Have you ever wanted to be a Tank Commander?
As a child I expect so. When you’re small anything large is a source of great fascination – planes, trains, buses, cranes and everything military. I remember visiting Bovington tank museum and it being the best holiday ever, being a Tank Commander would have been up there with being an astronaut or an ice cream salesman.
So this game, where you got to be a very real Tank commander was the business! The game was invented in 1974 by JB McCarthy for Smurfit games – no relation to the “Smurfs” -.
The game was played on a huge battlefield board that had holes in it where tanks sat on plastic plungers. Plungers you say? Why plungers? Well this was one of the most brilliant things about the game! The plungers were turned by strings which you pulled which would then cause your opponents tanks to shoot up into the air.
Each player had 4 tanks. There are land mines and shells numbered 1 through 10 which are hidden in your command bunker with higher numbered shells having more firepower.
In some ways the game reminded me of “Magic Robot” because I was always trying to figure out how that game worked (it had magnets, but the Magic Robot could always pick the right answer you asked it! Amazing!). I remember trying to take the plungers apart and working out the mechanism. I had a fantasy that I might be able to build a large one in the back garden and wreak havoc with the neighbourhood!
I never did build one. Though I did wreak havoc on the neighbourhood.