Artillery Game

Green's attempts to tunnel through the terrain are impressive, but Red's shots are landing closer each time. Who will win?

An artillery game is a video game within the Strategy Game genre which tasks the player with aiming and shooting to destroy opponents in a combat simulation. Usually the playing field (or battlefield, if you will) is shown in a Side View, with two opposing factions concentrated on opposite sides. Each faction starts with one or more units, which may take the form of tanks, cannons, mortars, or other artillery pieces.

The player determines the angle and velocity of each shot before firing, hopefully adjusting for such factors as gravity and wind speed (among other factors). Successfully striking a unit may cause damage or instantly destroy the unit, and when all but one faction's forces are eliminated, that faction wins the battle.

Other common features include randomly generated terrain and unit placement, as well as causing missed shots to blast holes wherever they land — which can lead to "tunneling" strategies where a player (over the course of several turns) shoots through (or down) a tall barrier in order to fire a high-powered shot directly at the opponent instead of attempting to lob shots over the obstruction. Because the task of the game is to come up with a winning combination of speed and angle, these games will often display visible trails from previous shots so the player can refine their aim on subsequent turns.

Most examples of artillery games are Turn-Based Strategy by tradition, but there also exist several games played in real time instead. Turn-based games may also impose a time limit on each player's turn.


Examples:

  • Angry Birds is a single-player version in which the player typically takes out the enemy pigs through collateral damage rather than direct hits.
  • Artillery released in 1980 on the Apple ][ is the Ur Example, expanding on prior text-based games with a graphical representation of the battlefield, as well as including wind speed as a factor for trajectories.
  • Graphwar, where instead of directly controlling the angle or trajectory of your shot you type in a mathematical function which determines the path the shot takes.
  • Gravity Wars, which replaces tanks and terrain with spaceships and planetoids. The multiple gravitational sources make for complex trajectories.
  • Gunbound, a massively multiplayer online variation of the genre.
  • Hedgewars, an open-source, freeware Worms clone with various added perks.
  • Hill Kill, an obscure single-player BASIC variant on the Apple ][. Unlike many variants, you are the only one shooting, with a single hill between you and the target house. Due to how hits are calculated, it is entirely possible to fire a shot straight at the house with enough velocity to skip right through the hill. On the flip side, this same mechanic can cause the shot to also go right past the house.
  • Howitzer, a DOS game with two tiny tanks pegging at each other across a broad, hilly landscape.
  • Mammoth Gravity Battles, a 3D update to Gravity Wars. The multiple gravitational sources in 3D make for extremely complex trajectories.
  • Space Tanks is a Windows game where each tank is restricted to its own planetoid and must compensate for the gravity of other bodies to hit opponents.
  • Tanks from 2DPlay.com adds ammo types, shields, and unit movement to the basic concept.
  • Tank Wars — at least two separately-developed artillery games with this name exist. The link and current page image refer to the 1990 DOS version, also called "BOMB" from the name of the executable.
  • Worms has a comedic style with a diverse arsenal and lots of movement options.
  • Zee Artillery, aka ZART, is also a real-time example.