Holiday week Tank Battle using “Tomorrow’s War” rules…

Greetings All!

One evening this week I ran a “Tomorrow’s War” game between my son Thomas and his friend,  Zac.  I wanted to try something a little different so I went digging through my old Mechwarrior: Dark Age miniatures for vehicles.  I was able to pull out enough tank-type vehicles to put together two forces, one that was track and wheel based and the other that was hover-based.  Those gave me the idea to form a basis for a pretty fun battle.

Concept: Two forces, one almost a Tech level higher than the other, but not quite.  The higher tech level force fields hovertanks and has energy and laser weapons.  The other force fields wheeled and track-layers firing what are effectively gauss weapons.  The hover force had some slightly harder-hitting weapons but did not have enough of an advantage to have a true “Tech-Level” die shift.  So both sides had the same troop quality die (D10).

The mission of the Tracked Force was to escort 2 Siege Tanks to a crossroads.  The mission of the Hover Force was to prevent that.

The battlefield and starting areas for the forces

The road runs between some hills and through a forested area.  Visibility goes through the forest on your side of the river and across the river.  You could not see through the forest on the other side of the river (affects both sides).  A vehicle on the river’s edge can see through the forest on the other side of the river (and can be seen).  Thus I set up visibility issues to encourage the combatants to think about maneuver and sight lines.

I adjusted the movement scale for what seemed reasonable given the size/scale of the minis.

The basics of the forces:

The Tracked and Wheeled Force – Move 5″/10″ for all

3 Heavy Main Battle Tanks – Tracked

1 Heavy Gauss Gun – AT5 (Heavy) on Turret

Front Armor: 4D12     Side Armor: 3D12     Rear Armor: 2D12

2 Medium “Tank Destroyers” – Wheeled

2 Medium Gauss Guns – AT4 (M)/AT4 (M) on Turret

Front Armor: 3D10     Side Armor: 2D10     Rear Armor: 2D8

2 Siege Tanks (Heavy Tank carrying one Medium Anti-Tank weapon and multiple MLRS systems not used in this game)

1 Medium Gauss Gun – AT4 (M) on 180 deg traverse

Front Armor: 4D12     Side Armor: 3D10    Rear Armor: 2D10

1 Fire Support Light Tank in “Tank Destroyer” Configuration

1 Heavy Gauss Gun – AT5 (Heavy) on turret

Front Armor: 3D8     Side Armor: 2D8     Rear Armor: 2D6

The Hover Force – Move 6″/12″ for Hovertanks, Move 7″/14″ for Combat Cars

2 Heavy Hover Tanks

1 Heavy Energy Tank Gun – AT6 (Heavy) (Slow) – In-line mount on vehicle

Front Armor: 4D12     Side Armor: 3D12     Rear Armor: 3D10

2 Heavy Hover Tanks

1 Heavy Laser Tank Gun – AT4 (Heavy) – In-line mount on vehicle

Front Armor: 4D12    Side Armor: 3D10     Rear Armor: 2D10

3 Light Hover Tanks (Combat Cars)

2 Medium Laser Tank Guns AT3 (Medium) – on Turret

Front Armor: 3D8     Side Armor: 2D8     Rear Armor: 2D6

For the Tracked Force, all vehicles require the ford to cross the river.  All vehicles can climb any hill at half speed.

For the Hover Force, the two Energy Gun Hovertanks require the ford to cross the river.  The others can cross the river anywhere. The Hover vehicles can only climb sloped hills and then only at half speed.

Turn 1 started with neither force having line of sight on the other due to the trees running along the river.  It required a commitment to either go to the river edge or along the road in order to see the other forces.  The Tracked force had the option to go up the tall stepped hill in order to see over the river to the clear hilltop beyond.

Thomas positioning his forces

Thomas decided to set up static positions on and around the hills on his side of the river and await Zac’s tanks.  This made for a slower start to the game since Zac also decided to go for a cautious approach.

Zac has moved his forces forward and now Thomas is adjusting

The forces at the end of Turn 2

Thus, at the end of Turn 2 the opposing forces had approached about as closely as they could to each other without actually having any lines of sight.  The action should start on Turn 3…

A laser-armed Heavy Hovertank reaches the river's edge...

Thomas won initiative for Turn 3 and activated one of his laser-armed heavy hovertanks.  He moved it to the river’s edge in a “Move and Fire” order.  His target was the medium tank destroyer on top of the hill across the river.  The tank destroyer was foolishly facing in a direction where its weaker side armor was exposed.

After the first exchange of fire both vehicles have mobility hits.

Thomas’ Laser hovertank got a solid shot off on the tank destroyer, hitting the mobility system (mobility hit, speed reduced to 1/2 normal).  Zac’s tank destroyer returned the favor, blasting a hole in the hovertank’s plenum chamber, reducing it to 1/2 movement also.

A combat car is activated and moves forward...

