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World War 2 Hero: Tanks and Artillery


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Anyone have an idea for a basic system for designing tanks for Hero system, specifically World War 2 tanks and vehicles?

Stuff like Horse Power = STRength

Tonnage = BODY

Cannon = Damage and penetration (advantages: armor piercing, piercing etc.)

Armor Thickness = DEFense


You catch the drift...I'm looking to translate real world stats into Hero equivalents thus making possible to use any vehicle in a game.


Otherwise I could use a stat block for a Sherman or a Panzer IV so I could scour my war game -library and convert armor statistics and stuff into DEF values and gun penetration and damage.


I'm creating a system for squad based miniatures games based off of the Hero System and the lack of era vehicles is readily apparent.


While I'm at it, some sort of equivalency for Artillery shell values would be fun also, despite it rarely being used in a squad -based game (never actually) besides a pre-game barrage (which could still be rolled for). Something like Shell caliber = Explosives damage or stuff like that. I remember these being in Dark Champions to some degree.

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A good idea! But remember that the trade off is armor thickness—weight — horsepower. The Japanese Type 95 Ha-Go, is a sprightly little scout tank, but it’s high top speed is because that engine is not over burdened be its thin armor. The King Tiger at the opposite end, has a 12 cylinder Maybach engine, but it’s superb armor limits it’s speed and hill climb ability. But it can push over a building, whereas theType 95 can’t. I think the base attribute would be the base weight of the vehicle, with the horsepower calculated to get ground speed in the right ball park. Armor thickness is back calculated from what it can always bounce. Can it shrug off .50 caps but not 20mm? That can give you a pretty good indicator of its defenses. 

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I looked at some stats for the Sherman and the Tiger tanks. The Tiger weighs almost double the amount that the Sherman does. That gives me some info for the Body stat. Let's look at Golden Age Champions equipment tables...A Sherman has Body 19 in the stats. So let's say the Tiger has some multiple of that. Say 29 or 30. You have to hammer the Tiger a lot more with fire (or Hulk punches) to make it fall apart.


Shermans DEF is 13/9 (denoting the flank I guess). Let's say the tiger has at least 30 percent more armor.  So the Tiger has DEF 17/11. Now we have both the Body and DEF scores for the Tiger tank.


The Shermans STR score is 52. Let's look at it's horsepower. Wiki says Sherman horsepower is 350-450.

Wiki says the Tiger had 690 horsepower. That's almost double the amount that the Sherman has. Let's give it a generous STR score...93. Mitigated by its 20 tonne weight excess it becomes...55. EXACTLY the same as in the book.


Too tired to do the speed now but yeah...along some of these lines is what I had in mind for the stats.



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I'll probably try to come up with my own gun/armor stats because of the research I've already done into the area of WW2 fighting vehicles. Of course they will be simplified and streamlined to work with the system, but the values will most likely differ from the ones in the official supplements.


For instance, I'm going to use "real" rates of fire for machine guns and sub-machine guns for my WW2 games. That means a MG42 squad gets gets four attacks a turn, rolling two damage dice per hit scored. Just the way I like it.


I couldn't find the World War 2 Hero -thread I started a couple years back anymore, but it had the gist of my philosophy concerning firearms in Hero. The damages are just fine enough, just the fire output needed to be tweaked in my mind. You could increase the point values of machine guns because of their higher effectiveness, but in a heroic game everybody will have the weapons they want anyway.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

some of the ways I do things on my coversions

1. size is based on hull length

2. speed for most vehicles I go with a 3 for tracked and heavy wheeled

3. ground speed in inches is figured using the chart in The Ultimate Vehicle, but It spreadsheeted

4. most vehicle equipment is fairly basic, but notes are made for special variants etc

5. I do what research I can on each vehicle, a lot comes from wikipedia

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On 12/26/2018 at 4:07 PM, shadowcat1313 said:

I really do want to take more looks at vehicle construction etc... this has been my pet project along with Traveller Hero for many years, what else can I do to help?



I'll check your stuff out. Rpgs for me are on the backburner now since my HDD broke down and I can't write anymore OR play on roll20.


I was going to use this stuff with miniatures using my simplified combat for mass engagements. That's where the MG42 with four attacks thing came from (ROF 20/4=5) where every five ROF would give you one attack on the miniatures scale, which is using longer timeframes anyway. Some simplified math plus gaming logic applied combined with a day of writing and thinking about stuff that comes up with those results.


Often I forget what I've been working on after I've written it down, which leads to many rewrites and refining stuff over and over again.

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  • 6 months later...
On 12/26/2018 at 4:07 PM, shadowcat1313 said:

I really do want to take more looks at vehicle construction etc... this has been my pet project along with Traveller Hero for many years, what else can I do to help?



I'm back to designing my game after a hiatus (and miraculous computer recovery).

How would you handle anti-tank grenades in your version of WW2 combat? I noticed you pumped up the armor on vehicles but gave them much less body than the base rules would give. Do you consider vehicle combat a case of penetration results in kill?

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27 minutes ago, shadowcat1313 said:

as far as AT grenades, are we talking hand thrown/attached? or launched like PIAT/Panzerfaust/Panzescheck?



I gotta cover everything in my rules, so both.

29 minutes ago, shadowcat1313 said:

I need  to sit down and take another look at body stats for vehicles... or at least come up with a better system for crits etc...  a penetrating hit wont always be a kill, but its very likely going to hurt


A penetrating hit in my rules gives the crew stun damage, which needs to be either recovered or rallied by a leader (aid STUN power, a miraculous feature of leader characters). Take the penetrating portion of damage and give it the traditional 1d6 -1 to 1d6 multiplier roll. The result is crew shock or STUN damage, which counts against the crews inherent STUN treshold. When the treshold is full, the crew is considered pinned and shocked out of combat for a while. Every crew and team in my game has RECovery which is used to recover STUN damage by using an action to rest and gather their helmets and hats.

That's why higher BODY makes sense in simulation/realism sense, because the whole vehicle doesn't blow up after penetration every time (except Shermans haha) and gives a nice mechanic to keep armor on it's toes.




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