View Full Version : Anyone do all tank battles?

04-07-2009, 16:08
How do they work in 40k? Are they fun? Would it be necessary/more fun to include some small infantry support? It seems like if you had lots of cover (like in a city), it could be neat because of the chance to try to outflank and hit side/rear armor. Also, you would have to make decisions like moving full out vs. getting to shoot. Even decisions like moving through terrain and possibly getting stuck while taking a shortcut. Just curious if anyone has done this.

04-07-2009, 16:18
Only tanks is something that is only viable for IG and even then they need some infantry for legal lists..
Could be interesting, but I doubt it would be very much fun, just a matter of who's barrage is the most accurrate.

04-07-2009, 16:37
but I doubt it would be very much fun, just a matter of who's barrage is the most accurrate.

Deetwo is right.....if you would want to do a tank battle you should at least put one HQ character and 2-3 minimum troops just for their abilities and for enjoyment...

anyway in a tank battle IG would always win and daemons would always loose...:p

Plasma Ken
04-07-2009, 16:39
Jason, an all armor force ( min troops/ max armor: three Russ squadrons, three Hellhound squadrons, HQ, and two Veteran/ Penal Legion squads ) sounds nice but is extremely vulnerable to getting overrun by horde armies. Cities, with their short LOS's are deathtraps for vehicles... enemy infantry can swarm you and plant melta bombs without you ever being able to engage them.

Out in the open, with no possibility of deepstrikers, it would be a race to see if you could shoot all your enemies before they could get to you. It would sure be dramatic.

Large numbers of tanks are an Apoc staple, these games when planned well are rip roaring fun. I'm a guy who got two of the Leman Russ company sets... twenty tanks that I've got in various states of assembly. I intend to team up with a fellow who has lots of infantry and each squadron of tanks will have a platoon with them.

04-07-2009, 16:42
You can do it, but you need to modify the normal set up vastly to make it fun.

1. Huge boards. 6 x 12" as a sensible minimum.

2. Open Terrain. You only get mainly armoured engagements in very open terrain- ie deserts, steppes etc. A few builidngs or other objectives, and lots of hills, to make rolling open, terrain. Maybe a river with a ford? Roads?

3. Narrative driven play. Figure out rough forces, so things are balanced and fun. Keep everything mechanised, but having APCs of some kind, with useful infantry in them will make things more interesting.

4. For most sides, you'll need to pool several players forces. For example, recreate Taros, and have every Tau Vehicle you can find from the club vs a Guard Armour column, or Orks for Armageddon

It'll be much more interesting than marines vs Guards, with both sides shouting heratic!

04-07-2009, 17:04
Last tournament I played a 2K Tau mech list vs a 2K Tau Suit list. I had 4 fish, 3 railheads and a Piranha versus a bunch of suits, some troops, and three railheads. It was amusing, but a massacre on my part. Only lost a handful of firewarriors and a stealth suit to the opponents 2/3 of his army.

For a fun Tank Battle, take a large board, perhaps on the outskirts of a city with some hills and buildings, and other blocking terrain. Have a couple of super-heavies per side as tanks of the line, and then a couple of companies, some scout units like sentinals and fire-warriors, and light units such as dreadnoughts or tank hunter squads.

Some armies would be a lot of fun for this.

IG: Baneblades, Leman Russes, Artillery, Sentinals, maybe Valkyries
SM: Land Raiders, Predators, Razorbacks with Devastators, Dreadnoughts
CSM: Same, but also chaos baneblades, defilers
Tau: They lack any sort of superheavy tank, but Hammerheads make up for it. Piranhas, Sky Rays, maybe some Suits
Orks: Skullhammas, Battle Wagons, Battle Fortresses, Trukks with Tank Bustas, Dreadnoughts, Kans, Deff Coptas
Eldar: Scorpion, Cobra, Fire Prisms, Falcons, Wave Serpents, War Walkers

04-07-2009, 17:29
Oops, I should have specified, I guess I wasn't too concerned with legal lists. You just chose tanks from your army (or maybe even any army!) within a given point limit, and your opponent did the same. Just wondering (in your opinion) if the 40k rules set would make for a fun tactical game or not, since vehicles (unlike infantry) have to worry about their facing.

04-07-2009, 17:35
I think you'd need a lot of terrain. Maybe approaching 50%. Otherwise it is likely to turn into two armoured lines blasting away at each other at maximum range.

