Tank Battle - Milton Bradley

Do You Recall 1975’s Tank Battle By Milton Bradley?

Have you heard of Tank Battle? I’m pretty sure that over the years I have clued you all in that I love board games. Having said that I’m not referring to the latest games like Fury of Dracula or Dead of Winter. Working at the arcade offers me ample opportunity to also delve into our growing vintage board game collection. Case in point Milton Bradley’s Tank Battle which was originally released in 1975.

[Via] My Saturday M0rnings

While I certainly enjoy staying after work to play the newer board games. Even jokingly calling it Board Meetings. There is just something about once again being able to play 1984’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Or everything from Welcome Back, Kotter to 1979’s THe Black Hole! Of course my enjoyment comes from a healthy dose of nostalgia but I would also argue that the games are well made too.

As if you couldn’t tell from that commercial up above. This is definitely set in the period of World War II as the rules plainly point out. At the arcade I chose to play the American tank battalion with my esteemed opponent playing the Germans.

Tank Battle - Rules

Image courtesy of BoardGameGeek.

Besides looking awesome the cardboard representations of your tanks also act as a shield, to of course stop your opponent from seeing your “scoring” platform.
Tank Battle

Furthermore that platform keeps record of your anti-tank gun ammo. Which I might add you may only fire five times in the entire game. There is quite a bit of strategy at play in Tank Battle. As each player must guess where their opponents tanks will stop on the board before each round is played. In the case of your own super shots if your opponent ends a turn on where you “fired” it will blow up that tank!
Tank Battle

The anti-tank guns also act as a buffer between your special playing pieces. Such as your fuel dump, ammo storage and HQ. If an enemy tank as it travels across the board comes into contact with you anti-tank gun you give the spinner a go. If by some small chance it lands on the “Tank Destroyed” you of course wipe out the enemy tank. The loss of one of your five anti-tank guns means you also lose one of your special shots as well.
Tank Battle

I believe a very nifty aspect of Tank Battle comes into play if you take out those special pieces during a game. For example if you lose the fuel dump your movement pool will be reduced from 6 to 4 for your tanks. If you lose the ammo dump your fire power is diminished. If the HQ falls the mines you “placed” are lost.
Tank Battle

Now the only way to win the game is to wipe out all 6 of your opponents tanks. This is done generally by tanks meeting each other on the board – going head to head. The tank strength is revealed and the tank with the higher number wins the tank battle. Naturally the numbers are ranged from 1 to 6. In the case of a tie however both tanks are destroyed.
Tank Battle

Speaking of the tanks, their movement is restricted to forward and to the side. Unless of course a tank reaches the end of an opponents board. Then it gains a flag and can move forward and backwards, etc. The movement pool of 6 spaces must be shared between all tanks and none may use more than 3 spaces unless you have only two tanks remaining.

Consequently at the end of the night, of four games, I had in fact won three. I am sure this is a game we will be playing quite a bit at the arcade. If you are a fan of both vintage and strategy board games. I would highly recommend you pick up Tank Battle!

Now just in case you want further details on the rules of Tank Battle. Why not watch this video by Matt Wilkins?

Decepticon Shockwave was in Aliens

The Decepticon Shockwave Was In Aliens?!

Let that sink in for a second. The Decepticon Shockwave was in Aliens. The 1986 sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1979 masterpiece Alien. As a matter of fact I didn’t learn of this interesting piece of trivia until having the chance to see Scott’s Alien: Covenant.

[Via] 20th Century Fox

In addition to enjoying Scott’s latest entry in a film series he helped to create. Being told that none other than the Decepticon Shockwave was in Aliens, certainly put a cherry on the top of the night. At first I will admit that I thought my friend was pulling my leg. How could I not know about this with my love of both Transformers and the Alien series?!

By all means let me point out the scene that Shockwave makes his live action film debut. To say nothing of the fact that there are three Shockwave toys in this scene.
Decepticon Shockwaves was in Aliens - Daniel Karhunen

As can be seen in that image from Daniel Karhunen. Shockwave could be spotted during the moment when Ripley attempts to get the attention of the Colonial Marines. Moreover a tense moment in Aliens as Ripley realizes that she and Newt are locked in the medbay with two free roaming Facehuggers.

