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Tank Battles is a high-action tabletop game where you shoot LEGO® Technic projectiles out of LEGO® Technic Cannons and try to knock down your opponent's flags and troops. This buildable game is easy to modify the rules so that you can have a more fun, customizable playing experience. These are the rules we currently play with at Atlanta Brick Co, birthplace of Tank Battles.

Setting up the Game:

Choosing your Battlefield

The size of your tabletop depends on how large you want your game to be. For smaller numbers of players, a kitchen table will suffice. For large games of 2-on-2 or 4-on-4, a much larger space will be needed. Current games have been played on a 16’ long x 4’ wide table with 4-on-4. The larger the tabletop, the more players you can have, but try to keep the width of the table to no more than 4’ wide so you can reach the middle of the table to aim and fire your cannons. Once your tabletop space is determined, you can set up obstacles and towers, but it is not mandatory. Some fun obstacles can be large skyscraper style buildings, tall tower-like platforms with turrets on top, or castle/fort-like structures with platforms on top for troops and/or cannons. The purpose of these will be explained later on.

Setting up your Army

Once the tabletop is set up, place your troops and tanks at opposing back edges of the table. Each opponent will need an equal size army. Here is a quick guide to equalize your army:

A poseable technic cannon is worth 3 points and is typically affixed to a rolling vehicle which we refer to as tanks. A tank can have up to 4 cannons on it. Each cannon is worth 3 points so a single tank can be worth 3, 6, 9 or 12 points.

A trooper is worth 1 point and usually represented by a minifigure on a stand. LEGO® Dimensions game discs work well, but you could use plates, minifigure stands, or anything else that works for you, just make sure the stand does not stick to the table in any way and the trooper can easily be shot down from all angles.

Decide how many points each opponent will start with at the beginning of a game; this will determine how large/long your game is. Typical armies will start with 30 point. Here is an example of what those armies may look like:

Player 1: a tank with 2 cannons (6 points), a tank with 1 cannon (3 points) and 21 troops (21 points).

Player 2: a tank with 3 cannons (9 points), a tank with 2 cannons (6 points), a tank with 1 cannon (3 points) and 12 troops (12 points).

Choose a Gameplay Objective

There are many different ways to play tank battles, with the two most popular being High Score and Elimination. Different types of gameplay are set up very similar to first person shooter video games such as Golden Eye/Perfect Dark, Halo, Call of Duty and SW Battlefront. King of the Hill is another fun way we have played.

High Score Objective

In the scoring objective, if you knock down a tank’s flag, you get points based on the same system used to set up your army. So a tank with 3 shooting cannons is worth 9 points, 2 cannons are worth 6 points and 1 cannon is worth 3 points. If you knock down a trooper, it is worth 1 point. You can choose whether you want to respawn your game pieces to the starting line when they are knocked down or if you want to remove them from the game. Keep a tally of your points and whoever has the most points at the end of the game wins!

Elimination Objective

In the elimination objective, knocked down tanks and troops are removed from the table and whoever has the most points left on the table at the end of the game wins.

Length of Gameplay

Determine how long you want to play the game for. You can set an end time to give enough time to clean up, set a predetermined number of rounds, or play until your opponents are defeated! Make sure each player or team has the same number of turns before ending play. Some games go quicker than others and you can play multiple games and styles per night and change up teams in the process.


Note: Game Piece movement can be adjusted based on the size of your battlefield

Each game piece can move 24” but you deduct 6” per cannon.

Troops will always move 24”
A tank with 1 cannon will move 18"
A tank with 2 cannons will move 12”
A tank with 3 cannons will move 6”
A tank with 4 cannons will move 0”.

A tank with 4 cannons is basically a stationary tower that cannot move, we seldom use these in a game because it is more fun to be able to move your tank and get closer to your opponents.

If you play on a smaller table top, you could cut these movement numbers in half or if you play on a larger tabletop, you could increase them.

Game pieces

Troops must be at least 4 LEGO® bricks tall and easily knocked down on all sides by a LEGO® Technic Arrow. We have had players build armies with Jawa minifigures which were only 3 bricks tall and they did not fall over very easily so if you use a 3 brick tall minifigure, they must stand on a brick.

