The Pesident’s New Tank – An After Dinner Game
This game gets an airing every few years, and in keeping with anything to do with the arms industry, should be accompanied by fine wines and dining, outrageous flattery of the President and dodgy accounting. The umpire should be the purchaser if player numbers are limited but 2-6 players can be easily accommodated.
This outing of the game hit all the buttons, with Chris Agar’s suspect sums and Phil Steele’s Port and 30-year-old half bottle of Sauterne being deployed to great effect. I provided the chocolate buttons and Stilton.
Tanks can be drawn, built from cardboard, or simply described. It is up to the umpire to keep the game rolling along and the humour good. Players who sulk should be offered Port and/or chocolate buttons until their mood improves. My thanks go to Phil and Chris for both playing the game in the spirit it is intended!
All you need is a pencil, paper and the following rules :
The President(s) decide how much they want to spend each year on Tanks (100 £, $,or Chocolate Buttons being a good start). The Arms Dealer(s) design a tank to the following costings :
Base cost of hull and armour (H) : 1 = Light, 2 = Medium, 3 = Heavy.
Then add Speed (S) to the base cost: 1 = Slow, 2 = Medium, 3 = Fast.
Then add a Gun (G) to the base cost:x1 = Light, 2 = Medium, 3 = Heavy.
Then add Gun range(R) to the base cost: 1 = Short, 2 = Medium, 3 = Long.
A [(H1+S1)xG1]+R1 tank would cost 3 points and 33 could be bought for 100 Buttons (B).
A [(H3+S1)xG3]+R3 tank would cost 15 points and 6 could be bought for 100B
Note these exceptions :
The gun can only be 1 step heavier than the hull.
Light guns cannot be long range.
Heavy hulls can only be slow.
Note these advantages :
Each step that the gun outranges the enemy gives one free unopposed shot.
Each speed band that the tank is above the enemy negates one free unopposed shot.
The Dealer(s) then tender to the President(s) in a trial mock wargame. Use a simplified table 12 so that :
Light kills Light on 4-6, Medium on 5-6 and heavy on 6.
Medium kill Light on 3-6, Medium on 4-6 and Heavy on 5-6.
Heavy kills Light on 2-6, Medium on 3-6 and Heavy on 4-6.
The President(s) decide(s) how many tanks they can afford and fight with that many dice. Using real chocolate buttons gives the game an incentive :O)
In the Example above 33 dice would be rolled looking for 6s to kill, against 6 dice looking for 2-6, with 2 free rolls of 6 dice each, before any survivors closed to fight back. Clearly this favours heavy tanks
Our game used a slightly different scoring mechanism, which deliberately favoured light cheap slow tanks by multiplying the base hull score each time instead of adding each module. So the Light tank would cost 1x1x1x1 = 1 and the slow heavy tank would cost 3x1x3x3 = 9
In round one, the Panto Production Corporation (Phil) produced the BONOBO tank (H1S2G3R2) = 12B, immediately cheating on the gun and stating that although heavy, it only fired straight ahead with a stabilising trail.
The WhizzBang Co (Chris) Produced the MONGOOSE (H1S3G1R2) = 6B but claimed it only cost 3 Buttons.
Phil did not spot this so lost the first wargame, and Bombastia bought 32 MONGOOSE tanks in a heavily subsidised deal. It helped that the King was allowed to dip into the chocolate buttons
Round 2 saw the PEOPLE’s TANK (H2S2G2R2) = 16B narrowly defeating the BONOBO MkII in wargames against the MONGOOSE in the Paprikan People’s Republic, although the MONGOOSE defeated both rivals. The Committee also liked the name of the PEOPLE’s Tank and the impressive height that the cupola towered above the ground. The PPR bought 6 tanks.
In the final round Bombastia bought 100 SPIDER tanks (H1S1G1R) = 1B from Panto as the WhizzBang Co had gone with a revolutionary concept of concrete and steel fortifications that had (obviously) no speed at all. (H3S0(1)G3R3) = 9B