Equally important is the fact that our two heroines are in that dangerous situation, thanks to the coldly calculating Carter Burke. Fitting I think you’ll agree that the Decepticon Shockwave was in Aliens during that moment. As the character was likewise known to be cold and calculating.
Decepticon Shockwave was in aliens - Spec Card

Despite my observations on the similarity between Shockwave and Carter Burke. This is most likely the reason why Shockwave can be seen in Aliens. Back in 1983 Toy-Co created a robot that was also a ray gun called the Astro Magnum.

A toy that found itself being often reproduced under various names. Case in point the Radio Shack version known as Galactic Man.
Decepticon Shockwave was in Aliens - Galactic Man

The answer is that the Shockwave toy is probably not used in Aliens but one of it’s clones. Looking at that image that Daniel provided it certainly appears to be the same color as the Galactic Man toys. But in all honesty they are nearly 100% the same toy.

However I prefer to believe that the Decepticon Shockwave is in Aliens.


Why? Because if you in fact go by the generation one animated series. Shockwave was left behind on Cybertron, to make sure the pesky Autobots didn’t use the space bridge to take the planet back. Who is to say that Shockwave in his infinite wisdom didn’t go planet hopping to check things out on LV-426?

[Via] Hasbro

Alien Game

Happy Alien Day! Let’s Play The 1979 Alien Game!

You might remember earlier this year when I shared my discovery of the 1979 Alien Game by Kenner. I was quite surprised to learn of course that a board game had been published for Ridley Scott’s cinematic masterpiece. I would remind you that Alien is certainly a horror movie after all. In addition to the hard R rating the film received and for good reason!

Having said that I will point out that the late seventies and early eighties were a different era. Naturally. So I’m guessing that Kenner was attempting to reach out to those very kids that couldn’t see the movie. They did produce more than a few pieces of merchandising after all, right?

Check out the 1979 “Alien Attack” movie viewer!

Besides a terrifying 18-inch Xenomorph figure and the film viewer, it was the 1979 Alien game that most interested me. As I have written about on more than a few occasions I consider myself a pretty big fan of board games. It so happened that my co-worker at the Arkadia Retrocade saw my post and found a very affordable copy online. She surprised me with it at the arcade one evening and some of us stayed after work to play the Alien Game.

Furthermore I was delighted to learn that the game hadn’t been used before. Chiefly the player pieces for the Xenomorph and Nostromo crew hadn’t even been punched out.
Alien Game

I will admit to a small feeling of regret at having to alter what was pristine for 38 years. On the other hand the Alien Game was naturally meant to be played and enjoyed. At the very least it is now in the hands of those who will appreciate it the most.

As for the rules of the Alien Game, players attempt to get a single member of their crew from the Nostromo to the escape shuttle. All the while attempting to thwart their fellow players with their personal Xenomorph.
Alien Game

After choosing a colored starting area that matches the color of your playing pieces, you must travel clockwise around the board. I chose LV-426 or Acheron as my starting location, which is of course how April 26th was chosen as the date for Alien Day!

The Xenomorph also travels through the corridors of the doomed Nostromo. In addition to being able to pop up across the board by way of using the air shafts dotted across the board. Which I will point out that I used to great effect on one of my co-worker’s astronauts!

Consequently in the next turn she turned around and used it to greater effect on two of my three crew members. I know that Alien famously said that “In space no one can hear you scream“. I can you assure however that everyone could hear my screams of despair at the arcade.

There are a few safe spots for players to park their astronauts where the Xenomorph cannot reach you. Bear in mind that you can do nothing against the Alien itself besides running and hiding. From our few rounds of the Alien Game we found that it is one of the most tense board games we can remember playing.

In any event there can be only one winner in the game. While all of us playing managed to get within reach of the escape shuttle, it was the owner of the game that won. She even added the mental image of waving to us as she blasted off to safety.

