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The Great War: Tank Expansion» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Tanks are to strong rss

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Decebalus King of Dacian
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We now have played scenarios 119 to 134, so my comment is based on some experience. From these 16 scenarios only one was won by the side without tanks! I thin, i really now have a basis to say: tanks in Great War are to strong.

What is the problem?
1st. Tanks are nearly indestructable. Every hit on a tank has to be confirmed with only 1/6th chance. In the open a close range attack of an infantry unit on another infantry unit will kill 2 men, so needs two rounds to kill the unit. An infantry unit in close range against a tank makes 1/6th damage(3*2/6th*1/6) so it needs 12 rounds against an Mk VII. Even considerung that you get 2 VPs, these are very hard to get. - I differ from other comments, that this is the real problem, see below.

2nd. Tanks are too deadly. A tank has 4 dice in Close Combat, because of Tankschreck the enemy will usually flee, the tank will follow up and (if he doenst bog) will get another close combat. Thats 8 dice per activation.

3rd. Tanks are to fast. A tank can (usually) go 4 hexes. 2 hexes normal and 2 hexes follow up. That makes it impossible to avoid tanks. In the end tanks in Great War act like Heavy Cavalry in C&C Napoleonic, breaking through the lines with rapid movement.

4th. Tanks dont bog enough. Obvioulsy bogging was thougth to limit the other problems described. Bogging stops the sweeping movements. Bogging stops the additional combat. Bogging gives you more dice in confirmation. After all games played, i can only say: tanks dont bog enough, and if the do, they are very simple back in the game.

5th. Tanks are to random. Great War is a very luck dependable game. No problem with me. But with tanks this is multyplyed. Confirmation roll and bogging roll makes results absolutely unpredictable. In the one game i won with germans, i had two bursts on a confirmation roll - lucky me. I also had whole games with no failed bogging roll.

I differ from other critics, that point 1 is the most improtant. IMO it is the speed of the tanks, that makes them the big problem. So for me, making the tanks more vulnerable isnt the best solution for a house rule to make Tanks playable.

At the moment i think, limiting the follow up (and so the second combat) would be the best solution. Maybe using an additional bogging die, if you have to test, would be a good house rule.
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René Christensen
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Which weapons did the forces have to take out tanks that they perhaps never have seen before?
And if they had weapons to take out tanks, how often did they stop the tanks?
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Mark McG
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I haven't really played enough to make a considered judgment on the strength of tanks, and I certainly found them powerful, but also bogged often.

Something to consider as an alternative limitation is tanks that move 2+ hexes can't battle. The logic here is that British WW1 tanks had no suspension, so tanks moving faster threw the crew around a bit, and weapons weren't stabilised and couldn't target anything.

I think the A7V was the exception, it had suspension, but limited trench crossing ability. The FT-17 also had suspension.
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Greg
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Decebalus, did you guys play that the confirming hits could have more bursts than the original roll?

There was a discussion maybe a month ago where some people thought you could only count as many bursts from the confirmation roll, that were rolled for the original attack. So people that rolled one burst on the original attack, and 2 bursts when confirming, we're only counting it as 1 hit when it should have been 2.

I'm not saying that is what happened in your games, but several people weren't allowing as many bursts as they should have and making the tanks tougher to damage. Mr. Borg clarified it as allowing all bursts from the confirmation roll to count.
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Tanks generally have to make a bog check for each hex they move into. That includes clear terrain and hexes moved into during an advance after combat. And bog dice stack so that if a tank moves into a second hex during movement that also contains a terrain feature (such as a hill), you roll two dice for the bog check in that hex.

Once bogged, tanks are easier to hit, as noted, with an extra die added to the hit-confirmation roll. Hit a bogged tank just once with artillery, for example, and you're rolling three dice to confirm the hit—with each burst rolled when confirming a hit securing an actual hit on the tank!

