An Army of Green
November 23, 2010 8:49 PM   Subscribe

I played with them like most boys, but I had no idea there are formal gaming rules for plastic army men.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot (43 comments total) 26 users marked this as a favorite

 
Sure, you could sit down with a bunch of charts and graphs and rules...or you could just get down to business with a bread bag full of army men, some plastic dinosaurs and a Transformer or two like I did back in the day.
posted by The Card Cheat at 9:04 PM on November 23, 2010 [9 favorites]


Related, H.G. Wells' toy soldier game Little Wars.
posted by Inkslinger at 9:06 PM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


You mean M80s and a magnifying glass aren't in the rules? For shame.
posted by msbutah at 9:10 PM on November 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


Hooray, charts and graphs and rules!

Oh, that's not what you meant, is it?
posted by pompomtom at 9:18 PM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


You mean M80s and a magnifying glass aren't in the rules? For shame.

Good sir, I believe you've stolen my comment. Thankfully I also have a butane torch, a bottle of lighter fluid and a couple of rat traps.
posted by loquacious at 9:26 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I played with them like most boys too, and now my eyesight's ruined just like Sister Immaculata warned us.
posted by Abiezer at 9:26 PM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


[movement chart]
Regular Guys 6in
Machinegun 6in

I propose that the Regular guys move 7" or 8" as to reflect the more limited mobility factor of machine gunners. This is evident by the extra plastic the machine gunners need to carry to be effectively mobile in a tactical situation.
posted by clavdivs at 9:27 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


CHINA
posted by Artw at 9:33 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


dirt piles in a new subdivision, bb guns, blackcat firecrackers, model cars, lighter fluid (as mentioned above) and matches...

eventually we got .22's and shotguns....

rules??? we didn't need no stinkin' rules!
posted by HuronBob at 9:35 PM on November 23, 2010


I couldn't find any rules to cover when your dog runs in and snaps a couple up and you find them half chewed up hours later.

Also no coverage for leave when they need to go attend Barbies wedding.
posted by gomichild at 9:36 PM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


As an awkward little boy, I used to have the Barbies trample the tiny green men, laughing cruelly.

Why, yes, I am a pervert, why do you ask?
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:45 PM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Once you're bored with Army men rules, move on to Lego BrikWars!
posted by wilful at 9:48 PM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Speaking as a miniatures wargamer (at least in principle, I never seem to get a game), I can't wait till my boys are a bit older so that we can play brikwars etc together.

(Wont let them touch my expensive GW products for a while!)
posted by wilful at 9:54 PM on November 23, 2010


Sure, you could sit down with a bunch of charts and graphs and rules...

Or, you could just burn their heads off in the spark gap of a Ford Model-T ignition coil.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:56 PM on November 23, 2010


Tunnels and Lysol.

Model airplanes were ABS or styrene, and burned with a nasty, smoky flame. But army men were polyethylene, and sustained a nice flame until they became a molten green puddle.

FIRE!
posted by Tube at 10:00 PM on November 23, 2010


I left mine in Canada.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 10:02 PM on November 23, 2010


This is how you kids got hooked on the minecraft, isn't it?
posted by vrakatar at 10:05 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


this rules.
posted by clavdivs at 10:10 PM on November 23, 2010


Chinese Jet Pilot rules
posted by clavdivs at 10:11 PM on November 23, 2010


Sister Immaculata

I cannot read a name like this without immediately thinking "there is a strap-on involved." (Something is broken within me, isn't it?)

As a kid, I could never bring myself to damage my army men.
posted by maxwelton at 10:19 PM on November 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Сражение

Nightmares & Dreamscapes - Battleground (NICE SCENE)
posted by clavdivs at 10:19 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


We just used the Red Rubberband Rule. Made you finally appreciate the crawling guys, I'll tell you.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:22 PM on November 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Or you can just dress up like one.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 10:44 PM on November 23, 2010 [3 favorites]


Actually, I really dig the idea of Combat Storm... Using ubiqitous figures as TTG figures, to negate the cost.

Take advantage of their unique shapes and nostalgia, charge $19.95... Yeah...

If you'll excuse me, I'm off to create Barbie Shopping Riot, where different occupations of Barbies battle it out for post-Christmas sale bargains, with the squads of lil' Skippers and back-up Ken's to help.

Stay out of the way, BITCH, Barbie's got a Dream Convertable, colour, YOUR BLOOD.
posted by Quadlex at 12:05 AM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


We left countless hundreds buried in stick/leaf/dirt trenches, enough to be found by future archaeologists as their own geologic stratum across the North American continent.

And, FWIW, the proper taxonomy is "little green army guys."
posted by Clave at 12:32 AM on November 24, 2010


Since this post is about little green army men & somebody brought up Lego, did you know Lego makes minifigs of the LGAM from Toy Story. They are toy versions ... of other toys. Excuse me while my head explodes.
posted by KingEdRa at 1:52 AM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


That video was great, thanks for posting it. Some fun army men conversation in this thread.

