Updated: Sep 3, 2021
Is a Reference work: hundreds of AFVs, guns, mortars and small arms.
Is a marvel! Consider the excellence of the game's breadth and details assembled before the internet's easy access to data.
Is a game design kit for rules-bashing... using rule sections with other game systems.
Offers a different play style to try than contemporary games.
With a Judged* play style means games can be more accessible by your learning it first and being the judge for others, none of which need previous wargame experience.
Has many illustrations and examples of play.
THIS EDITION WILL COME IN 3 STYLES. & 1 CHARTS ONLY BOOKLET
• Black & white interior pages for economy with a color, softcover
• Full color throughout for a deluxe experience with a color, softcover
• Full color throughout for a super-deluxe experience with a color, hardcover
• Full-color charts only (printed on just one side; not double-sided page)
Note that we originally planned to have a spiral-bound edition. Unfortunately, that turned out to be much more expensive than we expected. The solution I can see is to have a Staples, Fed Ex Kinkos or local print shop cut off the binding and install a spiral or coil binding. I called a Central Illinois Fed Ex, and they gave me a price of $8 for this. Much less than our producing binding of that style.
Notice that the fourth style is a charts-only book with the game's charts in color and blank backs. The original pull-out charts were printed front & back, and that's why one needed to buy two copies of the rules to make a wall display.
So, a player can cut off the binding (or slice out the pages with a sharp hobby knife) and either place them in a three-ring binder, sheet protectors or arrange them on the wall. We did all of the preceding but ending up buying three copies of the game! At our minimum wage salary, this cost us 45 hours, but buying a ruleset and the charts-only booklet will cost you fewer "minimum wage hours".
This 2nd edition update nearly doubles the number of vehicles, including more nationalities:
UPDATE 18MAR2021: Just one day after I posted the above chart showing how we have almost double the vehicles of the first edition, Mike sent three more vehicles to add! So it's official, we have twice as many vehicles as the first edition. And he may not be done adding more vehicle data listings.
A BAD RAP?
While Tractics has a reputation for being the "most complicated game ever," I think this is undeserved. Consider that Tractics was compared to Fast Rules and other simple rulesets. Contemporary rulesets are more intricate in certain respects. Part of the reason for those intricacies is to undercut the 5,000' General impact of ATOT*. The core of Tractics is the DFM, Direct Fire Mode, and this is presented with both a one-page step-by-step and a more detailed explanation. Since most players want to get their tanks into action first, one need not read 90% of the book for additional special case rules.
THE ZEN OF TRACTICS
Unlike many rulesets' approach of compacting the tank-to-tank fire into one or two rolls, Tractics takes a logical path, so you know what happened to each shell. These details construct a memorable narrative. The Tractics path gets you into the story better than simplistic combat resolutions where the message is only, "sorry, you rolled a six."
TRACTICS PROGRESS REPORT
So far, we have nearly doubled the number of vehicles in the Update edition of Tractics!
Mike Reese is rechecking to assure these categories are marked:
• Large Tank (such as Tiger, Panther, Lee/Grant, and KV-II) and
• Low Silhouette (most assault guns, some armored cars, and, of course, Bren Carrier).
These categories are marked prominently now, whereas before, one might overlook the Special section note.
We are fine-tuning other items as well. The Game Reference Charts are done. I hoped that the rulebook would be out by the end of March 2021, but with the need to get an actual printed proof to look at, that timing will be tight.
Enough chit-chat. My nose needs to get back to the grindstone.
*One does not have to have a judge. With two players, the defender sets up hidden and judges when both sides' troops can be seen. The hidden set-up and movement are a big part of what makes the game exciting and challenging. Fog of War in Tractics is different than the contemporary play style of ATOT, All Toys On Table.