Saturday, 4 June 2011

Tanks for the memories?

Had a great day mucking around with tanks. Not vivaria, TANKS. Vickers-Armstrongs, Daimlers, Panzers, Tigers... Mmm, tonnage.

My stepfather and bother came visiting at random for the weekend, so we directed them to the Bovington Tank Museum in an effort to keep them entertained. (SD wouldn't be lured into playing Rock Band with us, even though we have a great naff drum set. My little bother was a bit TOO good - but then I guess he's grown up poking buttons so it's second nature. Probably easier for him than actually talking.

So yes, we went to go look at some really big toys, and have a giggle at some of the more outlandish designs. Admittedly, I like the cute but highly practical Vickers-Armstrong International Light Tank Mk IIA, with its practical gun turret and simple defences. I'd have one. Though I'd have to up the Rolls 6 engine, as the MK IIA can only do 30mph.

<-- This one made us laugh. It's a bit Xzibit. "Hey dawg, we heard you like tanks, so we put a tank in yo tank so you can fight while you fight."

This wasn't the weirdest tank we encountered, by a long way. The Praying Mantis Tank was totally the strangest, carrying two hefty Bren guns for fire. My picture didn't come out well, but there's a great one here. It was designed back in '43, but laughed off the battlefield. However, the guy who made it had the last laugh, as his prototype has been put to VERY good use in modern warfare. It just took a while to realise that his practical solution to shooting over walls was actually pretty good.

My brother had a go with a decommissioned Vickers machine gun, brought back into service as a "try it yourself" game. Or rather, "machine to eat your pound coins rather than kill people". He was also delighted to find a tank shell that was as tall as he is. Bless.

It did prompt His Lordship to give "Call of Duty 2" another go on the XBox, but I think he's regretting it. Call of Doody is more accurate, and the game play does feel more dutiful than fun. If I'm honest, it's repetitive with no consequence for dying: dead, go again, dead, go again, dead, go again, ad infinitum. He's died 20 times in 5 minutes due to lack of checkpoint and being made to fight a tank with a pistol. Bloody boring and not very sensible, tactically speaking, but there's no other options. You can't clear an area because everything respawns every 5 seconds until you make the checkpoint. Equalling infinite bad guys. "I think the Nazis would have won if they had infinite respawns."

Our troops would have died of boredom.

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