04-07-2009, 17:55
When I first got to my gaming store around 2002-03, sometime mid-3rd edition, one guy had the reputation of fielding the only Chapter Approved Armored company (the original one.) I had been building an IAv1 Armoured Battlegroup, so I arranged through the store to have a game with this guy. Word got out that there'd be a big tank on tank IG game, so come game night it had drawn a bit of a crowd.

I think we nixed the details about lasguns vs. vision slits and both opted to use the Optional Ammo rules, keeping track of rounds expended, it made things even over the two different army lists. The terrain was a ruined town in the center of a wooded area, with some roads and bridges to the town in both deployment zones. It was a good balance of cover and open lanes on a 4x8' table.

To this day, I don't remember who won the battle, but I remember there wasn't a shot fired in the first three turns as it was all maneuvering to get into position. Then in turn 4 about half the nearly 30 AFVs on the able were smoking wrecks. I think the battle may have ended with only 5 non-immobilized or destroyed vehicles left. Quite fun and I'd love to do it again.

I think the only real good tank battle you can get that's not guard on guard (even if one side is chaos) is probably Guard vs. Tau. The Hammerheads, Sky Rays, Pirhanas and Devilfish provide enough symmetry to the Russes, Artillery, and Chimera while retaining enough differences to make it interesting.

04-07-2009, 18:24
Another good one to introduce more tactical manoeuvring with vehicles is smoke. It's the most tactical terrain going.

Do a set of smoke templates- I'd suggest 1,2,3 and 4" radius, and have them scatter about at the start of each turn.
A vehicle covered by smoke counts as being in difficult terrain. You can see into, out of, or through a smoke cloud on a 4+. If you're trying to look through 2 or more smoke clouds, forget about it!
Using the artillery dice from fantasy: arrow = scatter it, hit = stay where it is, 2,4,6,8,10 = distance scattered, misfire = template shrinks by 1" radius. Or some other simple drift mechanism

Drop a number of 4" templates on the table to start with, and give vehicles the option to fire smoke templates ( of whatever size feel right for that gun) instead of their normal main gun shot if you can figure out a good background reason for them to be able to do so!
Burning tanks also produce smoke clouds....

It's simple, fun, and works.

04-07-2009, 21:03
You can always try a silly deathmatch type thing along the lines of everyone can bring a single vehicle with a value up to 200 points or something similar. Ignore all shaken and stunned results or change them to something like -1 bs for each shaken/stunned result to keep the pace up.

Lame Duck
04-07-2009, 21:25
I would also reccomend the need for an objective, to prevent just hugging cover and taking pot shots.

Have roads for the extra movemet.

Perhaps towards hte centre of the board have repair stations. If withinn 6" of the station for an entire turn te tank fixes any weapons destroyed result on a 4+ etc. That way weaponless tanks have something to aim for.

Perhaps each sde has a group of infantry(civilians) which needs to be escorted (not transported) somewhere, that would make it interesting with the need for movement, sheild walls, using terrain and skirting the larger tanks etc.

04-07-2009, 21:26
When I've been in all tank battles, it has been just that, both sides are made up of nothing but tanks (sometimes we have ARVs-/-Rec-Mechs, APC/IFVs, armoured mobile artillery, and possibly light air-support)
It's usually been IG v.s traitor guard armour. Any other armies, and I've found it gets slightly difficult. Marines (both types) are aslo fairly fun to have tank v.s. tank combat, but if you have marine v.s guard, things can get difficult for the marines. I've never seen or played orks v.s tank heavy army.
My group has our own rules for tanks and vehicles for moving and shooting, aswell as ammo - but to be honest, most of the time we just use the normal IA:Vol1 rules.

Recently I've found lots of Super-Heavies appearing, which makes all tank armies slightly difficult to use if you don't have a SH. I once lost 4 leman russ to 1 baneblade, and I had to use 3 vanquishers to destroy it, over 3 turns. 'Twas not a pretty sight.... SHs will dominate almost, if not every battlefield they appear in - because they can take out lots of units at once, and usually attract the fire-power of all your A/T equipped units.

I've found that the most fun battle to play is tank v.s infantry/light mechanised in a city fight. The tanks often end up playing "hide and seek" with infantry with short-range A/T weapons. Having a squad of nutters jump off a building onto the top of a leman russ with melta bombs is a very entertaining sight. That is, until the leman russ brews up :D The moral of the story? Lots of tanks + built up area = dead tanks.