Thomas activated a combat car and moved it forward to the river’s edge in a Move/Fire order.  The combat car was also targeting the tank destroyer.  The reaction test was rolled and…

Sometimes you really need to not get interrupted...

…Zac interrupted Thomas’ combat car.  Zac had some very good dice rolling and the combat car was destroyed.  Then it was Zac’s turn to activate forces.

Lessee here, side armor facing the heavy laser? Should we move or fight?

Zac chose to activate the tank destroyer on the hill and then just stayed there and shot at the heavy laser tank.  Definitely not what I would have chosen to do…

Anybody got any marshmallows?

The exchange of fire was short and brutal.  The heavy hovertank shrugged off the fire from the tank destroyer and brewed it up with return fire.

The first "Fog of War" card is drawn

Zac made some tactical moves I would not have done.  He chose to activate next one of the two siege tanks he was to escort to the crossroads.   He chose a Move/Fire order and used it to attack the laser heavy hovertank.  His reaction test roll included a lovely roll of “1”, earning him the first “Fog of War” card of the game.  He got into a 2 shot exchange of fire with the heavy hovertank.

The Siege Tank gets its anti-tank teeth pulled

The siege tank was not successful in its exchange of fire with the laser-armed heavy hovertank.  The result was a destroyed “main gun” for the siege tank.

The Fire Support vehicle is activated

Zac then activated the wheeled fire support vehicle.  This light vehicle mounted a heavy gauss cannon.  A hammer protected by an eggshell if there ever was one.  He moved and fired on the heavy hovertank, immobilizing it but taking a mobility hit in return.

A painful trade off

Zac chose to fire again at the heavy hovertank.  This time he ended up getting another mobility hit, which I ruled to put him to a speed of 1″.  His return fire destroyed the laser hovertank’s main gun.  End of the road for that vehicle.

Tracked force vehicles reach river edge on north side of map

Zac activated a couple of his vehicles and brought them to the river edge on the north side of the battlefield.  The exchanges of fire caused a mobility hit on Zac’s remaining Tank Destroyer but didn’t have any effect on Thomas’ heavy hovertank and combat car.

Heavy Hovertank blocks the road...tank destroyer lost to the north

On the north of the battlefield Thomas’ combat car took out Zac’s tank destroyer.  On the central part of the battlefield one of the energy gun armed heavy hovertanks moved to block the road.

"We showed up for the gunfight and they shot our gun!"

The heavy hovertank on the road got into a fire exchange with the tracked siege tank on the hill.  The siege tank was immobilized but the return fire from it destroyed the main gun on the heavy hovertank, turning it into a piece of mobile cover.

"We're right behind you, all the way!"

Thomas activated his other laser-armed heavy hovertank, placing it behind his toothless hovertank for cover.  On the north side of the battlefield Zac’s heavy tank had it’s main gun destroyed by a shot from the energy gun of the heavy hovertank.  Now both sides have some mobile cover…

"Scratch the 'mobile' part..."

Zac activated his heavy tank on the hill and fired on the toothless heavy hovertank, destroying it.  He then started his other heavy tank forward after Thomas declared a possible strategy of blocking the ford with wrecked vehicles.

"Its just a combat car. What can it d...."

Thomas activated his combat car, moving it forward to the edge of the ford.  Using his move/fire order he fired on the heavy tank on the hill and scored a clear vehicle kill.  To the north Thomas moved his other combat car across the river and into the trees on Zac’s side.

"We're gonna need a road clearing unit..."

A view of the hotly contested river crossing.

The battlefield at the beginning of the final turn

The beginning of the final turn had Zac with a heavy tank on the road between the hills, an immobilized siege tank on the big hill and two damaged tanks to the south.  Thomas had a heavy hovertank  (with energy gun) and two combat cars.

Carnage ensues

Zac won the initiative and activated the siege tank on the hill, which had a shot at the heavy hovertank across the river.  The hovertank won the troop quality test and fired first only to char the paint on the front of the siege tank.  The return fire from the siege tank destroyed the main gun on the hovertank.  Then Zac activated the heavy tank on the road and brewed up the combat car at the edge of the ford.  This left Thomas with one combat car left…

Zac won the initiative again and tried to block the remaining combat car with his damaged heavy tank.   He also moved his undamaged heavy tank forward and faced it towards Thomas’ combat car, which had been inadvertantly shielded by the damaged heavy tank.  Oops.  Thomas then moved his combat car in a move/fire order to shoot at the heavy tank.  Alas, the dice were not with him.  The return fire of the heavy tank destroyed the combat car, destroying the last effective forces Thomas had.

The aftermath

The results of the battle were, at best, a marginal victory for Zac’s forces, since they would be able to get one of the siege tanks to the crossroads.  The price paid to accomplish the goal was very high.

The not quite blocked ford...


One Response to Holiday week Tank Battle using “Tomorrow’s War” rules…

  1. Thanks for the informative article, it was a good read and I hope its ok that I share this with some facebook friends. Thanks.

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