Fire and Fury Games
We give history a second chance.
Sherman Playtest Rules
Here are some
playtest rules that can be tried to overcome the limits of the Sherman tank.
In 1944, the U.S. Army started using the tungsten-cored HVAP anti-tank round for its 76mm gun,
which gave it a better armor penetration capability than the standard AP projectile. However, up through
early 1945, most of these rounds were reserved for the tank destroyer units, specifically the M-18 Hellcat units.
Tankers were lucky if they had more than 3 or 4 rounds per tank, which they saved for critical targets.
Our basic 76mm weapon factors for the M4 Sherman (US-02), M10 tank destroyer (US-03), and M5 3in Anti-tank gun (US-16),
are based on the less effective AP rounds that were used through most of 1944. The M18 Hellcat (US-04)
weapon ratings are based on the HVAP round. As a playtest rule for scenarios set in 1944, you can
model the potential but limited availability of HVAP by allowing the 76mm Shermans, M10s and 3in antitank guns
one direct fire using the HVAP ratings, while the rest of their fire uses the statistics printed on the card.
In 1945, you can optionally allow all U.S. units armed with the 76mm gun
(not the 75mm) to use HVAP. Close combat values and attacks vs non-V type targets are not affected
by this option.
U.S. 76mm Penetration
Playtest rule for White Phosphorous rounds
Here is a playtest rule for use by the U.S. forces. Let me know how you like it.
It does require record-keeping.
Justification: I have been reading a lot about the Lorraine campaign, and found that the U.S. tank forces were
well aware of the technical inferiority of the Sherman and developed a variety of tactics that allowed them to
close with the Germans and out-maneuver them. One tactic was to fire white phosphorous smoke rounds when they
encountered German armor. Not only did this blind the Germans, but they found that poorly-trained German crews
sometimes abandoned their vehicles when the acrid WP smoke was drawn into the tank by the ventilation system.
To simulate this tactic, use this optional rule:
- Each 75mm Sherman may fire a White Phosphorous attack once per game in place of a normal direct, overwatch, or defensive fire.
- WP attacks are resolved normally with a -1 modifier. However, the target (only) is considered to be in a
dissipating smokescreen for one turn. Attacks and spotting attempts from and against it are made
as if it were located in a dissipating smokescreen. The effect is removed when the target moves or
at the beginning of the corresponding phase (friendly offensive fire, friendly defensive fire, friendly overwatch) in the following
game turn. This smoke affects only the target vehicle.
- When doing a maneuver check, units under WP smoke are subject to the -1 "barrage" maneuver check
The first mention that I saw of this tactic being used is in France, but WP rounds were evidently available
in Italy. Also, I have not seen references to it used by the UK forces. If anyone has
more info, please let me know. I am also open to suggestions on how to improve the rule.
This page was last updated on 01/05/2020 at 07:45AM