Gotta thank The Texas Bucket List for telling us about this, but just down the road, near Hico, Texas, is a place where folks like you and I can climb into our mini tanks, set out across the battlefield, and blast paint balls at each other.

It's called Mini Tank Battlefield and was created by retired Army tank operator, Robert Valdez. He spent 21 years in the Army, retiring as a First Sargeant. Over those years he operated most of the tank vehicles the United States military has in its arsenal. Upon retiring he discovered some miniature tanks built on skid loader platforms and had the idea to create a tank paintball battlefield in Texas.

While a full size tank can weigh around 20 tons, these little versions weigh around 700 pounds. They're powered by 18 horsepower gasoline engines and operate with the same joystick controls as a skid steer. Maximum speed is less than 2 miles per hour but these little buggies turn on a dime. They also have paintball guns attached. Those paintballs are calibrated to about 270 feet per second. Not enough to cause any serious injuries, but enough to leave a few scrapes and bruises for your battle stories later.

Robert Valdez and his partners in this venture will set you up in the tanks, make sure you're covered with the appropriate safety gear, and send you off on one of the more or less prearranged battle configurations. You could try to reenact the Battle of the Bulge, or one of several other scenarios. It's kinda like the old Atari Tank game, but way better.

The Mini Tank Battlefield covers 66 acres of fun with three different battlefields and participants are encouraged to bring a picnic lunch and make a day of it. It's also a BYOB facility but you'll have to wait until after the battle to earn that treat.

Hico, Texas, is about two and a half ours south on US 281.

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