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Video Game / Stonkers

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Stonkers is a ZX Spectrum Real-Time Strategy game—some say it may be the first ever RTS.

Its main claim to fame nowadays is as the butt of a Running Gag; anyone asking on a Speccy community, "What is the name of this game?" is likely to get at least one answer saying, "it's definitely not Stonkers."

This game provides examples of:

  • A Winner Is You: As per a game released in 1983.
  • Baseless Mission: There's no way to replace your old units or create the new ones. While you and the computer have Headquarters areas, it's rare to win or lose a game by capturing them as it's far quicker and easier just to annihilate the entire enemy force.
  • Boring, but Practical: Defending the bridge. It's a bottleneck so you can easily hammer each enemy division with three of yours as it comes off the bridge and it's close to your supply base allowing you to quickly and easily resupply your divisions. Add in the fact you can rotate the divisions doing the fighting and it becomes a Game-Breaker - it's entirely possible to perform a Curb-Stomp Battle and destroy every enemy division without losing a single one of your own.
  • Cool Tank: The cover art depicts a couple of tank destroyers. The model is fictional but they are similar to the World War II Jagdpanzer IVs fielded by the Wehrmacht. In game one of the division types you command and face are armoured ones, though they are only seen as a simple representative tank icon.
  • Easy Logistics: Supplies for your units are not delivered easily. In fact, first you need to wait for the ship with the said resources. And then use your supply trucks. It might be easter to just capture the enemy's supplies.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: Early builds tended to crash after a few minutes of play.
  • Super Drowning Skills: Any division that moves into water is instantly destroyed.
  • Tag Line: "... the name of the game".
  • Ur-Example: Stonkers, released in 1983, is one of the earliest Real-Time Strategy games. It had a minimap and a cursor for selecting units and giving them orders, genre mainstays that wouldn't be seen again until Dune II codified them almost a decade later. However, it lacked unit construction and does not emphasize capturing bases, key defining characteristics of RTS games introduced by 1987's Nether Earth.
  • Wizard Needs Food Badly: All your units have a supply stat, which depletes with time. Once the stat is at zero, the unit's dead and gone.