Played a Gear Krieg scenario today, trying out a modified version of the rules.
The game pitted 3 T34-76s against 2 Valkuries and and Uller. In retrospect, given that I had made all the German crews veteran, versus the greenhorn Russian crews, play-balance was terribly off: the effect of rolling 3 dice versus 2 was quite dramatic in game terms.
The Russians started with an unopposed crossing of the two bridges that separated their deployment area from the main battlefield. The Germans spent the first few turns working their way around the flank, sticking close to cover, and edging for a position in the church.
The Russians eventually established a position on a hill dominating the battlefield, but a lucky hit from the Germans jammed the turret in place - no big disadvantage for the Russians, who used the tank to cover a narrow angle and try and outshoot the Germans.
The T34 hid behind the hill, ducking back when hit, and popping back out to shoot at the Germans.
The shootout on that flank was ineffectual, until the German player manuevered the heavier guns of the Uller into action.
Meanwhile, a desparate ramming attack from a crippled T34 was averted when the reaction fire from the Germans first killed the driver, causing the damaged tank to lurch forward blindly, missing the German walker which neatly sidestepped it. Reaction fire from the walkers was partcularly deadly, as one of the walkers was in point blank range, and was hitting the top armour of the T34.
The Russians gained some ground back when concentrated fire from the T34s finally managed to blow up a Valkurie.
The pendulum swung back the other way when the Uller finally scored with its 75mm recoiless rifle, on a lucky die roll (6 versus a 1, a margin of success of 5, which was enough to penetrate even the front armour of a T34)
The aftermath of the battle saw the walkers striding triumphantly over the burning hulks of the T34s.
Lessons learned (as far as the modified ruleset I was using) were that crew quality is very important, and potentially unbalancing: if I were to umpire this game again, the fact that the Germans were all rolling 3 dice for gunnery and manuever (versus 2 for the Russians) would have to be compensated by 2 to 3 more Russian tanks, and possibly some infantry. On many occasions, the fact that the Germans could roll 3 dice on defence versus 2 from the Russians meant that they couldn't be hit: when they were, the results were dramatic, with the big gun on the T34 almost guaranteeing an explosive result. The 50% improvement (3 versus 3 dice) however was enough to keep them safe most of the time.
All in all, I'm quite pleased that the walkers got to see the battlefield again, instead of lying in a box somewhere, and that the game went pretty smoothly. The flamethrower walker wasn't featured in this scenario, but we took some pictures anyway for fun.