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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Tankattack
1988 CDS Software Ltd.
Programmed by Ake Andersson & Henrik Anderson
 
ost text of the present article comes from the review published in the fifty second issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 20th, 1989).
 

TANK ATTACK
CDS, C64, 9.99 cassette, 14.99 disk


Tank Attack is a combination of board and computer games, recreating mechanized combat between four neighbouring countries (the total land being a cross-section of most climates, bar Arctic). The countries are Armania, Sarapan, Kazaldis and Calderon and all have, for sake of equality, a similar land mass and force strength. This common link between each country gives each player an equal chance but leaves little scope for different terrain or the trying out of new tactics.

Most noticeable when you open the box is the neatly folded up board (40cm x 40cm) followed by the 48 plastic pieces making up the 32 tanks and 16 armoured cars. This is primarily a board game, but like Football Fortunes (also by CDS) it uses the computer as a moderator to handle non player factors.

The progam is the pinnacle of user-friendliness, joystick driven with easy to understand icons used to specify movement rates and distance of fire. Along the bottom of the display are the two main activity icons (Move Unit, Fire On Enemy Unit) and a third icon (Fire On Enemy HQ) which effectively ends the game if only two players are participating. The computer decides the movement rate for units and the result of combat given the distance between the two conflict participants.

The War News newspaper gives a summary of the events so far and weather predictions for the next turn -- of course bad weather and terrain affect force movement. Political news is also detailed but plays no integral part in the game.

Tank Attack caters for up to four simultaneous players, each controlling a selected country -- alliances can be formed between pairs of countries. In the case of a three-country battle, two players ally against the third country, which has two tank divisions to make for balanced play. Alliances prove stronger for both countries as rebuilding facilities can be shared and forces used for joint purposes.

Tanks provide heavy armour but are slow-moving. Armoured cars have less armour and weaker firepower, but are considerably faster. Damaged units can be taken to the repair depot but are effectively out of the game for a limited time. Destroyed units can be rebuilt (a long task) or removed from play entirely depending on the player's choice.

The objective for all forces is to destroy the enemy HQ, although the more advanced rules require occupation of the HQ for a day. Alliances formed at the beginning dictate the objectives. If a tank manages to penetrate the enemy's defences, the Fire On Enemy HQ icon can be selected to end the game (in two-player mode) or halve the enemy's strength with one swift blow. Very few factors are taken into consideration other than terrain and weather conditions -- line of sight and range-against-effectiveness rules do apply and multiple fire is impossible.

On the board each player places their fortes facing the enemy which is not only the logical move but shields the strength of the force from the opponent (each playing piece having a strength rating between 1 and 3 stamped on the back). This secrecy keeps both players guessing. Only when the two forces meet are the strengths revealed, and it's at this point that the computer referee comes into action.

 

Despite its different tone, Tank Attack is similar to Football Fortunes in many ways, most of all in that it achieves a good balance between use of computer and board play. More reliance is placed on the board game than the computer side of things, with originality shining forth as a result.

It doesn't aim to be a complex game but does achieve a good halfway house between the board/computer wargame areas, bridging the often very wide gap in style and serving especially well as an introductory strategy game.

Incidentally, CDS are already working on the sequel, Marine Attack, which involves naval combat with submarines, cruisers and battleships. A Battleships for the '90s perhaps?

   


Presentation 90%

Very cleanly presented, easy to use computer game layout with 48 realistic plastic pieces. The board is adequate if rather small for four-player games.

Challenge 70%
Obviously with three or four-player games the challenge increases but it's best suited to novices to both computer wargames and board games in general.

Authenticity 60%
Most of the basic rules governing tank combat are present although they are simply executed. Unfortunately the advanced rules don't offer much more.

Overall 80%
A well thought out if rather simple wargame which is refreshingly different from the standard.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (11 Feb 2010)
Only the first two of above screenshots existed in the original review.

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