How many tanks did you say we could use?

A terrible photo I know. I am trying not to use newer photos to tell older stories, so must remember to revisit this force again soon.


Bolt Action had hooked us and was playing well. I even won a couple of games. Not a regular occurrence for me. But, boys will be boys, and the challenge was set to see who could get the most tanks on the table in a game of Bolt Action.

Now, Bolt Action lends itself very well to combined forces, with an emphasis on infantry. It was never designed as a mass tank game, and for a good reason too. A 28mm game cannot hope to fit that many vehicles, with longer weapon ranges, on a 6×4 foot table. This is the reason smaller scale games exist. 15mm (or smaller) is a good scale for a tank game. In the past I have collected 20mm, 15mm and 6mm tanks, all before the time of the shed. Of those older collections, few remain, and only one in any complete form. I have however, kept a large US Army for Flames of War. There is something about 15mm that seems to make it a good size for this type of army. Its small enough to allow me to have loads of them but large enough to keep the detail I like to see in my models. We did not fall in love with the Flames of War ruleset though, and I have not played with these troops for quite some time.

This little challenge, one oversized game, would allow them out of the case for a brief moment and into the sunshine again.

A table was set up. My old 15mm buildings and dirt roads left an open battlefield just suited to tank warfare.


My opponent was the soviet steamroller (with two tanks for every one of mine).

The result was carnage with my slightly higher quality tanks suffering against the higher rate of fire of the soviets. The rules were adjusted, where needed, in the spirit of the game but proved in the end not to be up to the task. So, for now, we have no plans for a repeat of this particular game.

Warlord are publishing a Tank War expansion for their Bolt Action game, later this year. I suspect that their investment in, and mass production of 28mm miniatures, will mean it cannot supply the massed tank actions that a smaller scale game can. I will most likely buy this book and enjoy the game it provides, but I have a suspicion that I will still find myself craving something bigger (or smaller…) than it has to offer.

Next up… Back to a bigger scale…