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Cleaning Up the Tank Destroyers Rules

Flames Of War Cleaning Up the Tank Destroyers Rules
with Phil Yates

The new Tank Destroyers special rules in Version 3 seem to have some loopholes that have allowed players to do things that weren’t intended when we wrote them. After reading hundreds of pages of discussion on the forum (it’s good to know our players are so passionate!), we have come up with a few things that we are considering as possible solutions to the problems. In line with my previous thoughts on the matter, the changes we are suggesting won’t result in a radical change in the way that tank destroyers operate. Hopefully, what they will do is close some of the loopholes that have been creating the frustration and unhappiness that has been clearly expressed on the forum.

We are looking for feedback on these ideas, so try them out and let us know how they work out for you.
Reconnaissance
While the tank destroyer arm uses a lot of the reconnaissance techniques developed by the cavalry, they use them to get into position, rather than to gather information.

Teams from platoons that use the Tank Destroyer special rules can use the Cautious Movement and Disengage rules as if they were Recce teams, and retain the 3+ save for unarmoured jeep teams if appropriate, but are not Recce teams and cannot use the other Recce team special rules. This applies to both the Security and Tank Destroyer Sections.
Cleaning Up the Tank Destroyers Rules
Placing Tank Destroyers after Disengaging
The security section are well trained at avoiding contact with superior forces as they guide the tank destroyers into position. However, when they disengage, the tank destroyers need to reposition themselves quickly to avoid being exposed.

If any teams in the Security Section are Reorganising when the Tank Destroyer Section is placed, all teams from Tank Destroyer Section are Reorganising when they are placed, unless they are within within Command  Distance of a Security Section team that is not Reorganising and is from the same platoon.

Cleaning Up the Tank Destroyers Rules
No Placing Tank Destroyers after Moving At the Double
The tank destroyers need to move cautiously to get into position undetected. If the security section races off, they need time to catch up and reposition themselves.

If a team from the Security Section moved At the Double in its previous turn, it does not count as being part of the Security Section when determining where the Tank Destroyer Section can be placed. If the whole Security Section moved At the Double, this prevents the Tank Destroyer Section from being placed this turn.

Cleaning Up the Tank Destroyers Rules
Transferring Command
The tank destroyer arm is trained to operate fluidly and independently. Their excellent communications network allows them to stay informed of the situation and respond to casualties amongst the security section by either redirecting their advance or by bringing the tank destroyers into the line.

When the Platoon Command team of the Security Section is Destroyed, immediately select another team of the Security Section that is within Command Distance of it as the new Platoon Command team.


If the Command team of the Security Section is Destroyed and cannot be replaced using the above rule, immediately place the Tank Destroyer Section (using the normal rules as if it was the start of their turn), then remove the Destroyed Command team and the rest of the Security Section. The entire Tank Destroyer Section is now treated as having Disengeged and must Reorganise in its next turn.

Cleaning Up the Tank Destroyers Rules
Placing Towed Tank Destroyers
The towed tank destroyer battalions use the immense (but powerful) M5 3in gun. This weapon is large and difficult to emplace quickly, making it unsuitable for short-range ambushes.

Immobile Gun teams placed using the Tank Destroyer Section rule may not be placed within 16”/40cm of any enemy team within Line of Sight.

This brings the towed tank destroyers in line with the Ambush mission special rules where Immobile Gun teams cannot be placed within 16”/40cm of the enemy.
Some Notes on the Tank Destroyer Rules
The last thing I’d like to cover isn’t a change at all. Rather, it’s a couple of parts of the existing rules that seem to get overlooked at times.

Tank Destroyer Section
Here’s the first part of the Tank Destroyer Sections rule on page 238 of the rulebook.

Place the Tank Destroyer Section on the table at the start of any of your turns when Ambushes are revealed so that every team in the Tank Destroyer Section is:
  • within Command Distance of a team from the Security Section, and
  • In Command when the Security Section is removed.
What the first bullet means is that every team in the Tank Destroyer Section must be placed within Command Distance of a team from the Security Section. This means that you cannot string them out with just one team near the Security Section.

The second bullet requires the whole Tank Destroyer Section to be In Command after the Security Section is removed. This means that you cannot put half of the Tank Destroyer Section at one end of the Security Section and half at the other. The Tank Destroyer Section must be placed as a single platoon entirely In Command.

Cleaning Up the Tank Destroyers Rules
Tank Destroyers and Prepared Positions
There has been some confusion over the interaction between the Prepared Positions mission special rule and tank destroyers. Since the Tank Destroyer Section moved to follow the Security Section’s perambulations (unless the tank destroyers were deployed right at the start of the game), they are not Dug In when they are placed using the Tank Destroyer Section rule.

I have opened a thread for discussion on this here: Tank Destroyers: Some suggestions from Phil...

Please keep the discussion on topic and constructive. Thanks.

~ Phil.


Last Updated On Thursday, December 06, 2012 by Blake at Battlefront