Having the Bottle to come out Tops in Tribal Warfare?

Somehow this post never got finished in 2018 but thanks to Alan Tradgardland Gruber’s memories in his comment on my Mother’s Day post on my Man Of TIN blog, I thought of Subbuteo and its odd influence on my gaming. Alan had memories of playing Subbuteo Cricket with his mother, which reminded me of this Subbuteo / bottle top tribal wargaming crossover.


Reading John Patriquin’s interesting blog Wargames Hermit, John was interested in recreating the free flowing rituals of Tribal Warfare as seen amongst the Dani people of New Guinea.

YouTube link West Papua 1963 https://youtu.be/JI4uirwxx1Y

John called into action his chessboard battlefield and good old Airfix Indians.




It reminded me of a strange article from an early 1983 Miniature Wargames No. 11 magazine called ‘Stone Age Wargames’ that used beer bottle top mounted Warriors as a bizarre Subbuteo / Wargames mash up to reflect the free flowing movement of such Tribal Warfare.

When I mentioned this to John, he too remembered this article!

I thought I would have a winter (2018) evening knock around to see how this might work with whatever figures and bottle tops I had to hand.


I believe this Stone Age Wargames article in Miniature Wargames c. 1982/83 rules were by Andy Callan.

Andy Callan, he of the Hair Roller Armies, the Maori Wars Rules using Peter Laing 15mm amidst dense carpet forests and who is still writing rules for the Peter Dennis Paperboys Series, Never Mind the Billhooks Rules etc.


Blog posted finally by Mark Man Of TIN, 20 March 2023


Author: 26soldiersoftin

Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures. I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures. Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules. To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...

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