World Of Tanks Generals Review: Shuffle Up And Roll Out


I’m of the opinion that a good trading card game can be made out of just about any subject matter. Word of Tanks Generals does nothing to make me rethink that position, turning the glorious fast-paced armored chaos of World of Tanks into a perfectly enjoyable battle of wits.

It’s no mean feat, considering that Wargaming’s popular MMOs are so centered around the idea that you’re just one tank among many. Going it alone is a great way to get yourself blowed up real good in World of Tanks, to say nothing of a stream of nasty messages from your teammate over chat. World of Tanks Generals switches things up by putting you in command of a whole squad, with cards in your deck that represent tanks and other armored vehicles as well as a variety of battlefield orders.

At the heart of your deck is a unique Headquarters card, which occupies one corner of a 3×5 grid on which the battles take place. Your HQ has a gun that can hit anything on the battlefield and a special ability that impacts play in some way, but it’s also vulnerable. Lose it and you lose the game.

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Avoiding that fate means mastering both proper resource management and timing — meaning when to play certain cards for best effect and when to attack or sit back. There’s not much time for the latter thanks to a two-minute time limit per turn and 15 minutes overall. Think of it like a chess clock, except with tanks.

The developers at Wargaming did a very nice job maintaining the feel of certain classes of vehicles from World of Tanks, as light tanks can move faster, heavy tanks pack more of a punch but can only fire once per turn, artillery can hit targets anywhere on the board but only if a friendly unit is “spotting” for them, and so on. At the same time, people who are card game veterans will also feel at ease with the number of familiar mechanics specific to that genre that come into play.

About the only thing I didn’t find comfortable with in my time with the game for this review is the advantage earned by the player who goes first, which is determined randomly before each match. The second player gets one extra card, but unless you’re both very skilled at deck-building and lucky about which cards are drawn first, this didn’t seem enough compensation in most cases, resulting in being on the back foot right out of the gate.

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Happily, the way you can earn and unlock new HQ units (which lead to whole new decks) and cards simply by playing is very much in the Wargaming spirit and should be a joy to everyone who gives Generals a try. A modified version of the Tech Tree from other Wargming titles controls your progression, though there’s always some choice available to you at any given branch. Premium time can be purchased for real money to earn more currency and experience with each battle if you so desire. Otherwise, things are entirely free, and since the matchmaking system uses deck values instead of record or some other basis for setting up battles, there’s no real way to pay to win, which is a good thing.

It’s easy to see this game supporting a number of different tournaments and events once it’s caught on, and considering how well constructed it is, World of Tanks Generals should have an excellent chance of doing exactly that. Anyone intrigued by World of Tanks but put off by the manual skill needed to become a really good player or simply looking for another worthy card game to play on mobile should do themselves a favor and give it a shot.

Pull the Trigger on World of Tanks Generals if …

  • World of Tanks appeals to you but constantly being the reason your side loses doesn’t.
  • You always thought you’d be better off controlling all the tanks instead of just one.
  • You always believed the old adage that “card game fans can’t live on Hearthstone alone.”

Don’t Pull the Trigger if …

  • The phrase “Tech Tree” makes you break out in hives.
  • Losing a coin flip to go first fills you with rage.
  • You feel that fantasy is the only genre for card battle games.