I think I’ve finally cracked it! The Simple Toy Soldier Game that is. Ever since the core idea of the game popped into my head a few years ago I’ve been constantly fiddling and tweaking with it, and I could get close to it working, but I was never quite there. Now finally I think it’s playing how I wanted it to. Something that simulates a firefight in a relatively realistic way, where suppression and movement is key, but where you don’t get bogged down in a stalemate (which is what tended to happen in all the previous versions).
So here goes:
Each force should be around 5 figures in strength with a single figure armed with a heavy weapon. You could have more figures in a force that was of a lower quality, or give an additional figure to a weaker player.
Construct a deck of cards with 1 card in for each figure you’re going to play with (that’s all figures on both sides). If you don’t want to have to make a deck just use a standard deck of cards and number your figures in some way, I use the number of grass tufts on their base as a sneaky way differentiate them and using red or black to differentiate the sides.
Shuffle the deck and place it face down then draw a card, the figure whose card that is activates. Once the figure has finished its activation draw the next card and so on until the deck is exhausted. If you are playing a game where objectives are counted at the end of a turn do this when the deck is exhausted. Then reshuffle the deck and draw again starting the next ‘turn’.
When a figure activates roll a die (generally a D6, although if you like you can add in more elite troops by rolling a D8 or D10, I had a lot of success playing out an action where some US Paratroops assaulted a German Machine Gun position using D8s for the Paratroops). The number rolled on the die 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 that they can see (use true line of sight), for 1AP the figure can roll 1 die for shooting, if the figure is armed with a heavy weapon for 1AP they can roll 2 dice. The result needed on the die to put a fire marker on the target figure is as below:
|Target in the open (100% visible to the shooter)||In Soft Cover (partially obscured by wood, vegetation etc)||In Hard Cover (partially obscured by stone, concrete, thick metal etc)|
I find the easiest method of keeping track of fire markers on a figure is by using a small die that is a different colour from the ones you normally roll.
You’ll notice that there are no ranges listed, this is because it is assumed on most wargaming tables most firearms in most situations should be well within their effective ranges (unless they’re from the 40k universe). I like to keep things simple, but if you really wanted to and were playing Sci Fi you could draw up a little table here that added in more factors such as weapon strength and target toughness… cough… cough…
If a figure moves into melee combat with another it immediately fights it in melee. Roll a die for each figure, adding the number of fire markers on the defending figure to the attacker’s score and vice versa. 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. Again here you could modify melee combat by giving certain figures bonuses, +1 for a pistol or melee weapon etc. Or allowing elite troops to roll better dice D8s or D10s.
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. You could modify the saving throw, better troops save on a 3+ for example, worse troops on a 5+ or even 6, but don’t worry too much if you’re already rolling better activation dice for better troops as they should have more AP to cancel those fire markers.
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. This tends to happen when you’re trying to cross a gap without being mowed down by a heavy weapon. It might only be 4” to cross to the other side of the alleyway and to safety, but that’s inevitably when you roll that 1 for AP. You could risk it, maybe your figure’s card will come up first in the next turn before that heavy weapon that’s keeping you pinned down? Do you risk it, or play it safe?
If you’re playing a simple up and at ‘em kind of game where two forces are just trying to kill each other I’d use the morale rules I’ve stolen from Mr Featherstone as follows: If a side takes casualties once the deck is next exhausted 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 since the last time the deck was exhausted. If the result for killed figures exceeds the result for remaining figures that side routs and the game ends
If you’re playing an objective based game where sides can score victory points (I normally go first to 6 or 10) then instead of rolling for morale just add 1 victory point each time a side kills an enemy. It simulates that the morale of the other force is waning without you having to roll more dice.
So that’s all the rules, I suggest you pick a fun scenario especially if playing solo, it makes games much more interesting.
Now lets have a look at my Irregular Miniatures 28mm collection so far:
The Ray Men are pretty classic ‘greys’, albeit with slightly elongated heads and with what look like gills on the sides. There’s another code I haven’t picked up yet, one riding a chicken-monster armed with a trident.
Up next are the ‘Humanoid Aliens’ which is a name that really doesn’t do these guys justice. I’ve shown them before albeit unpainted. They also have two other codes a loader for the machine gun and a ‘scout walker’ which costs £7.59 and I can’t find any pictures of, I’ll no doubt take the plunge at some point.
Above are my finished Space Vandals, you’ve seen these guys before too, but unpainted. The only one missing from the range here is the ‘girl with stunner and hand computer’ who is huge compared to these guys so I haven’t included her.
Finally the ‘Imperial Marines in Power Armour’. I’ve got all the codes bar the ammo carrier for the heavy weapon and the hover bike. These guys are much bigger than the rest of the range and are probably genetically enhanced cough… cough… I had to mount mine of 32mm bases rather than the usual 25mm bases that the rest of the figures are on. To compare below I’ve taken a picture of a 42mm Pirate, Ray Man and Imperial Marine all side by side:
I’ve still got the Spice-Lice to paint and they I’ll be adding them.
Now to update those all important totals:
910 figures bought.