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Subject: The Yet Another Tank Game Recommendation Thread rss

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Kent Reuber
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Tank on Tank?
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Gabriel Gendron
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Eastern Front Tank Leader A game by the legendary John Hill. The rulebook is very well written and I think the level of abstraction vs. realism hits a sweet spot. It's got a cool activation system based on unit quality, where better trained units are more responsive and flexible.

Out of Print.

Corps Command: Dawn's Early Light from the same designer as Tank on Tank. A good step-up but still light on rules. Very cool and immersive game with quality components. The counters are beautiful.

Ziplock edition is the only one available ATM.

Nations at War: White Star Rising Platoon scale, based on the same system as World at War from Mark H. Walker. Never played nor read the rules so I can't comment much but I know it's immensely popular.
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Jeff Schulte
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I highly recommend the World at War series. It is platoon level and depicts combat circa 1985. There are several boxed modules including Operation Garbo that includes Swedish forces. The best module IMO is The Untold Stories: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgameexpansion/41934/world-...

I would say that the rules are light/medium weight. It's very fast playing with lots of scenario.
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Both Panzer Command and Eastern Front Tank Leader are roughly at the PanzerBlitz/Panzer Leader scale. They are superior options, but are out of print. Fortunately, EFTL is up for a reprint.




At the tank-to-tank level, there is Panzer, which GMT is publishing soon.




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Phil Lewis
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The Conflict of Heroes series might be just the thing. Rules are light, and the tank combat is just crunchy enough. The first two games in the series, Awakening the Bear and Storms of Steel are East Front. Assuming you get AtB 2nd Edition, both are great. There are some nice infantry and combined arms scenarios, but both have a lot of tank vs. tank combat. The games are intuitive with great components and very minimal downtown.
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ldsdbomber wrote:
I like the look of the new Panzer but I think its a bit too intense rules wise isnt it. Maybe I should just tough it out with Fighting Formations?


Here is the advanced tank-vs-tank combat resolution example:
http://www.gmtgames.com/panzer/PanzerAPFireEx.pdf

I've played previous iterations of the game, and I find it very manageable. I imagine the complexity level is close to FF's.


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Chris Buhl
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If you're game for getting into the rules, I think Advanced Squad Leader is my choice for best tactical game using tanks. It is a lot of detail and work to get the rules down, but once I played enough ASL to understand it, I found almost every other tactical game's use of tanks to make me think that tanks were just "heavier infantry," in a friend's words. And ASL gives you access to SO MANY different AFVs, which makes it a lot of fun to play around with.

I also second the recommendation here for World at War: Eisenbach Gap and it's fellows. That is probably my second favorite, and it's much easier to get into.

I'm getting ready to start up Death Ride Kursk: Gross Deutschland – Updated 2016, and I'm much looking forward to seeing how that handles armored conflict.

I've also got Panzer (second edition) inbound, that looks like something you should strongly consider.
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Chris Buhl
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ldsdbomber wrote:
I like the look of the new Panzer but I think its a bit too intense rules wise isnt it. Maybe I should just tough it out with Fighting Formations?


I didn't like FF much at all, so you have to take that into account when you read this.

I thought the game's handling of tanks was, in terms of just the tanks themselves, pretty well done. I also think it does a pretty good job of differentiating between tanks and infantry. And, as a game to play in order to have fun with armored conflict, I don't think you're likely to find it as satisfying as others on this list.
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Chris Buhl
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ldsdbomber wrote:
Wow, thank you for the link to the Panzer example, that doesn't seem too bad at all and pretty cool that you factor in all the advanced options like impact arcs etc.

