Drako's Tanks House Rule - Tank Classes



  • First I would like to say hi to everyone and thanks for taking the time to look at my house rule. This is my first house rule and it has not been play tested yet, so be kind in criticism and I am open to suggestions to help balance things. I don’t see this as being that complicated of a house rule, but I may have overlooked something.

    So this house rule will take the tanks in G40 and broaden the range a bit. By that I mean instead of just having “Tanks” that represents all classes of tanks, this will have 4 classes of thanks: Heavy, Medium, Light, and Tank Destroyers. You will need to either improvise a way to distinguish tank classes from one another or get new sculpts(I will include a list of sculpts I plan on purchasing). I will be getting my sculpts from HBG. I tried to stick to historical accuracy as best I could for the sculpts but that proved to be quite difficulty due to some nations not really having, for example heavy tanks during WW2, and limited sculpts. I will talk about these situations individually when I get to them.

    With that being said you may be asking, “If different classes of tanks are now available, then what about starting setups?” Well, I believe for ease of use and balance reasons, keep the numbers the same and make all starting tanks Medium Tanks.

    If you are playing G42 then there is no need to wait till round 3 to buy Heavy Tanks and Tank Destroyers. That is for G40 only.

    A quick note on pairing: You cannot pair things that are already paired with something else. For example, if you go into a fight with 5 Infantry, 3 Artillery, 8 Light Tanks, 3 Medium Tanks, and 2 Tactical Bombers, you will need to plan out your pairing. If you pair 2 of your Medium Tanks to boost the attack of your Tactical Bombers, then you only have 1 Medium Tank left to pair with. Alternatively you could use all three Medium Tanks to boost 3 of your Light Tanks, but then could only boost 1 Artillery. If any clarification is needed on this subject, please ask.

    Heavy Tanks:
    Slow: Cannot blitz
    Heavy Armor: Absorbs 1 hit each per battle, kinda like capitol ships but this damage doesn’t persist outside of the battle, in other words you won’t have to worry about repairing them like you do with capitol ships
    Research and Development: Heavy Tanks cannot be bought until the 3rd round
    Draws Attention: Can be paired with Tank Destroyers, 1 to 1, to increase Tank Destroyers attack from 3 to 4
    Cost: 8
    Attack: 3
    Defense: 4
    Move: 1
    Sculpts
    Germany: Tiger 1
    Russia: IS-2
    Japan: Shares Germany, Orange Tiger 1. Japan had very few heavy tanks deployed from what I could tell, and I couldn’t find sculpts of the ones they did deploy so they will have to share sculpts with Germany.
    US: Pershing
    UK: Matilda, which is their standard piece
    Italy: M15/42, this is their standard piece, and based on research I did, this tank was far from a heavy tank, but again sculpts and lack of historical heavy armor from Italy forces me to use this as heavy tanks
    ANZAC: Grey Churchill
    France: I could not find any sculpt to represent French heavy armor. Game play wise, I find it OK to not allow France heavy armor, considering they won’t really be able to use them and historically speaking, France was behind in tank technology

    Medium Tanks
    Main Armor: Can blitz
    Armor Support: Can be paired with Mechs 1 to 1 to allow Mechs to blitz
    Ground Focus: Can be paired with Tactical Bombers 1 to 1 to increase Tactical Bombers attack from 3 to 4
    Mixed Armor Tactics: Can be paired with Light Tanks 1  to 1 to increase Light Tanks attack from 2 to 3
    Armor Support: Can be paired 1 to 1 with Light Tanks to allow Light Tanks to blitz
    Cost: 6
    Attack: 3
    Defense: 3
    Move: 2
    Sculpts
    Germany: Panther, their standard piece
    Russia: T34, standard piece
    Japan: Type 97
    US: Sherman, standard piece
    UK: Valentine
    Italy: Panzer III
    ANZAC: Shares UK, Grey Valentine
    France: Shares Russia, Blue T34, standard piece

    Light Tanks
    Fast Movers: Can move 3 but only during non combat and all territories you plan on moving through must be controlled by you, allied control territories will halt the movement
    Light Armament: Cannot blitz alone, must be paired with blitzing Medium Tanks, 1 to 1 pairing
    Infantry Support: Can be paired with Infantry or Mechs, 1 to 1, to increase Infantry or Mechs attack from 1 to 2
    Mixed Armor Tactics: See above Mixed Armor Tactics in Medium Tanks
    Scouts: Can be paired with Artillery, 2 Light Tanks to 1 Artillery to increase Artillery’s attack from 2 to 3
    Cost: 5
    Attack: 2
    Defense: 2
    Move: 2 to 3
    Sculpts
    Germany: Panzer II
    Russia: T26
    Japan: Type 95, standard piece
    US: Stuart
    UK: Shares US, Tan Stuart
    Italy: Panzer 38t
    ANZAC: Sentinel, standard piece
    France: 7TP(I know this is a Polish tank but I saw that I could get it in blue and took the opportunity to give France their own piece for once in this game :-D)

