G3 launches back into Tank Aces
Tank Aces again?
That’s right, we at G3 will be running Tank Aces again, due to the influx of newer players and the smashing success of the last time it was run about three years ago. Cromwells. Tigers. Shermans and the like all clashed over one summer, which culminated in a massed tank battle at the end.
Sadly, I don’t seem to have any pictures from the original Tank Aces campaign left, so I have no lovely images to share of it.
Why are you writing this now?
Why write this now instead of when we launch? Simple; the last time we played people took very strange and interesting lists, which though seemed like a laugh, turned the game into an unfun slog. So this time I will be introducing this campaign with a run down on the various Armoured Fighting Vehicles that prospective players might wish to use throughout the campaign.
To start with it only makes sense to cover the Main Battle Tanks of each of the four primary nations; Germany, United Kingdom, United States and Soviet Union. Each nation has at least two tanks associated with it, and we’ll take a look at their strengths and weaknesses.
Note: The opinions expressed below are my own and may not be reflective of the more common line of thinking.
Panzer IV Ausf. H & J
The Panzer IV holds the distinctive honour of being the tank which served the entire war. Armed with the effective 75mm cannon, the Panzer IV easily goes toe to toe with any other medium tank of the war.
With a front armour of 6 and ‘Protected Ammo’, the Panzer IV has good survivability in a long range fire fight with other tanks in it’s weight class. Mounting the Anti-Tank 11 gun means it has a slight edge over it’s peers such as Shermans, Cromwells and T-34 obr. 42.
A tip for saving points it to downgrade (yes, it is a downgrade) to the Panzer IV J. With the addition of ‘Slow Traverse’, you save a whack of points for a rule which only comes into effect sometimes, so point for point the J seems like a better investment for Tank Aces.
StuG IV/G or StuH 42
The StuG is a very effective Assault Gun, and usually the more commonly used support tank for German armies beyond the Panzer IV due to the increased front armour in exchange for not having a turret.
StuGs tend to be equal points to the Panzer IV H, as the increase in front armour is equal to losing the turret. With the same ‘Protected Ammo’, armament and being German, the StuG is a very common and popular choice for German armies.
The StuH 42(Sturmhaubitze) is identical to the StuG in terms of armour and protected ammo, but the armament change offers up a few more interesting choices;
The gun loses a point of Anti-tank in exchange for improved firepower, meaning any tank unlucky enough to be penetrated will most likely be knocked out by the 10.5cm Howitzer the assault gun mounts. The other interesting point to note is the ability to fire smoke; meaning that the StuH can force other tanks to move to get shots off, giving it’s comrades cover.
At one point the fastest tank of the war; the Cromwell IV gives the British armoured columns some much needed speed and mobility to get round onto the softer sides of the fearsome German assault guns and heavy tanks.
The Cromwell has a similar armour profile to the Panzer IV, with slightly improved side armour, and retaining ‘Protected Ammo’. The advantages to the Cromwell is the mobility of ‘Light Tank’ allowing it to travel cross-country at 16″, rather than the usual 12″. And with ‘Semi-indirect Fire’, should the Cromwell wish to engage at range, it re-rolls misses at targets more than 16″ away, allowing it to suppress those sneaky Panzers. The downside, much like any Western Ally tank, is it’s armament; the 75mm gun is slightly weaker than the Panzers, with only Anti-tank 10, at range this gun will struggle to trouble Panzers and StuGs will probably face it down without fear.
The heavy hitter of the British Army for the latter half of the war. The Firefly was rightly feared by German tankers, as a shot from it’s powerful 17pdr gun could pierce through even the thick front armour of a Tiger or Panther.
Though it lacks the speed of the Cromwell, the 17-pdr gun is what gives this tank the edge over it’s opponents. The statline featured above is for the early model Firefly, but later on it gets a boost to AT 15 as the Firefly gets armed with APDS shells, combine this with the ever useful ‘Semi-indirect Fire’, and the Firefly makes for a perfect covering tank. The standard armour of ’6′ on the front leaves the Firefly open to fire from most any tank on the axis side, so keeping this tank hidden in cover is a must.
Tomorrow; United States and Soviet Union tanks!