I dont think I have the time or energy for ASL though, but Panzer might be just the thing if it includes some scenarios or options to play slightly smaller scale tank battles than the ones I understand are more prevalent in Fighting Formations


As I understand Panzer, what you say is true. For sure, in FF, you're not really fighting tank on tank type battles, they are larger. The game makes good use of combined arms and such, it just doesn't focus as much on tanks.
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John McLintock
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Panzer’s an odd one. The crunchiness of the armour rules appeals to me- how much more detailed can you get than working out the angle of incidence of an AT shot to see what effect it has on penetration chances? That’s kind of sweet. And I think that the game’s depiction of terrain is also interesting. The killer for me is pre-plotting moves with pencil-and-paper. I’ve enjoyed this mechanic heaps with games like Gladiator, Ironclads, and Swashbuckler, because those games work well when you’ve got 1- or maybe just a few, pieces on each side. But trying to fight a decent sized combined-arms engagement with pre-plotted moves? Nope, I’d rather be playing something else to get my WW2 tacsim fix: basically, I'd prefer bigger battles when my tanks roll forward.

I would echo the recommendations for the Tank Leader series, a truly fascinating game, even if I found one or two elements just a wee bit clunky. I’ve checked them out here on BGG, and they’re all available in the Marketplace (although some people don’t take down games after they’re sold). The prices for the Western and Eastern front games in particular look very reasonable. Conflict of Heroes is likewise a good game. I haven’t played it as much as I would like (my #1 wargaming opponent totally prefers Combat Commander, and who am I to complain about that!), but I’ve never had a dull game.

I think, Lee, that you’ve got to ask yourself some questions about what kind of game you want to play. Do you fancy the crunchieness of ultra-detailed AT combat, or would you prefer something simpler? If you want that crunch, Panzer looks like a good call. If not? Well, think about what scale and level you want to play at:
1. Do you want to manoeuvure individual tanks, or platoons of tanks?
2. How do you want space to work in the game? What I mean to say is this: would you prefer a game in which your tanks can speed across the board in a single turn; or would you be happy with a game in which they only move a few hexes per turn?

Preferring the first options above indicates a game like CoH; the second options point towards games like the Tank Leader series. And that’s about it really. Hope this helps.
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Fernando Robert Yu
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atilla66 wrote:
ldsdbomber wrote:
I like the look of the new Panzer but I think its a bit too intense rules wise isnt it. Maybe I should just tough it out with Fighting Formations?


The Panzer (second edition) rules are organized into basic, advanced, and optional sections.


IDF and MBT too.....although IDF is more "pure" since technology has less of an effect, and tanks really shine in desert fighting...
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Chris Buhl
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If you've got some minis, the rules for Disposable Heroes and Coffin For Seven Brothers have a nice level of detail for tanks. The optional rules covering tank destroyers go a long way toward highlighting the differences and different uses of the two types of vehicles.
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John McLintock
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ldsdbomber wrote:
Thanks a lot Josh, it does help and I guess I could spend some more time researching what I want before asking more detailed questions. I think I would like something with a limited number of units, commanding individual tanks or no more than small groups of tanks, maybe I should look at CoH again or even something like Axis & Allies minis (which I have the minis from). Maybe I should just pick and poke out different bits from different games and bastardize some kind of homebrew tabletop minis on hex system, but whatever, it definitely has to do a fairly decent job of modelling the differences between the tanks and tank destroyers so you can very clearly see the awesomeness of a single tiger against a swarm of T-34s, I dont know if any games on a small scale (tactically) try to include any sort of rules to model breakdown/reliability, is that just batshit insane in a low counter density scenario just to balance things up between said Tiger and a smaller more reliable tank.

ASL does the reliability thing; CoH doesn't. But for the rest, it strikes me that CoH fits the bill just fine.
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Chris Buhl
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ldsdbomber wrote:
I love tanks. Who doesn't?


Enemy infantry?
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Robert Hawkins
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Take a look at games from the ATS (Advanced Tobruk System) system. I love the armor system and there are quite a few armor vs. armor scenarios. This one falls somewhere between LNL (Lock 'n Load) and the new version of Panzer (second edition).

Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #3 has at least one armor-only scenario, but it's a "Russians running, Germans gunning" engagement. Good kit to have, overall.
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If you're willing to stray from WW2, I find Centurion to be a blast and not hard to learn (warning, it's completely sci-fi, but it's definitely tanks). Otherwise, I would say Conflict of Heroes Storms of Steel is cool.
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Conflict of Heroes: Storms of Steel! – Kursk 1943 is a great choice, but not cheap.

PanzerBlitz can be found inexpensively on eBay. All you need to do is add the optional Opportunity Fire rules from Panzer Leader and you've got a great East Front game!
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Sean (seanmac) and I are just introducing tanks to our games of Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles and so far, I have been impressed. As far as small unit tactics, I think this one is the ultimate. Very realistic feel to the game without tons and tons of rules. It's a short & easy rule book.

I have Panzer Grenadier: Eastern Front on the board, but I am unqualified to speak to it, as I have very little experience. I will say I was impressed by the rules. The series rule book is 16 pages and repeats concepts in multiple places. The idea is that you read it, and go with minimal rules checking, and if you do, you can find it in multiple places.
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John McLintock
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airjudden wrote:
Sean (seanmac) and I are just introducing tanks to our games of Band of Brothers: Screaming Eagles and so far, I have been impressed. As far as small unit tactics, I think this one is the ultimate. Very realistic feel to the game without tons and tons of rules. It's a short & easy rule book.

I have Panzer Grenadier: Eastern Front on the board, but I am unqualified to speak to it, as I have very little experience. I will say I was impressed by the rules. The series rule book is 16 pages and repeats concepts in multiple places. The idea is that you read it, and go with minimal rules checking, and if you do, you can find it in multiple places.

Damn your eyes man! I keep telling myself I've got enough WW2 tacsims to keep me happy, and then people like you and Sean just won't stop coming along to sing Band of Brothers' praises, tempting me oh so-o much. Gah!
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ldsdbomber wrote:
Wow, thank you for the link to the Panzer example, that doesn't seem too bad at all and pretty cool that you factor in all the advanced options like impact arcs etc.

You bet. There is a lot of info at the GMT site, including scenarios:
http://www.gmtgames.com/p-323-panzer.aspx

JMcL63 wrote:
The killer for me is pre-plotting moves with pencil-and-paper

The system abandoned si-move way back in the late 1980s/early 1990s with the publication of MBT and IDF.

That said, I agree with John that the system gets harder to manage with lots of units and the inclusion of other arms--there is even air power in the form of Stukas and Shturmoviks. See below:



I think it's fun to direct the movement and attacks of individual aircraft, but of course that is a concession to fun, but should really be beyond the role of the player as a kampfgruppe commander.

I should also mention that Panzer Command is best suited for solitaire play among the three, followed by Panzer. EFTL is not suitable for solitaire play.



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Martin McCleary
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Tank! by SPI.

It is an older game easily found on Ebay. Scale is 1 tank / squad / AT gun. Each hex is 50 meters.

Basic tank combat is very simple. The Tank! expansion adds infantry, arty, C2, etc. It can be a complex game if played with all the rules - which is the way I like it but again you have a choice regarding detail and complexity. The game covers multiple time periods up to about the early 70's.

It is not, by modern standards, a pretty game, the map and counters are pretty utilitarian. It also requires plotting as it is a simultaneous movement game and that factor adds uncertainty: will he (she) move or fire? One of my favorite games of all time; taught my non gamer friends to play and we used to have a blast with it.

Also by SPI: Mech War 77 and Panzer 44. Both are again readily available. Units represent platoons, both require plotting. Again easy to learn fun to play. If you want to go really deep and expensive find a copy of the old Mech War 2 by SPI. There you can contend with electronic warfare and all kinds of other wonderful detail.

Firefight by SPI, later republished by ... can't remember. A "modern" game covering the early Cold War period, individual vehicles. Vehicle selection is limited but treatment is fairly detailed.

I agree on EFTL and Panzer Command,great games.

