexes for one more turn, the Soviets would win the game no matter what other damage was inflicted...

One way or another, the next turn would prove the most critical turn of the game.

STATUS TURN 5


This Status shows the T-34 having checked off the "Suppressed" icon on the front of its unit card.
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TURN 6

There was no question that the Germans now had a clear advantage since the T-34 was out of commission and vulnerable, at least for this turn. But even a Suppressed tank could claim the village hex. The Germans had to either destroy one tank or enter a village hex, or else lose the game at the end of the turn.

The BT-5 had a separate problem. It was down to its last point of ammunition, and so had just one shot remaining in the game. Its opposing Pz38t had no such problem. The Pz38t could just sit and shoot, so a Defend order would have no effect against it. Instead the BT-5decided to take its one last shot in a regular Fire order against the Pz38t in an attempt to hold it off for last turn.

The Pz38t itself had options, but it had to act decisively this turn. If there was more time it could sit still and out-shoot the BT-5; but there was no time. Instead, I decided that it was time to assault the BT-5 and contest the village.

There was some risk here; I would probably take fire from the BT-5 before moving, or on the way toward it, and that had the potential to wound and supress me. But the BT-5 couldn’t use Suppressive Fire any more (since that order takes three points of ammunition) so there was a limit to how many dice of Firepower it could bring to bear. And if the BT-5 did shoot in either Open Fire or Defend, and the Pz38t made it into Assault, it would find the B-5 with zero ammunition – and the Soviet tank would instantly surrender and be removed from the game. It was too good an opportunity to pass up.

The Panzer IV, knowing that the T-34 had lost the cover from the village and with ammunition to spare, poured on more Suppressive Fire. I was tempted to assault here too (since the T-34 was suppressed and I’d be guaranteed to make it into the village) but I thought that close combat with normal firepower would just be a stalemate… but with the extra firepower from Suppressive Fire the Panzer IV had a chance to destroy the T-34 outright.

The Panzer IV chose Suppressive Fire; the Pz38t chose Assault against the BT-5; the BT-5 chose to Open Fire on the Pz39t; and the T-34 sat inert, hoping to survive to the end of the turn and try to recover.

ORDERS TURN 6


The ASSAULT order: This order lets a tank move into the same space as an enemy tank. Ths is the only way to enter an enemy's space. During the Assault phase, the tank moves into the enemy space and both units attack each other using their current firepower and the accuracy number for same-hex combat. The two small hex icons on the Assault order box tell you that movement is limited to two hexes when using this order.

This is the closest you can come to the tanks ramming each other shown on the Tank Combat box cover!

Assault is usually a risky propoposition, because you may suffer defensive fire from the target or its friends on the way there; and once there, the target gets to fight back even if it's already fired this turn. It's often a better idea to just sit still and blast away at the target rather than assaulting it. But there are a few situations where Assault makese the most sense:

- when the target is wounded (so you'll have the advantge of superior Firepower in the Assault combat),
- when the target is suppressed (because it will attack with its reduced, suppressed Accuracy while you'll fight normally;
- when the target is very low or out of Ammunition (because if you can reduce him to zero ammunition while still in Assault, the enemy unit will immediately surrender.)


MAP TURN 6


Suppressive Fire saw the Panzer IV roll well, rolling six hits on its 14 dice for 2s. This stripped away the T-34’s four points of innate armour and inflict two casualties… just one shy of destroying the T-34 outright. This was good, but it didn’t solve the Germans’ problem; the Soviets still held both village hexes, no matter the perilous state of the T-34.

Next was Open Fire, and the key moment was seeing what the BT-5 would do. It rolled its and scored five hits… enough to wear away the Pz38t’s three points of armour, overcome the extra point of defense from the wood, and inflict one casualty. This was great news for the Soviets; the Pz38t hadn’t been destroyed, but the casualty meant it would have to make a Fortitude check (and now against its reduced Fortitude of 8). If the Pz38t failed the test, the game would be over and the Soviets would win.

But… I rolled exactly an 8 on two dice, and the Pz38t just barely passed its test.

Having failed to forestall the German tank's assault, and now completely out of ammunition, the BT-5’s fate was sealed. The Pz38t surged out of its light wood, bounded across the gap, and entered the village. The BT-5 crews, with no ammunition remaining and no way to affect the German tank, surrendered. The Soviet tank unit was removed from the map as a casualty.

With both sides now claiming one village hex, defeat had been avoided and the game would now continue. To make things more interesting, the final act of the turn was the T-34 passing its Fortitude test with a 6, and recovering for the coming turn…

STATUS TURN 6

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TURN 7: OVERTIME!

The Germans had staved off defeat, but the game remained a tie with both sides holding one hex of the village. But with the T-34 down to one wound and facing two German tanks, it looked like only a matter of time.

As it was, the end came quickly. The T-34 gambled by taking a shot at the Pz38t. The Pz38t used Suppressive Fire on the T-34, and the Pz IV followed up with a normal Open Fire order, thinking that in combination with the fire from its fellow light tank that should get the job done.

ORDERS TURN 7


MAP TURN 7


And that's exactly how it went.

The Pz38t fired on the T-34 with just four dice, yet scored three hits, wearing away some of the T-34's armour. The T-34 passed the resulting Fortitude test by rolling a 6.

