A computerised umpire who deals the deathly blows with sound and graphics.
The heavy trundle of big league armour shook me to my boots: fear gnawed ceaselessly at my soul as the division drew closer still. I could see the eyes of the leading driver, see the smug look of satisfaction on the commander's face as he raised his arm and the force spread out. Where were our tanks? They had left the depot completely unguarded. I shouted to the radio operator to try them again - one last, desperate try.
Behind a hill 500 yards away the Armanian tank commander watched the Sarapan tanks spread out in front of the depot.
Regret was plainly visible on his face as he watched the enemy open fire and the depot HQ disappeared in a shattering series of explosions. Fire, debris and smoke mingled as the tanks rolled forward and the people in the depot started to die.
He ran back to his own force - a smaller force - vaulted up to the scarred turret and signalled for the last desperate act of the war to begin. With the Sarapan forces enjoying the destruction of the helpless depot, he hoped to catch them unaware and make them pay for the lives they were taking so casually.
Anyone who has an appreciation of board games, wargaming, computer strategy games or great warfare films like the Battle of the Bulge should enjoy this lightweight combined computertboard wargame from CDS.
CDS also produced a previous uneasy marriage of formats in Brian Clough's Football Fortunes.. Having seen the cheap production standards in that package, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this time you get a heavy laminated folding card board, 48 plastic playing pieces and a comprehensive rule book.
Tank Attack is a board game with computer moderation of conflict situations, for two to four players. It is a pity there is not a one-player version.
Taking the role of General of a tank corps, consisting of eight tanks and four armoured cars, the objective is to capture the enemy headquarters or destroy all their forces. Everyone in the game need not be your enemy; alliances are possible and with the sharing of rebuilding and repair depots is possible.
Initially, all pieces need to be deployed on the board in such a position that the other commanders cannot see the markings on their backs, as that is where their firepower strength is indicated.
Then it is movement time, with the computer issuing the number of movement points which depend on weather, morale and a random factor for laughs.
Spotted an enemy unit? Good, then blast away. Each unit may tire only once and an enemy unit may not be subjected to fire from more than one unit. This seemed a little artificial and it is.
Check the advanced rules section for elaboration on the basics and multiple firing.
There is some measure of data entry into the computer at that point but it does not take very long once you are familiar with the process and then you can watch the animated computer display of the conflict.
At the start of each day the newspaper, War News, is distributed free to all generals. It gives battle activities, strengths of the combatants, political news which affects morale and the weather forecast. Pay close attention to all this as it gives some clue to the day's movement point allowance and other battlefield information. As with all newspapers, though, there can he propaganda and bias. So take some things with a pinch of salt.
Tank Attack certainly works much better than the previous CDS offering and is an interesting marriage of two dissimilar formats. The computer presentation is firstclass, with colourful graphics and animated sequences and combines well with the generally high-quality board game elements.
The game is not particularly difficult to play, yet offers all afficianados of the Battle Of The Bulge a chance to take control of a tank corps, without all that noise.