This page is dedicated to my latest find. The legendary Military Battlezone/Bradley Trainer. It has been featured in SYZYGY magazine and on various Web Pages on the net. Here is a brief description;
The gameplay is very much a simulation. The other tanks do not fire at you, and the only way to end the game is to run out of ammo or shoot a 'friendly' tank or helicopter.
The Turret is controlled by a 'Star Wars' style yoke controller. It turns the guns and lets you change the elevation of the gun. . There are 3 type of weapons - 25mm cannon ; 7.62 mm coaxially mounted machine gun; TOW missile launcher with twin tubes.The upper left of the bezel hold the Range control, and also the magnification switch. The range control sets the height of the gun before you launch rockets or shoot the machine gun. The magnification switch changes your view from 3x to 10x. On the right side of the bezel, there is a switch for arming the TOW missiles. Once you fire these missiles, you can guide them with the 'laser' sights. You can steer the missile into targets, or into the ground if you overshoot the target.At the lower right near the yoke, are 7 buttons for selecting the 'AP' (armor piercing) rounds, or the 'HE' High Explosive rounds. You also have the choice of 'SS' single Shot or 'CF' Continuous Fire modes. You can also switch to the '7.62mm' machine gun also.
It usually takes one hit from a TOW missile, 5 from the rockets/shells, or 10-20 from a machine gun to bring down an enemy. Some tanks can only be shot with the TOW missile. The helicopter is the most difficult target to destroy.
NO SCHEMATICS came with the board. (I have never seen any schematics for any proto, as the schematics are the last thing completed when a game goes into production). The board is basically a standard Battlezone board with a wirewrap add on board for all the additional inputs. It features a D/A converter for input from the yoke and the Range controls.
In order to convert a Battlezone, you would have to add a Star Wars controller with two independent sets of triggers on thefront side, a buttload of wire jumpers, an I/O board with a D/A converter, a ROM daughter card, 11 buttons, 3 pots, two pedals, and a bunch of cabinet wiring. The wirewrap board has a zillion traces that go to the AVG board. The Mathbox proms, seems to be stock and have production part numbers on them.
I'm not sure why there are a set of handles screwed to the side of the cabinet. It seems like they wanted an easy way to moveit around, but they drilled holes right through the sideart. There are reinforcement plates behind the handles.
Here is an email I exchanged with an ex-Atari Employee.
Thank you for your email.
I will do my best with your questions about Army BattleZone.
(It was a long time ago.)
1. Is the tank supposed to move ? I can only turn the turret.
I know the tank is not under the player's control. I don't remember if it Moves by itself. If it doesn't, it was supposed to, but we ran out of time. The purpose was only to train gunners.
I noticed some mounting holes on the bottom of the cabinet, but there are no pedals there. There is a long unused harness with a molex connector inside, but i cannot get the tank to move forward when I connect the wires.
I don't remember any pedals. The holes are for the step from when it was a Battlezone.
The unused harness sounds interesting. Maybe it's supposed to go to one of the control panels we added. Where does the harness connect? Does it go to the BattleZone Main Board, or does it go to the add-on board we made so we could read more switches (and the range pot)?
There were switches added on the right side of the panel and I think a pot and more switches for the rangefinder somewhere.
2. Do the enemies shoot at you, and can you see their shots? I notice that the enemies guns will flash, but I do not notice any shots coming at me?
I think the enemies are supposed to shoot at you and you are supposed to see the gun flashes. The idea is to learn to recognize which are enemies and which are not. You are supposed to be heavily penalized for shooting at 'friendlies'. I don't know if that got in either.
I am really curious where you got it. As far as anyone knows (or is willing to admit) there were only two made. One went to a conference at Ft. Eustice and was never seen again. The other is in my old boss's barn.
Most of what is known about Army Battlezone is already on the Web.
My source needs to remain anonymous. It was not working when I got it, but I was able to get it going with some minor fixes. I heard the Rick had left his at Atari when he quit. I think this is the same one. If Rick has another one, I would sure like to see it in action
Rick brought ABZ to Atari on my last day. I was disappointed because it didn't work. Scott, thank you for rescuing it. The first ABZ used a control that was adapted from an actual Bradley.
Before the called it the 'Bradley' it was just called the IFV (Infantry Fighting Vehicle). The first ABZ went to Ft. Eustace. The second ABZ used one of the first prototype Star Wars controls.
(It was a downsized version of the actual Bradley control.)