Panzer Grenadier is to me so-so as is the LnL series modern and WWII particularly the latter but they are high quality graphics; easy, fast systems to play. LnL also has a series of squad level games with individual vehicles. I just started playing their Band of Heroes and so far I like it. As usual high graphic component quality, small unit counter density and small boards so you can go thru the basic scenarios fairly quickly.

Lots of choices out there both old and new. Have fun. If your wife plays these with you then I consider you a very lucky man indeed.
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Sean McCormick
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As overall tactical games go, there is no question that I would recommend Band of Brothers. That said, while the armor rules look good, BoB doesn't have the kind of heavy tank on tank scenarios that the next module Ghost Panzer figures to have.

CoH is not a bad call at all. Would probably be my number two recommendation.
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Rallye72 wrote:
Also by SPI: Mech War 77 and Panzer 44. Both are again readily available. Units represent platoons, both require plotting. Again easy to learn fun to play. If you want to go really deep and expensive find a copy of the old Mech War 2 by SPI. There you can contend with electronic warfare and all kinds of other wonderful detail.

I have to point out that these 2 games have the notorious rule whereby you have to avoid columns of units on hex-rows numbered with the same last 2 digits. This was because of the way the command and control system worked. IIRC, you rolled a d10 and all units on hexes with that final number were somehow penalised. I remember trying to figure out a fix for my copy of MechWar '77. I realised that I couldn't think of anything which would get round the need to make some kind of test for each and every unit on the map, which just wasn't on.

Pity. I liked the look of the game.
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Martin McCleary
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what you're referring to is the panic level. Panic is triggered, as you noted, by a 10 sided die roll if your unit is in a hex with the number yes, it panics. It applies to both sides depending on the panic level of the force, some scenarios have fixed panic levels of 10% so you roll once, others have it rising as you take losses. It adds to the game in that it prevents perfect C2. There's no rule that prevents columns. If you role a 2 and you have units in hexes ending in 2 they panic.

I've played the game many times and never found it to be an issue and you can always just skip the rule or make up your own method.

Many games (all?) have limitations. In Panzer Grenadier players know the locations of each others leaders and target accordingly. It won't stop me from playing the game but I do find it a bit silly.

I included these titles because while older games they shouldn't be ignored. Not everything new is better.
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John McLintock
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Rallye72 wrote:
what you're referring to is the panic level. Panic is triggered, as you noted, by a 10 sided die roll if your unit is in a hex with the number yes, it panics. It applies to both sides depending on the panic level of the force, some scenarios have fixed panic levels of 10% so you roll once, others have it rising as you take losses. It adds to the game in that it prevents perfect C2. There's no rule that prevents columns. If you role a 2 and you have units in hexes ending in 2 they panic.

I've played the game many times and never found it to be an issue and you can always just skip the rule or make up your own method.

Many games (all?) have limitations. In Panzer Grenadier players know the locations of each others leaders and target accordingly. It won't stop me from playing the game but I do find it a bit silly.

I included these titles because while older games they shouldn't be ignored. Not everything new is better.

Thanks for clarifying the rule Martin. It's been nearly 30 years since I owned the game, so my memory was vague. Note that I didn't say that there was a rule against columns. What I said (or tried to say) was that one effect of the rule was to make columns and other formations inadvisable because of the way the panicking units were selected by dice roll. Your own comment confirmed that the rule works as I suggested: units panic according to the number of the hex they're in.

Even at the time I could understand that the designer's aim was to make the panic rules easy to run by generating panicking units via the minimum possible number of dice rolls. It was just that I was one of many who thought that the chosen method was unsatisfactory because, well, as you said yourself, it's "a bit silly". I did also say that I thought the game was interesting apart from that rule, and that I had thought about fixes but couldn't come up with one that didn't involve rolling far too many dice. And my all-time favourite game- Up Front, is 30 years old next year, so I'm all for flying the flag for older games.
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