I'm back again to talk about tanks once more! I've got to say I was a little hesitant about covering the Soviet vehicles as I've never played with them myself. Of course I've played dozens of battles against them and spent many, many hours of my childhood/teenage years reading about the Kursk and Bagration conflicts, (even though it wasn't even remotely relevant to any school topic/assignments). It might have been a bit more beneficial if I spent just a little more time on my maths homework come to think of it, but hey I had fun!
I still have fond memories of going to Wallington library monthly with my mum, spending ages hunting around for new material/ for a relevant school project and ended up borrowing the same few history books every time!
Anyway onto some Eastern Front tanks...!
The Germans made some gorgeous tanks didn't they?! If the Panther tank was a woman, she'd be prettiest lass in town - stunning in fact! Of course we need to bare in mind that she'd also be very high maintenance and expensive to take out, but it'd be worth it! Our love affair might not last long, but at least at the time we'd be the envy of all our friends and worth every exciting moment!
- Amazing front armour for a medium tank
- Even better gun!
- Wide tracks
- Side and top armour is quite weak
- Lots and lots of points!
- Inefficient at taking on infantry
The Panther is a fantastic, yet challenging tank. You will struggle to get value out of that hefty points cost at times, especially if you go for the confident/fearless-veteran rating combo. There are a few lists that allow for the reluctant-veteran rating instead, (reducing the points value by quite a bit) which is worth a look. With that frontal armour and amazing gun the Panther can never be ignored regardless.
So we lusted after the Panther, with her elegance and beauty, however you'll want to marry a T34! The T34 is an absolute keeper. Not exactly immediately stunning on the eye like the Panther (she's no KV1 minger at least!). The T34 is considerably cheaper to take out and works very hard for the cause - man I've got to remember not to ask my wife to check my spelling/grammar on this piece!
- You can take buckets of them, due to low points cost
- That's a lot of barrels and machine guns!
- Not a lot can stand up to the Tankovy steamroller
- Heavy armour
- Can be challenging to play with trained tanks
- Soviet special rule - Hen and Chicks
"Win big, or lose big" is definetely a phrase you will become familiar with when playing a T34 army. Contrary to the negative effect of Hen and Chicks you need to keep your tanks moving, at least in the initial phases of the game. Be aggressive, you will take losses of course but hopefully not enough to prevent you from battering your opponents defences down. Win big or lose big!
OK so Panther for looks, T34 for keeps.. We know this - but somehow we've ended up taking out a KV1 - how on earth did this happen?! Cumbersome and slow, (she's no beauty queen that's for sure) - but nevertheless, she can get the task done! You definetely don't want to spend big on a KV1 if you can help it, but if you play your cards (dice) right this 'relationship' can be a successful one. You wouldn't brag to your mates about it though!
- Good all round armour
- Three machine guns
- Unreliable and limited vision rules
- Weak gun
- Slow to get into the fight
I see the KV as an infantry killer. It was designed as a 'breakthrough tank' and this how you want to play it - as a battering ram! Shoot guns, assault infantry and get them stuck in. They might get hit trying and they are slow, but this is certainly better than sitting back trying to fight tanks with them. Besides front armour 9 and top armour 2 can take a lot of punishment.
Tiger II / Kingtiger
Some of us like that little bit 'extra' to cling onto at times in our relationships and the Tiger II is just that.. Big, fun, curvy and blimin' dangerous! The Tiger II is a bit of a wrecking ball at times, but yet still retains a form of elegance and beauty. She's no slender Panther indeed, but does she care about it? Not one bit!
- Super strong front armour
- High A/T gun
- Top armour can take on a lot of artillery
- Tiger Aces!
- There won't be much else in your army if you take more than one
- Easily ignored with smoke
- High AT is quite overkill vs most enemy vehicles
Another big German cat that can be difficult to get value out of the points you've spent on it. But that doesn't mean you should discard it from your army. It is the first thing your opponent focuses on - almost obsessively if you are lucky! If you can keep this beast in the fight, you could find that the opponent spends turn after turn, desperately trying to kill it and in doing so has forgotten all about the objective. All hail the King!
Well that's all from me folks. Light relationship advice and even some insight into a few famous WW2 tanks - You're welcome! I highly recommend that you put this down now, go to the wife/partner and tell her that she's your reliable, workhorse T34! I promise that she'll immediately understand what you mean and will absolutely love it...!
For Western Front tanks click here
Next up we shall be looking at the last tanks to grace the WW2 battlefield (Comet, Pershing and IS2)
Papa Bear out!