Review: Combat Storm 2nd Edition Boxed Set

The Combat Storm Boxed Set includes Army Men in these poses. Each pose represents a different type of soldier with unique abilities. Image taken from combatstorm.com.

Combat Storm is a rule set produced by Strategy Wave Studios. It is designed for two to four players, ages 12 and older. Combat Storm is a turn-based tactical wargame, intended for use with plastic Army Men as miniatures. The implied scale is 1:35 or 54mm, i.e., one inch of tabletop represents three feet in the game.

The rules are available at combatstorm.com. The rulebook retails for $22.99 U.S., but for an additional $7 U.S. you can purchase a boxed set including the rulebook, about 60 Army Men of various poses and colors, and four vehicles: a main battle tank, a light tank, a self-propelled artillery vehicle, and an air defense/ground support vehicle. Purchase of the rulebook, whether in the boxed set or by itself, grants access to the online Combat Storm Player Portal, through which you can subscribe to newsletters, download exclusive content like print and play tokens for identifying squads and troop states or papercraft terrain, and access utilities such as an army builder tool. You can also purchase additional Army Men, armored vehicles, dice, and additional paid papercraft downloads on the Combat Storm site.

This review describes the boxed set, including a review of the rules. Continue reading “Review: Combat Storm 2nd Edition Boxed Set”

Review and Casting Tutorial: Meng 1:35 Concrete and Plastic Barrier Set

It’s been quite some time since we’ve posted a video. This time, it is a quick review of the Concrete and Plastic Barrier Set by Meng. A pleasant surprise was that the set actually included a mold for creating these road barriers from gypsum or casting plaster! The review of the set is followed by a quick tutorial on casting barriers from plaster. If you obtain the set or have any ideas that should be added to the tutorial, please let us know in the comments.

Review: Guns ‘n Grenades

Guns_Grenades_CoverEditor’s note: the designers of this game have released a v. 1.5 of these rules, which we recommend. You can read the latest review here. In addition, the designers have chosen to make the current rule set available as a free download! You can download those rules here.

 

Guns ‘n Grenades is a downloadable, tactical rule set for wargaming with 54mm plastic army men, retailing for $1 U.S. The rules are simple – only 11 pages in length, including numerous illustrations – but they make for a quick and cheap game.

The mechanics are easy enough; roll one six-sided die, add your attack or defense modifier (depending on what your troops are doing), and compare it with your opponent’s score. If the attack roll is higher than the defense roll, a hit is scored.

Soldiers each have four stages of life in this game: healthy, wounded, bloodied, and dead. When a soldier is hit, he usually loses one stage. The authors recommend using slips of paper to identify wounded or bloodied targets.

Plastic soldiers are divided into types, based upon the way they are sculpted. For example, a figure holding an assault rifle is a common rifleman, while any figure aiming down the sights of his weapon is considered a sniper. The authors even found a use for that officer-style pose with the pointing arm – they are scouts. There is a total of nine soldier types.

Continue reading “Review: Guns ‘n Grenades”

Video Review: Ninjas vs. Pirates Battle Figures Set

We’ve added another unboxing/review video to the Army Men Wargaming YouTube Channel! This clip is a close look at the Ninjas vs. Pirates Battle Figures Set by Imperial Toy, LLC. While not exactly the first image that comes to mind when thinking of Army Men, there are some quality sculpts in this 90-figure, 54mm set, which retails at $3 to $6 U.S.

Budget Battle, a free, downloadable rule wargame set designed specifically for these sets, is reviewed here. We designed a set of print-and-play tokens for Budget Battle, which are available for free download here.

If you play this game and determine a victor in the Pirates Vs. Ninjas saga, please tell us about it in the comments!

Review and free download: Budget Battle

Budget Battle was designed specifically for play sets like this one.
Budget Battle was designed specifically for play sets like this one.

There are dozens of wargaming rule sets that could make use of army men as miniatures, and Budget Battle is a fine example. The rules, drafted by Phil West (free download here), are a mere six pages in length. They were prepared for use with any of the numerous play sets available in 54mm/2-inch “army men” scale, containing two separate forces – forces which don’t always include army men. As examples, the author cites sets labeled Army Men vs. Cavemen, or Pirates vs. Ninjas.

Components

Enough 54mm figures to form two sides, a handful of six-sided dice, a tape measure or ruler

Army Building

No rules are provided for army building; there are no point values or limitations on how many of a certain type of figure may be present in a squad or on the battlefield. Since the rules clearly state that they are designed for use with a specific type of play set that includes two separate forces, the implication seems to be that the players will empty the canister of troops and start the battle with whatever is inside.

Continue reading “Review and free download: Budget Battle”

Review and free download: One Brain Cell Toy Soldier Rules

One of the best aspects of wargaming with army men is that players aren’t tied to a specific set of rules or line of miniature figures. There are literally dozens of rule sets suitable for army men battles available, all of which are inexpensive and most of which are free.

The One Brain Cell Toy Soldier Rules by Pete Kautz is a fine example of such a rule set (free download here). The entire document, including advanced rules, is only four pages long. Admittedly, it is a very simple system for a tabletop wargame, but that is this system’s greatest strength.

Components

All you need to play are some army men, and a couple of six-sided dice. A tape measure is useful, but not strictly necessary, as are items that could serve as cover or terrain.

Army Building

A very simple point system is used to help ensure fairness (or unfairness, in the case of unequal forces). A few simple guidelines – like having a maximum of two special weapons in a single squad – helps keep units from becoming unrealistically overpowered.

Continue reading “Review and free download: One Brain Cell Toy Soldier Rules”