08 June 2012

Random Friday Wargaming: Tankattack

Not much more succinct than Tankattack

It's a computer-driven tank combat table-top game... yep, that's a mouthful

This game advertises itself as "the first computer based Tank game in the world". It is a board game 'controlled' by an electronic handset which serves as a randomizer for combat actions. According to the instructions, the computer "has counters, gates, oscillator clock, programming, read out and execute functions. The 'brain' is made of three miniature TTL logic chips containing over 300 transistors, diodes, and many other components giving a vast computing capacity with a wide range of probabilities for conflict purposes."

In essence, this is a straightforward hex-map based battle game for up to four players playing individually or as teams. It contains plastic miniatures and a rectangular game board with pre-marked battlefield features. There are no battle cards or other modifiers apart from the handset. The game depends entirely upon the handset to determine the amount of movement and the result of any attack. The handset therefore replaces dice, but serves much the same function. However, players have the freedom to select position, and direction of movement, and the miniatures are marked with values that determine their firing power, and this has a bearing on the result of combat actions (see below).

Each team deploys a regiment of 8 of tanks (slow moving, high fire power) and 4 armoured cars (fast moving, low fire power) in a pre-mapped fictive country on the game board (Kazaldis, Armania, Sarapan and Calderon) separated by marked national borders (which are red) and terrain features such as a river (with bridges), forests, mountains, and buildings. Each country also has a major city marked by a blue border. Inside the blue border several buildings are marked, into which tanks cannot move, meaning they must navigate the city to get to the enemy HQ or get out of their service/repair area and back into combat.

The objective is simple: to win by occupying the opponent or opponents' headquarters by moving a tank (or armoured car) into the HQ space (pre-marked on the board), or by destroying all enemy tanks.

Though the mechanic is therefore a fairly standard hex and counter skirmish, the computer in the handset ultimately drives the game.

Master links/images from Boardgamegeek.com; message boards linked to Consimworld. Other links to the actual game pages...

By: Brant

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