I enjoy army men very much. I collect them and put them in boxes and take them out and set them up and we have conventions and shows and magazines and everything that goes with a dorky hobby like that.
posted by marxchivist at 3:48 AM on November 24, 2010


...or you could just get down to business with a bread bag full of army men, some plastic dinosaurs and a Transformer or two like I did back in the day.

Thanks. Thanks a lot. Now instead of working on all the things I need to do today like curing cancer and shit, I'm going to be writing rules to incorporate plastic dinosaurs and transformers into plastic army man gaming.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 3:54 AM on November 24, 2010


After I got into D&D (the red boxed set) back when I was around 8 or so, I got the idea to do more formalized rules for my army men. Somewhere I may have the notebook I wrote them down in. It was, IIRC, pretty simplistic and blatantly ripped off the D&D system (I used a form of THAC0), though to simplify things any army man, once hit, was dead.
posted by sotonohito at 5:13 AM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh boy, are there rules. Let me tell you. I spend my early teens committing all of them to memory. Thanks for the post.
posted by MarshallPoe at 6:10 AM on November 24, 2010


The only rules we played with was the machine gunner could take out an entire invading force and the bazooka could destroy anything.

We were all about the realism.
posted by bondcliff at 6:15 AM on November 24, 2010


and now my eyesight's ruined just like Sister Immaculata warned us.

We warned you and warned you that you would put an eye out, and now...

Oh. You meant... never mind.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:21 AM on November 24, 2010


Tiny pinko that I was, I refused to play "war" with my brother and his approximately 83,652 little green army guys. But we spent many hours happily playing "war movie" together.
posted by JoanArkham at 6:32 AM on November 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


How many points for this LOVE CANNON? Zero? I quit. DADT.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 6:49 AM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I never found funny. Until this: (edited)

Some common challenges:
* You can't kill him because he's my captain and you can't kill captains because they're stronger than the others and anyway he's on a secret mission so actually your guy is shooting at nothing because my captain is hiding and he's only pretending to be dead.
* You're stupid.

Some common rebuttals:

* No, you're stupid.
posted by cccorlew at 7:23 AM on November 24, 2010


I loved little green army men. We grew up in the time of Star Wars figures being a new thing, and too cool (at first) for wanton destruction, so army men served as our crash test dummies for whatever kinds of danger we could get into. Sure, we did the magnifying glass thing, and the lighter fluid thing, and even the sparkler thing. But none of them were quite satisfying enough. That's when we discovered model rockets, and out little green soldiers became astronauts and test pilots.

Eventually model rockets gave way to rocket powered model cars, and then rocket powered jet packs, and finally rocket boosted rocket powered cars with rocket jet pack ejection seats (with rockets!).

Rules? Our Army men rules were simple: Once it was too melted to identify, that soldier was Retired.
posted by quin at 7:38 AM on November 24, 2010


Old army guys never die... they just melt away.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 9:22 AM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I kind of wonder why little American Children liked to blow up and melt little green representations of their own armed forces. Why weren't they soviets? Red chinese? Taliban?

GUYS I THINK WE HAVE AN UNTAPPED MARKET
posted by tehloki at 12:30 PM on November 24, 2010


I kind of wonder why little American Children liked to blow up and melt little green representations of their own armed forces. Why weren't they soviets? Red chinese? Taliban?

In my day (the halcyon era of the small-town hobby/toy shop, one-stop shopping for boys of all ages) we had German (a sort of dark bluish-green, IIRC) and Japanese (a lightish tan) figures as well as (American) Civil War armies in the obvious colours, in addition to the usual LGAMs. (I think there may have been some WW II-era Russians too. 'twas a long time ago.) But we were still equal-oportunity melters.

Another factor was the use of HO-scale model railroad layouts as part of the battlefield. (How many figures before a derailment occurs?! Oh, the inventiveness of our casual sadism...) Similarly-scaled slot cars too. It helped to have large basement spaces. (Though melting and firecrackers were separate warm-weather outdoor activities for the most part. Moms didn't take to the plastic fumes too well.)
posted by Philofacts at 2:09 PM on November 24, 2010


DIY board game: Giant Risk® with LGAM.
posted by cenoxo at 2:39 PM on November 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


In my day (the halcyon era of the small-town hobby/toy shop, one-stop shopping for boys of all ages) we had German (a sort of dark bluish-green, IIRC) and Japanese (a lightish tan) figures as well as (American) Civil War armies in the obvious colours, in addition to the usual LGAMs. (I think there may have been some WW II-era Russians too.

We also had Commonwealth forces, in either tan or green (including a disproportionate number of Gurkhas!).
posted by pompomtom at 3:30 PM on November 24, 2010


Germans were grey. Japanese were light tan, almost yellow. Yanks were mid-green, russians were brown. Good guys were khaki.
posted by wilful at 6:22 PM on November 24, 2010


Oh, I just remembered!

The local ice cream truck used to sell candy lipstick. It came in a gray, sort of bullet-shaped lipstick case. One of the guys on the block apparently saw his sister's discard and decided it looked like an atom bomb.

Thus the candy lipstick arms race was born.

I still wonder to this day what the driver of that truck thought of that one block where all the little boys were clamoring for candy lipstick.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:29 PM on November 24, 2010


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