Wednesday, July 11, 2007 - Toymallet

I don't know if I've mentioned it previously, but I do not play miniatures games, although I must admit the idea caught my interest briefly. A lot of table-top role-players will get into miniatures as an offshoot of their main hobby and for some folks there is no separation. The type of games I'm referring to here are Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, D&D Battlesystem or the newer D&D I really do get the attraction and there have been times that I wished I had the time, energy and finances to devote to these games.

However, one thing has always held me back. There are really two aspects to getting into these games. The first half is the planning, strategy and the actual gameplay. At it's core, this is the fun part. The second half is the preparation, planning, collecting and painting. Mostly, there is a lot of detailed painting that those who seriously get into mass table-top strategy combat. This is where I lose interest. I appreciate the artistry and the patience it must take, but I'm not really going to sit down patiently and do it myself. I've been told that you can buy pre-painted units or just play with them unpainted. But I'd bet the purists that someone might play against would sneer. Perhaps the fact that the miniatures are still expensive would be reason enough.

Perhaps that's why Jennifer Reitz' Toymallet interested me immediately. The book is a free product that is a parody of Games Workshop, creators of Warhammer and Warhammer 40k. The book is readable online or downloadable as a .PDF. It details how to play a table-top war game with terrain and dice and soldiers using whatever random cheap toys and figures that the gamer might already have around the house. Plastic green army men, hello kitty figurines, gumby toys and just about anything can be used to build an army. Now, be clear on the understanding that although this is in some ways a 'parody' of actual miniatures wargames, it is in fact a 100% real game, play-tested and complete. It's also simple and easy to learn with rules that make a lot of sense right off the page.

Miniature Gaming on the Cheap

Welcome to the world of totally cheap tabletop wargaming! Why spend buckets of cash on a superior, worthwhile product when you can download this crappy cheap ass parody of Warhammer 40K? Now you too can roll fistfulls of dice to see who split whos testicl...

I'd love to play this game. I have action figures and little plastic guys that would work well. More importantly, the concept of this game could be quickly dropped into the middle of any campaign if the players are called to lead a battle. Check out for more information.

There's a precedent for this in my experience, because at least one Dark Sun adventure that incorporated the older Battlesystem rules at the surprise climax of the adventure. The PCs can become embroiled in a massive battle that they lead against the invaders. This would make that battle possible without acquiring all those pewter figures and get right down to the fast-paced battle. I love it!

More Information On Miniatures Gaming

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