As for battles and objectives, we try to avoid "just kill everything" games. Usually, army X has to get from one side of the board to the other (or get a unit, like a hero or prisoner, etc) and army Y has to stop them. Or army A is in a convoy trying to get somewhere, when army B ambushes it. Army B starts the game with some units, but over the game more of it's forces arrive to try and destroy A. A wins if it survives/gets off the battlefield. B wins if it destroys A, or gets A to retreat. (I hope that makes sense....)

05-07-2009, 00:56
We've been talking up a Reaver vs. Titan hunting contingent game which will likely be lots of Tau tanks (we'll likely be skipping on the Str D guns that would make it too one sided). I do agree that any sort of special scenario requires cooperation between the players, to make it fun for everybody.


05-07-2009, 03:04
My scenario for tank games would have two teams of players, each player with one armored-top battlewagon containing ten tankbustas and with no weapons. Each battlewagon has no access points, and is counted as having five fire points on each side.
To make it faster, any crew stunned/shaken result just kills a tankbusta. Your tankbustas cannot ever survive your wagon being destroyed.
So you have to fire broadsides and maneuver to get at your opponent's vulnerable armor facings. For extra orkyness, encourage friendly fire somehow.

In other tank battle scenarios, orks could be a viable option if you allow deff rolla attacks from ramming.

05-07-2009, 03:08
Seems to me if your going to do an all tank battle with IA stuff SMurfs have the perfect tank in the LR terminus (i think that is what it is called) with 5 lascannons 3 of which are TL. You could even go budget and use some predators with 3 lascannons 1 of which are TL. Most other tanks have some anti-infantry stuff (HBs) that aren't going to be useful.

05-07-2009, 04:52
Ive been in a few all tank battles over the years. The last one I played in was on a 15' x 15' section of floor. There were super heavies on both sides, I think 4 per side. We also had over 40 types of various tanks, artillery and air support as well. With Marines vs Guard. Sure the Guard had range, but a lot of Land Raiders and Land Speeders for the Marines still made things interesting, and hard.

We had a lot of city terrain, as well as roads. Tanks came in through random locations, and even started in random places on the board. This way there was not as much moving to the enemy, as the enemy could be within a couple of blocks ( as close as 18"), so the firing could start the first turn for both sides. It was a fun game, that lasted about 8 hours.

Id love to do another one. Ive got about 38 IG tanks, and over 22 for Marines.

05-07-2009, 05:08
We do a Tanksgiving even at my local shop every thanksgiving (see the word play).

Our only rule is you must have an AV value and no walkers or land speeders.
We do allow MC's for our local bug players.

For Russ we use "AT" rounds since we are not that worried about blast markers.

One year because of the number of players we did a king-of-the-hill and allowed
players to deploy on all four sides of a square table, nothing like having your side
armor exposed on turn 1. The next year we had much fewer players and were able
to use standard deployment but we did have a larger number of Baneblades.

We try to encourage Super Heavy players to only engage other Super Heavys
until there are none left or no other target can be fired upon but even then
it came down to two Baneblades exchanging punches till one finally blew.

05-07-2009, 05:43
I think the only real good tank battle you can get that's not guard on guard (even if one side is chaos) is probably Guard vs. Tau. The Hammerheads, Sky Rays, Pirhanas and Devilfish provide enough symmetry to the Russes, Artillery, and Chimera while retaining enough differences to make it interesting.

What about orks and eldar?

Orks have battlewagons, looted wagons, trukks, trakks and buggies (+ killa kans and dreads if you want to include them).
Eldar have Wave Serpents (with a variety of loadouts), Vypers, Falcons, Fire Prism's, and War Walkers (again, if you want to include them).

Anyway, I believe a member of this forum once calculated out the points values, and the breakdown of different types of vehicle(in terms of IG tanks) in order to recreate the battle of kursk, and determined a soccer field would be the most appropriate venue for such a battle.

05-07-2009, 11:31
I used to have the occasional all-tank battle in the Rogue Trader days, but not really bothered with them since apart from a Apoc game where on 1 side it was Stormlords while the other contained alot of Green Tides.

05-07-2009, 13:16
HI all.
We regularly play all tank battles,but usualy use rules developed for this larger scale.Epic, Dirtside,Challenger-Firefly, etc.
As 1/300th scale (6mm) is much easier for larger tank battles than 1/56th scale.
Unless you have a very large playing space and budget , it is to be recommended.


