Tanktics: Computer Game of Armored Combat on the Eastern Front

Tanktics was developed by Chris Crawford in 1977 on a custom computer, and initially published for the Commodore PET the next year. The game was programmed in BASIC, and Avalon Hill later acquired and published the game for TRS-80, Apple II and Atari computers.

The game was a hybrid typical of early tactical wargames, with the computer used to both calculate combat as well as provide an artificial intelligence opponent for a human player. There was no two-player mode. The output to the computer screen was completely textual. The game box, which was a slightly smaller version of the classic Avalon Hill "bookcase" box used for their board game line, included a two-piece hard-mounted map, a 12 page rules booklet, a counter sheet with 260 counters (though because 11 of them were blank, the box top copy described this as "Over 240 1/2" counters"), and a cassette tape or a 5-1/4" floppy disk. The rules booklet was sparse, with only six pages actually devoted to non-technical issues related to actually playing the game.

The unit counters were sparsely illustrated with only an overhead silhouette, ID letter, and movement allowance on each. Infantry was not included in the game, and only turreted tanks and anti-tank guns were included. The counter mix was:

Type Designation in game ID #
PzKpfw III ausf J Panzer IIIj A-H, two blank 10
PzKpfw IV ausf H PanzerIVh A-H, two blank 10
PzKpfw V "Panther" PzKwV A-H, two blank 10
PzKpfw VI ausf E "Tiger" PzkwVIe A-H, two blank 10
PzKpfw VI ausf B "Königstiger" PzKwVIb A-H, two blank 10
PaK 38 5.0 cm 50mm ATG A-H, two blank 10
PaK 40 7.5 cm 75mm ATG A-H, two blank 10
PaK 43 8.8 cm 88mm ATG A-H, two blank 10
German wreck counters Wreck - 9
German objective Objective Hex -


T-34 Model 1942 T34/76c A-P, four blank 20
T-34/85 T34/85 A-P, four blank 20
KV-I KV-I A-P, four blank 20
KV-85 KV/85 A-P, four blank 20
Iosef Stalin I JS-I A-P, four blank 20
Iosef Stalin II JS-II A-P, four blank 20
P. obr 36 76mm ATG A-P, four blank 20
Russian wreck counters Wreck   18
Russian objective Objective Hex -


Blank counters 11

Game play was simple; armor was rated as thin, moderate, good, thick, or very thick, and guns as weak, moderate, good, or very strong. Terrain types included clear, rough, depression, woods and lake with roads speeding movement - there was no urban terrain. The player interfaced with the computer by typing command codes into the program and physically moving counters on the mapboard. Victory in a scenario was determined by point ratios, though scenarios were also not decided until one side had lost all its vehicles. Five scenarios were included with the game; there was no method of creating additional scenarios, and the AI was preprogrammed only for those five.


Proctor, Bob (Jan-February 1982), "Tanktics: Review and Analysis", Computer Gaming World: 17-20


Tanktics: Computer Game of Armored Combat on the Eastern Front

Designer: Chris Crawford (Design and Programming)
Bob Smith (TRS Version)
Tod Frye (Apple Version)
Gary Sipes (Recap and Compilation)
Charles Kibler (Physical components)
Developer: Avalon Hill
Platform: Commodore, TRS-80, Apple, Atari
Date of Release: 1978 (Commodore), 1981
Scale: Individual vehicles
Genre: Hybrid 2-D strategy and boardgame
Players: 1 only
Campaign Type: None

Countersheet - the reverse of the sheet is blank

© tacticalwargamer.com 2008-present    email: The Tactical Wargamer