$30.00
Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Tank on Tank: East Front» Forums » Reviews

Subject: A fresh wargamers take on Tank on Tank: East Front rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Andreas Rovio
Sweden
Uppsala
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb

In this review my aim is to give my thoughts on Lock 'n Loads game Tank on Tank: East Front. I will have two main perspectives in this review: 1. What is the games strengths and weaknesses. 2. How do I, as somone who is just starting to get into wargaming feel about the game? The review will have seven parts parts; overview, components, unit overview, gameplay, strengths, weaknesses, and conclusion.

Overview: Tank on Tank: East Front is an entry level hex-and-counters wargame by Lock 'n Load. It's for two players (possible to play solitaire) and takes about 30-60 minutes per game. As the name suggests, it's set in the east front during WWII and the main forces pitted against each other are the german and the russians. There are a total of 15 scenarios that comes with the game and instructions on how to construct balanced forces if you want to play without the scenarios.

Components: The game comes in a small, but sturdy, box. Components are overall of good quality. The chits are large and look good, and the maps are non-mounted cardboard. The two things to remark on is that the rulebook paper could have been of higher quality as the spine of it easily shows some cosmetic signs of wear, even when new. The second is that I would like to have two copies of the player aid rather then just one. But, all in all, the components are good for the relatively low price.

Unit overview:


As you can see, there are more unit types then just tanks. I will not go into detail of the other units but in short they provide some additional tactical depth by their specific rules (especially infantry and anti-tank units). There are three relevant values on the chits; in red, blue and yellow. Red is the attack range, blue is the defence value and yellow is the movement value. Attack range is from how afar you can attack (provided you have line of sight), defence is the value of how strong an attack you can withstand and movement is how many movement points you get when the unit is activated for movement. Normal movement costs 1 MP per hex, but there are terain modifiers which can change the cost.

Gameplay: The gameplay is built around an variable AP (action point) system. APs are mainly used to move your units and to attack. Activating a unit for movement costs one AP and gives you all of that units movement points and attacking an enemy unit also costs one AP and allows you to atttack with all your eligible units. When it's your turn, the opponent randomly draws one of the AP chits and keeps it secret from you. They range from 2-4 and they determine how much you will be able to do on your turn. When you have used up all APs your opponent notifies you that your turn has ended and then they get to go.

The gameplay promotes a clever use of terrain, like roads for faster movement and hills for longer range, and encourages you to outmanouver your opponent since you get a flanking bonus for attack untits from behind. An attack is as simple as spending one AP, declaring the enemy unit you are attacking and rolling 2d6. You then apply the relevant modifiers: Plus one for each attacking unit, plus one for each flanking attacker and minus one for some kinds of terrain. If the attack is equal to or exceed the enemies defence value it is eliminated.

Strengths:

1 Rules are very easy to learn! What I have described here is almost everything you need to know to play the first scenario.

2 HQ units are the best! Since movement and flanking is such an important part, HQ units are what makes the game really shine in my opinion. They differ from normal units in that when they are activated for movement, all nearby units also get to move. Yes, they are that good! This makes for some intricate tactical consideration of how you move your units and making sure they stay together.

3 Different feel between the germans and the russians. The german tanks have higher defence value then the russians, but are usually outnumbered. The russians also have 'Mass activation' which for two APs allows them to activate all HQ units. This can make for some massive advances of the whole russian force. Another really great aspect that sets the forces apart is the requirements on units attacking together. The only condition for the german units to make a joint attack is that they are eligable; in range and LOS. The russians, however, need to be in an unbroken chain of adjacent units for all the units that want to attack. This gives some great diveristy to how the different sides play.

4 AP chit pull mechanic makes for great tension! When you don't know exactly how many APs you have each turn (only that it's at least two and maximum four), the tension becomes high and it forces you to prioritize. "I would like to move these two tanks and then attack, but what if I only have two APs, then they are going to be left in a vulnerable position..." That is an example of how thinking during the game can go. You often want to play in a way that doesn't leave you exposed if your turn should end, but sometimes the only option is to risk it!

5 My SO likes it! My SO usually have a hard time with war subjects, but in this one she thinks the gameplay is just so...catchy! The turns go fast, there is a lot happening on the map, and you are rewarded for clever tactical thinking.

Weaknesses:

1 Not that much historical background. I'm a theology student and have a general interest in history. It's a little bit sad that the game doesn't really give much historical background. I understand that it may be simpler to have a game light on rules if you can construct fictional scenarios, but I would really have liked for there to be more of a connection to the historical battles that where fought in WWII.

2 When luck doesn't smile at you. Although I really like the AP system, sometimes it can feel like you always get the two AP chits and your opponent the ones with four APs. Sure, sometimes the tables are turned, but I feel like it's pretty disheartening to turn after turn only get harmstrung by the AP chits.

Conclusion: Overall I think that Tank on Tank: East Front is a good game. It's easy to learn, plays in a reasonable amount of time, has some exciting mechanincs and is a lot of fun! Although it feels a little bit disconnected from the historical setting and a streak of bad luck can get you down, in the end both me and my SO feels that this is a game we enjoy and will return to for quite some time. I recommend it to everyone who wants to try out wargaming or for those wargamers that would like a quick and tense game.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Friend
United States
Sierra Vista
Arizona
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
If the SO likes it then you're all set.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Heath
United States
Pueblo West
United States
flag msg tools
publisher
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Andreas

The idea behind the game design was to make a game that was fast and fun. So the maps are more of a generic type then showing any real battlefield. This is a game to take to work and play a game during lunch or teach a young adult or SO.

Thank you for taking the time to review our games that always means a lot to us.

David
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andreas Rovio
Sweden
Uppsala
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
LNL Publishing wrote:
Hi Andreas

The idea behind the game design was to make a game that was fast and fun. So the maps are more of a generic type then showing any real battlefield. This is a game to take to work and play a game during lunch or teach a young adult or SO.

Thank you for taking the time to review our games that always means a lot to us.

David


Thank you for the reply and for a great game! I do see what you mean and in a way my longing for more history is ultimately something that I will find in other games. I hope that more people interested in wargaming will find ToT, it's a great game to begin with!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.