As it’s hot and August, it’s a good time to cool down with Snowball fights, albeit on the tabletop.
Several bags of soldiers from Toys for a Pound online shop yielded a fine range of coloured Snowball teams which I have simply based and painted.
Faces, boots, snowy white on bases were painted then stuck on Warbases MDF 2p size bases. A tiny number written on the back and base help identify figures, add names etc. in game scenarios.
As you can see, the grenade is now a snowball, thanks to a blob of some gloss white paint.
I dug out my draft snowball fight rules “Packing Sugar at Freddie” that Alan (Duchy of Tradgardland) Gruber and I have been developing on and off as a non-lethal war game, akin to Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop.
Short of time before the dining table was needed again, I quickly set up a quick scatter of white stones, white foam packaging and Christmas fir trees on a white felt gaming cloth and tablecloth.
A quick sketch of rules.
Movement is one lolly stick, half uphill. Some areas (cling film) ice is impassable.
Snowball ammunition unlimited. IGOYUGO roll d6 for each team, highest score moves first, second team next, first team shoots (throws), second team throws.
No melee, no morale, no savings throws.
Long range of three lolly sticks, hit on target on 6 on a d6
Medium range of two lolly sticks, hit on target on a 5 or 6.
Close range of one lolly stick or less, hit on target on a 4,5 or 6.
If target undercover, deduct 1 from d6 score.
Two hits means that the target figure must head (without further firing) straight away each turn towards Camp HQ to the east. Once reached, the umpire can restore the figure to ‘life’ after two turns and they can enter the game again.
Scenario and rules are explained in more detail here:
Aerial view of the snowy tabletop
North is at the top, the Black team base.
To the east is the Game HQ with umpires and observers from the local scout troop.
To the south is the Blue team base.
To the east and west are other snowball fight teams of different colours – green, red and tan – to watch the snowball fight game.
The Aim of the game / Victory Conditions
‘Capture the Flag’ style, each team must steal the rival team’s flag (barrel) from their base and return it to their own camp, without losing their own flag (barrel) from their own base.
A small bear cub wanders through the snowscape past the central snowman.
A wall heater gets disguised as a distant snow ridge with Christmas trees.
Things started to wrong for the Blue team quite quickly, leading to them either falling back South to protect their ‘flag’ end area or heading East to be restored to gaming life.
Black team are now within long range snowball distance of the Blue team camp.
Each successful snowball hit is marked by a gemstone on the base, then when reaching two hits, the figure’s game life is lost.
A metal washer or silver tape ring is used to mark those figures who have lost their ‘game life’ and are heading straight for the Game HQ to the east. Here the umpire can restore a figure to fresh game life and head back onto the table after two turns.
Movement is restricted, interrupted and shaped using logs, trees, impassable ice (marked out by gems and polythene cling film) and snow hills
Very quickly, most of the Blue team seemed to be ‘heading east’, twice hit by snowballs so temporarily out of the game and unable to fire, until their game lives can be restored by the Umpire to the east.
The Blue team’s ‘flag’ (barrel) is captured and would quickly be taken unopposed back to the Black team’s camp, so the Umpire declares this a Black team win and game is over.
‘Home’ and time for tea …
What I liked about this quick game
It could all be made very cheaply using Pound Store soldiers in grenade throwing and other poses, along with terrain of cheap Christmas fir trees, snow hills from foam packaging and other found objects such as logs on a white cloth.
I have also used polystyrene or white Lego type bricks in previous games – see here https://poundstoreplasticwarriors.wordpress.com/2020/12/27/snowball-fight-at-camp-benjamin-bmc-plastic-army-women-arrive/
I like the crisp whiteness, simple and fresh look of the game.
I didn’t add extra abilities like marksman (add 1 to each d6 dice roll) or target’s agility (remove 1 from the d6).
I didn’t add the ‘called home time’ rule, the ‘cold fingers’ Rules etc as I knew it would be a short game – read more here at
What I didn’t like so much about the quick game
I played this game solo and the dining table being in a busy area of the house with distractions, I often forgot what or who was moving or shooting at times. A simple Turn Counter would solve this.
I couldn’t find my bag of small metal washers to mark hits on figures, so quickly made some silver rings from silver present tape. The two gems as hit markers often get mixed up and left behind. I have now ordered some small clear plastic Roman blind or curtain rings for the next game.
Two hits happened very quickly to many figures, especially at close range; with no savings throws, many figures were soon heading east to the Game HQ to have a gaming life restored. A higher number of hits is perhaps needed before the game life is lost?
Anyway, a good fast fun game. Why not have a go with some suitable figures and some old Christmas stuff?
Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 3 August 2021