Blue Max General Information


Brief Description: A set of rules to simulate air to air combat of world war I.

Period: 1914-1918 World War I (The original boxed edition of Blue Max only covered the latter portion of the war from 1917-1918. The new Miniatures rules cover the entire war and can be used alone or as an expansion module to the boxed set.)

Scale: 1:1 - each counter/model represents one plane. Each turn represents approximately 3-4 seconds of time - ground scale is abstracted by representing plane speed in hexes: One hex of movement=85/95mph then goes up by 5mph per hex. (85mph for early war / 95mph for late war)

Basing: For miniatures play most players use a hex shaped base of aircraft plywood with telescoping antennas to allow for the different altitude ranges the game can represent. The most popular scale is 1/72 scale plastic models but 1/144 scale lead miniatures can also be used.

Contents: Miniatures Rules include 16 page booklet with expanded campaign, altitude and optional rules, 140 counters for damage allocation and tailing, Combat chart, Aircraft record sheets, Flight log and 44 Aircraft Maneuver Schedules covering aircraft for the entire war.

Game Designers: Phillip M. Hall ( or and Allan Wright (

Publisher: GDW Games / ISBN 1-55878-194-3

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1646 / Bloomington, IL 61702-1646

Detailed Description

Blue Max uses 'plotted' movement in turns with simultaneous movement followed by combat for that game turn. Damage is allocated with a unique system of damage chits that have color coded sides to represent different levels of damage. Players keep track of the status of their aircraft, ammunition supply and maneuvers on specially designed easy to use record sheets. The scale of the game allows for players to control their planes maneuvers on a turn by turn basis.

The Game Turn Sequence

Corrections / Updates

The game has been released in 2 boxed editions (1 and 2) with a 3rd edition Rulebook, Aircraft maneuver schedule and record sheets being released to correct some minor problems with the second edition. The most recent release of Blue Max is as a set of miniatures rules. The rulebook, new aircraft and new damage allocation chits are all compatible with the boxed edition of the game however and make a good 'expansion module' for the boxed game.

The Blue Max Miniatures Rules inadvertantly got shipped without the aircraft availability chart, and with an incorrect combat chart. The correct version of both may be downloaded from the Additional Aircraft and Charts page.

What Players Think

From: (William McHarg)
I'm glad to see that other people are [using Blue Max for miniature wargaming] too. I was introduced to WWI air with miniatures by Charlie Clay, from Memphis. We have a group of about 12 of us that are playing a campaign. We've done charts for the early planes, mostly by just "dumbing down" the earlier planes, and trying to come up with progressively better planes when they come along.

If you would like to add your opinion here, send email to the maintainer listed below.

Blue Max page written and maintained by: Allan Wright ( If you have additional information or corrections, please e-mail me.
Last update: December 7th 1995