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"Tank On Tank 'Bulge' game in 12mm" Topic

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1,358 hits since 17 May 2018
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FlyXwire17 May 2018 7:17 p.m. PST

Hi All,
I ran a first Battle of the Bulge game today with my new snow mat, terrain, and winter-look minis (in 1/144th scale). It was a play-test session for a scenario I'm presenting at a local con in June, DieCon, and as usual we discovered some tweaks to make the game work better for its 'debut'. The battle situation was based upon the first action around Foy, on Dec. 20th, as elements of the US 10th Armored Division (Team Hustead) vacated Noville, and moved back towards Bastogne via the Noville-Bastogne highway (a very fluid encounter that inspired the basis for my scenario design).
Here's a look at the game and my intrepid buds who worked their way through its first playing we played the game twice in the afternoon, the 2nd running with some of the modified force arrival tweaks.

The scenario features two separate unit commands for each side (German elements of 2nd Panzer and the 26th VG Divisions, and American elements of the 101st Airborne and 10th Armored Divisions). In this view, the initial TD platoon in Foy, supported by the 101 in the woods behind the town are engaged by German Grenadiers and their AFV support flanking the the town, and thereby threatening the Bastogne-Noville corridor.

The column of Team Hustead is withdrawing southwards towards Bastogne, and unexpectedly encounters a running battle around Foy this command must lend support, while maintaining rearguard security, as an armored KG of 2nd Panzer is hot on its heels (and soon to arrive behind them coming from the direction of Noville).

The further action report has been classified TOP SECRET (potential future participants might be "monitoring" the radio waves here), but I hope you may have enjoyed this abbreviated test debriefing.

The rules are adapted from the Tank On Tank boardgame system, and the concept is to present quick-play "Pocket Battles" that still offer plenty of command decision opportunities w/o a lot of rules overhead.

Mister Tibbles17 May 2018 8:19 p.m. PST

I love the winter board! Sounds like a blast. What manufacturer did you go with for 10mm?

I'm not familiar with the board game, though. I do like easy and fun, especially at a con. Keep us posted.

FlyXwire18 May 2018 5:41 a.m. PST

Hey MT!
They're all 12mm/1-144 scale vehicles (so just slightly larger than 10mm). The Shermans and M8s come from a Revell plastic kit US Army WWII vehicles that also includes 2-1/2 ton trucks (2 ea. of each type per kit, so a good buy). The M18s and M3 halftracks are 21st Century models, and the Hetzers are Dragon Can.Do models. The infantry come from a friend who entertained marketing his own line of "N" scale vehicles and figures under the Crusade of Steel title, but were never released (the American Airborne and German Grenadier figures are true 12mm). Other vehicles not pictured include Pegasus models, and all were winterized with 'snow-fall' and/or white-wash to say "Battle of the Bulge" (although at this time of the 1st Foy action, not much if anything was winter camoed in the field yet, so snow-fall would have been the only winter-like effect).

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2018 6:31 a.m. PST

Looks great! Thanks for sharing!

Lucius18 May 2018 1:37 p.m. PST

I'm doing the Ardennes in 1/144 too. What mat is that? I really like it.

FlyXwire18 May 2018 2:31 p.m. PST

Hi Lucius!
It's my own custom-textured mat. For using with the Tank On Tank board game rules, I've eliminated the use of the game's hex board, and use the more natural-looking field areas on my mat as the ranging/movement grid [system]. The map still mimics a hex board's movement allowance "mostly" (with six directional choices), but some fields are smaller, some larger, and by themselves they exert a differential to movement and ranging measurements. The mat grid still integrates with the rules, but it's more realistic-looking in appearance (like a miniatures game table), and predictable measurement isn't universal now, but with slight variations based on the "lay of the land", so to speak.

lincolnlog18 May 2018 4:54 p.m. PST


Great game, enjoyed the session.

coopman19 May 2018 6:21 a.m. PST

That looks great. Thanks for sharing.