Tanks/vehicles should be no more than 12” long and 6” wide. A tank's cannon should not be able to reach higher than 12” tall. The flag on a tank should be affixed the same way for all players to ensure fairness. Different colors of certain pieces may allow the flag to fall down more easily than others. We use a 4x4 plate or plate modified for the flag on a 12L bar (part #99784) and put the bar in a 2x2 jumper plate (#87580). The bar and the plate modified with stud in the center have to be the same color for all players to ensure fairness. Flags can be decorated with parts or stickers.

When the flag is placed on a tank, it must be exposed on all sides, it cannot be hidden from an opponent at all. When a player is shooting at an opponent's flag, the player may request that the flag be turned towards the shooter.

Players may try to camp their tanks behind obstacles so that their flag cannot be hit, however, they are still able to shoot by extending their cannon over the obstacle. If a tank shoots during the attack phase, its flag must be visible to opponents during their attack phase. You can only hide your flag behind an obstacle if you forfeit your right to shoot your cannons during your attack phase.

When shooting your tank, you may rotate the tank in any direction, but you cannot pick the tank up off the table in any way to improve the shot. You can remove your flag to shoot your cannon(s) but you must put it back on your tank when you are done shooting.

You may not modify a cannon's internal mechanisms to make it shoot harder unless all players are aware or allowed to do so. We do not play this way. Technic darts can be modified as long as all players can share them.

Tanks/vehicles can be as simple as taking an existing LEGO® set and sticking a technic cannon on it or building your own, one of a kind tank.

Neutral turrets

Neutral turrets with shooting cannons built on 16x16 plates can be placed throughout the battlefield. These can be on the tabletop or on towers/buildings. A player has control of a turret when they have at least one trooper occupying the 16x16 plate. You can put as many troopers as you can fit on a 16x16 turret plate. If all of your troops are knocked down or off of the turret plate, you no longer control the turret. Only one player may control a turret at a time. If opposing troops occupy a turret, it must result in a skirmish until there is only one army occupying the turret.

Purpose of Troops

Troops can take control of turrets by occupying the turret plate. Troops can also knock out opposing troops from the game by winning a skirmish. Skirmishes take place when an attacking trooper is touching an opposing trooper or occupying the same turret plate. Skirmishes are played out “Risk” style with dice. The attacker rolls up to 3 dice, one for each attacking troop, and the defender rolls up to 2 dice, one for each defending troop. Highest single dice roll wins, ties go to the defender. The attacker can call off the attack at any time after the defending dice roll. For example:

If an attacker has 4 troops attacking 3 defending troops, the attacker would roll 3 dice and the defender 2 dice. If the attacker rolls a 1, 3, & 6 and the defender rolls a 3 & 4, the two highest dice go against each other, the 6 vs. 4, so the attacker knocks out 1 of the defender's troops. Then the next highest dice go against each other, the 3 vs. 3, so the defender knocks out one of the attacker's troops since ties always go to the defender.

Only two troops can be knocked out during each roll. Once the troops are knocked out, they either are removed from the battlefield if playing elimination mode or respawned at the starting line if playing respawn/scoring mode.

Taking a Turn

Decide which player will go first. Depending on where the neutral turrets are located, this can be a very important decision. Whoever goes first gets to move all of their game pieces but does not play an attack phase. After the first player moves, all other turns are played out as normal, move then attack. During a turn, the player whose turn it is must move ALL of their game pieces, then they can attack. Game pieces do not have to move.

Once the attack phase has begun, no more movement is allowed. The attacking player can choose if they want to skirmish with troops first, shoot cannons, or mix it up. You can shoot a neutral turret the same turn that you occupy or capture it. At the end of the game, the player which moved first but did not attack gets one final attack, however, they do not get to move first.

Final Notes

As previously mentioned, this game is highly customizable. We have played many different ways such as using troop transports, different types of grenades for troops to attack tanks, etc. However, we have tried to simplify the game play as much as possible to make it more fun and fast-paced. Feel free to modify the rules to make this game more fun for you, just know if you play on our grounds, house rules apply!

Go check out our Tank Battles Supplies Store HERE!