    Tank Destroyers
    Research and Development: Cannot be bought until 3rd round
    Opportunists: See above Draws Attention in Heavy Tanks
    Targeted Fire Ability: First let me say that in my personal opinion, a special ability, especially in strategy games, needs to have three base things to be balanced. A pro, a con, and a way to negate it. Think of this ability kinda like the Submerge or Surprise Strike of subs.
    So first, the presence of 1 or more enemy Tactical Bombers negates this ability. If they have 1 Tactical Bomber and you have 20 Tank Destroyers, this ability is negated and cannot be used.
    The pro is that you get to choose what you hit.
    The con is that its limited in when you can use it, can only be used once per battle, doesn’t boost stats, the Tank Destroyers that use this ability cannot be paired with Heavy Tanks, and cannot hit aircraft.
    Both attacker and defender can use this as long as they are not negated. This must be used during the first round of combat, with one exception. If Tactical Bombers were present during the first round of combat but were later all destroyed, you can then use this ability at the beginning of the next combat round. Otherwise, you must use this at the start of the first combat round.
    Before any dice are rolled, attacker announces first, call out if you will be using this ability and how many Tank Destroyers will participate. The attacker then rolls one die for each participating Tank Destroyer, hitting on a 3 or less. The attacker then assigns hits instead of the defender. Heavy tanks still absorb one hit. Aircraft cannot be hit. These units are placed behind the casualty zone(if you use it) and will get to return fire in normal combat. The defender then does the same. From then on continue combat as normal; you cannot use this ability more than once per battle. If you are able to use it at the beginning but don’t use it then, you cannot use it later.
    Cost: 7
    Attack: 3
    Defense: 3
    Move: 2
    Sculpts
    Germany: StuG III
    Russia: SU-76
    Japan: Type 3
    US: Hellcat
    UK: Shares US, Tan Hellcat
    Italy: Shares Germany, Brown StuG III
    ANZAC: Shares US, Grey Hellcat
    France: Shares US, Blue Hellcat

    That’s it. If you have any questions then I will try to answer them the best I can. If you have suggestions to make this better or more balanced then I would love to hear them, as long as there suggested politely. I am also open to suggestions on alternate places to get sculpts, but I haven’t yet found a place much better than HBG. Again, thanks for taking the time to read about my first house rule for this game, or ever for that matter. Is this house rule necessary? No, but loving history the way I do, I just would like having the different classes of tanks represented, like the different classes of air units that are already in the game. Besides I think it would be neat to see all of these sculpts on the board. Of course, if you have a game coming up, you can use it, just please let us know how it goes and your thoughts about how it works in game, as play testing would be the best way to find problems. I thank you in advance.

    EDIT: I took out the Tank Hunter Ability and replaced it with Targeted Fire. I feel like this will be a lot less complicated but still make Tank Destroyers a special unit. I also believe that it is balanced as best as I could without trying it in a few games first. As a result Light Tanks lost the Search trait because it is no longer relevant. Also, after much thought, I feel like the Light Tank stats are fine the way they are, but there could be a better way, so I’m still open.

    EDIT #2: I changed the pairing ratio of Light tanks to Medium tanks for 2 to 1 to an easier to remember 1 to 1. I feel as if when someone buys Light tanks they will buy them in bulk. With that being said I kept the pairing of Light tanks and Artillery at 2 to 1. In efforts to reduce the number of pairing options, I removed the ability the pair Light tanks and Mechs so Mechs cannot move 3. I removed the ability allowing Tank Destroyers to blitz in efforts to help balance them. I also added the note to make sure people know that Heavy tanks still absorb one hit from the Targeted Fire ability.



  • Cheers Drako, I look forward to reading this later on the weekend, thanks for posting your ideas.


  • 2017 2016 2015 Organizer '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Interesting…

    Heavy tanks should be attacking at 4, not defending. They move slower and maneuverability is a function of defense more than offense.

    Light tanks are good, Since they cost 5 i can see using them but i don’t understand this:

    Scouts: Can be paired with Artillery, 2 Light Tanks to 1 Artillery to increase Artillery’s attack from 2 to 3
    Search: Can spot enemy Tank Hunters

    There is no “search” so don’t get that. also, don’t like the scout rule.

    Tank hunters rules are way too complicated, i suggest these units just rolling a 1 in combat get to pick what they hit on land and forget all the search rules.



  • Heavy tanks, historically, didn’t always exactly have better guns than medium tanks. This can be debated depending on which tanks, specifically, you actually talked about. Like if you compared a T34-76 with a 76mm gun to an IS-2 with a 120mm gun, then yes the gun would be more powerful. However, if you take a standard M4 and compare it to a Jumbo M4, the guns were very identical.  Their main focus was thicker armor. With that being said I made their attack the same as medium tanks, but higher defense values due to thicker armor. Also I wanted them to be a more defensive unit. With them being defensive, you would have a special unit(the tank destroyers), a quick unit(light tanks), a balanced unit(medium tanks) and a defensive unit(heavy tanks). I’m trying to find balance so people don’t spam buying one thing.
    Let me try to explain the Scouts and Search traits of the Light Tanks. Scouts was just a name I gave to the ability to pair with artillery. To put it in to realistic words, think of it this way: The pair of Light Tanks are zooming across the battlefield, locating enemy positions, radioing back to artillery, and adjusting their aim accordingly. More accurate artillery means more deadly artillery. So if you pair two light tanks with one artillery, the artillery should get an increase to its effectiveness. What was it about the Scout rule you didn’t like?
    Search, again, was just the name I gave to the ability to the light tanks in an attempt to make them more useful and to try to balance the Tank Hunter ability. However, if we do away with the Tank Hunter ability of Tank Destroyers, then this trait will also be done away with. 
    I was thinking of making Tank Destroyers kinda like land subs, but wasn’t real sure how to approach it without changing core game rules, help balance it, and really make people think about risk vs reward in assigning Tank Hunters, but I may have gotten carried away with it. Yes the ability is complicated, but I would like to keep it at all possible. Do you think there may be a way to keep it but make it less complicated? Maybe, only allowing defenders to use this, or getting rid of the roll to see if they successfully hid or not?
    I’m not dismissing your suggestion, its a good alternative if it comes down to eliminating the ability. But instead of a 1, what about the roller declaring a targeted attack on whatever he or she wants with their tank destroyers, but instead hit on a 2 or less. The guns on tank destroyers were quite good and accurate, so I feel a 1 would be quite misrepresented of their firepower.



