Happy Tanksgiving! (part 1)

Hi again!

So yesterday I posted about why our social media has had so many tanks in it lately. I got as far as explaining how I’ve started painting a force of British WWII tanks for the game Tanks, by Gale Force Nine. Before I get into the actual Tanksgiving recap, I need to make a mention of a related topic: Girls und Panzer.  This is an anime which I found out about that has teams from girls’ high schools and academies competing in the sport of tankwondo. Yes, they have teams and compete in tank battles. The characters are fun, the battles are super cool, and they’ve put a lot of effort into historical accuracy of the vehicles. Characters often cite historical facts and information about the tanks, and especially cool is the history club, who insert random historical facts into every conversation they have! It’s quite clever.

stug shot GuP


My first battle with my own tanks went very poorly for me. I had only my Sherman V, my Firefly, and the M10 Achilles painted so far. To make up to a 100 point battle, I loaded my tanks up with upgrades, some useful, some not so much, as it turns out. By the end, I lost all of my tanks while doing only a couple of points of damage to my opponent’s Panzer III.

First battle set up
Here’s the set up. I think the dog somehow gave my opponent an advantage. 

I used the special ability of the Achilles to move after shooting in order to avoid a point-blank shot from the speedy Puma… right into the sights of the Tiger. Statistically I had a better chance of surviving, with no defense penalties against the Tiger, but I failed all of my rolls anyway. That was sort of the theme of this battle, actually. Andrew successfully made insane numbers of defense rolls, while I did the opposite. Here’s my highlight:

Almost killing a Panzer

Here I managed to get behind the Panzer III with my Firefly! He’s gonna be toast for sure! Especially when I use my Super-Velocity shot ammo card! Except he survived, with a single hull point remaining. And that’s how he would finish the battle: wounded but alive, surrounded by the burning husks of my tanks.

Despite the crushing defeat, it was still cool to get my tanks on the table and practice the rules.

Anyway, on to Tanksgiving!

Several days later, Andrew and I decided to get together for the day and play some more tank games and watch some tank movies. I dubbed this day “Tanksgiving”. This was a good dub, unlike Girls und Panzer, for which the sub is way better.

We started with a Normandy scenario in which I would start in one corner and charge towards an objective on the opposite corner of the field, through his forces, including two bunkers and a trench. For this battle, I had my second M10 Achilles painted. I wasn’t so sure it would help that much, because of its light armour and how ineffective it was in the first battle. But, more tanks is more fun. I also took fewer upgrades on my tanks. I did equip all of my tanks with fire extinguishers, because engine fires caused problems last game. This is how the start of the battle looked from my perspective:

Storm the beach setup

Luckily for me, Andrew had also taken fewer upgrades, and left out Otto Carius, the commander who provides some wicked bonuses. The M10s did much better this game, destroying the Tiger in the first turn! This was already way better than last time!

I already claim moral victory. (Don’t those tanks look great, though?)

Several turns later, I had lost both M10s and my Sherman V, but was creeping around the bunker with my Firefly to get into a victory position. In order to win, I had to spend two turns next to the objective without any opposing tanks also being within short range of the objective. The only tanks remaining were the Panzer III, which was sitting right beside the objective, and the Panzer IV, which was beside the bunker with its track disabled.

Beach overhead - final stages
Only 3 turns left to get to the objective and destroy nearby tanks!

I managed to get my Firefly (named “Serenity”, by the way) into the corner on the objective, while destroying the Panzer III. Unfortunately for me, Andrew made his repair roll and his Panzer IV crew got the track back on and headed toward the objective.

In the final turn, I needed to knock out his Panzer IV to win, but he made enough defense rolls to have 1 hull point left, just barely surviving to prevent me from claiming the objective unopposed. My Firefly also had only a single hull point left, making a super-close match! Super close, unlike the previous, or the next one (foreshadowing!).

Final shots on the beach
So close!

After that battle, we took a break to eat chili and watch Kelly’s Heroes! To fit the theme we also considered Patton, and The Bridge at Remagen, but there are a lot of Kelly’s Heroes references in Girls und Panzer, so we went with that. Also, I haven’t seen it in about 30 years!

Well, that’s it for now. Check out part two to see how the next battle went!

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