Tanks are scary and they should be. Difficult but not impossible to take down. Stay cool and don't forget the softer targets that are probably following just behind them!

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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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Remember the rules and the tanks become a bit more tame.
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Mayor Jim
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StevenE wrote:
Remember the rules and the tanks become a bit more tame.

+1thumbsup True that...
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George Curtiss
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I agree with the above posters. Tanks are strong, but they can be destroyed with some luck. Last game a mortar unit took a 4-hex range shot at a bogged British tank. Rolled two bursts, giving three confirmation dice. Of course, two more bursts showed up, killing the tank outright before it had crossed the middle of the board. BTW, that tank bogged early in the game and stayed bogged for 3 or 4 turns despite max HQ tokens being spent each turn attempting to unbog. The wasted orders hurt as much as the 2VP!

That being said, my group's data does show that the side with more armor tends to win the scenario, but the scenarios have been close and could have gone either way. We have had a lot of fun - no disappointment here!!

One minor quibble: Hill terrain does not require an extra die for bogging. It's about the only terrain that doesn't (along with a friendly trench). See page 11 of the rules for a list of the terrain types that DO cause an extra bog die to be rolled. Surprisingly (for my group), hills are not included.
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Jon Snow
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ninja 1. Greg above made my first point.

2. Remember also that tanks must always Gain Ground after a successful close combat. This plus the fact that bog down rolls stack (also noted above) means that a wily tank defender will try and lure the enemy tank into advancing himself into a bog down, preferably one where he is surrounded by enemy units! When fighting Mark Is, I will often just retreat in front of them when possible like a Spanish bullfighter, to lure them on further! 'Eh, Toro!'

3. Tanks are powerful, but as in any well designed game, there are tricks you can learn that will help!
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David Groves
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As posted in previous threads, I've found the tanks too strong and the 2 kill/2VP rule just pushes the luck element too far to make the battles enjoyable. Initially, I got fed up with the tanks just overrunning the German positions time and again I started to give up on the expansion.

However, I decided to reduce the strength and luck element of the tanks with the rules below. I found that it made a very big difference in reducing luck, made close mutual infantry and tank support more important and made for closer more exciting games.

1. British Tanks have one life only (no silhouette token)
2. German Tanks (not Brit captured) two lives (one token)
3. Ditched tanks cannot be used after being declared ditched and are not worth a VP but remain on the field to provide cover for either side
4. One VP for destroying a tank (two for German)*
5. One VP for moving a tank off the enemy base line (two for German)*
6. All other expansion tank rules remain unchanged

* German tanks are worth two lives and two medals. However, if the British make one kill they receive one VP for that kill and the German tank removes one life counter. The VP for tank exit is reduced to One VP (down from two VP) if a life is lost.

If you find the tanks too strong, give the rules a try. As a result I love the tank expansion but now find I don't bother too much with the base game battles.

Dave
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Willem Boersma
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Decebalus wrote:
We now have played scenarios 119 to 134, so my comment is based on some experience. From these 16 scenarios only one was won by the side without tanks! I thin, i really now have a basis to say: tanks in Great War are to strong.

What is the problem?
1st. Tanks are nearly indestructable. Every hit on a tank has to be confirmed with only 1/6th chance. In the open a close range attack of an infantry unit on another infantry unit will kill 2 men, so needs two rounds to kill the unit. An infantry unit in close range against a tank makes 1/6th damage(3*2/6th*1/6) so it needs 12 rounds against an Mk VII. Even considerung that you get 2 VPs, these are very hard to get. - I differ from other comments, that this is the real problem, see below.

2nd. Tanks are too deadly. A tank has 4 dice in Close Combat, because of Tankschreck the enemy will usually flee, the tank will follow up and (if he doenst bog) will get another close combat. Thats 8 dice per activation.

3rd. Tanks are to fast. A tank can (usually) go 4 hexes. 2 hexes normal and 2 hexes follow up. That makes it impossible to avoid tanks. In the end tanks in Great War act like Heavy Cavalry in C&C Napoleonic, breaking through the lines with rapid movement.