  • I reread the rules again and have thought of this:
    What if the Tank Hunter ability didn’t rely on having more than the other side? This would be like the ability destroyers give to planes to hit subs. So it would be something like this: Having just one Light Tank or Fighter or Tactical Bomber would allow you to hit enemy Tank Hunters. I feel like that makes it easier to understand, along with getting rid of the “Situation” roll before battle. As for the removing of Tank Hunters after firing, and only rolling one die at a time as apposed to one die for each Tank Hunter you have all at once every round, I’m not sure what to do with that…
    Its quite difficult to judge this as I have no idea what it’s like in game and I won’t be able to play test it until I can get a group together to play and that will be some time unfortunately.
    Also, I forget to put it in my other post, as Light Tanks sits, I feel as if people will buy them way more than Artillery because why would they buy Artillery when they cost, attack, and defend the same? Not to mention Light Tanks are faster and are more versatile. The only reason to buy artillery then would be to pair with Infantry, Mechs, or Light Tanks. Which could actually be reason enough possibly…now that I think about it. I was thinking about decreasing the defense value of light tanks to 1 but now I’m not so sure lol



  • This is a house rule so basically you can do what you want in your own basement, but if I can weight in, it should look like this ,

    Heavy Tanks are hard hitting with thick armor but slow moving. I say move 1 space, attack at 4 or less, defend at 2, and absorb one hit in the first round of combat only, like the A&A 1914 Tank. It will be too strong to let it soak hits every round.

    Medium Tanks are the OOB Tanks, cost 6, A 3 D 3, move 2 spaces and can Blitz.

    Light Tanks were obsolete when the war started, and if they can be purchased they should be the poor mans choice. Maybe some powers like France, Italy and UK can start with a fistful of Light Tanks, and maybe even some true neutrals like Sweden and Spain too ?
    Light Tanks cost 5, attack 1 and defend 2, but can blitz and move 3 spaces. They are weak in attack and dont belong in the main battle field, but their great manouverabiltiy make them strong in defense.

    I dont fancy a dedicated Tank Destroyer unit, even if HBG makes the pieces, because it introduce targeting, which is not an A&A option.

    I would like to see a self propelled artillery unit, that can move 2 spaces and keep up with the Tanks and Mechs, and still boost infantry. Should cost 5, move 2, A2 D2 and boost inf

    During WWII I guess all units had it own scouts units inherent, or imbedded, so no need for a dedicated scout piece, not at this strategigal level anyway



  • Yes that’s how the absorb one hit works. I didn’t mean for it to regain that absorb ability every single round, just once per battle, per tank. As I previously stated, making heavy tanks attack at 4 or less not only misrepresents heavy tanks, plus coupled with absorbing a hit, makes them too powerful in attack. @drako9374:

    Heavy tanks, historically, didn’t always exactly have better guns than medium tanks. This can be debated depending on which tanks, specifically, you actually talked about. Like if you compared a T34-76 with a 76mm gun to an IS-2 with a 120mm gun, then yes the gun would be more powerful. However, if you take a standard M4 and compare it to a Jumbo M4, the guns were very identical.  Their main focus was thicker armor.

    This reasoning is why their attack is 3 and defense is 4. However, thinking about it, I may lower defense to 3, considering the absorption of hits. Heavy tanks shouldn’t exactly be used in attack, they slow down your other tanks too much. If anything they were practically tank destroyers their selves, but really just provided support for medium tanks whom did the actual attacking because of their versatility.

    Light tanks weren’t exactly obsolete. In fact, most of the tanks when the war started were light tanks. Germany had tons of Panzer Is and eventually Panzer IIs. Also tank manufacturers continued to produce new light tanks throughout the war. Look at the American line of light tanks, M2A2s, M3 and M5 Stuarts, M22 Locust, M24 Chaffee, and the M42 Walker Bulldog, which was actually produced after WW2.
    One idea I had with the setup was to double the number of French tanks in Paris and make them light tanks. I had also rattled around with changing some other tanks to light tanks, but I didn’t want to mess around with the balance of the game too much. Also changing the setup would make the rule even more complicated to learn. So I went with leaving everything alone, and just assigned a balanced tank class to them. As far as changing the standing armies of neutrals, that is also something I didn’t want to touch.
    As far as making light tanks attack at 1, I don’t necessarily agree with. If we were talking about only early war light tanks I would be more inclined to agree but, we have to think about all light tanks used in the war. The guns and armor both progressively got better as the war went on. Again for example look at the Locust and the Chaffee. The Locust sported a small infantry supporting 37mm gun, but the Chaffee sported a much larger 75mm gun. Now if you wanted to you could say Germany’s light tanks can do this this and this, but that would require learning something you don’t have to and again making it more complicated. Not to mention balancing issues and having to do that for every single nation. Something else you could do is add a research and technology thing stating that light tanks have gotten better and now attack at 2, but I personally don’t play with those. So the stats of light tanks in my opinion are fine.
    I like the idea of tank destroyers being represented in the game,as they had an important role. As far as I know, one A&A game actually does support targeted fire. Yes it is only D Day, and its not nearly as fun as G40 but its still an A&A game. I also don’t believe targeting would be OP as long as there were limitations such as only enemy tanks can be targeted and or only once per battle, maybe a cap on how many can do it at one time, and allow both sides to do it. I will probably remove the large and complicated Tank Hunter ability, but first I’ll have to decide on what to replace it with and I’m waiting on more feedback.
    I don’t remember where but I believe somebody else has already done self propelled artillery, either via an actual piece or allowing mechs to pair with artillery to allow artillery to move 2. So I didn’t include them, and that the focus is on tanks, not all armored combat vehicles.
    I do appreciate the feedback. Just keep in mind that no play testing has taken place.



