08 February 2021

Tracks, Turrets, & Tokamaks: Virtual Playtest and Filecards

I have not abandoned my goal to get Super Mission Force (2nd Edition) to the table.  In fact, I've made progress in that regard by completing one of the six figures needing paint.  I plan to post the full complement of six when I get them all done.

Life is getting very full recently so I've found it efficient to combine hobby time.  My bi-weekly AD&D (1st Edition) game was yesterday and since it was via Discord, I got five hours of miniature painting in, getting base coats on two more minis!  Shhhh...don't tell my DM.

Macro uses one of two templates
On to the topic of this post.  I've run a few virtual playtests of my future tank game, Tracks, Turrets, & Tokamaks (TTT) in order to find all the bugs.  Since the rules are solidified enough for a rough draft, I'm confident enough to put a some effort into actual play materials and do a full (virtual) playtest.  

During TV time with the Missus I was able to knock out a filecard maker on MS Excel using Visual Basic.  Now I can just fill in the information on the spreadsheet, tell the program how many sheets I want and for which force, press "Go" and watch it spit out entire platoons.

I've photographed one example each of my "table-legal" (i.e. painted) tank types in both planform and profile views, placing the pics on the card template.  Then using the "Selection Pane" feature of MS Office, I can simply cycle through the pics to assign the correct miniature to the filecard. 

The sheets are 5.5 inch by 4.25 inch, designed to be printed four to a sheet on standard piece of US Letter sized paper and cut twice.

I have no terrain built (and super-heroes are supposed to be the next game) but I just had to start this playtest.

The first game will be a 6v6 brawl with no special objectives other than smash the enemy force.  The blue force has two three tank platoons of the same medium tank type.  Opposing them is the red force, with two different medium tank designs, three per platoon.  

Virtual Playtest: Start of Turn 1
Support elements make up a big part of TTT; most of the 30 different 
available options are simple die rolls impacting the opposing force, therefore reducing the number of extra required miniatures.  

Too Fat Lardies' game Chain of Command inspired the (presumably) heavy influence of support elements in TTT.  Although I've not played CoC myself, I've watched heaps of actual play videos on the Tabletop CP YouTube channel.  I like how although CoC is an infantry game, and ultimately the game is won or lost on infantry tactics and performance, the support elements are often game changers.

So, for this first game of TTT I've drawn the support element cards (cards and dice are used in my game), indicating quite the support element advantage for the red force.  Red team has five support effects: a Full Mission Rehearsal, 2x Orbital Bombardments (!), an Artillery Strike, and Jamming Support.  Poor blue team ended up with only Heavy Jamming and Reinforcements (1-4 Light Tanks).  The red force puts one of the Orbital Bombardments On Call, while the blue force opts for On Call Heavy Jamming.  We'll see if the liberal use of support elements "over-flavors" the game.

The tank types:


  1. I do like that you started off saying you had not forgotten Super Mission Force. It was supposed to be your next game! I am assuming Virtual playtests do not count :-) To be fair, you did mention in your last post you would likely be unable to not do some TTT playtests!

  2. Well, I'd be violating my own guidelines if I let a virtual playtest take actual time from painting minis for SMF... but, I must say it's a lot easier to get a couple of turns of playtest in during work teleconferences. Ha!