Ballerburg

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Ballerburg.png

Ballerburg is a turnbased Artillery game from 1987, written in C by Eckhard Kruse for the Atari ST. Being a public domain program, it was distributed free of charge.

Ballerburg was designed for two players, both of which can be human or computer-controlled. In the game, two enemy kingdoms, separated by a mountain, try to destroy the castle of the enemy by exchanging cannonballs. Two conditions can lead to victory: either you pulverize the opponent's king by directly hitting him with a cannonball, or you ruin the enemy kingdom's economy until the king capitulates automatically. There is a choice of various castles, each of them outfitted with multiple cannons, one destroyable storage room for each, gunpowder, cannonballs and money, and a vane. One cannon can be fired per turn, which is done by adjusting the firing angle and amount of powder. An additional challenge is generated by the wind, which changes its strength each turn. The game also simulates a simple economy system: Prices to replenish the stock of balls and powder and replace destroyed cannons and vanes alter each turn. You have the possibility to build (destroyable) derricks for more income and can raise or lower taxes, which will be reflected in the morale of your people. Unhappy people would abandon you and instead join your opponent. The monochromatic graphics and sound were up to standard for that time.

Although (or because) the principle of Ballerburg was rather simple, the unusual mix of genres was addictive and enjoyed great popularity in that time and still has fans nowadays.

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