  • just remember that with more unit types, you need more space and a larger map too



  • I believe that to be a draw back of this. There will be more crowding issues with the extra units. If that is a problem that really bothers someone then I really wouldn’t most board games to them lol


  • 2017

    Light tanks weren’t exactly obsolete. In fact, most of the tanks when the war started were light tanks. Germany had tons of Panzer Is and eventually Panzer IIs. Also tank manufacturers continued to produce new light tanks throughout the war. Look at the American line of light tanks, M2A2s, M3 and M5 Stuarts, M22 Locust, M24 Chaffee, and the M42 Walker Bulldog, which was actually produced after WW2.

    Militairy planners made mistakes too. It becomes more and more clear that the US made horable and deadly choices when planning their armor. And yes light armor was obsolete at the outbrake of the war. Germany was the first to acknowledge that, but it is a second thing to stop production immediatly. You need to change your production lines, make new designs etc. That cost years! The US choose not to do that, but in stead keep production output high of obsolete models. At a deadly cost. The models you mention are revisions of the standard design. The USSR was lucky to make some good design chooses before the war. They could modify them and became the best tank builders of the war.

    I’ve considered a houserule including heavy tanks. My version would give the USSR heavy tanks from the beginning for historical accuracy and for balance purpose!


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @GiddyXray:

    I’ve considered a houserule including heavy tanks. My version would give the USSR heavy tanks from the beginning for historical accuracy and for balance purpose!

    I wasn’t aware of the USSR having appreciable heavy tank forces at the start of WWII.  Could you indicate what tank model you’re referring to?

    Regarding Drako’s proposals: while I can see the attraction of wanting A&A house rules that differentiate between tank types (which came in all sorts of interesting varieties in WWII), I’d be cautious about introducing complex rules for using them (notably as illustrated by the proposed tank destroyer rules).  A&A is a simplified portrayal of WWII technology, with diffrences between units are depicted in a simplified way.  Basically, these differences are expressed by their cost value, attack value, defense value, movement value, and by special modifiers that apply when unit X is paired with unit Y.

    As I understand Drako’s proposal (which I admit that I didn’t study in detail), there seems to be extensive use of pairing modifiers to explain why, for example, a heavy tank is different from a light tank.  I think that these gradations between tank types are perhaps too fine to reflect accurately how armoured forces were used in WWII. Remember that A&A units represent fairly large formations (such as divisions or corps) and that WWII armoured formations generally were not homogeneous – meaning that, for instance, you generally wouldn’t have an armoured division consisting entirely of light tanks, another one consisting entirely of heavy tanks, and so forth.  So it would be problematic to implement complex pairing modifiers which are based on the assumption that a particular tank unit consists entirely of one type of tank, and that this type of tank is sufficiently distinctive from other types of tanks to represent a fundamentally different type of fighting machine.

    In WWII, tank differences were mainly a matter of degree rather than of fundamental type.  At the time of WWII, technology wasn’t capable of producing a tank with superb performance in all three of the basic elements of tank design: firepower, protection and mobility.  Designers therefore had to compromise: they could either produce a balanced design which delivered reasonably good performance in all three areas (medium tanks tended to reflect this design philosophy, though there were enough exceptions to make life interesting), or they could emphasize one or two elements at the expense of degrading performance elsewhere in the design triangle.  The Maus, for example, was massively armoured and carried a very large and powerful gun, but it moved at a crawl, was incapable of crossing bridges because of its weight and was difficult to transport by rail because of its width.  Tankettes, which were popular in the 1920s, were the reverse of the Maus in terms of their design: they were fast and agile and could be built cheaply in large numbers, but they lacked offensive punch and offered little protection to their crews.  Even in the medium tank category, you can see design trade-offs.  The Sherman, for example, was an excellent vehicle from au automotive point of view and was easy to manufacture and maintain (as one might expect from its Detroit origins), and by the standards of 1939 its firepower and protection would have been considered more than adequate.  Unfortunately, by the time it went into service in 1942, it was facing tanks that made its gun and its armour look woefully inadequate.  The Russians did much better with the T-34/76, and even better with the T-34/85, producing what was arguably the best medium tank of WWII.  The similar Panther was technically superior in some respects, but it was much more complicated to manufacture and maintain than the T-34, so it was inferior to the T-34 in what could be called the fourth element of tank design: affordability.

