Tanks In Progress: Gratuitous Tank Battles

Tanks, but also towers.
Cliff Harris has sent word that the first footage of his next game, Gratuitous Tank Battles, is now available. You can see it below. Cliff describes this as “a video showing early work-in-progress footage from battles in ‘Gratuitous Tank Battles’, the RTS/Tower Defense/ Sim strategy game.” In it you can see elements of both the attacking and defending games, as well as some of the conditions of battle, such as pesky darkness. For more on this you can have a read of my interview with Cliff, in which he explains the inspiration for the game and his aims for building on Gratuitous Space Battles with a more complex and strategic game.


  1. pupsikaso says:

    Well this certainly looks like a step forward. What really put me off from GSB was that it’s like a fire and forget game. You spend a lot of time preparing, but then once you push the button things are now out of your control. You just sit and watch… it becomes passive. That’s something that really did not sit well with me.

    • Peter Radiator Full Pig says:

      Funny, I was thinking the exact opposite, from the footage.
      GSB was a step in a different direction. Fleet mangement meets tower defence, but in a much more organic, open space. GTB, on the other hand, looks like so many other tower defence games. Its a step back into the fold, away from the original idea of GSB. The predefined paths, the upgrading of towers is disappointing to see. Its almost like a reskin of other tower defence games.

      I was looking forward to more GSB, but instead of empty space between two armies, one might be defending a hill, so he sets up machine guns, with ramps at the flanks. The other army gets tanks against the mgs, but when they move up the flanks, they end up getting hit in their rear armour.
      I was looking for GSB in a battlefield, with the extra options of infanty and whatnot thrown in.

      Then again, i cant really say as much untill i have played it. I look forward to a demo, based on GSB alone (Though i hope it doesnt do the same DLC thing, that made me quit GSB)

  2. Chalky says:

    That’s pretty cool – I’ve always enjoyed GSB and thought it would translate well to a tower defence style game.

    Although there was a campaign mode in GSB, it always seemed to lack the structure to back up its simplicity, or the depth to be a compelling randomly generated campaign mode.

    Battles themselves were awesome though, and it looks like it translates really well into tower defence which should allow for a much more structured campaign mode. Something along the lines of Defence Grid perhaps? Love that game.

    Looking good, Cliff.

  3. Jnx says:

    I love GSB but somehow this doesn’t have the charm of big spaceships going pew pew :/ Interested how it turns out though, as stated above, GSB lacked structure.

  4. The Infamous Woodchuck says:

    well. the trailer shows more mech than tanks. kinda wierd considering the title of this game

  5. JackDandy says:

    Woah cool, I didn’t realize this game has mechs and troops as well. Looks pretty sweet. And the more hands-on approach is definitely appealing. Will keep my eye on this…

  6. Mattressi says:

    If this has a 4X campaign I’ll definitely be getting it.

    Who am I kidding – if this is released I’ll be getting it. I loved GSB, though I really should buy the DLCs and play through it again.

  7. rustybroomhandle says:

    They made a game that abbreviates to GSB, followed by a game that abbreviates to GTB. It’s only a logical next step for them to follow this up with GUB.

    Gratuitous U-Boat Battles!

    • lePooch says:

      And after GUB, he moves on to GVB, a kid friendly collaboration with the British Government to educate our children about the horror of Venereal disease!

  8. Kerbobotat says:

    Now he just needs to comine the two with some sort of glorious galaxy conquering metagame with planetary battles. Then he cam have all of the money. ever.

  9. Ravenholme says:

    So… who’s going to be the first to make a Warhammer40K mod?

    Death Korps of Krieg anyone?

    • Kollega says:

      I have a better idea: who’s going to be the first to make a Borderlands mod for Dawn of War 2?

      Atlas versus Dahl versus Hyperion versus Jakobs versus Vladof, anyone? Anyone? Oh well… thought so.

    • Ravenholme says:

      Borderlands doesn’t really work in DoW2, however, the basic premise of this is essentially the same as WH40K. War Un-ending where men get thrown into the meatgrinder relentlessly to take objectives.

      GTB looks good, and I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy it immensely, but it’s no stretch to make some kind of Imperial Guard WH40K mod for it.

    • Kollega says:

      Well, that was intended, among other things, as an attack on 40k, because i’m feeling annoyed today. And i do indeed see that such a mod wouldn’t be too much of a stretch… then again, if not for all the skulls and eagles plastered on the interface, would you be able to tell the difference? Those square tanks in the video scream “BANEBLADE!” to me, and there are Laser-Rifles-With-Red-Beams-As-Seen-In-DoW-Games.

      However, i challenge your assumption that Borderlands setting can’t work with DoW2 gameplay. I’m not talking about throwing the Vault Hunters and bandits into a strategy game; i’m talking about having weapon manufacturers and their mercenary forces fight eachother. That woud work rather nice after some minor adaptation: the Crimson Lance with their various troop types already seem cut out for the duty in a strategy game, even if they lack heavier vehicles.

    • Ravenholme says:

      I was looking at the Mechs and thinking that they would look good as Titans, replace some of the tanks with Leman Russ, etc. The emplacement graphics would neet reworking as well.

      And, okay, that would work but you couldn’t mod the graphical style of Borderlands into DoW2

    • Kollega says:

      Again, i’d like to challenge that assumption. An exact replication probably isn’t possible, but some “cartoon” rendering filters could be used to loosely approximate Borderlands’ style. Although i’m not really sure if you can mod a rendering filter into DoW2, having no experience with that engine or modding in general, so that might not be possible.

  10. Kollega says:

    So, as far as i know from the interview (and now this trailer), the premise of the game is that World War 1 never truly ended, for over two hundred years. I know the game has “gratuitous” in the title, but i still have only one thing to say:


  11. cliffski says:

    The game is designed to be very moddable. If all goes well, the mods will be embedded into uplaoded maps, to make using modded content really easy.
    of course, I say all that now… :D

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Are we talking full Lua craziness, or simpler modding stuff?

    • icupnimpn2 says:

      Can I make Mario?

    • cliffski says:

      No LUA stuff, but adding new units, new graphics, sounds, music, levels, and weapon types should all be easy. And level design is actually going to be pushed heavily as a part of the game for everyone, so there should be a ton of maps.

  12. Gothnak says:

    I used to work with Cliff… Always an amusing if dour opponent in email discussions…

    I still don’t know the exact situations of him leaving, but i do know it was rather controversial.. :)..

    Every game he releases i think.. gahhh, must put effort into those projects at home!

    Go Cliff!

  13. Ovno says:

    Looking good Cliffski and still the best names for any games ever….

  14. razgon says:

    Ohh – Its Tank Week already?!

    Looks awesome, btw!