I supposed I can take some small amount of comfort with this thought. Perhaps those of us left behind were spared the deadly kiss of the Xenomorph…when the Nostromo exploded. So if you get the opportunity I highly recommend you track down a copy of the Alien Game for yourself. I truly found this to be one of the best designed board games I’ve played in quite some time.

So if you cannot get your hands on the Alien Game why not celebrate Alien Day a simpler way?


Obviously I would suggest you spend it watching Alien or perhaps Aliens? In fact, why not take a moment and listen to Ridley Scott talking about directing the 1979 movie?

[Via] Film4

Alien Commercial

Celebrate Atari Day With This 1982 Alien Commercial For The Atari 2600!

On Earth, everyone can hear you scream when you watch this Alien commercial for the Atari 2600. Screams of joy at viewing a vintage television advertisement I might add. It is once again the 26th of the month, which means it is Atari Day. That single moment of every month when we gather to celebrate the many things that make Atari stand out. With the upcoming Alien: Covenant I felt this would be a great time to share the 1982 Alien commercial.

[Via] Magnetic Tape Head

I will admit that Alien commercial was certainly short. However I think I should point out though it captured some of the atmosphere of 1979 film. Not just with the iconic egg of course. But if you listen closely they also used some of the otherworldly and haunting sounds from the 1979 trailer itself.

[Via] Movieclips Trailers

For myself I wasn’t able to get my hands on Alien back in 1982. I found a copy of the game at a garage sale a couple of years after it’s original release. I think it is safe to say that Alien on the 2600 is a Pac-Man clone. Okay. It’s totally a rip-off of Pac-Man if we are being completely honest.

[Via] World of Longplays

Having said that, I will admit I like the game. It might be a clone of Pac-Man but it has a few worthy additions. In particular the flame thrower that can chase off the Xenomorphs hot on your trail or stun them in some cases.
Alien Commercial

Of course the Retroist has a slightly different memory of playing the game.

Read: A Review of Alien for the Atari 2600

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and celebrate Atari Day!

Image courtesy of Atari I/O’s Facebook page.


To learn even more about the fun of Atari Day be sure to hop on over and check out fellow Retroist writer Atari I/O’s site by following the link hhere!

Super 7

Super 7 Adds Some M.U.S.C.L.E. To Alien!

I think for a child of the 80s this is one of the best times for retro themed toys. From the ReAction line of figures produced by Super 7 to Pop! Funko offerings, and of course our friends at Warpo. Never have so many pop culture related properties been getting quite so much love. In fact it seems like 1979’s Alien is getting quite a bit of of attention recently – no doubt due to the fact that Alien: Covenant is set to hit theaters in May.

Super 7 however has gone a step further in their appreciation of the masterpiece that is Alien. They have decided to merge it with one of the best toy lines from the ’80s. A series of toys that I have to admit helped me develop a fascination with all manner of tiny collectibles. I am of course referring to those Millions of Unusual Small Creatures Lurking Everywhere. More commonly known as M.U.S.C.L.E.s!

[Via] Dig That Box TOYS

For their first wave of Alien M.U.S.C.L.E. figures. Super 7 has chosen to represent all the cast of characters from the film. Each pack comes with three characters. Pack A comes with Ripley, Ash, as well as the Xenomorph. I was rather impressed that the company decided to sculpt Ash with his weapon of choice…a rolled up magazine.
Super 7

Then in Pack B you get Kane in his spacesuit, an Alien egg, plus Parker.

Next up with Pack C you will find Kane once again – although this time he has been attacked by the Facehugger. In addition to getting poor, poor Brett and the Alien in attack mode.

Last but certainly not least is Pack D. In which you will find the likes of Lambert, Dallas, and Kane again – however this time he is suffering from the Chestburster!

I am not quite sure what gave Super 7 the idea to do this, all I know though is I need them. All of them. You can follow the links provided to visit their official page to start ordering packs for yourself and friends. I for one look forward to seeing how the Alien fares against my legion of M.U.S.C.L.E. figures!