In a rare and unexpected turn of events, I was handed the Starter Box for
World of Tanks Miniatures Game. Yes, it’s a thing that now exists, and I’m covering it in seven photos*.
In the World of Tanks Miniatures Game, the game is split into phases: movement, shooting, and the like. Tanks move one after the other, starting from the one with the lowest initiative and then going up. Shooting happens the other way around. This means that a high initiative tank will be able to react to the movement of the slower tank, and capitalize on his ability to dictate positioning by shooting first. Very X-Wing, that.
Initiative and other stats are shown on the tank profile card. This is also where you see your capacity for crew upgrades, apply the purchased upgrades (which are kept flipped over until they’re used in the game), place your critical damage cards, and so on. As it’s the World of Tanks Miniatures Game, you can freely mix tanks of any nation in your platoon.
When a tonk fires, you roll your pool of dice, which is usually 4 for medium tanks. You roll and hope to see hits (the penetration symbol) and crits (the WoT symbol). All mediums have the class ability to reroll a single blank shooting dice. Defense pool is actually built – one for armor, one for each time the target and the shooter moved, etc. – but can never go above six. It can be made smaller by flanking and shooting point blank. Rolling hit symbols allows the enemy to choose which hits are cancelled, while crits leave the choice to you.
Much like in the X-shaped game of wings, unsaved criticals force you to draw from the crit card stack. These cards can do both damage and effects. You can also see the ADVANTAGE token in this shot. You roll for advantage at the start of the turn (3 dice, look for crits, very Warhammer Underworlds), and the side with advantage wins initiative ties.
Look, I can’t hide this any longer: World of Tanks Miniatures Game is almost literally a reskin of Tanks!, the Flames of War tie-in Gale Force 9 used to do. Some things were changed – you no longer have nation stats, movement is now a bespoke stat, the dice are proprietary instead of being simple D6s and such – but it’s very much the same game.
However, where World of Tanks Miniatures Game wins out is the production values. For starters, the tonks are already assembled and “painted” (base-coated). This is a great boon for any random dildo who bought the game out of love for World of Tank, or just any parent looking for a gift. Not having to assemble shit is a blessing. Also, all of the cards are much better designed, and much better cut. No more annoying pointy rectangles that look like absolute trash!
In the end, World of Tanks Miniatures Game will attract the interest of your cat just like any other tabletop game. But it’s miles above Tanks! in production value. It’s a lot easier sell for people who aren’t miniature wargaming freaks, and is generally much nicer to behold. Sure, it’s rife with nonsense you came to expect from WoT – Cromwell is, for some fucking reason, HP 5 when others in the starter are HP 4, and the the first wave of expansions features a Valentine that’s classed as a light tank simply to flout laws of God – but I’ve played worse. Tanks!, for example!
*I considered, for a moment, using pictures of the computer screen displaying the game photos (a pastime of Wargame: Red Dragon players, who seem to be allergic to the F12 button) to head off any snide “uh, these aren’t 7 screenshots” but then decided against putting in any more effort.