    Tanks destroyers are interesting because they tackled the traditional design trade-offs of tanks in a novel way: by scrapping the conventional hull-and-rotating-turret configuration of standard tanks.  This allowed designers to produce, at relatively low cost, either light, mobile, but poorly-protected tank-killers (the American approach) or heavily-armoured, powerfully-gunned but slow tank killers (the German approach).  The trade-off in both cases, however, was to produce a machine armed with a gun that could only be aimed at a target by turning the whole vehicle around, which was a tactical limitation; as a result, tank destroyers were more useful for static defense situations than for offensive action.



  • Militairy planners made mistakes too. It becomes more and more clear that the US made horable and deadly choices when planning their armor. And yes light armor was obsolete at the outbrake of the war. Germany was the first to acknowledge that, but it is a second thing to stop production immediatly. You need to change your production lines, make new designs etc. That cost years! The US choose not to do that, but in stead keep production output high of obsolete models. At a deadly cost. The models you mention are revisions of the standard design. The USSR was lucky to make some good design chooses before the war. They could modify them and became the best tank builders of the war.

    All I was saying is that light tanks still had some sort of purpose in war, some sort of strategically worth. That probably turned less and less away from combat as the war went on but still.

    I wasn’t aware of the USSR having appreciable heavy tank forces at the start of WWII.  Could you indicate what tank model you’re referring to?

    Perhaps he may be referring to the KV-1 series? Maybe even the monstrosity that was the KV-2 lol.

    So if I understand you correctly, you believe that there are too many pairing modifiers? Maybe even more so that, because of how WW2 was and how the game is, there shouldn’t be a separation of classes?


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @drako9374:

    So if I understand you correctly, you believe that there are too many pairing modifiers? Maybe even more so that, because of how WW2 was and how the game is, there shouldn’t be a separation of classes?

    I’m basically saying that each of the four proposed units comes with what seems to me to be an excessively large and excessively complicated package of defining characteristics.  This high degree of complexity may have two undesirable effects.  First, it may make the units unfamiliar-looking and difficult to use, which is never a good idea if you want players to adopt something you’re proposing.  Second, the large number of details which you’re using to differentiate between the four tank types may actually have the opposite effect, in the sense that they might create confusion in the mind of a player about exactly what a unit is for, and about what the advantages and disadvantages of buying it are.

    Perhaps it would be a good idea to go back, as a starting point, to the OOB concept of single tank type with OOB values for cost, movement, attack and defense, and with certain set abilities that relate to things like blitzing and unit pairing.  Then, from that starting point, see what kind of plausible type differentiations you can make simply by adjusting the values, but without changing the abilities or the rules for combat.  Those adjustments will make it easy for players to make the kind of simple purchasing judgments that reflect the way tank design choices actually worked in WWII…choices like “if I choose type X, I can build more tanks because they’re cheaper but I get tanks that (for example) have less attack power.”  In other words, focus first on the basic tank design trade-offs of firepower, armour protection, mobility and affordability (in A&A terms: attack, defense, movement and cost), without changing the basic way in which tanks operate or fight or interact with other units.  That way, players won’t have to un-learn how tanks function OOB and re-learn how they work under the house rule.

    That alone may suffice to take the current OOB single tank type and divide it into at least two easy-to understand categories, and perhaps more.  If you still want to go beyond that and increase differentiation even further, then try introducing – if absolutely necessary – a very limited number of very simple and clear changes which can be grasped without any effort.  No more than one per unit, ideally.  For instance, as a hypothetical example: “Tank destroyers can’t blitz.”  Period.  No complicated package of extra units pairings.

    And watch out, incidentally, for the law of diminishing returns: getting to the point where the complexity required by increasing differentiation overrides any possible advantages which come from this differentiation.  Or, to put it more simply, watch out for the “What’s the point of this unit?” problem which, on the naval side of A&A, can be found with the cruiser unit.



  • Perhaps it would be a good idea to go back, as a starting point, to the OOB concept of single tank type with OOB values for cost, movement, attack and defense, and with certain set abilities that relate to things like blitzing and unit pairing.  Then, from that starting point, see what kind of plausible type differentiations you can make simply by adjusting the values, but without changing the abilities or the rules for combat.  Those adjustments will make it easy for players to make the kind of simple purchasing judgments that reflect the way tank design choices actually worked in WWII…choices like “if I choose type X, I can build more tanks because they’re cheaper but I get tanks that (for example) have less attack power.”  In other words, focus first on the basic tank design trade-offs of firepower, armour protection, mobility and affordability (in A&A terms: attack, defense, movement and cost), without changing the basic way in which tanks operate or fight or interact with other units.  That way, players won’t have to un-learn how tanks function OOB and re-learn how they work under the house rule.

    So you are suggesting I should start with some sort of pre-alpha stage where all the tanks cost, attack, defend, and move the same(example: 6, 3, 3, 2)? And give each type one, maybe two, MAYBE, defining characteristic? After some time, start changing stats and then maybe add an ability and such? Play testing the rule would give some much needed insight…

    watch out for the “What’s the point of this unit?” problem which, on the naval side of A&A, can be found with the cruiser unit.

