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Monday, 16 April 2018

Tank Action - Rules Play Test

My brother visited over the weekend, and being a fellow wargaming it seemed a good opportunity to play test my version of Charles Grant's tank battle rules, extracted from his book 'Battle'. I converted these rules to be played on a hex grid, as opposed to measuring moves and firing ranges:

The scenario I used was a meeting engagement to secure a village that sits on an important road junction somewhere in Russia in 1943.  The Germans enter from the right and the Soviets from the left:
The German force consists of a tank company, represented by three Panther tanks and a tank destroyer company equipped with three StugIIIG (total 6 tanks). Here is a view from the German end:

It was decided that I would command the German force, while Phil took charge of the Soviets. His force was nearly double the size of the Germans, consisting of three companies of T-34 tanks; a mix of 76 and 85mm gunned vehicles (total 10 tanks).

We arranged our forces on the table and I decided to concentrate my armour on the left flank, with the aim of holding the high ground and picking off the Soviets at long range using the Panthers. The Soviets advanced cautiously on a broad front across the whole board.

Initially things went well for the Germans, as a Panther round slams into a T-34/85 advancing down the left road and it burns blocking the road:

Another Soviet tank, a T-34/76, emerges from behind a house and is quickly taken out. The Germans are destroying the Soviet force piecemeal.  Those Soviet tanks that do return fire at long range have no effect, even when they hit the target.

At this point things looked good for the Germans, who planned to continue to fire concentrated attacks at individual advancing Soviet tanks; however, in the next round of shooting another T-34 is destroyed, but a side shot takes out one of the Panthers (in the foreground):
The Soviets now realised that their current approach is doomed, so they changed tactics. Using their superior numbers they all charged forward, bursting out of the village.  The dice turned against the Germans, and despite many hits their shots failed to penetrate the oncoming Soviet tanks.  Having closed the range, nine tanks against five, saw another Panther go up in flames, quickly followed by two of the Stugs:

In a matter of minutes the tide had turned. The one remaining Panther and the single Stug backed away, hoping to take down a few enemy tanks as they crossed the high ground, but the dice was not on their side.  The Germans withdrew; the Soviets controlled the village and road junction. A clear victory for the red army.

Overall, this was a very quick (less than an hour) fun game. The rules worked really well and there could have been a different result with a little more luck on the German side.

Next I will begin developing some infantry and artillery rules.


  1. Bob, that is a nice sized action. I was trying to work out the size of the table grid and got a 12 x 9, is that right?

  2. Hi Norm. It is a 13 x 10 grid and is the same size as a Command & Colors playing board (I think)! The hexes are 5", sitting on a 6 x 4 foot table. The tanks are 1/87 Roco Minitanks.

  3. Nice write-up--makes me want to break out my armor for the first time in many years!

    Chris Johnson

    P.S. Hi, Norm--we seem to visit a lot of the same sites.

  4. Looks like just the sort of thing Ron and I were looking for for WWII games.