Tank Wars

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Tank Wars
Developer(s) Kenneth Morse
Platform(s) DOS
Release 1990, 1991, 1992
Genre(s) Artillery game, Strategy game
Mode(s) Single player, Multiplayer

Tank Wars (also known as BOMB because of the file name) is an artillery game developed in 1990 by Kenneth Morse.[1]

There is another artillery game named Tank Wars, written in 1986 by Cody Snider for DOS and the Apple II.[2] Apart from the basic concept, these two games are not related.


The game allows for up to ten players in any combination of human and computer players. The number of games played in a set is chosen before the game (default is 20 games). New terrain is randomly drawn at the start of each individual game, and the tanks fall one by one into their start positions in random order, evenly spaced horizontally on the screen. The tanks then take turns firing at opponent tanks, order going left to right, until only one tank remains.

The amount of "wind" (which affects the ballistics of each shot fired), as well as a toggle for turning wind on or off, are provided in the setup options for each game. However, the wind often changes in both magnitude and direction during a match. Other options are available including rebounding walls, background effects, and whether the tanks can fall when terrain is blown out from under them. Tanks may sustain damage from both weapon fire and from falling (if falling is switched on).

When tanks are damaged, the number of "men" inside (indicated in the top right of the information bar in the game) decreases proportionally. This number is linked to the maximum available power for each shot fired; having a minimal number of crew left alive often leads to the player being unable to fire their cannon with sufficient power to reach enemies, particularly against a headwind.

Points are awarded during the games for kills and wins. Points can then be used by each player to purchase new weapons and miscellaneous items in between games. These weapons range from the Nukes that give the shot a larger blast radius, to energy shields, to Chain Reaction Inducers which destroy terrain and cause tanks to fall, to defensive items such as Dirt Bombs that can be used to build up terrain and increase defences.

Computer Players[edit]

There are several AI personalities that have distinct shot calculating techniques and therefore appear to have their own personality.

Player Technique
Mr. Stupid Randomly fires
Lobber Uses trial and error to zero in on opponents
Rifleman Uses direct line of sight shots
Lob & Shoot Acts as Rifleman if walls are rebounding; otherwise, acts as Lobber
Windless Wit Uses physics to calculate perfect parabolic shots but does not compensate for wind
Twanger Fires using the ceiling for bank shots. If the walls are non-rebounding he is the same as Rifleman
Wind Master Same as Windless Wit, but compensates for Wind flawlessly


Tank Wars is 320x200 256 colors only. It prefers 286 and 386 computers, but is playable on 486s and slow Pentiums as well. Versions 2.0 and 2.5 seem to be optimized for the 286 PS/2 computers that were handed out to schools in 1988-1991. Versions 3.0 and 3.2 are optimized for slower 386 machines. Tank Wars runs under Windows XP, but the game runs almost unplayably fast and there are graphical glitches that prevent one from seeing the angle/power settings. You can manually edit settings.cfg and tweak the keyboard settings.

The DOSBox emulator is used on newer computers to allow the game to slow down enough to be playable.


  1. ^ Kenneth Morse's Tank Wars on MobyGames
  2. ^ Cody Snider's Tank Wars on MobyGames

External links[edit]