Introducing "The Chieftain's Hatch"


Hello everyone.

My name is Nicholas (But you can call me "The_Chieftain"), and I’m a tankaholic. This has affected my life. I have been caught looking at what has been termed "tank porn" on the Internet. A co-worker of mine claims that I am willing to “tank dork” on anyone who will listen, and any number of people who will not. Fortunately, Wargaming has provided a more socially acceptable outlet for this affliction.

So who am I, and why am I here? Well, it was decided that it would be suitable for Wargaming to facilitate someone who ‘has the T-shirt’, as it were, and to review the World of Real Tanks. After all, with “World of Tanks” as the flagship product, having a tanker on hand can’t be a bad thing. Working on year fifteen with Army Green in the wardrobe, all of it in cavalry and armor (I currently have the honour of being a Troop Commander), plus spending what little free time I have volunteering at the local tank museum, gave me a good leg up on that score.

More importantly, though, why would you even read my musings? After all, I am not a developer. If you want to know what’s coming down the pipeline for the game, Overlord’s blog is the place to look. Consider this column to be more a way of facilitating discussion and thought, and a way to evangelicise the Religion of the Tank. Over the coming while, I may opine, review history, examine tanks, interview notable tank-related people, or provide an outlet for ‘guest authors’ amongst other things. You will also occasionally find me on the forum, answering what questions I can, and directing to/finding out some I can’t.

Though in time the discussion will eventually reflect World of Warplanes and World of Battleships (both of which I am well qualified to pontificate upon: I’ve been known to make machine-gun noises whilst flying a Cessna, and I can swim float stop myself from sinking too quickly), for now it’s all armor.

So here’s the first thought to ponder:

In a recent conversation when discussing this column, a marketing manager asked me a question which had me utterly stumped. The question was simple: “So why tanks?”

How does one answer that? Is it not completely obvious? How can anyone not like tanks? Those seemingly unstoppable expressions of power, the levels of mechanical skill used to put them together. How can one not watch in fascination the suspension system of a tank as it rolls over rough ground? It’s like watching the rods and drivewheels of a steam locomotive in motion, a beauty born of function. Who doesn’t dream of running over a car in a tank? (I’ve done it, it’s as fun as you think it is). Of course, in the back of your mind, you are always conscious of a tank’s true purpose, but let’s ignore the death and destruction. It’s like watching fighters at an airshow. You’re just in awe at the sheer cool factor and forget everything else. In Iraq, other soldiers would stop what they were doing when we rolled by and pulled out their cameras. We’d get chased to the motor pool to have people pose for photos on them.

As for crewing them, it’s the civilized ground-pounder’s method of going to war. Why carry a weapon when your weapon will carry you? Turn on the heater if it’s cold (if it works). The tank is much less muddy to sleep on than the ground. 30km road marches completed in under an hour. And there’s something comforting about having lots of metal between you and people who don’t like you. Oh yeah. And the Big Gun ™

Maybe ‘like’ is the wrong word. The amount of tank shows on the TV, the amount of people who make models of tanks, the amount of people who go straight to the tanks at an exposition, and the appeal of "World of Tanks". Face it. We don’t just ‘like’ tanks, we love them.

Unfortunately, my response to the question did not adequately convey this concept. It was more a case of my looking blankly for a few seconds in response to the oddity that the question even needed to be asked in the first place.

I guess some people just don’t understand.

Feel free to comment on this article, and any others, by clicking the "add comment" button just below. It will bring you to The Chieftain's Hatch on the forum. You can also read these articles directly through the forum.