Straight Outta The Box…
The new World of Tanks: Miniatures Game Starter Set comes with four highly detailed, assembled and painted 1:100 scale plastic tanks, along a selection of crew, module and upgrade cards. These cards represent the extraordinary soldiers or additional equipment that separates an individual tank from the factory standard and provide players with a world of options to individualise their force.
Once players have completed the first game (or two) we suggest in the rulebook (Available for download here) that they start adding some of these cards to really enhance the capabilities of each tank. To aid players we have suggested a set of cards that will take each tank up to a total cost of 50 points, letting players pick the tanks that they want and still have a balanced game.
Today I wanted to take a look at the initial cards and why we chose to include them.
Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf H
First up we will start with the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf H (or Panzer IV H), one of the best all-round tanks in the German arsenal. On the tabletop it has fairly middle-of-the-road stats, nothing that shines but nothing that is too bad either. This means that with the inclusion of some cards you can easily fine tune it to whatever role you need it to be.
For your first games we’ve suggested add Camouflage Net, Binocular Telescope, 105-octane Gasoline and Snap Shot to your Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf H.
Camouflage Net is an all-purpose equipment upgrade that gives you +1 Survivability whilst stationary. This would be an automatic inclusion on most Tank Destroyers, as well as any other tanks that were planning from fighting from cover. Building on this we have the Binocular Telescope, another equipment upgrade, which is all about increasing your potential damage output (by upgrading a Hit to a Critical) whilst staying still. With the tank now geared up for a stationary gun-fight we were worried that players might take the opportunity to either rush or outflank it, so by adding the 105-Octane Gasoline consumable upgrade, players can boost their Initiative for one movement phase by discarding the card, potentially avoiding any cunning trap the opponents have planned. Last but not least, we upgraded the Gunner to have Snap Shot. This gives the tank a permanent (well, assuming the crewman doesn’t get killed) a +2 Initiative boost in the shooting phase, helping it to get shots in before the other tanks.
The T-34 is a natural speedster and with a Mobility of 3 and Initiative of 6 it can be counted on to get around the tabletop, picking its battles.
To ensure that it maintains this advantage we’ve included a pair of crew, firstly the loader with Safe Stowage. This give the tank +1 Initiative in the shooting phase. In addition players can discard the card to cancel an Ammo Damaged critical card, potentially giving the tank a little more durability in the face of enemy fire. The second crew card is Recon, which boosts the Initiative of the tank by +1 in the movement phase. With buffs to the tank in both phases, it makes it easy to remember! The other benefit of Recon is the ability to get a jump on the opposition with a double move before the game. On a tank as fast as the T-34 this means it will be hitting enemy objectives or flanking the enemy from turn 1. The last upgrade is the Spall Liner equipment card which improves your chances of avoiding critical hits.
The British Cromwell tank doubles down on the Mobility and Initiative stakes with 3 and 8 respectively. Without any extra cards it is already one of the fastest tanks in the game and has the ability to out manoeuvre its enemies and get the drop on them in a firefight. It also has the most Hit Points (5) of any tank in the Starter Set which means that with a basic cost of 47, there also wasn’t a lot of room to add extra options either…
With this in mind we chose a couple of options that would help the Cromwell stay in the fight and negate critical hits. These were the Large Repair Kit and the iconic British Pudding and Tea. Each of these cards can be discarded during the repair step to fix damage that might take the tank out of the fight, or otherwise neutralise it.
The iconic American M4A1 Sherman rounds out the tanks in the Starter Box and like the Pz.Kpfw. IV Ausf H it really is a bit of a blank canvas waiting for someone to theme it.
To make the most of this tank we wanted to create a rolling death dealing machine, capable of driving round the battlefield shooting things up. To do this we started with Smooth Ride crew card which lets the tank reduce the penalties for moving and shooting. Pair this with the Enhanced Gun Laying Drive which grants the tank an Initiative bonus in the shooting phase when stationary or moving slowly meant that the M4A1 Sherman could stay on the move and pick the battlefields without all the usual penalties. Next we doubled down on the shooting phase initiative with a Gun Rammer. This equipment upgrade gives another +1 Initiative, pushing it up to a massive 9 Initiative in the shooing phase (if stationary or only moving once). It may get out manoeuvred but at least it will shoot first! Last of all we added a Repair crew card. This lets the player attempt to repair an extra critical card each turn. Might not sound like much but if you have an engine fire and have been bailed out, not having to choose which one to repair first will make your life a whole lot easier!
There you have it, four great tanks with a selection of upgrades that enhance their strengths, mitigate some of their weaknesses and will give you a completely different playing experience compared with a set of vanilla, fresh from the factory, tanks.
Stay tuned for more articles as we prepare for the launch of the game in October. Next up I will be taking a look at the Crew, Module and Upgrade cards – what they are, how many you can have, and how they work.