Tiny plastic toy soldiers have been mass produced since the end of the 18th century, according to The Toy Soldier Company. Today you can still have full scale wars in your house or backyard without having to shell out a lot of cash for fancy toys and vehicles. All you need are plenty of army men and some dice. You and your friends can wage intricate wars that can rival any video or board game in creativity. Alter the rules to fit your game and create your own to make a game more challenging.
Establishing the Rules
Before you start the game, determine which soldiers and vehicles belong to which person and mark them with a piece of colored tape if you cannot tell them apart. Decide as a group on the rules for the game and on the victory conditions. You can alter the basic rules to accommodate different types of vehicles or soldiers and to adjust for different playing fields. A victory can be as simple as destroying all the enemy armies or as complex a mission as rescuing a hostage or defusing a bomb. Determine any variations on the basic rules before you start and write them down so you can refer to them during play.
Taking Your Turn
At the start of your turn, move any soldiers and vehicles you want and then declare your attack phase. Corey Butler in the article "Fighting Plastic" suggests allowing soldiers traveling on foot to move within a one foot radius on each turn and vehicles, such as a tank, to move two feet. Use a ruler to determine the distance each piece can move. If a tank turns around, this ends its movement for that turn and it cannot continuing moving until the next turn. Players may wish to use special rules for rough ground or soldiers moving uphill. Corey Butler suggests cutting the range of movement in half for these conditions.
After declaring the attack phase, players can choose up to 12 soldiers to attack at one time and the enemy under fire can defend with up to 12 soldiers. The players should determine the radius a soldier can attack. For example, perhaps he can only attack other soldiers that are within six inches of him. If the attacker or defender has fewer than 12 soldiers in the area being attacked, he can only use as many as he has. The attacker and defender each roll a pair of dice to represent the soldiers fighting. If six or less soldiers are in use, roll only one die. Compare the scores of the die that rolled highest for each player and the person with the highest number wins. In the event of a tie, look at the next two highest dice or roll again. The loser subtracts his roll from the winner's roll and the difference indicates how many soldiers he lost.
The attacker can decide to attack again, attack in a different spot or attack with fewer soldiers. He can also decide to end his turn without attacking. When attacking with tanks or other vehicles, assign a certain number of health points to each vehicle. You might decide to assign an extra die for attacking vehicles. For example, a tank attacking a group of soldiers could roll one more die than the defending player. If the defender has 12 defending soldiers and thus rolls two dice, the tank could roll three. You can also rule that vehicles can only attack other vehicles. This prevents one tank from wiping out an entire army.
Ending the Game
After each turn, the fallen soldiers and destroyed vehicles are removed from the game and the attacking player either attacks again or declares his attack phase over. Play goes to the next person and continues until one person meets the victory conditions. For special events in the game, players can roll the dice to determine what happens.
For example, if the object of the game is to rescue a hostage, the rules could state that the player must reach the hostage first and then roll to see if they rescue the person. If the player rolls odd numbers on both dice, they rescue the hostage. If they roll even numbers they do not rescue the hostage and their soldier has to move back two feet. If they roll one even and one odd, the soldier dies and the player must try again next turn with a new soldier.