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Tobruk: Tank Battles in North Africa 1942» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Micro review based on playing Scenario 1 only rss

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Robert Pollard
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Got this old gem from eBay.

The edition I had came with many surprises...

For a start, the back of the box was just black - none of the usual AH text and pictures describing what's in the box...

Next up, the German units were a dark brown colour, rather than the usual grey-blue colour that you tend to see.

I had thought I had on of the pre-release editions, but I have noticed that my version includes version 2 of the rules. All rather odd really!

So far I have played scenario 1 and read the rules ready for scenario 2.

I have to say that I was taken aback by the detail of the system. In many respects, it's treatment of armoured vehicles reminds me of MBT and the follow on Panzer series. The similarity is down to the use of hit locations and vehicle specific tables for hit locations. All rather table top like.

How does it play?

Not bad, not bad at all....

You'd think that a blank map doesn't lend itself to much in the way of tactics. However, you would be wrong. Armour facing as with most games plays a strong role here, especially with the vehicle specific to-hit tables.

However, these tanks cannot move and fire at the same time (they are not like modern machines that have built in gyro stabilisers!).

The result of this is that you are always weighing up positional manoeuvre vs the ability to fire off a few shots.

Speaking of shots, the game takes weapon rate of fire into account - quite unusual in most tank games. For example an M3 that has already acquired a target for over one move can unleash 6 37mm shots in one round!

The power of the 37mm gun caught me by surprise. I thought it was just an afterthought to provide 360 coverage whilst the 75mm was put to work. But in my game at least, the 37mm did far more damage.

The Germans didn't fair very well, though it has to be said I didn't give them APCR ammo - simply because I hadn't read that far in the rules.

I was finding that the Panzer III's were having great trouble inflicting any casualties on the M3's until they could start to get flank shots in.

Each move is relatively fast even with a fair few units on the board.

The one thing that does let the system down (at least for me), is the amount of paper work you have to keep to take note of who has acquired who and which vehicles have which damage.

In modern games you take status markers for granted, but alas, this 1975 game only has markers to show who has moved and who has fired.

There were numerous occasions where I accidently fired or moved a unit when I shouldn't of due to damage. It's far harder scanning through hand written notes than just observing status counters on the board.

That said, I did enjoy the game and will more than likely bring it back to the table!

RobP
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Malcolm Sleight
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Rob,

Tobruk is an amazing system. I don't know if you are aware, but Critical Hit took over the Tobruk system and labeled it Advanced Tobruk. Within that they have attempted to streamline the rules. Also, they have added many modules to the system a'la ASL.
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Jim Stearns
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Robert, you have the same box that I have from 1975... AH had a variety of packaging schemes due to different production runs. Some received the same box and contents as the Origins release, others had a mix of color counters from the chocolate brown German counters to those light Grey... Even some of the coloring on the boards are different.

Critical Hit has released a version of the game system as BRL1192 (same charts, tables, etc...). BRL1192 is expensive, you can read my review here https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1569052/brl1192-tank-battle...


They also sell Advanced Tobruk System which I understand is a different game altogether (more like Squad Leader),

Hope this helps!

- Jim
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Brian Train
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I played this a lot back in the day when I was just getting started and had a lot more patience and time.

Generally, the game is a board-game port of a set of one of those excruciatingly detailed miniatures rules that were common at the time, like Tractics.... which I also owned, and just being able to handle miniatures made the latter more interesting.

The completely flat map, roster system for infantry casualties and even things like rolling the dice 17 times to hit every time a 40mm Bofors fired just didn't do it for me.
I suppose if I had had access to something like Panzer (first edition) I might have enjoyed it more.

But to each their own, and I did learn quite a bit about the desert war from the background material.

Brian
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Mo Caraher
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Stearjas wrote:
Critical Hit has released a version of the game system as BRL1192 (same charts, tables, etc...). BRL1192 is expensive, you can read my review here https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1569052/brl1192-tank-battle...


