The tanks start each game in heavy bunkers, so the first challenge is to move out safely away from the enemy line-of-fire. Plentiful obstacles and the tanks' moderate speed means play is as much a tactical challenge as one for the reflexes. Speed on the trigger can be very important, though, because when hit a tank is relocated randomly and any shell in mid-flight disappears. In a face-off this means whichever shell lands first wins. The trigger finger must be tempered, however, as each tank can only have one shot on the screen at a time. Over-anticipating your opponent can lead to reloading at the most inopportune moment.
Different platforms provide very different play, from keyboard to joystick, color to black-and-white, as well as battlefield variations. On TRS-80's, the battlefield is fixed from game to game and obstacles cannot be destroyed. In all cases, a solitaire version is provided, putting the computer in control of one of the tanks. Its reflexes are very quick.