    I’ve actually found cruisers quite useful. A poor man’s battleship, if you will. The last game I played, I was Japan and US amassed tons of cruisers while I was fighting over the Money Islands, bombing Calcutta, and pushing inland against China. Mistakenly I didn’t give my own navy much attention and found myself being on the defensive as I tried to regroup and catch up to the US navy. My first time as Japan so I was bound to make mistakes.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @drako9374:

    So you are suggesting I should start with some sort of pre-alpha stage where all the tanks cost, attack, defend, and move the same(example: 6, 3, 3, 2)? And give each type one, maybe two, MAYBE, defining characteristic? After some time, start changing stats and then maybe add an ability and such? Play testing the rule would give some much needed insight…

    I wasn’t really thinking about this in terms of alpha and beta stages.  What I was trying to express was the idea that, if your goal to is take the current single generic tank unit and split it into four specialized subtypes (light, medium and heavy tanks, plus tank destroyers), then you should try to do so by making the fewest possible number of changes to the way in which tanks currently work.  The less people have to re-learn about the new units, the more willing they’ll be to use them.

    I was also arguing that, if at all possible, the differences between light tanks and medium tanks and heavy tanks and tank destroyers should be expressed through changes to the numbers found in the current OOB specifications for tanks (cost=6, attack=3, defense=3, move=2), not through changes to the special rules which govern how tanks are used (blitzing and combined arms).  This too is in the interest of simplicity and acceptability, and it also reflects the fact that, in my opinion, different tank types in WWII weren’t fundamentally different types of fighting machines which functioned in fundamentally different ways when you paired them with other arms, but rather simply reflected different balances between the various trade-offs that tank designers could make between firepower, armour protection, mobility and affordability (or, to put that last one in different terms, ease of mass production).

    To give a couple of examples (but without getting into precise figures, because I’m not good at translating historical data into detailed game mechanics), light tanks in WWII tended to be cheaper than medium tanks and tended to have thinner armour, so your game model should probably give light tanks lower cost and defense values than medium tanks.  Likewise, heavy tanks tended to be rather slow beasts (due to the engine, transmission and suspension technologies available at the time), and they tended to be more heavily armoured than other types (though there were exceptions like the T-35, which weighed 45 tonnes but had surprisingly thin armour).  These might not be the only figures you might need to change to depict these different tank types in a believable way, but it’s a start and it hopefully illustrates the point I’m trying to make.

    I think that you should design all four of your tank classes side-by-side, constantly cross-checking them as you go along, to see if you can devise a system that depicts them well simply by adjusting the figures I’ve mentioned.  If you can do so, then that’s great and no further work will be needed.  If, however, you find that you can’t make the system work just by adjusting those figures, then the logical conclusion to draw would be that you need to introduce supplemementary differentiating factors.  That would be the situation in which you’d have a valid reason to start tinkering with the other rules that govern tanks: blitzing and/or combined arms.  But if you find yourself in this situation, try once again to keep the changes to an absolute minimum – meaning very small changes in very small numbers (the ideal number being 1).  Try to stay away from concepts that depend on learning a whole bunch of new special rules that apply to a single unit, or which introduce new processes (like scouting rules) which don’t exist under the OOB rules.  Aim for something that fits as well as possible with the rules as they exist now, so that it can be adoped comfortably and with a minimum amount of mental effort (or playing time).


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Or to put it more concisely: print out the first table below and see if you can work out a set of numbers that would adequately represent the four tank types you want to model, without changing anything else about how tanks work in A&A.  If that suffices, then don’t make any other changes.  If it doesn’t suffice, try adding a “Blitz” ability row (see the second table), with just two possible options (yes or no) and see if that solves the problem.  And if that still doesn’t suffice, then consider adding a combined-arms element – but only as a last resort.

    Tank Table A.jpg
    Tank Table B.jpg


  • 2017

    I think 3 movement spaces is a bit too much. Also, remember, that Germany didn’t drive their tanks all across Europe and deep into Russia. For the most part they were put on flat-bed rail cars and trained across Europe, then deployed once within operational range. Even infantry were trained across Europe.


  • 2017

    I suggest dropping tank destroyers all together. I think it adds an unnecessary layer of complexity with minimal benefits. War game the light, med., and heavy tanks first. Keep it simple…like pairing, 1-1 or something to that effect. Keep them all mobile with 2 movement range. Heavy tanks should hit better on offense than defense. Tanks were meant for exploitation purposes and hitting the enemy hard on the move. Heavy tanks were not hindered on movement ranges much differently than the smaller ones.

    Historically, the tank destroyer unit idea failed; which is why they didn’t exist after WWII. Tanks are better suited for killing other tanks; build better tanks then. Those units were made specifically to battle other tanks and they usually lost the tactical situations.



  • In case you ask me, I think the Tank destroyer is not a real Tank, it is more like a self propelled artillery that can target Tanks. Historically the Tank destroyer was a result from the time Germany went from attacking to defending, and they had to cut the cost too. So they skipped the turret and placed the gun directly on the chassis and saved 30 percent of the money, so now they got 9 Tank destroyers from the cost of 6 classic Tanks. When defending you dont need a turret, you just dig the Tank in the ground and sit and wait for a target to arrive.

    All Tank types should IMHO be strong in attack, able to blitz and move 2 spaces. The difference is the cost, protection and firepower.

    Light Tanks cost 4, A2 D2, move 2 and Blitz. Supreme mobility, can move one additional space after combat even if the other units are stuck in that territory.
    Med Tanks cost 6, A3 D3, move 2 and Blitz. Boost a matching Tac to 4 or less, when attacking.
    Heavy Tanks cost 8, A4 D4, move 2 and Blitz. Absorb one extra hit in the first round of combat when attacking.

