TFL: What a Tanker! in 15mm

Too Fat Lardies have just this week released their newest game!  What a Tanker! puts you in the commander's seat of a Tank in the Second World War.  As with all games from Too Fat Lardies, the emphasis is on recreating history on the tabletop.  It's not about knowing the number of rivets on a hull plate (if you like that sort of game then I recommend you give Top Trumps a go!), it's about command and control.  It's about not being able to do everything you want just because you want to. And fun.  Definitely fun.  Don't believe me?  It says so on the cover; "A challenging and fun game of WWII Tank Combat."  And the decidedly Commando Comic-esque artwork helps that fact along swimmingly.

For those of us who were able to take advantage of the preorder offer, we got ourselves a lovely and shiny A4 sized hard copy of the rulebook along with a set of tokens.  What was extra lovely was the email that came in on the day of release with the PDF copy of the rules.  I don' even think these are available to buy from the TFL website yet.
Now don't worry. I'm not doing a review.  There will be plenty of people better placed to do so.  All I'm going to say it's by Nick Skinner and Richard Clark.  Bound to be brilliant then, isn't it? Nuff said I reckon.  No, what I want to do here is show you how I'm working on making this game a reality on my gaming table.

You may recall that I have recently embarked on a journey into 15mm scale (1/100th) for Chain of Command.  This scale matches the ground scale perfectly.  Of course, I'm also planning to make use of my Perry Plastic Deutsche Afrikakorps and 8th Army, but this involves making a whole new set of terrain boards.  Tempting, but impractical at present.  I also own a fair few 1/35 troops as well from back in the day.  But I needed to make a decision.  So I dug out my Open Fire! starter set I purchased for Flames of War back when 3rd edition came out.  I like the minis and the volume of stuff you get in the box, but the rules left me cold.  Whilst I've been posting pictures of this work on the Chain of Command Facebook Group, I haven't said much about it here on my blog.  Hmmm. I'll have to rectify that soon...!

Anyway, when I heard that What a Tanker! was coming out, I knew the Open Fire! set had more than enough tanks for me to make. 
I have to give Battlefront a lot of credit.  I love the way they bag everything in the box.  And they do think of everything as they include magnets for you to attach the turrets on the Sherman V's and the Sherman Fireflies.  Now, as someone who's had the sprues but not the excuse to make the models until now, what you aren't prepared for is the ease of making these kits.  I began with the StuG G's the backbone of the German tank forces in 1944-5 and I was amazed at how well they went together. 
Of course, the other thing that hit me was the finished size.  It's going to be like playing with matchbox toys!  All joking aside, I can really see the appeal of this scale.  It's amazing how much stuff you can fit in a single 4L Really Useful Box.  In the next photo, you can see the first of my Sherman V's, complete with Donald Sutherland in the turret.  This little detail has to be one of the nicest surprises I've come across in any wargaming kit!
I should say that you only need a single tank per player to play a game of What a Tanker! Games can be played with between 2 and 12 players.  The maximum number of tanks recommended for a player is three.  However, the rules have a campaign system that makes you want to keep your crew alive so they can become aces.  I can see how having just one tank will make you behave differently than having two or more. 
That aside I'm making six tanks.  The Germans will have three Stug G's. The Americans will have two Sherman V's and one Sherman Firefly. 
I think this is the only time in my gaming history that I've been able to buy into a preorder offer and actually already own all the models I'll need to get playing.  And I was beginning to assemble my Firefly this morning when the postie delivered my hard copy of the rules along with the tokens!
This clearly made me put the peddle to the metal, as I soon had my Firefly and remaining Sherman built!
I'm still in a state of shock about how quickly these things come together compared to 1/35 kits.  They also seem pretty robust. 
Of course, it hasn't escaped my attention that I have absolutely no scenery in 15mm scale.  That means I'll have to set about making some.  What a shame...!  Of course, in the meantime, I do have a 1/35 Sherman and Panther in the loft.  And I do have some scenery for them... (Another plan begins to form in my mind...!)
Clearly, this lot need some paint on them.  Best get to it then, before I head up into the loft to see what I can find...!


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