Four of us played a game of 'What A Tanker' this evening. After our previous games we went for a denser terrain; more walls and thick hedges, more impassable woods and more buildings. Gary and Ralph took a Panther and Tiger I respectively. Caesar and I each had a Sherman; mine was accompanied by a Firefly, whilst his was accompanied by an M10 Achilles.
Our Shermans took up positions along the road, using the walls and buildings as cover.
The Germans advanced to wards the village square.
Caesar was working the Achilles around the German flank. He got a clear shot at the Panther's side armour, but failed to damage it. Gary returned fire and destroyed the tank-destroyer.
He then used the cover of a building to line up a shot on my Sherman, but didn't get the rolls to take it. Still, this was a tricky position to be in. Meanwhile, off camera, Ralph ambled slowly down the road, knocking out Caesar's Sherman as he came.
A Sherman in trouble; in the sights of the Panther and with a Tiger heading down the road towards it.
I got the roll I needed; enough movement dice to dart out from behind the house, acquire the Tiger, aim and shoot. I hit it, but the shot bounced off the armour. I was then able to move back behind the house, out of sight of the Tiger and also closer in, such that I was no longer covered by the Panther, who lost both its acquisition and aim.
Gary worked the Panther around the Allied flank, but this gave time for the Firefly to move up. It achieved nothing before the Tiger (I think) took it out.
This left one Sherman alone against a Panther and a Tiger. Not good odds. the fact that I lasted three or four turns was the stuff legends are made of. I took three hits from the Panther, and survived a few misses, and managed to get three hits on it in reply. True they did no damage, but it was still an achievement. Eventually I simply ran out of command dice, and the crew skulked off into the woods.
The last few turns were the high drama that makes this game so much fun. Even at low odds there was a chance the Sherman could cause an upset on one of the German tanks, and the odds worked the other way as well; the Germans spent ages failing to finish off their opponent. All in all the game was tremendous fun, and a very welcome pick-me-up. I think we're getting the hang of the tactical possibilities now as well. I still want to try an early war game; I suspect the smaller strike and armour values of games involving Panzer IIs and IIIs could be frustrating but fun.