Daily D&D Ramble: Tanks for the Memories

(If something hasn’t used that punchline before, the world has failed me.) This article is starting to be written at 2am, so take that as you will. I spent my last night in Colorado introducing my family to one of my favorite anime, Girls Und Panzer. It is, as you may have gathered, about tank fighting. And, since the only other thing I did today worth trying to shove into an article is hanging some doors, lets talk about some tanks!My first thought on the concept of tanks in D&D is the possibility of encountering one in D&D, for the players to climb in and use. Its not a new concept. Acquisitions Incorporated has used it at least twice as far as I can recall. Heck, the DMG even has the, uh, Aparatus of Arkmenshensrierwhatsit, a tank like thingamajobber that the players can climb anin and, uh, tank with or something.

I’d probably tie it into a campaign of some kind. I can see it in 2 simple ways: first, an enemy race finds a supply drop or something. Orcs in tanks. Orks, I suppose. Or maybe they’re gnomishly made or a golem or something, running on magic instead of fuel. Of course, the question becomes “Why don’t they fly?” And the answer is I don’t allow flying ships in TSI.

I mean, uh,

Second. Yeah, second. This makes me smile a bit. Basically, Nazis invade Fearun. Fayrun. Faerun? However you spell it. Odd humans that don’t speak common, wear some sharp uniforms, and can blitzkrieg down the sword coast. I don’t know where that story leads. Gate: And so the Defense Force Stood is another favorite anime of mine that is basically that story. It sounds like an interesting twist to pull on a long running campaign, one where all the players have a solid idea of who they are. And I still don’t know what I’d do with it. Faction intrigue, probably. I’d have to stat out tanks and see how much trouble the party would be in.

Or how much trouble a party could cause, maybe. D&D can surprise you, some times.

Zooming out a bit, the idea of having tank warfare is interesting, but runs into a bunch of snags. A tank has 3-6 people controlling it, but very few are actually doing anything of note. Driver and gunner are the active roles and comms, reload, and a tank commander don’t add much to the fight. Nothing interesting, anyway. They’re job is fairly repetitive or would be something I’d ignore in D&D.

This runs into an issue I had in TSI, in naval battles. It’s too easy for the party to split into those with long range capabilities and those who can’t interact for the combat. My ships in TSI part 2 will have to have a gunnery position or at least some options

So what if each player controlled a tank, individually? They would have crew, but they would be more like items on the stat sheet. And you can cherry pick armour and engines and guns, as well as crew training and-

This does seem to be getting a little out of D&D’s scope, doesn’t it?

In everything I’ve seen, I don’t know how well tanks and infantry interact. Well, I guess I’ve seen how many troops it takes to kill a tank in Command and Conquer. But I have trouble visualizing that. If I was going to merge tanks and D&D, I’d have to do research, on how effective tanks are and know what their stats should be. And how we should use them.

Anyway, I think that’s all my thoughts on that front. Tommorrow’s article should be out much earlier, as I hit the road tomorrow night and should have it done before I head out. But we’ll get there when we get there.


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