4th. Tanks dont bog enough. Obvioulsy bogging was thougth to limit the other problems described. Bogging stops the sweeping movements. Bogging stops the additional combat. Bogging gives you more dice in confirmation. After all games played, i can only say: tanks dont bog enough, and if the do, they are very simple back in the game.

5th. Tanks are to random. Great War is a very luck dependable game. No problem with me. But with tanks this is multyplyed. Confirmation roll and bogging roll makes results absolutely unpredictable. In the one game i won with germans, i had two bursts on a confirmation roll - lucky me. I also had whole games with no failed bogging roll.

I differ from other critics, that point 1 is the most improtant. IMO it is the speed of the tanks, that makes them the big problem. So for me, making the tanks more vulnerable isnt the best solution for a house rule to make Tanks playable.

At the moment i think, limiting the follow up (and so the second combat) would be the best solution. Maybe using an additional bogging die, if you have to test, would be a good house rule.


Some good points here, though personally, I haven't experienced any major problems with the tanks as I do find that having them charge into the enemy positions without adequate [infantry] support, tends to get them bogged down and leaves them surrounded by enemy infantry, i.e. very vulnerable"extra confirmation die for being bogged down, close range attacks which hit on deadly dice (initial roll only)etc. Sending in supporting infantry will often spell disaster for this infantry as often the enemy is still well entrenched and the infantry will more often than not have to cross open terrain.

I personally find the balance between the tanks strength and vulnerability just right, but I can understand why others may disagree and I can certainly see that most scenarios are a bit more of a challenge to the side without tanks. Then again, wasn't this the case in the actual battles as well?

Off-topic, for such a great game, which I certainly believe The Great War to be, I find the number of posts, videos, reviews etc. surprisingly, perhaps even alarmingly low. I personally find it to be better than the memoir base game and look how many posts that one is getting...
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Bill Koff
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boersma8 wrote:
Some good points here, though personally, I haven't experienced any major problems with the tanks as I do find that having them charge into the enemy positions without adequate [infantry] support, tends to get them bogged down and leaves them surrounded by enemy infantry, i.e. very vulnerable"extra confirmation die for being bogged down, close range attacks which hit on deadly dice (initial roll only)etc. Sending in supporting infantry will often spell disaster for this infantry as often the enemy is still well entrenched and the infantry will more often than not have to cross open terrain.

I personally find the balance between the tanks strength and vulnerability just right, but I can understand why others may disagree and I can certainly see that most scenarios are a bit more of a challenge to the side without tanks. Then again, wasn't this the case in the actual battles as well?

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boersma8 wrote:
Off-topic, for such a great game, which I certainly believe The Great War to be, I find the number of posts, videos, reviews etc. surprisingly, perhaps even alarmingly low. I personally find it to be better than the memoir base game and look how many posts that one is getting...


The game is barely a year old! If fans continue to show support and get plays in with new opponents, I'm sure its base will continue to grow.
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Decebalus King of Dacian
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Thanks for your comments.

Yes, we played with the correct confirmation roll.

Yes, the world war one feeling is right. Seeing tanks coming at you, makes you panic. Still not absolutely satifactioning.

And yes, a bogged tank is vulnerable, but see pt. 4. Tanks dont bog enough! (Maybe that is, because my gaming partner is a lucky guy.)

@Dave: IMO you are correcting the wrong point. The problems with the tanks is not, that theay are to hard to kill, but that they are to fast and deal to much damage.
 
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David Groves
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Decebalus wrote:
Thanks for your comments.

Yes, we played with the correct confirmation roll.

Yes, the world war one feeling is right. Seeing tanks coming at you, makes you panic. Still not absolutely satifactioning.

And yes, a bogged tank is vulnerable, but see pt. 4. Tanks dont bog enough! (Maybe that is, because my gaming partner is a lucky guy.)

