The Simple Toy Soldier Game


Here’s a belated Christmas present from me to you, my attempt at a tactical, yet simple rule set with the goal of quickly and excitingly playing out firefights between small squads of troops with modern weapons. I’ve had a lot of fun with this rule set over the last couple of years since it popped into my head and I hope you do to! I’ve used it for skirmish games of Deathzap, WW2, Modern or Imagi-Nation conflicts.


The following are rules for playing quick skirmish games with 4-8 figures per side, armed with modern weaponry, and one figure armed with a light machine gun. The table or gaming area should be packed with terrain!

Players roll off to determine who has the first activation during a turn. During a players activation they can activate one figure. When a figure activates roll a die, this is the number of action points (AP) the figure gets.

For 1AP the figure can move 1 inch, or 2 inches if it doesn’t spend any AP on shooting this activation.

The figure can also fire at an enemy figure, for 1AP the figure can put 1 fire marker on a target figure in the open, for 2AP the figure can put a fire marker on a figure in soft cover, and for 3AP the figure can put a fire marker on a figure in hard cover. Light machine guns firing at infantry count their cover as one less, with a figure in the open taking two fire markers per 1AP spent. Or you can consult the table below, which shows how many AP you need to spend to put a fire marker on an enemy figure:

  Target’s Cover Type
In the Open Soft Cover Hard Cover
Small Arms 1AP 2AP 3AP
Machine Guns 1AP (For 2FM) 1AP 2AP

If a figure moves into melee combat with another it immediately fights it in melee. Roll a die for each figure, adding one to the figure that initiated the combat. The figure that scores highest kills their opponent, and in the case of a draw both are killed. If the figure currently activating survives the combat any remaining AP it had are spent and its activation ends.

A figure can also cancel 1 fire marker on themselves for 1AP. Each fire marker not cancelled when the figure has spent all of its AP results in the figure having to make a saving throw, on a 4+ the figure carries on as normal, on a 1-3 the figure is killed and removed from play.

A figure can also pass, meaning spend all of its remaining AP without doing anything. You cannot retain any AP, it must all be spent before moving on.

Once a figure has been activated mark it with a counter. That figure cannot be activated until the next turn.

Once all figures have been activated the game turn is over. Remove all activation tokens from all the figures, but leave any fire markers, and roll off to see who has the first activation in the next turn. If the sides in a game are uneven, and one player has run out of figures to activate the other player is allowed to activate all of their remaining figures consecutively, until all figures in play have been activated once each.

If a side takes casualties during a turn at the end of that turn roll a die and multiply the result by the number of figures on that side still alive, then roll another die and multiply the result by the number of figures killed during the turn. If the result for killed figures exceeds the result for remaining figures that side routs and the game ends.

I find the easiest method of keeping track of fire markers on a figure is by using a die that is a different colour from the one you normally roll. I also use glass beads to show if a figure has been activated or not in the turn.