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Battlefront WWII
Tank Riders

The rules regarding tankriders are scattered throughout the rulebook, leading to frequent rules "discussions" (read "heated arguments") in the forum. In a Forum Discussion in 2010, we came to agreement on the procedures for handling tankriders that will hopefully put these arguments to rest. Our references for the following rules are the rulebook (with the page number/section listed), one of the errata, and the forum discussion referenced above.

Here are our conclusions:

  1. Tank riders, like all transported troops, may not engage in direct fire. (p. 25, Direct Fire)
  2. Tanks with riders may not engage in direct fire (p.25, Direct Fire)
  3. Tank riders may be targeted separately by direct fire. (p. 53, Tank Riders)
  4. Unlike other transported troops, where only a the vehicle is attacked, a separate attack is resolved against both the tank and the riders when under an IDF template. (errata)
  5. Tank riders must bail out if their transport is suppressed, disordered or destroyed. They also may voluntarily bail out after vehicle is attacked. (p.53, Tank Riders and Bail Out Check). Note that passengers being transported in soft vehicles must also bail-out if their transport is disordered or suppressed (p.53, Bail Out check), but passengers transported in armored transports (1/2 tracks) have the option to remain mounted.
  6. Because tank riders may be targeted separately from their transport, tank riders must dismount (not bail out) if suppressed or disordered by such an attack. (errata)
  7. When crossing linear minefields, tank riders bailing out from a damaged vehicle (p.53 Tank Riders) must bail out behind or beside the vehicle. They may not bail out beyond the minefield. (forum discussion)
  8. Tank riders forced to bail out as a result of Close Combat (p.53, Bail Out Check) bail out immediately 1” from the defender. If in cover, they stay in place, otherwise they retreat as stipulated by Close Combat resolution one full move or to closest cover, regardless of their status after bail out. (forum discussion).
  9. Tank Riders may resolve their maneuver check before or after their transport does. If before, and results indicate suppressed or disordered, they must dismount. (errata interpretation) Units who “hold position” must stay mounted and in good order and move with their vehicles.
  10. Like all mounted troops, tank riders may opt to bail out after their tank is attacked, even in CC, regardless of results. (p.53, Bail Out Check)
  11. Tank riders, like all transported troops, may not participate in Close Combat. (Interpretation, Mount and Dismount, p. 53). Their transport vehicle (the tank) participates instead.

Note that there are several non-intuitive situations with tankriders. For example, the inability of the transporting tank to fire may seem too restrictive. However, these restictions are deliberate and are designed to punish bad tactics. The proper way to use tank riders is to dismount them just before you enter combat. For example, you can move one action with the tank, dismount the riders (dismount does not trigger op fire), and initiate close-combat with both the tank and the riders. While you can move mounted tank riders into close proximity to the enemy, doing so is extremely risky.

This page was last updated on 01/05/2020 at 07:25AM

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