Welcome to Platoon Forward!

Welcome to the site where the story of the battle is as important as the battle itself. Here we will focus on men thrust into extraordinary situations of life and death. They must lead other men with duty and honor to meet their countries objectives. Some will be blessed with great skill, some will carry great shortcomings. No matter what nation, no matter what war, no matter what theater, they are all called to move their Platoon or Squadron forward!

These are their individual stories as played out using my various campaign rules . Hopefully these stories will entertain and inspire you to use your own troops, airmen and sailors to accomplish your own great heroics.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

What a Tanker

Looked at Too Fat Lardies, What a Tanker when it came out.  It looked like a lite wargame to be played with friends.  I didn't purchase it because 13 pounds seemed a bit pricey for a lite wargame and I would have to write my own rules for modern actions.  Then battlefront announced they were releasing a modern version of Tanks.   It caught my interest.  ( Particularly as they will now finally release single vehicles and helos!  Yay!)  As I looked more into Tanks it seemed even lighter than WaT and more expensive.  For $25 I get the rules but only stats for 2 tanks.  I know WaT will be a well written and fun game and has stats for most of WW II.  As for writing rules for the modern stuff, I have written stuff for all of the TFL games I have played.  Rich has even been nice enough to put all of them into his specials.  Intellectual property is worth something.  At 13 pounds WaT is looking to be priced right.  So I took the plunge!

  A picture to break up all the writing!   One of my earliest models.  It shows unfortunately.

What a Tanker is exactly what I thought it would be and that is a good thing. A strategy game with a WW II tank overlay.  Think Yatzee meets Patton's Best and you get the concept.  Essentially you roll six dice to get your "hand" for the turn.  Each number allows you to do a different action.  For example, a "1" allows you to move, a "2" allows you to acquire a target and so on.  Clever right? 

An Italian tank trying out the new system.  He will be harder to acquire due to the shrubbery in front.

The strategy comes from using your hand to the best of your ability and planning what you think your probable hand will be in the next turn. Oh and "6s" are wild.  they can be used as any number plus they can repair temporary damage. (Dice that have been removed from your hand)  There is enough tank overlay to keep me interested.  Tanks are rated for armor and "strike" or their gun and armor is weaker on the sides than front.

There aren't rules for halftracks but it is pretty easy to homebrew them.

Do abarencies  crop in during the game?  Sure.  You can have a tank racing for cover that next turn suddenly stops because it didn't roll a "1" or a "6".  This one is pretty hard to rationalize away  ( some you can) so it is better to just laugh and take the game as it comes.   But, like Saga, the game is just plain fun!  It also helps that the turns last about 3 minutes so your tank soon has another chance to roll up a hand and maybe this time your opponent is the one stuck without a "1".

If you want deep strategy, covering fire, smoke and the like, they make Troops, Weapons and Tactics (my favorite) or the popular  Chain of Command  ( which I was a playtester for) or try Force on Force or Combat Patrol.  If you are looking a a 15 minute game that you can switch sides and play again What a Tanker is a lot of fun.  And I found it easy to play solo as nothing is hidden.

First game.  4 tanks just come and have a go!

Luigi needed 2 aquires ( 1 for shrubbery + 1 for rocks; he was unbuttoned) dice and scored a kill!

His victim

Diego not so lucky!

2nd game.  US waits for Afrika Korps.   Germans get points for exiting.

Lucky break for the Yanks!
GMC moving back to spoil aim of Jerry.  His crew had lost 2 dice due to partial penetration. ( called temporary damage in the game.  I think of it as stunned or confused/scared)

German armored car moved off the map.  Pz III took out the GMC.  Panzer now stuck between 2 tanks.  ( Lee unloaded though note grey marker.)  Amazingly German got off the board and almost took out the Lee.

Now if you remember back to the start of this page, I wanted to do modern stuff.  So I bring you
Cold War Tanker! CWT

Can 1 Leopard II really take out 3 T-55ams?    ( East Germans must use platoon rules.)
Let's find out.
We look pretty Bad Ass!

O Oh!  Leopard lining up a shot.

He looks pretty BA too.  I bet he rolled a "4" so he can fire.

Yep!  He had a "4".

Let's quickly move behind this wall so I will be harder to acquire and hit.

2:1 is better odds.  I need to keep moving to throw off their aim.  I am digging this moving my turret 60 degrees free with every move!
Critical hit!  What are the odds?  ( 1 in 32 to be exact.  House rule a critical hit is treated like a side shot.)

Fun game and took about 15 minutes.   Still tweaking the armor ratings ( made the leopard and Abrams higher) but think I am 75% there.   Also tested rules for ATGMs which I like.  Haven't tackled helocopters yet.  Am going to go to the other end of the spectrum  and try some recon vrs recon matchups ( Luchs anyone?) to test the armor system down there.  Also kicking around some ideas for infantry.  In WW III they are hard to ignore as they have potent anti armor capabilities. 
Hopefully you will see this is a special or magazine at some point!

Also kicking around does Platoon Forward have a place here?  WaT has a campaign game but is really  just keeping track of kills.  I don't know.   We will see.  For right now Nick has created a simple fun game that I am enjoying and having fun expanding into the modern period.  You can't ask for more than that.





  1. Ooh, now I'm getting interested here! I've got some modern(ish) tanks due to Vietnam gaming and have pondered other ways to use them.

  2. Cool stuff Joe, and I agree wholeheartedly with your comments. I’ve had several short, fun fights with WAT, both with my oldest boy and solo.


  3. We've really enjoyed WaT, but the "campaign" rules are a bit of letdown, in that so far not a single tank crew at the club has made it to Ace status. We die. A lot.

    That might be a comment on our playing skills though...

    So, yes, I for one would absolutely buy a "What a Tanker Forward" supplement. I own the other two, and quite like them.

    And would 100% encourage you to develop CWT, either as a supplement or in a special. As you say, those Battlefront Cold War tanks look perfect for a game like Wat!

  4. Brian,
    I hear you. There were some ARVN, NVA armor battles as well. Drop me an e-mail if you get the rules.
    Thanks. Agree a very kid and solo friendly game. My son will play SAGA occasionally so I think I have a shot with this as well.
    Great to hear from someone new! I can see that happening. For now my suggestion is when your tank is blown up given them a 50% chance of bailing out and making it back to pick up the same type of tank. That may help. Yes am getting excited about CWT. Had some marders vrs BMPs today ( no inf) just to check out ATGMs and light cannon. Both worked well.