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Friday, January 3, 2014

Bolt Action - Looking at the Soviet T-28

It occurred to me that while we publish a lot of product reviews, we rarely, if ever, talk about the actual units or vehicles that served in the war, or the way they play in Bolt Action.

I'd like to talk about one of my current favorites in Bolt Action, the T-28.

The T-28, like its big brother the T-35, was produced in the thirties and represented design decisions that were common around the world at the time. Looking back at many of the tanks around at the start of the war, multiple turrets was a common feature. One thing that absolutely separated the T-28 from the early designs of other nations, like the various Vickers tanks, was its outrageous size.

At over twenty four feet long and nearly nine and a half feet tall, the T-28 was huge, but was much smaller than the T-35. Allegedly, the intention was for the 28 to serve as the "light tank" of the two giants while they worked in tandem. It was armed, like many of those tanks from between the World Wars, with several machine guns, and a short barreled cannon. One of its many failings was a large crew that was forced into separate compartments by design, thereby making effective communication between the commander and his crew nearly impossible.

It's performance was unremarkable in general, and most were lost as the Soviets retreated to Moscow. T-28s were involved in the Winter War, however, so if you bought deep into the Finns during a certain Kickstarter, don't come crying to me when your opponent's fielding one of these bullet spraying monstrosities in your Bolt Action game.

Of course, the Soviets lost them to just about everyone they fought. According to the weakly cited Wikipedia article, captured T-28s served in the Finnish, Hungarian, and even German army. If you can find a model of one, you can paint it for many nations - and really, why not? They look incredible and are pretty darn good in a Bolt Action game.

Some say that the Finns had greater success using T-28s than the Soviets did, especially given the fact that they served actively in the Finnish army throughout the war.

The T-28 costs 155 points at regular. There's no option to buy a veteran version, but that's probably fine - not many people buying veteran tanks these days. For those points, you get a damage value 8+, light tank. With the popularity of medium howitzers compared to anti-tank guns, light tanks are a great value.

Additionally, for those one hundred and fifty five points, you get two, turret-mounted medium machine guns; a pintle-mounted anti-aircraft medium machine gun; and a light howitzer turret with a coaxial medium machine gun. Trying to count those all out on your fingers? You can't. You need a calculator. Let me check it for you real quick: The T-28 offers sixteen medium machine gun dice.

In a pinch, of course, you can fire that light howitzer it's sporting. It's so tempting to roll sixteen medium machine guns at one target, though. I'm not sure I can resist.

There's a lot of information out there if you're interested in the T-28. I'd guess it's due to an attraction people have to those epically failed machines of war. I'm very excited to get one on the table, myself. Have any uncommon vehicles you're irrationally obsessed with? Lay it on us, on the forum!

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