Thursday, 12 May 2016

Airfix Battles: Mea culpa

Whilst packing away my most recent play-test, I checked the rules regarding the use of armoured fighting vehicles ... and discovered that I had completely misunderstood them. (In truth I read them several days ago ... and then forgot some important points when I began fighting the play-test.)

The section of the rules that I 'forgot' reads as follows:
'Shooting at Armoured Vehicles follows the same steps as shooting at Infantry Units, except that the effect of hits is different. Armoured Vehicles can only be shot by Anti-Tank (AT) weapons. On your Unit cards these are denoted as AT(X) where X is the number of dice you roll to hit the Armoured Vehicle using your dice. Armoured Vehicles may be hit, but can function as normal with no damage, or with partial damage, owing top their armour.

A Vehicle's initial Hit Dice is shown on its card as an Armour rating, When you deploy the Armoured Vehicle, place a dice next to the Vehicle with its value showing - this is the Vehicle's Hit Dice. Keep the Hit Dice with the Vehicle as it moves.

For each hit the Armoured Vehicle takes, the attacker must make a Penetration Roll. This roll must be equal to or greater than the number showing on the Hit Dice of the target Vehicle to damage it. For each Penetration scored, decrease the Hit Dice by 1. When the Hit Dice reaches 0), the Vehicle is destroyed.
'
The Tiger Tank has AT(4) and Armour 5+ and the Sherman M4A2 Tank has AT(3) and Armour 4+. When the Tiger fires at the Sherman M4A2 Tank, it throws four D6 dice and hits on a 4 or more, whereas when the Sherman M4A2 Tank fires at the Tiger Tank it throws three D6 dice and hits on a 5 or more.

Tiger Tank vs. Sherman M4A2 Tank (Round 1)
The Tiger throws 4 D6 dice and scores 1, 2, 4, and 6, therefore hitting the Sherman M4A2 twice. Two Penetration Rolls are made, and the scores of 3 and 4 mean that the Sherman M4A2 Tank's Hit Dice is turned from 4 to 3.

Sherman M4A2 Tank vs. Tiger Tank (Round 1)
The Sherman M4A2 throws 3 D6 dice and scores 2, 3, and 5, therefore hitting the Tiger Tank once. One Penetration Roll is made, and the score of 1 means that the Tiger Tank Hit Dice remains as it is, showing a 5.

Tiger Tank vs. Sherman M4A2 Tank (Round 2)
The Tiger throws 4 D6 dice and scores 3, 3, 4, and 4, therefore hitting the Sherman M4A2 twice. Two Penetration Rolls are made, and the scores of 5 and 5 mean that the Sherman M4A2 Tank's Hit Dice is turned from 3 to 1.

Sherman M4A2 Tank vs. Tiger Tank (Round 2)
The Sherman M4A2 throws 3 D6 dice and scores 1, 3, and 5, therefore hitting the Tiger Tank once. One Penetration Roll is made, and the score of 3 means that the Tiger Tank Hit Dice remains as it is, showing a 5.

Tiger Tank vs. Sherman M4A2 Tank (Round 3)
The Tiger throws 4 D6 dice and scores 3, 4, 6, and 6, therefore hitting the Sherman M4A2 thrice. Three Penetration Rolls are made, and the scores of 1, 2, and 3 mean that the Sherman M4A2 Tank is destroyed.

Something else that I got wrong was making Armoured Vehicle Units take Morale Checks when they were hit ... although I think that the results I generated made sense in the context of the play-test.

14 comments:

  1. Don't worry about it Bob, I've been wrestling with "Flames of War" for weeks now. I will persevere and stop making errors eventually hopefully.

    "Airfix Battles" looks good, thanks for your posts,

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    1. Paul Liddle,

      Cheers old chap!

      The way the rules work actually makes more sense than the way I was using them ... and the results feel more accurate. I refought the tank vs. tank actions from my recent play-test ... and the Tiger Tank and Panzer IV Tank wiped the floor with the Sherman M4A2 Tanks!

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. One more thing to note Bob, you choose the order in which your penetration dice are used, so in round one, tiger vrs Sherman, the roll of 4 reduces the armour from 4 to 3, and then your roll of 3 would reduce the armour down to 2.