No, it's mind-numbing summary of contents. Not a review.
 
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Robert Pollard
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tykemalcolm wrote:
Rob,

Tobruk is an amazing system. I don't know if you are aware, but Critical Hit took over the Tobruk system and labeled it Advanced Tobruk. Within that they have attempted to streamline the rules. Also, they have added many modules to the system a'la ASL.


The big issue is that Advanced Tobruk is quite difficult to get hold of in the Uk. I have heard many good things about it - like the impulse movement, but until it is stocked here I will be playing ASL :)
 
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Robert Pollard
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Stearjas wrote:
Robert, you have the same box that I have from 1975... AH had a variety of packaging schemes due to different production runs. Some received the same box and contents as the Origins release, others had a mix of color counters from the chocolate brown German counters to those light Grey... Even some of the coloring on the boards are different.

Critical Hit has released a version of the game system as BRL1192 (same charts, tables, etc...). BRL1192 is expensive, you can read my review here https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1569052/brl1192-tank-battle...


They also sell Advanced Tobruk System which I understand is a different game altogether (more like Squad Leader),

Hope this helps!

- Jim


That clears a lot of stuff up. I was wondering how they got from Tobruk to ATS and I guess the short answer is they didn't! :)
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Robert Pollard
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ltmurnau wrote:
I played this a lot back in the day when I was just getting started and had a lot more patience and time.

Generally, the game is a board-game port of a set of one of those excruciatingly detailed miniatures rules that were common at the time, like Tractics.... which I also owned, and just being able to handle miniatures made the latter more interesting.

The completely flat map, roster system for infantry casualties and even things like rolling the dice 17 times to hit every time a 40mm Bofors fired just didn't do it for me.
I suppose if I had had access to something like Panzer (first edition) I might have enjoyed it more.

But to each their own, and I did learn quite a bit about the desert war from the background material.

Brian


The dice rolling for an acquired M3 is already quite high, especially if both weapons are pointed at the same target. Haven't got on to using the Bofor's yet - but I agree - maybe a certain level of abstraction should have been included here.

RobP
 
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Mo Caraher
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Quote:
That clears a lot of stuff up. I was wondering how they got from Tobruk to ATS and I guess the short answer is they didn't!


Well, they kind of did.

ATS looks and feels a lot more like Squad Leader etc., but the basis of the gun and vehicle aspect of the game is firmly rooted in Tobruk. Some the extensive detail is smoothed out via abstraction; hit locations are slightly more broad, and ROF is dialed down a great deal for those rapid-shooters like the Bofors....but there's a rule in ATS for semi-auto fire that gives these guns a little more punch.

What else...?
Movement rates are higher, which I like, as it lends itself to maneuver more readily than the 2-to-4 hexes that AFVs travel per turn in Tobruk.

Also, the infantry aspect is a larger part of ATS than it is in Tobruk and no more record sheets (yay).

In occasional fits of nostalgia I crave a game of Tobruk, only to be reminded that ATS has all the best bits of its namesake plus a whole lot more. I'm pretty sure that the original Tobruk scenarios were the basis of many of the scenarios in the first ATS box.
 
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Jim Stearns
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FlashPan wrote:
Stearjas wrote:
Robert, you have the same box that I have from 1975... AH had a variety of packaging schemes due to different production runs. Some received the same box and contents as the Origins release, others had a mix of color counters from the chocolate brown German counters to those light Grey... Even some of the coloring on the boards are different.

Critical Hit has released a version of the game system as BRL1192 (same charts, tables, etc...). BRL1192 is expensive, you can read my review here https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1569052/brl1192-tank-battle...


They also sell Advanced Tobruk System which I understand is a different game altogether (more like Squad Leader),

Hope this helps!

- Jim


That clears a lot of stuff up. I was wondering how they got from Tobruk to ATS and I guess the short answer is they didn't!


From a GeekGuide here on BGG about ATS... https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/15765/advanced-tobruk-sys...?


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