Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Tanks - Panther Vs Sherman Starter Set

I recently acquired this simple but fun game from my friendly local gaming store Titan Games mainly because the starter set was around £16 so it didn't seem like much of a risk and secondly because the demo I had was very fun indeed despite me losing when my Panther exploded due to an unexpected Ammunition explosion from a critical hit...

In this feature we'll have a brief review (not written by me) as well as the usual look at the box contents with especial attention been given to the three tanks within...

Tanks 'Starter Set' - Box Cover
It rather unsurprisingly comes in a box...

Before we move onto the goodies within here's a review courtesy of a former Games Workshop employee and part owner of my friendly local game store.

Tanks 'Starter Set' - Review
Were you brought up on a diet of Commando comics and fifties war films? Do you like nothing better than sitting down on a Sunday afternoon with a good cup of tea to watch A Bridge too Far? Then TANKS may be just the game you are looking for.

Released by Gale Force 9 a couple of months ago TANKS is a 15mm skirmish game using a rules system that isn’t a million miles away from that used for X-wing (although it isnt a total copy, there are enough differences to make it more suitable for WWII tanks rather than spaceships).

The starter set comes with a rulebook, dice, counters, 2d cardboard scenery (representing buildings and woods), a good selection of cards for the tanks and upgrades and three tanks (one German and two American). The tanks can either be built as a German Panther or Jagdpanther and an American 75mm or 76mm Sherman.

To go along with the release of the game, Gale Force 9 have released several other tanks for the German and American forces. The Germans have received the Panzer IV and the Stug G and the Americans have been given the Pershing which can be built as a Pershing or a Super Pershing. The Panther and Shermans from the starter set have also been relesed seperatley.

The starter also contains a lot of extra cards for tanks that haven’t been released yet, primarily the Russians. This is probably because the models for these are already technically available. Gale Force 9 are pretty much the same people as Battlefront who produce the gorgeous looking Flames of War, a game that is already incredibly popular, and the tank kits for TANKS have been taken straight from there so that should answer any questions regarding quality.

Having played quite a few games now we wouldn’t say TANKS is the most historically accurate game but its definitely a lot of fun and we would recommend it to anyone who wants a cheap fun game to pass a few hours with.


Tanks 'Starter Set' - Instruction Booklet
The game isn't particularly complicated so the instruction booklet is brief but to the point. It contains instructions on how to play the game in both words and pictures, missions to play through and assembly instructions for the miniatures from the starter set.

Here's some better pictures of the instructions from the games website. The originals can be found on this page hereThese models are essentially the same as the Flames of War equivalents and that website has far more detailed guides including what all those spare bits and pieces you end up with on the sprues are for...instructions for finding those can be found here.

Tanks 'Starter Set' - Terrain and Tokens
Here's pictures of both sides of the card-stock pieces that you can use as terrain (they're flat of course but will do for quick games if you don't have some actual terrain available) and the tokens you'll need to mark damage, which models have moved and for measuring your tanks moves around the table. It also comes with some dice...

Some dice...

Tanks 'Starter Set' - Stat and Upgrade Cards
As mentioned in the review the core box also contains cards for the two American and one German tank models included as well as additional ones for the Americans, British, Germans and Russians. It also contains the damage cards you'll need to keep track of critical hits including two of those pesky 'Ammo Explosion' ones that allowed my Panther to be killed by that bloody Sherman...

The aforementioned upgrade and damage cards...

 Tanks 'Starter Set' - Sherman's and Panther
The box contains a pair of American tanks and a single German one and by adding an eight point upgrade card to the German one you can have a very small but evenly balanced forty point game using just the box contents.


Here's pictures of both sides of the Panther Sprue. This sprue can also be used to make a Jagdpanther instead but I went with the Panther as that was the one the instructions were for.

The turret is separate and can be rotated independently of the tank itself.


Here's pictures of both sides of the Sherman Sprue of which you get two in the box. This sprue can be used to make either the 75mm or 76mm versions and unlike the Panther there's no need to choose as each sprue contains the necessary parts to make both turrets which is the only difference. I therefore built both turrets so I could chop and change as I pleased...

Here's a picture of them opposite one another so you can get an idea of scale.

If this has piqued your interest then you can get more information from their dedicated website here or from the Gale Force Nine website or by contacting a local stockist and asking for a quick demo.

Thoughts and comments are (as usual) most welcome.

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