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    1. Furgie,

      I had not realised that. It would have made quite a difference to the outcome.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  3. That sounds more like it Bob, Sherman shots bouncing off the Tigers armour with no damage. As you well know Bob, a Tigers 88mmm AP shot hitting a Sherman would be a devastating penetration for the crew, if they survived it's a bail out but those M4's were notorious for catching fire.

    I do like the game, it's well put together.

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    1. 'Lee,

      You are right; the proper method produces much more realistic results.

      I think that the game meets all the requirements it set out to achieve, and despite some of the doom mongers that I have come across on TMP (For example, 'It should have come with the necessary figures and kits as people will see Airfix on the box and think that it does'), I think that it will sell fairly well as a 2D wargame that can be converted into a 3D wargame.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  4. I agree with you too Bob. It works as an introductory boardgame and converts fine to mini's, although it does get a little cramped in 1:72. If I had time/money, I think it would look super in 15mm. That said, once we get the full rules on an open table top, I suspect it will be a super fast-play set of rules. As for the TMP doom sayers, this intro set was half the price of the FOW Open Fire starter kit. I'm sure they could have rounded it up to £50 quid (same as Open Fire) with a full set of models, but wouldn't have achieved what they were aiming for. I really like the game. I wish we were closer so we could have a face to face game! (I'm in Wiltshire). Cheers, Furgie

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    1. Furgie,

      I have given some thought to either using my collection of AXIS AND ALLIES MINIATURES in place of 1:72nd/1:76th-scale models and figures OR converting the rules so that I can use them with my 20mm-scale figures and vehicles on my Hexon II hexed terrain.

      Like you I can see the full rules being a real alternative to other so-called fast-play World War II wargames, and hopefully I will get some idea what they will look like at COW2016, when Alan Paull (one of the designers) will be running a session about the rules.

      I think that the marketing approach they have used makes sense. It is aimed at Airfix modelmakers who are interested in trying wargaming. As this group is likely to be young boys and their fathers (I am making sweeping generalisations here!), pricing the game equal to the cost of two or three Airfix kits makes sense. The target group might be tempted to dabble at that price, whereas if it cost £50.00 or more, that would represent quite a serious 'investment' in something they might not use very often.

      Perhaps we might be able to meet up one day for a face-to-face wargame. In the meantime we can continue to exchange ideas and information online.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  5. It is fairly easy to calculate the odds of victory between the Tiger and Sherman tanks. On hits alone the Tiger each turn van expect to hit the Sherman twice, the Sherman to hit the Tiger once. I presume that the Sherman's Armour will keep out a hit on roll of anything less than four; the Tiger on anything less than a 5. Finally, the Tiger can take 5 damaging hits before it dies, and a Sherman 4.

    If this is correct, it would take, statistically speaking, 15 turns of continual shooting to KO a Tiger. The Tiger could expect (again statistically) to toast the Sherman in 4 turns. What you would want, then, is four - maybe five -Shermans to take on the Tiger.

    I am reminded of a comment I read somewhere when I was still a schoolboy as how the British might sent four Churchills to take out a Tiger tank, and expect one to come back. In the light of that remark, the stats seem reasonable.

    Having said that, I am by no means sure I have interpreted the system correctly...

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    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      As far as I can see, your assessment of the odds of victory are correct, and it is also my recollection that it would take four or five normal Shermans (i.e. not equipped with a 76mm or 17-pounder gun) to take on a Tiger with any serious chance of destroying it.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  6. Incidentally - whatever happened to the italieri 'Operation Overlord' game system. I thought for player interaction it couldn't be beat, but maybe it had other drawbacks?

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    1. Archduke Piccolo,

      Although I had heard of Italieri's OPERATION OVERLORD game system, I have never had the chance to use it. I don't know whether it is still available or even supported.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. I have Operation Overlord here - I never played the game, but have used all the models from the box. There were loads of add-ons, which when combined I think, went on to become Operation WW II. It's now known as Operation Squad Evolution and is supported by Warlord Games

      Cheers,

      Furgie

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    3. Furgie,

      Thank you very much for that very useful information.

      Perhaps the fact that this game system never quite became as popular as it might explains some of the comments of the TMP doom mongers ... assuming - of course - that they had ever heard of it in the first place!

      All the best,

      Bob

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