The T-34 fired with its reduced firepower of 12, and scored five hits on the Panzer 38t; enough to overcome the tank's armour, the protection of the village, and inflict one casualty. The Pz38t once again had to make a Fortitude test on a 7, but once again rolled exactly what it needed -- a 7 on two dice.

Then the Panzer IV joined in rolling 8 dice... and rolling four more hits, stripping away the T-34's remaining armour, the town's defensive bonus, and inflicting two casualties -- more than enough to destroy the T-34 at last.

The Germans were the sole tanks on the board, and had won the game.

STATUS TURN 7
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Jon Darlington
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WAIT... WHAT JUST HAPPENED?

If you want to see the course of the game more concisely, or to check exactly what happened when, here's a table I made for myself as a guide to writing this report. It shows what each tank did each turn, including:

- its order
- how many hits it inflicted this turn, and how many of those caused casualties
- how many hits it suffered this turn, and how many of those resulted in casualties
- if it had to make a Fortitude test, what it needed to roll to pass, and what it actually rolled.






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Stevenson Junior
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Excellent detailed report!
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clive holland
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Another great report JD. Ray, my gaming buddy is joining me in a Skype game tomorrow. hope he enjoys it and spends some of his hard earned to get into this great game.
 
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Jon Darlington
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Thanks! I think I made two mistakes by the way:

a) Brush does not cost +1 movement point to enter
b) The half-hexes on the board egde may be unplayable (a couple of people have mentioned this but I haven't gone to look up the rule for myself yet).

Good luck with your game!
 
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clive holland
Thailand
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We played the first two scenarios today, great fun.

We played using half hexes, not sure if it is allowed, but as the boards are so small we thought it justified. Hopefully we can have official confirmation on this soon.

Hopefully we will get the third scenario played in the morning. I have already got my German tactics sorted out for an easy victory. LOL :)

 
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Patrick van Gompel
Netherlands
Aalst
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Very nice battle report! Thanks
What I don't really understand is why those light Soviet tanks fire with only Defend or Open Fire order in the first few turns. There is hardly any chance of doing damage but it does cost ammo.
 
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Jon Darlington
Canada
Ottawa
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thanks!

Regarding Defensive Fire with poor odds during the game: I think I mentioned somewhere in the battle report that we were mistakenly using the Barbarossa rules for Defensive Fire by mistake -- that any hits would force a Fortitude test, not casualties. From the second-edition rule book, under DEFEND:

"If the target unit is hit (even if it suffers no casualties), it must make a Fortitude Test."

Of course that wasn't true of the Tank Combat rules, nor of the Third Edition rules that have followed.

Also, depending on how the tanks moved, it was conceivable that both Defend attacks might end up targeting a single enemy tank. One attack wouldn't do much, but two might have.

Regarding the Open Fire attack -- yeah, once again, by itself it wouldn't do much -- but if the same tank then made itself the target of a Defend attack, the cumulative damage might have made it through the tank's armour and inflicted a casualty or two.
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Patrick van Gompel
Netherlands
Aalst
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Thanks man! Hadn't thought of that. Perfectly makes sense now. A fortitude fail would have made an exellent delay to give the Soviets more time or oppertunities to attack.
 
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Taylor
United States
Cammack Village
Arkansas
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Pvt. Samuel Palmer 14th Highland Light Infantry KIA 24 Nov 1917 - Cambrai
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Thanks for this session report.

I have been trying to adapt the Art of Tactic rules for double blind moderated PBEM and I wonder if I could get a copy of that last chart that you used for tracking play (assuming it is an Excel file).
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Jon Darlington
Canada
Ottawa
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Hey Taylor:

It's actually an MSWord document. If you're still interested, I can e-mail it to you.
 
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Trent Garner
United States
Fayetteville
Arkansas
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I'm a little late to the party, having only recently found this game. I'm in the process of getting as many of the starter sets and model kits as my disposable income allows. What a great game system! What a great battle report, too, BTW!

In reference to your questions regarding hidden units and firing, the rules are a bit ambiguous. Under the section on Hidden Units called 'Special Orders For Hidden Units', the rules state that when a hidden unit with a kill zone (executing the Ambush order for example) fires on enemy units, it MUST fire on enemy units within the kill zone. However, I believe that choosing whether or not to fire on a given enemy unit remains optional. You may not want to shoot a particular enemy and reveal your position just now.

My conclusions are taken from the 3ed rulebook, just FYI.
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Jon Darlington
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Hey thanks! I'm glad you liked the report.

I got very deeply into the Art of Tactic system for a while, and had a lot of fun writing reports like this one to try to show and teach the game at the same time. I agree that Zvezda's models are great (especially if you like to paint), and the system had a lot of merit.

It's too bad that on the game side, Zvezda's releases have kind of stalled. They've released a number of cool models over the last year, including some truly monster tanks. But with no game behind them, my own interest kind of subsided.

That said, it would be fun to re-discover the Art of Tactic system and run through all the available sets again; I hope you have as much fun doing so as I did.

I also know I made a few rules errors in this report; I have tanks using the half-hexes at the edge of the board (not allowed) and I think I have a couple of terrain effects wrong. But fundamentally, the report was meant to show off what the system could do, and it sounds like it's still doing that. Which is great to hear!
 
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