05-07-2009, 13:59
I've done subsections of Kursk, with ~80 vehicles on the table, at 1:72 scale, with a 1:2000 ground scale. That was on 6x12 foot, and great fun. Using a much more detailed, but more flowing set of vehicle rule than 40k.

05-07-2009, 15:34
I've played quite a few all tank games - normally either Armoured Company v Armoured Company, or with one side using Armoured Battlegroup from IAv1. I've also used an all tank force in Apocalypse - only a small game though, I had only 24 tanks on the table including a super heavy. They are quite vulnerable though, even more so in 5th edition where infantry in close combat hits the rear armour, and with the way I roll dice take ages to actually do any damage; they all seem to survive until about turn 4 and then the wreckages begin. I've enough IG tanks to field a force of just over 40 vehicles; mostly Leman Russ and variants (including Vanquishers, Exterminators, Conqueror), but also 7 Chimeras, 2 Destroyers, 3 Baslisks, 3 Hellhounds, Bombard, Hydra, and 8 super heavies (4x Baneblade, 2x Shadowsword, Macharius, Minotaur). Hi, my name's Dan, and I'm a tank freak ...

05-07-2009, 16:41
I would love to do all tank battles but I feel that the 40K scale is all wrong for it. I am currently collecting (very slowly) some FoW stuff specifically for playing all-armour games.

05-07-2009, 16:42
My gaming group have a tank battle lined up for a few weeks time, involving Titans and the rule that if you have infantry they must start mounted in something

I look forward to seeing how many vehicles it takes to take down a Reaver.

05-07-2009, 18:44
I've taken my Eldar against my friend's Guard in a couple of pretty much all tank games (any infantry included had to be mechanised) and they're good for a laugh, but far from tactically deep, boiling down to lucky scatter dice rolls vs lucky skimmer moving fast rolls. Nice for a change, and a bit of a spectacle, but nothing more.

05-07-2009, 20:18
i did an apocalypse tank only battle at my local store and ended up with a big line of razorbacks, predators and LR terminus' all with lascannons, i wiped out my opponents force in 3 turns

05-07-2009, 22:26
My gaming group have a tank battle lined up for a few weeks time, involving Titans and the rule that if you have infantry they must start mounted in something

I look forward to seeing how many vehicles it takes to take down a Reaver.

Well... a single chaos model with the daemon shell strategem was able to take out something like 3 or 4 structure points and all of ones weapons in the game we played 2 weeks ago. Of course it got inside the damn things void sheild, but still.

The Highlander
09-07-2009, 19:47
When the Land Raider was released I went to an all tank participation game in Aberdeen with my Ork Looted Basilisk. I fired at an Eldar Falcon, the shot scattered backwards and managed hit not only the back of the falcon but the front of the Fire Prism behind. One tank exploded, the other one was immobilised and crashed!

That was also the first time I saw a Baneblade in action, it took out 3 Land Raiders in 2 turns. Good thing it was on our side!

10-07-2009, 19:17
I use the ordinary Guard Codex instead of the IAI (that I have and I have used the list until the new codex) to rapresent my Armoured Company; 1 HQ Squad on Chimera, 2 Veterans Squad both on Chimera, a squadron of three Sentinels with Autocannon and Missile, a squadron of three Leman Russ with Heavy Bolters and Lascannon and Pask riding a Vanquisher or an Exterminator.
On a normal table, with 1500 points.
Yopu don't need Apoc or so to enjoy with the tanks!
The list works evenif I haven't usee it against 'Nids or Orks.
But you MUST pay attention to the sides of the table!!! (meltas, infiltrating guys woth granades and/or with powerfists, Sentinels, ecc...)

10-07-2009, 20:34
I play the all tank Apoc battles all the time... They tend to go fairly quick as long as the board is not littered with terrain...

Good fun. Lets the IG Armor CO players still do some thing.

10-07-2009, 21:38
a few years ago I and a few of the guys at my local shop decided to do a 4 way arena of death with 1 vehicle each that cost no more than 200pts. we had a pretty good range of vehicles 1 predator annihilator with all the extra goodies i could afford, a tau hammerhead, a leman russ and a dreadnought. when your tank is destroyed you respawned in your table quarter on your next turn. we played for 2 hours and whoever had the least deaths was the winner. i think the dread was the clear winner, being smaller he could hide better and fire 2 weapons while moving and then assaulting your tank with st 6 on rear armour wasnt too bad.