Tanktics: Computer Game of Armored Combat on the Eastern Front

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Tanktics: Computer Game of Armored Combat on the Eastern Front was Chris Crawford's first computer game.


Crawford created the game, first called Wargy I, in FORTRAN for the IBM 1130 from May to September 1976,[1] then on a KIM-1, then on the Commodore PET in December 1978. Crawford sold the PET version himself;[2] being programmed in BASIC, it was easy to port from one system to the other. Avalon Hill published a 1981 release for the TRS-80 and Apple II as well as the Atari series.

The game simulated a two-player tank battle on a large hex grid. Tanktics had no graphics; the player moved tokens on a map using coordinates the computer, acting as referee, provided. Crawford used maps and tokens from Avalon Hill's Panzer Leader when developing the game. To compensate for the computer's weak artificial intelligence, he gave it twice as many tanks as the player.[1] There were several terrain types -- forests, lakes, plains, rough and depressed ground—and also roads which allowed much faster movement in their direction. There were also many different types of tanks—different ones for the German and Russian side each—as well as stationary anti-tank guns. At the end of the game, a point system determines whether the player has won or lost the game.

Crawford later reported that Wargy I defeated several experienced war gamers at a December 1976 convention.[1] Because of the technical limitations of the game and microcomputer hardware, Tanktics was not a success. Computer Gaming World praised the game as simply fun. Complaints included the lack of a two-player mode, and the requirement for all tanks on one side to be wiped out before the game ends.[3]


A 1991 Computer Gaming World survey of strategy and war games gave Tanktics two and a half stars out of five.[4]


  1. ^ a b c Crawford, Chris (July 1991). "Chris Crawford's First Computer Game". Computer Gaming World. p. 78. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  2. ^ Boosman, Frank (December 1986). "Designer Profile / Chris Crawford (part 1)". Computer Gaming World (interview). p. 46. 
  3. ^ Proctor, Bob (January–February 1982), "Tanktics: Review and Analysis", Computer Gaming World, pp. 17–20 
  4. ^ Brooks, M. Evan (December 1991). "Computer Strategy and Wargames: The 1900-1950 Epoch / Part II (M-Z) of an Annotated Paiktography". Computer Gaming World. p. 126. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 

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