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CDS Microsystems
Board Game
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Richard Blaine
Chris Bourne

I had high hopes for Tank Attack after reading the press release that came with it. Nice solid box. 40 cm square board (yes, that's right, board) divided up into hexagons just like a real wargame, glossy rule-book- all right, so the 'Made in Taiwan plastic playing pieces were a bit of a let down, but you can't have everything...

Unfortunately, after loading up and sitting down to play through the game, I realised that what I had in front of me was a major disappointment. So much so that not only would I not buy it, I wouldn't even bother playing it if I hadn't been given it.

For one thing, you can't play against the computer the game can only be played by two, three or four players. You never actually input any moves or positions into the computer, because it doesn't have a map in its memory and all movement is conducted on the map, in full view of all players. This is ridiculous. The whole point of marrying a computer game with a board game is to get the best of both worlds. The computer should be used to simulate the 'fog of war.' You Should only get to see enemy units when your troops on the 'ground' actually see them. The computer should also be handling logistics, morale, weather, propaganda, intelligence operations - and handling them properly, not just acting as a glorified dice-rolling machine, as here.

In fact, in Tank Attack the computer is used throughout as nothing more than an electronic rules book and a random number generator.

The object of the game is to get one of your units into the enemy's headquarters hex, then destroy it. But the icon for 'attempt to destroy enemy HQ' is on the screen at all times: so you can just select it, press fire, and that's it, the game is over. Great. Big deal.

A bit of a disappointment for hardened war gamers, but some of you might like it.