    Artillery cost 4, A2 D2, move 1 and boost infantry
    Self propelled Artillery, cost 5, A2 D2, move 2 and boost infantry
    Tank Destroyer Artillery, cost 6, A2 D2, move 2 and can target enemy Tanks.

    This is IMHO how it should look


  • 2017

    Tank destroyers was mostly in allied units. Primarily in the US Army.

    Self-propelled artillery would be a better term in my humble opinion. The German Heer (Army) had self-propelled Artillery. One of the famous ones being the Ferdinand…that one and their early war self-propelled artillery didn’t really serve in the capacity of the US Army doctrine at the time in the “tank destroyer” roll.

    I actually thought of adding Self-Propelled artillery with some of the HBG pieces I have (if I get enough for each country). My idea was for it to cost 5 IPCs…, 2 movement range, normal pairing advantages with 1 infantry or mech for increasing their attack to 2…but when paired with a tank or a mech it could blitz. This type of unit would therefore provide a slightly cheaper method for blitz pairing (mech’s could now blitz with an artillery pieces). Also, all major powers had self-propelled artillery to some degree; so you’d get minimal historical disagreements there.

    I recommend against any unit being able to specially hit a different unit (other than the current rules for:  AAA, destroyer/sub/air rules). I think it adds a complexity to the game that acts like the units are individual pieces. Again, remember these units are representational. In real life, an armor division’s combat power consists of about 35% infantry, 40% tanks, and 20% artillery, 5% AAA. But we don’t let tanks throw dice at airplanes like the AAA “units.” Tanks usually beat the snot out of “tank destroyer” units. I personally wouldn’t sign onto a house rule permitting a unit to hit my tanks before the cannon fodder 3 IPC infantry.


  • 2017

    Narvik, the pieces with a gun minus a turret in the German Army were not tank destroyers or a cheaper tank. They were mobile artillery or the more correct term “Self-propelled artillery.”

    The German Army had Self-Propelled Artillery in their Armor divisions and Mechanized Infantry divisions from the beginning. Their doctrine for that equipment was in keeping with their doctrine for non-self-propelled artillery. Never did they consider that a way to cut corners on costs, ect…in fact towards the end of the war their tanks increased in size…hence the Mark 5 “Panther” and the Tiger II.

    The more additional units the more of a chance that there could be a misunderstanding in a game. If you have “Tank Destroyers” and “Self-Propelled Artillery,” then you need completely different sculpts. Plus you don’t want someone getting confused with your other tank sculpts.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    For understandable reasons, armoured vehicles evolved more quickly during WWII than at any time before or since.  One of the side effects of this rapid evolution was that it resulted in a vast number of armoured vehicle types, which produced considerable confusion over where some types ended and others began.  The confusion still exists today because there’s no hard-and-fast way of defining precisely where the dividing lines are – but for whatever it’s worth, here’s how I interpret and categorize these vehicles.

    First, there are the vehicles that fall on what proved to be the main evolutionary line of tanks, which began in WWI with the Renault FT and which continues in the present day in such forms as the M1 Abrams.  These are the vehicles with a standard tank configuration consisting of an armoured hull with the driver at the front, the engine at the back and a caterpillar track on each side, on top of which sits a rotating armoured turret containing the tank’s main gun, the tank’s commander, and usually other crew members such as a loader and a gunner.  In WWII, this general configuration was expressed in such variations as light tanks, medium tanks, heavy tanks and super-heavy tanks such as the Maus, plus the British categories of cruiser tanks and infantry tanks.  All basically contained the same elements, with their differences being mainly in the areas of scale and of ratios.

    The lightest tanks weren’t much use against armour, and the heaviest tanks were mainly intended for use against armour, but all conventional tanks had in common one important feature: they carried a direct-fire main gun.  This means that their gun was meant to shoot in a straight line at targets that the gunner could see with his own eyes and which were located at short to medium ranges.  This type of gun is fundamentally different from howitzer-type artillery, which operates on the principle of indirect fire: howitzers fire shells on a high-arc trajectory against targets which the gunner typically can’t see with his own eyes (the fire needs to be targeted by other means) and which is often intended to deliver plunging fire against targets (such as trenches) which are difficult to attack with direct-fire weapons.

    The direct-fire guns of WWII tanks also tended to be – but were not always – high-velocity guns (especially compared with howitzers, which tend to be low-velocity weapons).  High-velocity guns are well suited to penetrating armour at short to medium ranges because the force delivered by a projectile is equal to its mass times the square of its velocity – meaning that an increase in shell speed gives better results than an increase in shell size and weight.  Generally speaking, high-velocity guns were the best choice for a WWII tank because they were very effective against armour when they fired armour-piercing rounds, and because in a pinch they could also be reasonably effective as infantry-support weapons when firing high-explosive rounds.  This made them more versatile than low-velocity tanks guns, which were fine as as infantry-support weapons but ineffective as armour-piercing anti-tank weapons.

    So much for conventional tanks.  Now we get into the messy territory of tankettes, tank destroyers, assault guns and self-propelled artillery.

    Tankettes don’t need much analysis: they were mostly small, open-topped tracked vehicles that served as troop carriers or light weapon carriers, they were popular in the 1920s because they were cheap, and combat experience in WWII quickly showed them to be useless.

