Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mini gaming with the Wee

I was recently directed to this post about gaming with small children.  I have had three posts on my search for games to play with Rhys.  In the first one I talked about a home grown dungeon crawl game.  It quickly lost its appeal.  Owyn got bored after the first session, Rhys stuck with it for a few more but was, obviously, not really interested.

My second go around was Lego Castle Fortrann.  This never got played.  Rhys has discovered the online version on the lego web site and he plays that from time to time.  When last reported, we were planning on playing the following weekend.  The boys decided to take all of the pieces and mix them in with the rest of their legos.  That didn't work out so well, then.

The third go around saw me buying one of the Dungeons and Dragons board games.  While this game doesn't scale very well with two players, a couple of modifications have us playing it successfully.  This game was a hit and Rhys loves his "Dungeon Game".  Every couple of weeks we pull it out and have a go at it.

Incidentally, in the post above, I mentioned that we were going to see a 3/4 scale X-Wing.  That did happen and it seems churlish of me not to include a picture.

This thing lives at the local airplane museum, Wings over the Rockies.
So.... to make a short story long and interminable, while Rhys is enjoying his Dungeon Game, it is not the ultimate answer because it is not playing Lord of the Rings, which is what he really wants to do.  In addition to the complexity of the rules I am reluctant because of the way he plays with the models.  They tend to end up getting banged together in combat.  This is fine with squinkies or lego guys, but not with my painfully painted minis.

The post that started this whole story off has a good answer.  A miniature game using any and all miniatures, with simple rules and very little math.  Army size is determined by number of dice.  "We're playing a twenty dice game tonight".  Each troop/dinosaur/robot/whatever is one dice.  Each General is two.  Vehicles or large monsters are more, up to four.

Movement is in inches and every unit gets a free reform; this gets rid of fiddly maneuvers that little boys would not dig at all.  Shooters move 2", fighters 4" and cavalry/vehicles 8".  Fighters hit on 3+ and wound on 4+.  Shooters and vehicles/monsters hit on 4+ and wound on 5+.

Once you've bought your troops you divide them into units, though we may play it as a skirmish game with single models.  Models are either fighters or shooters.  Fighters hit and wound better, shooters can shoot from a distance but have a harder time hitting and wounding.  Vehicles can't fight.  Terrain is simple.  Roll dice and move around until one army is destroyed.  "Ferb, I know what we're going to do today".

This is going to be a winner.  We'll pull out the lego guys and build some armies and start fighting.  I can hardly wait.  The inventor of the game calls it Tourna.  While that is a grand name and all, I'm going to Rhysicize it right now and call it Lego-War.

By the way, there are at least two other Lego wargames out there that I am aware of, though neither is appropriate to my target audience.

The first is BrikWars, which has been around for a long time.  The key thing with this game is that anything goes and if you are thinking about it too hard then you are missing the point.  I highly recommend a read through the rules.  This is how Legos should be played with.

The second is Mobile Frame Zero.  This is a lego mech game.  The rules will run you about $20.  They sell kits for the mechs, though anyone with a Lego collection should be able to build their own.  Rhys and I will be checking this one out a bit down the line.


  1. Sensible idea and well thought out especially with the miniatures.

    1. I hope it passes the sniff test with the little guy. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. We started out with Song of Blades and Heroes and the old D&D boardgame. The former is very easy to learn and kids seem to like it. These days Pathfinder and D&D seem to be the game of choice, over miniatures games, plus Oblivion on the PS3. Worth checking out the old plastic D&D miniatures, as these can take a lot of punishment. Also Star Wars ships (the old Wizards ones, not the new FFG ones).

    1. I hadn't thought of Song of Blades and Heroes, not having been exposed to it, but I'll check it out. I have picked up the Pathfinder starter but he doesn't seem ready for that yet, though I have hopes for the future. We have a WII but the boys haven't really made the jump to console gaming yet. I may have to see what I have for the PC though.

      The local shop has a tub of the WoC Star Wars figures for kids to play with. Rhys adores them and has a few.

      Thanks for the ideas.

  3. Sound like some good games, anything to get them into the hobby helps! They'll be painting up your figures before you know it!

  4. He's painting his own. Not all that much worse than me, truth be told.


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