Armour-Geddon is a very good 3D filled polygon game with a few flaws which keep it from being a great game. Bit If you like simulation games this game is definitely worth it.  Armour-Geddon is a series of linked vehicle simulators. There are simulators for Heavy Tanks, Light Tanks, Hovercraft, Helicopters, Fighters, and Bombers. You move around in a 3d filled polygon world which is fairly large. The basic goal is to collect 5 pieces of a neutron bomb which you then use to destroy a hardened enemy bunker. This is not as straightforward as it might at first seem. This enemy is trying to create a laser, and they will certainly do this before you can obtain all the bomb pieces. To slow them down, you need to destroy parts of their power grid. You have a supply of scientists, who design things, and engineers, who Build things. There is perhaps 20 or so different useful gadgets you can build (vehicles, various types of weapons, fuel tanks, etc). You can allocate scientists and engineers to whichever items you feel are important. You have enough scientists but there are never enough engineers to build all the things you want. Once you build some basic supplies, you can go out and destroy some of the enemy’s hardware. There are six vehicles which you can control at once, in theory. In practice, you can’t control nearly that many. The practical limit is around two, or one when you are just learning. You can switch from one vehicle to another with a single keystroke. The old vehicle goes on auto-pilot, and either heads towards a set waypoint, or circles.

You pick the vehicle you want to control, and equip it with various gadgets. All the vehicle types have a nearly identical cockpit layout which makes it easy to get used to them. Some of the controls are also the same, but they behave quite differently (as you’d expect). My favorite weapons are missiles (guided) and rockets (unguided). You first look at the map, set a waypoint to your target location, and pilot your chosen vehicle to that point. Then you shoot things. The world is a “target rich environment” . You can just blow up things at random, but to get very far you have to develop a strategy. You need to pick up bomb pieces with the heavy tank, but most of them are beyond the range of this tank. Therefore, you need to use a teleport pod, which allows you to move around quickly. To get a teleport pod near the bomb piece. You must drop it off with the bomber, but the bomber is a big cumbersome thing which is likely to be shot down quickly. So the first task is to fly a few “defense suppression” missions with the fighter or copter, trying to cool things off enough to get the bomber in. The fighter gets there faster and is less prone to attacks by enemy fighters and helicopters. The helicopter is slower and more vulnerable, but it is better at picking off ground targets with rockets since you can sit still. Its often hard to hit ground targets with unguided weapons when flying over them at 300 knots in the fighter. The tanks can fire rockets, lasers, or gun rounds. Fired rounds obey the laws of physics. This makes it hard to hit things far away, but opens up the possibility of firing over hills and obstructions. Each of the simulators is “moderately realistic”. The flight sim, for example, is not on the level of a dedicated simulator such as Falcon, but it is reasonably realistic. Altitude, weight, etc all have effects on flight dynamics. In fact, sometimes in the helicopter you can sustain engine damage which doesn’t leave enough power to maintain altitude. When this happens, you can recover by releasing all weapons to become lighter. Vehicles have “shields” which have an adjustable recharge rate. High recharge rates will drain fuel supply very quickly. The game will run smooth on fast processors, sound effects are good both when you are inside the vehicle and when you are in your home base.

The game is also somewhat difficult. Early in the learning curve, it is hard to pilot a vehicle and have it remain alive for more than a minute or two. You get better at this over time. Landing aircraft is never easy. I could land the fighter around 50 to 75% of the time. Landing the helicopter is easy, but getting it to land where you want is not so easy. Landing the hovercraft is not an issue since its always near the ground, but driving it is hard. There are slightly too many bad guys to really cope with in single player mode.  With two people, you can have one person fly the bomber and the other a fighter escort, or similarly for the tank and a helicopter. Good teamwork could be important as it is possible to shoot your teammate if you are not careful. You can only play this with a null modem cable (you can’t use a modem). Games can last a long time. I have played it far enough to get the first bomb piece, and that takes 1 to 2 hours of real time. Luckly you can save games in progress. If you love simulation games and are looking for some fun using your Commodore Amiga or WinUAE/Amiga forever 7, Armour-Geddon is a good way to start your retro Friday night!

More news: Generation Amiga magazine