The M3 Lee and Valentine round out first first wave of releases for the World of Tanks: Miniatures Game and add some extra flavour, as well as some new synergies to the tabletop. Today we take a look at both of these expansions, their contents, and how they may benefit from some of the other cards in the game.
The M3 Lee Medium Tank
The M3 Lee is a complex beast and brings a very different feel when compared with the M4A1 Sherman, which succeeded the Lee as the primary American tank. Fitting the nature of the tank it comes with a variety of cards that are likely to be quite useful to players of the Lee as well as other tanks. Starting out with Nathaniel Campbell, a unique commander that gives your tank a little more survivability by allowing you to Repair a second critical each turn. Medium tanks cannot afford to be taken out of the fight as they are there to manoeuvre and deal damage, so not having to choose between fixing the gun or the tracks makes life a lot easier. In addition, he comes with Sixth Sense which gives you the chance to make an extra move. Given the unique nature of the Lee and its fixed gun, which is why the M3 Lee has the Assault Gun rule, having the opportunity to make a single move at the start of the shooting phase is a major boost.
There are two other crew included in the expansion; adding Adrenaline Rush to your loader boosts your damage output once your tank is close to being knocked out and Deadeye which gives your gunner a better chance of landing that game winning critical hit.
The Cyclone Filter upgrade gives your tank a small buff to initiative in the movement phase, as well as a re-roll when trying to fix an Engine Fire. This critical can easily burn your tank down over a couple of turns if you are unlucky with the dice, so a re-roll is a great option, and thanks to Nathaniel Campbell you can still resolve other issues with your tank at the same time.
Rounding out the expansion is the 37mm Gun M5/M6 and here we took a little diversion from the online game. The 37mm gun was mounted in a turret on top of the superstructure and by the end of the war in North Africa wasn’t up to the challenge of knocking out the latest German tanks. We’ve included it as an option for players that want to roll the dice and see if they can get lucky. The good thing is that when using it you don’t need to worry about the Assault Gun rule so instead of using the main gun you can take a pot shot with the back-up gun.
Since the M3 Lee starts out with a fairly low cost you can choose from a couple of options, either running it with no upgrades or crew and instead adding an extra tank to your platoon, or double down and make the most of the six, yes six, crew positions. With the gunner, loader and commander positions already taken up, you can still add a radio operator, driver and a 2nd gunner! Adding Smooth Ride to your driver will allow you to keep on the move and benefiting from the extra defense dice without penalising your return fire, whilst Snap Shot will help to improve your initiative during the shooting phase.
Of course you might want to try the M3 Lee as more of a tank destroyer? The Medium Tank rule will let you re-roll a dice whilst shooting and with the restricted arc of fire (like many tank destroyers) it may be easier to lurk at the back of the battlefield trying to avoid attention. In which case Smooth Ride and Deadeye make for a great pair of low-cost improvements without investing too much into the tank.
The Valentine Light Tank
The Valentine is the first Light Tank to join the World of Tanks: Miniatures Game and will really change how players build their lists. The role of the Light Tank is to find the enemy, distract it, and allow platoon mates to pound the target into submission. Friendly tanks shooting at tanks within close range of the Valentine gain extra firepower so your enemies cannot afford to allow this little tank anywhere near their most valuable tanks. Needless to say, everything in this expansion is there to support your plan of achieving this goal!
Philip Young brings the loader skill of Safe Stowage and the general skill of Repair. Between these two abilities you can ignore one of the most damaging critical hits in the game (Ammo Damaged) and repair an extra critical each turn. Whilst we are talking about negating damage there is the option to Fill Tanks With CO2 which can cancel a Lucky Hit. This critical inflicts two points of damage and is the most numerous of all the critical hits. Consider this upgrade a 1 cost insurance policy for your favorite tank!
If you are worried about the speed of the Valentine then adding Sixth Sense to your commander will give you the chance of making an extra move at the start of the shooting phase. Since this move happens after all other movement, should an enemy manage to have a higher initiative and move after your tank, it may let you close back into close range where you can do the most good (or harm)!
Finally, the Valentine comes with two specific upgrades only for this tank. The QF 2-Pdr Mk. X which lets you downgrade your gun from 6 pdr to the smaller 2 pdr gun. This translates into a massive boost to your initiative at the cost of some firepower, whilst the GMC 6004 6-71A adds a little extra initiative in the movement phase, giving you the chance to get the drop on even highly the maneuverable Cromwell!
Unlike most of the other tanks in the game currently, your Valentine is unlikely to be responsible for carrying the rest of the platoon if ends up as the last tank standing. Rather it is the ultimate team player and any cards that you add to it should support that role. The best way for it to support you other tanks is to stay alive and stay in the middle of the enemy. Adding a driver with Preventative Maintenance (from the upcoming T-34 Expansion) or the Spall Liner upgrade (from the Starter Set) can give you a little added protection, allowing you to modify your defensive dice to help cancel critical hits. With a base of only one defensive dice you need to squeeze the most out of it!
If you want to get a few shots in, there is the option of adding some Light (APCR) Shells to the tank. These add an extra point of firepower when attacking targets at close range, which is where you need to be if you want to help the rest of your platoon, and for the low low cost of a single point.
The M3 Lee and Valentine each provide new ways of building and playing your platoons on the tabletop, and in conjunction with the tanks from the Starter Set allow you to start building forces from a single nation, as well as adding some great new cards to personalize your platoons.
Both the M3 Lee Tank Expansion and Valentine Tank Expansion are available now to pre-order.