@Dave: IMO you are correcting the wrong point. The problems with the tanks is not, that theay are to hard to kill, but that they are to fast and deal to much damage.


There are a number of ways that taking the fire out of the tanks could be managed. You are quite right in that the MK IV tanks are fast and they certainly do too much damage. You could, therefore, experiment by removing the overrun rule, reducing the number of close combat dice or just slow them down to a MK 1 pace.

Another player I correspond with experimented with enhanced artillery fire rules to improve the kill rate since artillery was mainly used to deal with the tanks in the actual battles and he wanted to maintain authenticity in his rules.

At the end of the day, it's what works for you as players. I only wish I could get on with the official rules because I hate house rules but I just found the tanks too hard and frustrating to kill using the official line. My aim was to reduce the effectiveness of the tanks by diluting the existing rules but not by changing them. So I lowered the kill/vp ratio rather than remove overrun rules or reduce close combat dice rules. As stated above, I now really enjoy the tank expansion.

All the best
Dave



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Willem Boersma
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A few weeks ago I played scenario #3, a scenario in which only the Brits have tanks. The Germans won by 5-2. I do believe the British tanks employed the wrongstartegy (trying to cross trenches rather than moving around them which caused them to constantly be bogged down. I subsequently targeted those bogged down tanks a lot giving me an extra confirmation die (MG's, morars, artillery, firefight card etc.-it's got a different name in TGW than in memoir, but it's essentially the same card. It took me a lot of attempts, but in the end I suppose sooner or later you will get lucky and I took down two bogged down tanks totalling 4/5's of my VP's.

Certainly the scenario seemed winnable for the British, I would even go as far as saying that I feel they may even have the edge, but it's certainly possible to overcome enemy tanks even if you don't have any yourself.

As I said before, I like the tanks rules. I believe they strike a good balance between strengths and weaknesses. At lest, that's what my plays so far have indicated.
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Kevin Duke
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Quote:
...because I hate house rules...


If that is honest, then don't Fing create any.

The game is new. The tanks have an initial head start--like they did historically--and players are starting to find ways of dealing with them (like happened historically).

Sorry for being intolerant, but I've been with the C&C system since Ancients and listened wearily to all the people "fixing" the game after a few plays.

"Here are my new rules for flank bonuses" they would proudly post, because, after all, a game simply MUST have flank bonuses!

Richard makes elegant, seamless games, that people enjoy SO much they just HAVE to tinker with them to make them better...except the mindset that does this never gets to discover the remarkable fact that--to finish my example--the game takes care of flank attacks just fine, without bonuses and within the context of the game.

Give it a chance.
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Mayor Jim
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kduke wrote:
Quote:
...because I hate house rules...


If that is honest, then don't Fing create any.

The game is new. The tanks have an initial head start--like they did historical--and players are starting to find ways of dealing with them (like happened historically).

Sorry for being intolerant, but I've been with the C&C system since Ancients and listened wearily to all the people "fixing" the game after a few plays.

"Here are my new rules for flank bonuses" they would proudly post, because, after all, a game simply MUST have flank bonuses!

Richard makes elegant, seamless games, that people enjoy do much they just HAVE to tinker with them to make them better...except the mindset that does this never gets to discover the remarkable fact that--to finish my example--the game takes care of flank attacks just fine, without bonuses and within the context of the game.

Give it a chance.

Amen...too many folks want to tinker with a game after a couple plays without first giving the mechanics and rules a chance. Granted that there are a few games that are dogs right out of the box...but the C&C series are well developed and need little modification except for a user created scenario here and there.
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Stephen Foulk
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MayorJim wrote:

Amen...too many folks want to tinker with a game after a couple plays without first giving the mechanics and rules a chance. Granted that there are a few games that are dogs right out of the box...but the C&C series are well developed and need little modification except for a user created scenario here and there.


