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Tank Chess by Forsage Games  Forsage games sent me their excellent Age of Dogfights:WWI game of aerial warf...

Tank Chess by Forsage Games Tank Chess by Forsage Games

Tank Chess by Forsage Games

Tank Chess by Forsage Games

Tank Chess


Forsage Games

 Forsage games sent me their excellent Age of Dogfights:WWI game of aerial warfare in World War I. They asked if I would want to review their other game 'Tank Chess'. I was a little reluctant to agree. I really like most games about World War I plane combat, but I was not so sure of a wargame that had Chess in its name. I was thinking that it would be a weird creation of half chess and half tank warfare, or tanks that would have to move like Chess pieces on a board. I am a die hard wargamer who loves thick rulebooks, and lots of counters or blocks on a map. So, in the end I agreed, not really knowing what I would be getting myself into. I had it in the back of my mind that I was just going to ship it back, and say that it was really not my cup of tea. It even took me a bit to decide to open the 'game' and see what I had to deal with. Follow along, and let us see what we actually have inside the box. This is what the game comes with (they also sent me an add-on to the game, more on that later):

- Box 24 x 24 x 4 cm (9,5 x 9,5 x 1,5 in)
- 2 double-sided boards:
        47 x 47 cm (18,5 x 18,5 in)
        38 x 38 cm (15 x 15 in)
- 30 tank pieces
- 30 flags/antennas
- 26 obstacles
- 4 border surfaces
- 2 reference sheets
- Notepad
- Blank scheme pad
- Rules
- Brochure

 The two different sized mounted boards are a really nice touch. If you only want a short game, then pick the small one. Each of the boards has a completely blank side, and the other has an already planned out battleground for you to use. The two premade sheets of obstacles mean that you will never have to play with the same setup twice. It also comes with two blank black sheets to create your own obstacles. The four page rulebook is written well and has numerous examples of play. The brochure is nine pages long and has a lot of different pre-made setups to use on the boards. It also has some mods to play such as capture the flag, etc. The plastic tanks and other armored vehicles are very well done for their size. They are small, but you can easily tell the difference between the units. The game is a neat little package that even includes a notepad for you to write down whatever you want. The game components and little additions just seem well thought out. 

 The game itself is extremely easy to learn. Like Chess the player has to move one piece, or change its orientation, each turn.  Even though some of the units are tanks with turrets, you can only fire in an arc of the three spaces at the front of the tank. The Tank Destroyer and the Heavy Mortar can only fire in a straight line. So, the game does have some Chess like rules thrown in. The game rules seem fine to me, except the rules for the Heavy Mortar. You do not need a line of sight to fire a Heavy Mortar. It can fire over obstacles that other units cannot see through. This rule is a two-edged sword. While the ability to fire without line of sight is more gamey than wargames, it does give the both players something to keep their eyes on. Maybe a house rule of only being able to fire the Heavy Mortar on other units if it, or another unit, has the target in its sight? That would make the Heavy Mortar use more in tune with a wargame. However, the ability to rain down destruction when your opponent thinks he is safe is also a plus. It is a bit like playing Chess with two boards with only one unit on one of the boards. The play is fast and furious, as the designers intended. It is still a very good strategy game even though it is not completely in the wargame category. 

 The units in the basic game are:

Light/Command Tank
Medium Tank
Heavy Tank
Tank Destroyer
Heavy mortar

 I like the game and it is fun. It delivers everything it is designed to, and its advertising is spot on. The basic game is a blast, but where Tank Chess really shines is when you play with one or all of the expansions available. Forsage Games was nice enough to include the Tank Chess 'Fun Set' expansion. 

 This expansion adds these tanks and armored vehicles to the mix:

Recon Tank
Super-Heavy Tank
Tank Hunter
Assault Tank
Amphibian Tank
Twin-Gun Tank
Light Mortar
Rocket Launcher
Light Howitzer
Heavy Howitzer
Heavy Bulldozer Tank
Minesweeper Tank
Bridge Tank
Recovery Vehicle

 The new vehicles make the game even more of a strategy game. However, it is the addition of the following obstacles that really make it shine:

Two types of Land Mines (one is Remote-Controlled and hidden)
Low Obstacles
Water obstacles

 The obstacles are see through different colored plastic pieces that are of different shapes, like the obstacles from the basic game. The expansions that can be bought are:

Fun Set Deluxe
Fun Set Light
Fun Set Pocket

 Do yourself a favor and pick up the standard or deluxe expansion. It adds a great amount to the base game. There is also an expansion that is called 'Central Square', and it also comes in a standard or deluxe model.

  Thank you Forsage Games for letting me review Tank Chess. To put it mildly, I was very skeptical of the game in the beginning. I was happily proved wrong by the game play. 

Forsage Games:

Tank Chess:



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