FlyXwire19 May 2018 6:26 a.m. PST

Thanks Bob, and Coopman!
Coopman, did you ever get your Tank On Tank conversion up and running?

coopman20 May 2018 5:42 a.m. PST

No. I need to get back on that. Too many projects and too little time.
I have purchased the US and German forces, but still need to buy the Russian force and get everything mounted and ready to play. I will be using 3 to 5 3mm scale vehicles/guns per FOW medium base (2" wide). So in my version each stand will represent a platoon. I will either use a hex matt or some sort of map with areas like you have (yours is very inspiring!).

coopman22 May 2018 5:43 p.m. PST

How do you do the action points in your rather large battles (large by normal ToT standards anyways). Do you increase the no. of action points per side or what?

FlyXwire22 May 2018 6:47 p.m. PST

I've kept the AP chits the same, even with games of up to six players having units to command. What I have done is create more tactical HQs units (usually of 1-2 elements each). For instance, a Volksgrenadier company allocated here in this scenario contains 3 units (3 platoons of 3 Squad elements per), but also a company HQ [unit] element. As with the normal rules, the HQ elements facilitate group activation, so these Grenadier platoons, if placed and moving in adjacent areas to their Co. HQ, can all activate and move for one AP expended by the HQ. The means of command and control (and the economy of effort that HQs enable) is an important scenario consideration. In this current scenario I've created 5 HQ elements, 4 of them are company HQs, and 1, is the Team Hustead command M3 halftrack, which is trying to marshal its own mixed armored column from Noville towards Foy and perhaps beyond.
If/when players get units detached from adjacent proximity to their respective HQs, that's when their commands begin to break down and become too cost prohibitive to maintain momentum with. Since each side's players decide where their side's APs need to be spent, it becomes a struggle to maintain command cohesion within each player's command, because it's the inefficiency of units becoming broken up and separated that tends to see a player losing his share of the AP pool "pull" (destroying enemy HQs is always an imperative too). These simple game mechanics demonstrate the need to maintain command and control via the HQs provided in a scenario, and whether a force can fight for the "duration". I've told my friends I love this little game, because you can actually see [the need] when units need to withdraw and reorganize formation again, so they can fight together reformed back into cohesive companies.
I think I can show the German forces evolved in this scenario, and it shows the HQs assigned -

Also, I've created the allowance that trained recce units can activated for free, so if there's recce element(s) in the game, they can always be activating for no cost as long as this is done before their side's APs are used up.

coopman23 May 2018 5:02 p.m. PST

Thanks for the great explanation, FlyXwire.

FlyXwire11 Jun 2018 2:25 p.m. PST

OBJECTIVE FOY (get the game ready, run it, and have fun in the process)!

A good time had at DieCon this past weekend.

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2018 1:03 a.m. PST

Just ran across this tonight.

Looks great!

Thanks for sharing your photos.

I've been wanting to do the Battle of the Bulge myself, in this scale.

FlyXwire13 Nov 2018 2:50 p.m. PST

Thanks Thresher! 1/144th size is so ideal for battle-scale gaming.

My next scenario for this winter map will head East and draw on the attack towards Zamoly, Hungary by the s.PzAbt. 503, in an assault supporting Sturmgeschutzen of the 4. Kavallerie-Brigade, part of Op. Konrad in Jan. '45.

With actual snow on the ground here at home now, it's going to be difficult actually spraying up the snow scheme I need for the King Tigers and their Soviet opposition in this scenario – but war is hell and we'll get this prepping done sometime this Fall, er, Winter!

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP24 Nov 2018 3:04 a.m. PST

Sounds interesting.

Would love to hear more about that, and/or to see more photos.

Best of luck in your painting quest.

FlyXwire26 Nov 2018 7:15 a.m. PST

Thresher, here's one from an Eastern Front game that's on a different vinyl mat makes me feel cold just thinking about it!

Thresher01 Supporting Member of TMP26 Nov 2018 12:46 p.m. PST

That does look quite chilly!

Thanks for sharing.

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