    Tank destroyers in WWII more or less fell into two types: German-type and American-type, for want of a better designation.  The classic German-type tank destroyers were the Jagdpanther and Jagdtiger, which were basically Panther and Tiger chassis caring an armoured box rather than a rotating turret.  Their advantage was that they were cheaper than turreted tanks, they could carry a bigger gun, and their front superstructure could be more heavily armoured.  Their disadvantage was that their turretless design required the whole vehicle to be turned in order to aim at a target, and that they tended to be slow.  I’m less familiar with American tank destroyers, but my understanding is that they tended to be fast, fairly light (meaning not well armoured) vehicles, some designs having turrets and some being opened-topped.  Tank destroyers had high-velocity guns, since their primary job was to kill armoured vehicles.  Turretless tank destroyers pretty much disappeared after WWII, but the Swedish Stridsvagn 103, or S-tank, which operated in the 1960s and 1970s, was based on their configuration.

    The basic thing to remember about assault guns and self-propelled artillery is that these armoured vehicles weren’t intended to fight other armoured vehicles (unlike tank destroyers, the whole point of which was their anti-armour function).  Self-propelled artillery, which survives to this day, is fairly easy to define: it has more or less the same functions as towed artillery, but it can move around the battlefield under its own power, on the same terrain as tanks (because it too has tracks), and it offers its crew a certain degree of armour protection.  SPA typically functions in an indirect-fire role, firing low-velocity, high-explosive shells, often over medium or long distances.  Assault guns, unlike SPA, didn’t outline WWII.  They tended to carry large-caliber, low-velocity, direct-fire guns mean to attack targets at short ranges, in direct support of infantry.  They were useful against certain types of fortifications, an application for which a powerful explosive charge delivered at low velocity was more useful than a mostly solid armour-piercing shell delivered at high velocity.

    These multiple vehicle types are interesting to study, but the distinctions between them are far too complicated to all be depicted in a game like A&A.  The list I gave above (light tanks, medium tanks, heavy tanks, super-heavy tanks, cruiser tanks, infantry tanks, tankettes, German-type tank destroyers, American-type tank destroyers, assault guns and self-propelled artillery) adds up to twelve different categories, which is almost the same number of unit types found in A&A 1940.  A little more variety – say, a couple of extra tank types – would be fun and practical, but going further than that would probably be too much.


  • 2017 2016

    Just my two cents on US vs Germany tank destroyers:

    A US sherman medium tank with a main gun able to pierce Panther or Tiger armour was called a Tank Destroyer.
    It is like mounting a 85 mm gun on a T-34 Russian medium Tank instead of a 76 mm, would you also name it a Tank Destroyer?

    The Sherman Firefly was a tank used by United Kingdom and some Commonwealth and Allied armoured formations in the Second World War. It was based on the US M4 Sherman but fitted with the powerful 3-inch (76.2 mm) calibre British 17-pounder anti-tank gun as its main weapon. Originally conceived as a stopgap until future British tank designs came into service, the Sherman Firefly became the most common vehicle mounting the 17-pounder in the war.

    Though the British expected to have their own new tank models developed soon, British Major George Brighty championed the already rejected idea of mounting the 17-pounder in the existing Sherman. With the help of Lieutenant Colonel Witheridge and despite official disapproval, he managed to get the concept accepted. This proved fortunate, as both the Challenger and Cromwell tank designs experienced difficulties and delays.

    After the difficult problem of getting the gun to fit in the Sherman’s turret was solved by W.G.K. Kilbourn, a Vickers engineer, the Firefly was put into production in early 1944, in time to equip Field Marshal Montgomery’s 21st Army Group for the Normandy landings. It soon became highly valued as the one of British tank capable of defeating at long range the Panther and Tiger tanks it faced in Normandy. In recognition of this, German tank and anti-tank gun crews were instructed to attack Fireflies first. Between 2,100 and 2,200 were manufactured before production wound down in 1945.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sherman_Firefly

    German’s Tank Destroyers were Assault Guns, as Marc said: no turret on top, just the main gun.
    I’m thinking about Stug III and IV which can probably qualified as such, along with Jagdpanther and Jagdtiger.

    The Sturmgeschultz IV (StuG IV) (Sd.Kfz. 167), was a German assault gun variant of the Panzer IV used in the latter part of the Second World War. Identical in role and concept to the highly successful StuG III assault gun variant of the Panzer III, both StuG models were given an exclusively tank destroyer role in German formations and tactical planning in the last two years of the war, greatly augmenting the capability of the dwindling tank force available to the German army on the Eastern and Western fronts.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sturmgeschütz_IV

    So, US Tank Destroyer and Germany Tank Destroyer have the same name but are two different weapons.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Baron:

    German’s Tank Destroyers were Assault Guns, as Marc said

    I did not say that German’s tank destroyers were assault guns.  Tank destroyers and assault guns were two completely different types of weapons, as I explained in my previous post.


  • 2017 2016

    @CWO:

    @Baron:

    German’s Tank Destroyers were Assault Guns, as Marc said

    I did not say that German’s tank destroyers were assault guns.  Tank destroyers and assault guns were two completely different types of weapons, as I explained in my previous post.

    There is a distinction I don’t understand in this, I believe:

    The classic German-type tank destroyers were the Jagdpanther and Jagdtiger, which were **basically Panther and Tiger chassis caring an armoured box rather than a rotating turret.  Their advantage was that they were cheaper than turreted tanks, they could carry a bigger gun, and their front superstructure could be more heavily armoured.  **Their disadvantage was that their turretless design required the whole vehicle to be turned in order to aim at a target, and that they tended to be slow.

    I thought Jagdpanther and Jagdtiger were considered Assault Guns, too.


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