Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer

Close Assaulting a Tank

Ever since last weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about infantry close assaulting a vehicle.  I don’t suppose there are any statistically relevant sources on the probability of succeeding.  There would be so many variables that it would be difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions that could be applied to the game table.  According to wikipidea (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tank_Destruction_Badge) killing a tank with a hand-held weapon wasn’t very common.  The site claims 18,500 silver recipients of the badge (one kill) and 400 gold recipients (five kills), many of whom were awarded the badge a single time.  When one considers the numbers of tanks and infantryman on the Eastern Front, this would indicate that knocking out a tank with hand-held weapons is a pretty rare event.

Still, on the gaming table, we want there to be some chance.  It’s dramatic and fun.  Plus as a career infantryman, I really like the idea of blowing up enemy tanks.

I have three pages of notes in my gaming idea notebook on special procedures for the WWII card-based game, G.A.M.E.R.  It occurred to me last night that special procedures aren’t needed.  Instead, I can use the explosion markers on the cards for another purpose.  There are three sizes of explosions on the cards, small, medium, and large.  These correspond to general sizes of HE:  grenades, mortars, and artillery, respectively.  I also use the large explosion marker to determine if a tank brews up from a penetrating hit.  When a tank is penetrated, you flip the next card.  If the card has a large explosion, the tank explodes.

So here’s what I’m thinking.  A soldier runs up to a tank.  If he only used half of his movement to get there, he can initiate an attack on the tank.  I see three classes of attack:

  1. The attacking soldier has no anti-tank weapons and is hoping to shoot someone through a hatch or vision port.
  2. The attacking soldier has grenades, Molotov cocktails, and other improvised anti-tank weapons.
  3. The attacking soldier has a purpose-built, hand-held, anti-tank weapon.

For these attacks you wouldn’t use the cards to determine where you hit the tank.  The attacking soldier gets to decide between hull, turret, or wheels.  For a class 3 attack, the attacking soldier flips a card and looks for a large explosion.  A success results in a penetrating hit. Otherwise, no damage.  (Or maybe a non-penetrating hit.  I haven’t decided.)  For a class 2 attack, a success results in a non-penetrating hit.  For a class 1 attack, the vehicle must be unbuttoned.  The attacking soldier just fires his pistol, rifle, or SMG at soldiers in the open hatch.  If the soldier can climb up (half a move) and the hatch is open, he could, of course, try to drop a grenade in the hatch.

It needs some testing on the table, but those are my musings for today.


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