Bolo

It seems that from 1987 to around 2000 there was a big community of people who played this game called “Bolo”. It was a game in which people controlled a tank and killed others while trying to capture bases in team matches. Always 2 teams, from 2 to 16 total players, games could last from 10 minutes to 12 hours. I’m still trying to understand all this.

The game looks silly from some videos you can find today, but apparently it was very deep in strategy because people developed strategy guides and wrote extensively about it and Netscape even supported bolo: URLs out of the box.

The two most important elements on the map are pillboxes and bases. Pillboxes are originally neutral, meaning that they shoot at every tank that happens to get in its range. They shoot fast and with deadly accuracy. You can shoot the pillbox with your tank, and you can see how damaged it is by looking at it. Once the pillbox is subdued, you may run over it, which will pick it up. You may place the pillbox where you want to put it (where it is clear), if you’ve enough trees to build it back up. Trees are harvested by sending your man outside your tank to forest the trees. Your man (also called a builder) can also lay mines, build roads, and build walls. Once you have placed a pillbox, it will not shoot at you, but only your enemies. Therefore, pillboxes are often used to protect your bases.

That quote was taken from this “augmented FAQ” written by some user. Apparently there were many FAQs for this game. A FAQ is after all just a simple, clear and direct to the point way of writing about anything, previously known as summa1, it doesn’t have to be related to any actually frequently asked question.

More unexpected Bolo writings include an etiquette guide, an anthropology study and some wonderings on the reverse pill war tactic.

  1. It’s not the same thing, but I couldn’t help but notice the similarity.

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