A quickly converted chess board and some Wilko Heroes pound store ‘paintzooka’ soldiers
Sometimes you struggle to find a use for all those ‘useless’ toy soldier poses you get too many of.
Bazooka man. Mine detector man. Flamethrower man. You know the ones. The ones you can’t usually properly use, as nobody can use too many of these heavy weapons poses. The ones they sometimes seem to manage to cram too many of into the average pound store bag or playset of toy soldier figures. Not mentioning lying down man, clubbing with rifle man etc.
I have been exploring over the last year or two some non-lethal games, non-fighting or non-lethal strategy games where no one gets hurt or ever dies. These range from Scouting Wide Games, snowball fights rules and Home Guard training games. Such games would be good for public participation or library gaming without the militaristic connotations that put some parents off toy soldier games or wargames.
I have noticed an interesting cross over between wargames, board games, and video games. YouTube has a series of lectures by the now retired American academic and board game collector George Phillies on board wargames design for video game design students.
There is an interesting crossover into other pop culture aspects, where a video game becomes a film (Tomb Raider, Assassins Creed, Angry Birds movies).
Sometimes a video game becomes a physical toy and game (Angry Birds again), books, a collectible card game or short lived plastic figure range (Fortnite etc). which prove useful for sci-fi figure gaming minis (see The Works store in the U.K.).
I thought about turning this video game into another form whilst playing on the family games console the Nintendo ‘paint warfare’ classic Splatoon. (This is almost as much fun as Nintendo Mario mini game Splatarazzi but that’s another story …)
Splatoon is a very successful video game that has now spawned a series of games, Splatoon 2 etc. It can be played solo or as a four game multiplayer game.
Nintendo Splatoon 1 trailer
Nintendo Splatoon 2 YouTube trailer
The object of the game Splatoon is to cover as much of the area with your paint colour. You can hit opponents to slow them down. You can hit enemy players to knock them out of the game temporarily, once they have lost all their health and life points, sending them back to their spawn point or baseline.
Different weapons have more paint coverage.
Movement and Firing
So for our figure poses the following suggestions (rules draft 1.0):
A (flamethrower) paint-thrower squirts 2 whole squares straight ahead or diagonally.
A mortar fires a paint bomb 3 or more squares away.
The mine detector paint roller covers just the one square that it moves into.
The paint-zooka fires at a single square two squares ahead.
Additional figure: A grenade Man could be throwing paint bombs into the face of the critics and paying gallery public, oh no, sorry, that’s modern art and art history.
Ammo refill as many times as you like. There are only 64 double sided squares to put on the same number of squares on your chessboard.
Figures move one square at a time and can fire on that turn. Fire can be forwards, backwards, diagonal, straight.
Exception: climbing hill or obstacle, you only move that turn – no firing.
Like chess, each side moves one figure each turn. IGOYUGO.
Splatoon the video game is a fast moving shooter / shootemup (paintemup?) with time limits. Solo or several players, setting a short Wellsian time limit to move one figure (or more if you decide) per turn should capture this feel.
A square that has previously been painted can be easily repainted by the opposition. Just turn over the square to the opposite colour.
A time limit or turn limit can be used to see who finally covers most squares in their paint colour in the time – victory!
Too many on each side in this tryout?
What you need
A chess board, hex board or other gridded surface.
Some cheap useless poses of Pound Store Plastic Soldier figures
As many two colour reversible squares as you have in the game board. 64 for a chess board.
I made these squares by paper glueing two different colours together then drawing with pencil a grid of my chess board sized squares on one side of the paper only. When cutting these out, you can add several more two colour sided sheets of paper, if you are careful, speeding up the task.
Add some obstacles – this hill is made of a fence post cap with square grid of paper glued in to match the chessboard. Add a tree. Add a wall. The original Splatoon game is 3D urban industrial skate park territory.
Poundland 32mm paintzooka guys … one just climbed the hill, no firing allowed that turn.
To establish some more complexity, a wider range of poses and weapons of other Pound Store figures could be used.
You may have come across non-lethal paint balling. This is another possibility of hits on players, recorded in various ways such as plastic rings or washers over their weapon / head etc. In Splatoon the enemy or opposing side can be hit by paint and have to respawn on their baseline, wasting their painting time.
Paint Hits on Players
Paintzooka hit on nominated enemy target – Roll 5 or 6 to hit target / figure
Mortar paintbomb – roll 6 to hit at 2 to 3 places at nominated target / figure
Paint-thrower – roll 6 to hit at 2 squares distance at nominated target / figure
Paint roller – no offensive capability? (Mine detector figure)
Once several hits (2 or 3) have been received, the figure goes back to baseline and starts again.
Featherstone savings throws (d6 roll of 5,6 ‘not wounded’) can be added as you require for complexity.
Add in modifiers for being behind cover as you wish.
So there you are – Spl-Attaque, Spl-Attack, Spl-Attergy. Call it what you will. Some quick play draft game rules to play around with over the next couple of months to make a Featherstone simple game, he having frequently used the phrase that wargames are like a game of “chess with a thousand pieces” (and others would no doubt add, as many variations of the rules as there are players). Enjoy rules tinkering!
Blog posted by Mark Man of (paint) TIN, 29 – 30 June 2020. All riches from playing this game should be credited and copyrighted to Mark Man of TIN.
Why the name Splatoon anyway? “S-Platoon – The first casualty of Paint Wars is the Furniture …”?
References screenshots to Splatoon by Nintendo are not ‘unintendo’ to infringe their copyright or IP, purely for reference. Why not buy the original videogame?