Tank Escalation Campaign Part 2 – The Outbreak of War!

With the roaring of engines and the smell of engine oil filling the Warlord warehouse, it’s time for Tank War

The opening battle of our campaign saw the plucky British forces of Darren Evans take on Bernard Lewis’ German armour. The Germans took to the field coming in at just under 400pts, whereas the Brits had over 500pts – surely the Brits would have the advantage?

As the dice begin to fall and events unfold, little is certain in the heat of battle. Who will keep their nerve and emerge victorious?

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Germans 397 points

  • Inexperienced Sd.Kfz 222 Command Vehicle 101 points
  • Inexperienced Panzer III Ausf. J 156 points
  • Inexperienced Flammpanzer III 140 points

 British 517 points

  • Inexperienced Cromwell Command Vehicle 189 points
  • Inexperienced Cromwell 164 points
  • Inexperienced Cromwell 164 points

Build Up to the Battle

After setup, we decided on an Objective Capture mission – 3 oil dumps were duly placed (masquerading as 10p pieces – it’s not as if we make our own oil barrel dump or anything…) and buttoned up in anticipation of the action.

Bernard (at the helm of the German forces) won the dice roll, – and chose which side he’d deploy his forces. A quick gentlemanly handshake was all that remained before the shots begun to ring-out…

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Turn One

The game began with Darren advancing his command tank onto one objective marker. It was soon followed by a second Cromwell down the street.

Across the board, an Sd.Kfz 222 appeared, and moved onto the objective marker nearest the German board edge. It unleashed a couple of pot shots at the command Cromwell – but it would prove tricky, needing 6s followed by 6s – both shots missed.

The third British tank advanced down the road in support of the second Cromwell.

The Flammpanzer moved onto the board, and carefully kept itself hidden from the 75mm guns of the Cromwells, closely followed by the Panzer III, which fired at the Cromwell sat on the Objective Marker.

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Turn Two

The first order dice of the turn went to the Brits – Darren put his command tank on Ambush. The 222 took aim at it again, but missed.

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One of the Cromwells in the road advanced toward the German tanks, shooting at the Panzer III. The second Cromwell followed, turning off of the road, and destroyed a low wall in an attempt to flank the Germans.

The Panzer III moved up the side of the road trying to get into cover behind the wall – the Command Cromwell was waiting in Ambush, and launched a shell across the battlefield – whistling just over the turret of the German tank.

The Flammpanzer advanced with the Panzer III – the gunner took aim at the command tank but was out of range this turn – he’d adjust his sights and wait for the right moment…

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Turn Three

The Germans took the initiative – and the Flammpanzer advanced up behind the wall – an ungodly gout of flame automatically hit the side armour of the Cromwell, and with Bernard rolling a 6 for penetration, Daz failed his instant morale check, and his command tank was destroyed!

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Darren’s Cromwell down the road then shot at the Panzer III – the German crew then returned the favour, setting fire to the British beast – Darren failed his second morale check of the turn, and another British vehicle was destroyed.

The final Cromwell in action then advanced to the side of the building and shot at the Sd.Kfz 222 – but the armoured car was carefully tucked in cover, and the shot missed.

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Turn Four

The remaining Cromwell again shot and missed the 222.

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The Flammpanzer then rolled over the wall and turned to face up the road, closing in on its prey. The Panzer III advanced forward, waiting to ambush the Cromwell.

Turn Five

The Cromwell advanced down the side of the building to point blank range of the panzer III – the gunner opened fire, and knocked it out!

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The 222 drove up over the hill and took two shots at the Cromwell – both missed. The Flammpanzer then repositioned, taking cover behind the destroyed Panzer III – waiting again for the moment to strike. The Cromwell would have to advance and shoot the Flammpanzer in the front armour.

Turn Six

The final turn began with the Sd.kfz 222 firing on the Cromwell at point blank range – Bernard needed 3s to hit – both shots hit… he’d then need 6s to hurt the Cromwell’s side armour – he rolled a 6, followed by another 6 – which set the Cromwell on fire and gave it 2 pin markers. Again Darren rolled a 7 for his morale check – and with all three of the British tank crews bailed out and headed for the long grass, the Germans were declared victorious!

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Bernard Lewis at the helm of the German forces

‘I started with these vehicles simply because they are the ones I have painted. My Flammpanzer is part of my 1,000 point German Heer army, while my 222 and Panzer III Ausf. J are part my 2,500 point Fallschirmjager force that I am in the middle of painting.

The game was good but we forgot a few rules. We just assumed that if you couldn’t hurt a tank you couldn’t pin it – not true for inexperienced tanks. I managed to have better dice rolls than Darren who was unlucky until he managed to finally hit my Panzer III. Inexperienced tanks at long range or moving and cover are normally 6’s followed by 6’s to hit. The Flammpanzer III was really good because of the automatic hit when it fires, even though it only has an 18 inch range. Also the instant morale check makes it really nasty.’

Darren Evans in command of the fleeing Brits

‘Looking back I wonder if I’d brought a full troop of 4 vehicles whether it would have gone differently, but with my dice rolls nothing could have helped. The main thing I’ve taken from my first fumble with the game was how quick it was, no more than half an hour of actual game time. Of course, more tanks and more dice (and less atrocious rolling!) will add some length but it’s definitely fast and fun.’

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