I pretty much 99% agree with this and I've been guilty of it myself over the decades so now I try to change nothing until I've played any game through the first flush of enthusiasm and come to it again.

HOWEVER sometimes with historical games I cannot walk past something that I feel is just plain wrong and as I've mentioned elsewhere I cannot see the logic in the stats for the German tank, so in these cases I do make an exception.
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Kevin Duke
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I agree that the German tank sure looks a lot less "trench crossing able" than the rhomboids. I think there is a separate post about that, with the suggestion being to have 2 results instead of one on the die roll bog the tank.

I found myself saying, "Why not roll 2 dice and if you get one blast, it's "regularly bogged" and if you get two blasts it's severely bogged and can't be unbogged during a scenario..."

And then I realized I was making a house rule...modest
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Kevin Duke
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Re: Tanks are too (fixed it) strong
Just as a follow-up, I demo'd GW with tanks at BGG con.

Forgive me for 'house rules' but I used the style from C&C Ancients to make this an 'epic' game so that more people could take part. I ended up with 6 (then 7) players and things worked fine on that system. I combined a couple of the scenarios and did some tweaking to make what I thought was a historically reasonable scenario with tanks on both sides.

We played through it all and the Germans (who had 3 tanks to the British 7) won by 15 banners to 11.

One Brit tank bogged early, on its side of the map, and never unbogged, until it was finally killed by a German counter attack. Another Brit tank took its final hit from RIFLE fire-- a very slim chance but it's there (and the owner was very unhappy), while another Brit tank was finished off by Reserve artillery. While all the players had C&C experience only one had ever played GW and he had not played with tanks. I thought lack of experience might benefit the tanks but that turned out to be the opposite.

Were there freak random things? Certainly. But they are in the game and can happen.

Is bogging too frequent? I was reading about a small attack at Passchendaele last night and out of 12 tanks, 7 of them bogged. And remember, 'bogging' includes the notion that the engine goes on the fritz and may or may not be restarted. Some suggest it's not frequent enough, but I remind myself that Passchendaele was particularly bad ground for tanks (and for people, for that matter).

My point is, wildly varying results can happen in any C&C game. If you run into it 1-2 times and start a long list of "here are my fixes," then you will never find out how the game is supposed to work, and you will limit the universe of gamers... there is "Great War-- the rules" and "Great War-- Bob's version." I'm going to stick with the former.

At the risk of sounding like an old guy, I remember when C&C Ancients first expansion came out-- Greeks and Eastern armies (representing Persia, Parthia, Seleucids, etc.) There was talk then about "the game is broken' because the Eastern armies were "too weak." They were getting creamed in the early scenarios, even when they were (historically) in a stronger position. But we kept playing and started realizing... the Greeks played a lot more like the Romans and Carthaginians that we had experience with. If you played the Eastern army like that-- you got creamed. But if you learned to use a tactical approach which worked with their strengths, they were very competitive. We had to learn to use them differently. When the Barbarians came out, there was some of the same-- but less. The C&C veterans knew enough to explore and see how "they" played differently than the others... and even discovered that the various Barbarian armies represented had enough variety in the unit mix to have some distinct differences of their own.

To repeat a mantra-- Borg's C&C system looks simple, but in the seamlessness of it is great sophistication. I marvel that C&C Nap felt so 'different' than Ancients, and that Samurai Battles felt still more different and now Great War has its own core character. Of course fighting with tanks is going to be different. I'm looking forward to seeing what he does differently with the French. There will be the 2-4 things that are obvious... and some other number of things that are at least as important but far less obvious... I'm guessing.
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Kevin,

Good for you! Sounds like it was a lot of fun.

Now we have to see how Epic CCN and M44 Khalkin Gol will play. I just got the first and will have the second in two days.
 
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Good comments...too often, folks want to "improve" a game without running through several...many...games, to discover the nuances the designer has built in.
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