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I love tanks.  My first foray into wargaming was 1/285 WW2 tank battles. I really prefer 15mm for this sort of gaming

I love 40k, but playing tank battles is too big and unwieldy. Horus Heresy is a great setting, but I'm really over armies of infantry.

So what about "skirmish" sized tank battles? I really enjoy the Kill Team/Warcry games sizes, but I'm missing the vehicles.

Epic doesn't really put enough detail on the vehicles. At this scale it's shoot, save, die.  

How about 1/2 scale (15-18mm) 40k?  

I've been doinking around with some proxy files I've collected and come up with this:







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On 2/24/2021 at 9:00 PM, Ish said:

Using 15 mm models and the standard WH40k rules -- just chopping all the rulebook distances for range and movement in half -- would work great. To encourage tank battles, just make everyone use Spearhead Detachments.

I'll bet it would work even better keeping all the distances the same, just using smaller models. I've done that with other 28mm games (Bolt Action) using 15mm models, and it helps a lot with the "tank traffic jam" syndrome.

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Maybe change the Movement values to half the regular values, but leave the weapon Ranges the full value? 

That would stop Leman Russes from rushing `round like Forumla-1 cars and put an emphasis on lining up shots, careful maneuvers, and positioning... Except for the Eldar who would still be zooming `round like race cars.

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Rambling a bit here...

A lot depends on how far you want to take the contrast between figure scale and ground scale. Since 40k has no defined ground scale (e.g., 1" = 10 yards or whatever) and on top of that has no defined time scale (1 turn = 1 minute), you've got a free hand. (And the more you tinker with it, the more work you make for yoruself, even if it's fun work)

For me, it's deeply unsatisfying to see a table of a theoretically futuristic wargame, with weapons that should be much more effective than modern ones, where it's as crowded as the mall on Black Friday (pre-Covid, of course...) and the tanks regularly move a shorter distance than they are long. That's why I favor using smaller figures on a standard table with standard measurements; it comes a little closer to the spaced out battlefield that I imagine 40k ought to have.

The absolute worst example of this is actually BattleTech, which has absurdly short ranges for its weapons... There are plenty of rationalizations for it, but at the end it boils down to "We want to keep this game playable on a limited physical space with weapons that have limited ranges" which is fine.

I'd say from a plausibility standpoint, btw, that "tank-only" battles should happen on pretty clear tables; there shouldn't be a lot of cover for infantry with nasty anti-tank weapons to exist, or they would be deployed on the battlefield in support of or instead of armor. Kursk instead of Stalingrad...

It probably comes down to actually playtesting it on a table and seeing what gives a fun game.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been noodling over rules and come up with this:

Keep in mind this is for "skirmish" sized battles. Maybe 6-10 tanks per side.  Power rating works well here. 50-75 PR?

9th ed basic mechanics, using the current datasheets.  All the info is right there.

However more vehicle detail rules are needed-

Rather than full "You go, then I go" turns, each vehicle "unit" has an activation, just as in Warcry. So you activate a tank and complete all it's actions, then I activate a tank and complete all it's action, and so on until all units have been activated.

Movement is halved to account for scale. All vehicles get 1 free up to 90 degree turn at any point along their move. A turn over 90d costs half move. A second turn of any angle costs half move.  The half move penalty is only applied once. 

ex: a vehicle has a Move of 6".  It turns 90d and goes straight 6" End of move

ex: a vehicle has a Move of 6".  It goes straight 6" and turns 90d End of move

ex: a vehicle has a Move of 6".  It goes straight 4', turns 90d, goes straight 2" End of move

ex: A Vehicle has a move of 6". It turns 120d, half move penalty, goes straight 3".  End of move.

ex A Vehicle has a move of 6".  It turns 90d and goes straight 4" . It's gone over half it's move and may make no additional turns.

ex A Vehicle has a move of 6". It turns 90d and goes straight 3" and turns 91d.  It's out of movement.

ex A Vehicle has a move of 6". It goes straight 1", turns 120d, goes 2", Turns 90d.  It only went half move total, made one free 90d, and 1 over 90d.

ex A Vehicle has a move of 6". It goes straight 1", turns 45d, goes 2", Turns 45d.  It only went half move total, made one free 90d, and second turn of any angle..


A vehicle may fire all it's weapons. A vehicle may fire at multiple targets. Targets must be declared before rolling.

True line of sight.

Weapon range is the same.  However, range is divided in half into two bands, ie "short range", and "long range"

ex: Gun Range = 48"  | Short Range 1-24"  Long Range 24.1-48"

Blanket -1 to Hit at Long Range  This accounts for fog of war, etc and keeps things interesting

Fixed mount weapons ie sponsons, hull mounted, etc have a 180d firing arc from the side they are mounted on, drawn along the line of the hull

Turret weapons have an arc of 360d

ex a predator left sponson can fire at a target on the anywhere on the left side of the Predator, even in it's "Southwest" quadrant. It cannot fire to a target on the right side of the plane of the hull.  A small enough target in front of the vehicle would be safe from both sponsons.

************* Half baked idea alert

Continue to use T as the armor value. However facing matters.

This is where things get hinky:

I would like to reflect that while sides and rear are weaker, if you have poor enough angle of incident on the shot that the shot make glance off.  Think side-scaping in WoT.

A template to show 45d arc off the facing being targeted would be needed.  If the shooter is outside of 45d, the full T value applies. However if the shooter is inside the 45d arc, they are shooting at a broadside with no glancing. apply a -1T to the side, or -2T to the rear.

I'll be the first that this needs to be playtested.  I really like the mechanic as it rewards positioning.  

Is the T penalty to the target facing correct? Should it be +1 to the penetration roll? Are a save penalty? Try different thing and see what works.


That's what I have for now. Feel free to playtest and provide feedback.  Keep in mind my intent.  I would like to keep using the current datasheets.  I want movement detail and facing to matter, but I'm avoiding pulling things from older editions like AV as the newer vehicles won't have them. I like the degradation tables rather than having to keep track of what weapon got blown off.  Once the basics using Imperial Tanks get figured out, I'd like to bring in Xenos.

What I like about this is you can cover any time period, so if you want Heresy Era tank battles it still works.


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  • 3 weeks later...

This checks all my boxes!

Tanks? More please.

Positioning? Important and tactical.

Even with the more complicated rules it seems like a smooth, quick game.

Sounds like a killer game you've made.

Seriously, give yourself a post on the back. When I get healthy I'd love to help play/play test.


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  • 2 weeks later...

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