I have been busy with lots of things in life and haven’t gotten much gaming in. Today I managed to play a game of “Tomorrow’s War” with my friend Mike. I chose the scenario “Tigers by the Tail” from page 121 of the “Tomorrow’s War” rulebook. It seemed like a fairly simple “tanks only” scenario and would be good to keep trying to familiarize my friend with the TW rules.
The scenario takes place on the colony world of Glory, during a war between the “Democratic People’s Republic of Glory” or “DPRG” and the “Republic of Arden” or “RA”. The DPRG is a reincarnation of North Korea, only worse. The Republic of Arden is a growing, free country. Expansion on the planet of Glory has led to conflict between these two powers. The United States has chosen to aid the Republic of Arden and has sent a Marine Expeditionary Force to help. This scenario is based on the first contacts between the advancing armored columns of DPRG tanks and the point scouts of the USMC forces. It also represents a clash between obsolete tanks fielded by the DPRG and the most advanced tanks fielded by the United States. The DPRG tanks are Tech Level 1 and the USMC tanks are Tech Level 3.
Here is the battlefield setup for the game. The trees go right to the edge of the road, actually slowing the vehicles down as they pass through. Vehicles can go no faster on the road through the woods than they can in the woods off road.
The USMC sent a force of two tanks to try and delay and disrupt the advancing column of DPRG tanks. The “Perkins” grav tanks are armed with 180mm fusion guns and gauss machine guns that have some anti-tank capability. They are deadly customers and very heavily armored too!
The “Chonma-Ho” Main Battle Tanks fielded by the DPRG were considered obsolete when they were used in this conflict. Their armor is light and they are uparmed with Tech Level 2 Advanced Ballistic Main Guns. They are outclassed in every way by the USMC tanks.
The scenario starts with the DPRG tanks in column on the road and the USMC tanks starting somewhere within one foot of the west edge of the map. Mike played the DPRG forces and I played the USMC forces. I set one of my tanks in the little clump of woods in the northwest and the other deep in the western woods.
At the start of Turn 1 the USMC tank in the small clump of woods executed a “Fire and Move” command. The rearmost DPRG tank was the target. That tank chose to react with fire. When we rolled our troop quality checks that tank go to shoot first. Wham! Main Gun destroyed on the USMC tank. The “move” portion of the “fire and move” turned into a pull back. My dice hate me!
I moved the other USMC tank out of the woods to get a shot at the middle of the column. One of the DPRG tanks reacted to my movement by trying to get a rear armor shot on me. I responded to the fire, losing some of the distance I intended to cover in the process. A quick exchange and “BLAM!”, the DPRG Platoon Leader’s tank went “kablooey” (that’s an ancient military technical term for “blown up, sir”). Some of the other DPRG tanks had reacted with movement and so were further down the road. My tank ended up not close enough to the road to see it through the trees.
When things go right they are singular. When things go wrong they come in clusters. My tanks were no not where I wanted them to be. It was the DPRG (Non-initiative player) turn to move things. The lead elements of the column moved down the road to get closer to their exit point. Then one of the DPRG tanks went on the offensive and charged up right behind the fully armed and undamaged USMC tank in the woods. He was executing a “move and fire” command. I intended to return fire. We rolled our Troop Quality rolls – he rolled a “6”, I rolled a “3”. He shot first and got one hit through my armor. A quick roll on the vehicle damage table produced an “8”. Sigh…vehicle brew up and casualty check.
The rest of the DPRG column was heading for the exit point. I had one tank left with a Heavy-Duty Machine gun on it that had an anti-tank firepower of 2D8. Not exactly fear inspiring.
I was not able to do a move and fire with the remaining USMC Perkins tank (no targets) but I did perform a rapid move behind the woods to see whether I could get some luck long shots at the column as it emerged from the woods. The crafty DPRG player used his successful killer tank to chase mine down by cutting a diagonal through the woods. He took a shot at my tank so I responded as best I could with return fire.
This time the DPRG shot went “clang” off the armor of the USMC Perkins Main Battle Tank – as it should. The shot from the Perkins HMG (heavy machine gun) scored one hit on the Chonma-Ho III tank. The resultant roll on the damage table was “Main Gun Destroyed”.
The DPRG won the initiative for the remaining turns of the game. My only other shots with my HMG were futile, just clanging off armor. The DPRG scored a very decisive victory in this engagement.
The game took only about an hour to play, flowed well and was lots of fun. The scenarios in the “Tomorrow’s War” rulebook are pretty good and I enjoy playing them. I must admit I was concerned with the game balance on this one. I thought it would be unbalanced in the USMC favor. Well, that turned out to be hubris on my part.
Oh, and did I mention that my dice hate me? I’m sure I did…