World of Tanks Generals is a strategy card game from Wargaming that challenges players to battle one another using cards themed after World War 2-era tanks and combat techniques. While it is a card game, it avoids the usual mobile card game caveats by making the gameplay experience reliant more on sound strategic planning rather than luck, or how much money the player is willing to spend.

The gameplay experience takes place on a game board that is three units tall and five units wide. Players position their tanks in the squares surrounding their headquarters card, and once deployed, players can move their tanks to any neighboring unoccupied position during their turns. Each tank card has unique offensive and defensive capabilities, so while one tank may be able to move multiple spots in one turn, it may be weakly armored. Another card may have lots of armor, but does very little damage.

To support the tanks, the player has ability cards that can deal direct damage to enemy tanks, repair the headquarters card, and double-up offensive capabilities (among other things). Every card played  tank or support, costs fuel (think of fuel like you would mana in Hearthstone). At the start of each turn the fuel is replenished, and additional fuel can be collected by having particular tanks out in play.

World of Tanks Generals review

Between the support cards, the tank variety, and the strategic capabilities the game includes, World of Tanks Generals is a fun little card game that I found to be a breath of fresh air.

The most refreshing aspect of World of Tanks Generals is that there really isn’t any card collecting to worry about. As you play the game you’ll unlock in-game currency that you can use to research new cards and add them to your deck. The cards you research are specifically chosen, so you always know what you’re getting. There are no random packs, and you’re researching the same handful of cards that all the other players have access to.

To research a card, players can simply choose which army to focus on (United States, Russia, or Germany) and work down a tech tree,  selecting to research down the specific branches of their choosing. Each branch offers different cards to research, and I enjoyed the relative uniqueness each card had, while not being so incredibly different that one has a clear advantage over another.

As a testament to the game’s overall well-balanced gameplay, the matches tend to drag on a bit longer than the excitement lasted. The matches I played lasted around ten minutes. That’s not a particularly long amount of time as far as video games go, but it felt like a long time to be engaged with a single opponent playing a simple card game. If you’re the type of person who doesn’t mind long gameplay sessions on your phone or tablet, then of course, this isn’t going to be an issue for you. Just don’t expect World of Tanks Generals to be something you can casually pick up and play in 60 second spurts.

World of Tanks Generals is different enough from most card games that it feels fresh and new, yet should easily appeal to a very specific breed of gamer that already exists. After learning the basics I started looking at the cards as actual tanks rather than cards, and I was casually pulling off tank maneuvers like the Desert Fox himself. World of Tanks Generals is a great card game for casual players and card game enthusiasts alike — but for the more casual player, it might take a little longer to play than what they’re used to on mobile devices.