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"My first game, plus a 6 year old, suggestions?" Topic

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Makhno191822 Jul 2019 5:20 a.m. PST

Hi all, I've been painting minis for about a year for a series of dioramas I'm working on. The bases are all magnetized to give me the option to play, though I haven't yet. My 6 year old daughter has no summer camp this week, so I was thinking we'd try a game together.

Im looking for suggestions for very simple rules that will keep (both of our) attention, to see if we like it.

Now the specifics:
My minis are all 20mm Spanish civil war. Neither of us will willingly be the nationalists, so if anyone knows of systems where we can each be a militia group or something going against an enemy with set actions, or has suggestions please let me know.

My thinking on a scenario so far that might satisfy that would be a simple point a to b march of rebellious soldiers (could be a set route. On July 19 1936 the workers knew the army's plan), and my daughter and I are each militia groups in their way or lying in wait.

Though I've been lurking around this forum for a year I don't know anything at all about rules or game play, so you might as well imagine we're both 6 =-)

Any help appreciated!

Dave Jackson22 Jul 2019 5:30 a.m. PST

Here's a good site that has an SCW section and a review of some rules. "Arriba Espana" is a good intro and has a bit of specific flavour. I'd also urge you to go and check out the Toofatlardies "Chain of Command" rules as well.

cj177622 Jul 2019 7:36 a.m. PST

This site lists various free rules,worth a look.


Stryderg22 Jul 2019 7:58 a.m. PST

Here you go:
PDF link
2 pages.
It's American Pilgrims hunting turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. You can play it as Spanish soldiers hunting chickens for dinner. And you can play on the same side or set up 2 small squads from different companies, first one to bag dinner wins!

Oh, and if you want to get her into minis, she can start with paper ones from She can print and cut, and if you print the blanks, she can color them in, too.

Pan Marek22 Jul 2019 8:29 a.m. PST

Um, you left out the site.

Pan Marek22 Jul 2019 8:36 a.m. PST

Stryberg +1.

Major Mike22 Jul 2019 8:50 a.m. PST

I second Junior General.

Makhno191822 Jul 2019 1:31 p.m. PST

Thanks all!

Dave Jackson22 Jul 2019 2:08 p.m. PST



torokchar Supporting Member of TMP22 Jul 2019 5:39 p.m. PST

Buy her a Battle of Pelannor Fields box (Lord of the Rings by GW) and get her a special Eowyn figure that she can call her own. play the simple rules – I did this with my son 22 years ago – he is 24 and he and I game all the time.

Then spend a weekend watching the movies together – skip the Hobbit though.

best wishes to a lifetime of gaming.

bobm195923 Jul 2019 9:27 a.m. PST

Two Hour Wargames specialise in rules allowing all on the same side with a reaction system generating actions for the bad guys.
a free introductory set is available to download:

Makhno191825 Jul 2019 1:00 p.m. PST

Thanks all for the ideas. I read through a bunch, mostly determined it was beyond our level! Took some of what I liked, added some of what seemed simple to me and came up with these rules. We might try it tomorrow, i'll let you know if it works at all! That said, and suggestions or thoughts would be appreciated as always, Im making this up as I go along.

Rules for Barcelona '36

This very simple game will recreate the conflict between the rebellious military, and the workers and others who opposed them for control of the Placa Catalunya.

Forces. There are 2 sides in this game. On one side is the rebellious Spanish army, and in particular elements of the 13th Infantry Regiment of the 7th Brigade, and the 7th Light Artillery Regiment. On the other side are anarchist workers and Assault Guards loyal to the republic. Further development could add other groups (More Assault Guards, Civil Guards, Requette and Falange volunteers, POUM militia in particular)

Unites: Each side can divide their forces into smaller unites. Each of these unit sizes can move and fire together, or independently.

Worker forces:
Affinity Groups (AGs) – 5 workers of any or no weapons. Individual members must remain within 10 inches of nearest AG member.
Union – Any number up to 10 Affinity Groups of a given ideology (ex, Anarchist, or Communist).
Confederation/Party – Any number of Unions of a given ideology.
Front – Any number of unions or Confederations/Parties, of differing ideologies, in alliance

Vehicles – Workers side may start with up to 2 trucks. These can each transport up to 3 AGs, and be parked and used as barricades. Workers can capture additional vehicles from the enemy.

Artillery/Support – Workers start with no artillery or MGs, can capture from the enemy.

Army Forces –
Infantry 13é Regiment d'Infanteri of 7th Infantry Brigade –
1x Battalion (which includes)
-1 x Command – Comandant López Amor and HQ
-1 x Machine gun section – of 4 x Machine Gun + crew
-1 x 75mm Cannon + crew
-(up to) 4 x Companies of Riflemen, 20 men each, (SMGs, grenades ok) each commanded by a Captain or Major.
-each 2 platoons of 10 men each, commanded by a Lieutenant.
-each 2 squads, 5 men each, commanded by a sergeant.
-(optional) 1 or 2 x squads Falange, 5 men each, commanded by a sergeant.

7é Regiment Lleuger d'Artilleria – up to 50 gunners
-1x Command Fernando Dasí Hernández and the Lts José Dorrego Pascual, Carlos Aliso Sarmiento and Ricardo Segarra Gallart
-2 trucks – carry up to 15 gunners each, can be deployed after reaching target.
-2 trucks – carry 1-2 cannon each (combined total of 4 cannons max).
-(optional) 1 x Squad Requette

(Optional forces)
Asaltos – Republican. 1 squad guards telefonica, 2 more squads arrive halfway through game)
Guardia Civil – 3 squads arrive 3/4 through the game. Roll of dice determines allegiance.

The Game

Objective – Control the Telefonica (Telephone Exchange Building). Telefonica begins in workers' possession (optional to develop later, drive out the boss and his goons first), with 1 squad asaltos as guards on 1st floor. If the army captures the entire building and holds it for 5 consecutive rounds, it wins. Workers win by maintaining possession of building through 15 rounds, or destroying all enemies.

Set up
Place Telefonica at far side of table. Leave room for a large square, the "Plaza" in front, and add buildings to mark far end of Plaza, any side streets etc. Board in front of Telefonica is up to 3 feet long and 2.5 feet wide.

Workers –
Can arrange up to 2 Affinity Groups and 1 Asaltos squads inside Telefonica.
Can place barricades at any point on the table, as many as they would like. Each barricade must have at least 1 AG to defend it (behind, nearby).
Can arrange up to 10 AGs in total on the board. Can hold an additional 10 AGs for later reinforcement. (May arrive at any point after 7th round, up to the player. Reinforcements appear from the side streets behind the Telefonica).

Army -
Place Infantry Regiment n13 at entry point on far edge from Telefonica. Hold 7th Light Artillery as reserve (Enters at the same point on turn 8).

Workers require no commands. Other forces must be within 6 inches of an officer to act. Isolated units who lose an officer, and are not within 10 inches of another officer, will "route" (see section below).

Gameplay begins with 13th Infantry marching toward the square. If no player is commanding the army, the path of the army will be to march (at the rate of "movement" specified below) straight into the center of the Plaza. The cannon will be installed in the center of the Plaza, and the crews will attempt to install machine guns in each of the 4 corners/sides of the Plaza. Once these 5 pieces are established in the Plaza, the army will charge the Telefonica with 1 platoon on every other turn. (For example, if it takes 4 turns for the army to reach the Plaza and establish its guns, the platoons will charge to commence round 5, 7, 9, and 11, until they are destroyed or they have achieved the objective.

When activated (by the verbal order of player), the elements (infantry or vehicles) of a squad/affinity group, platoon/union, or company/confederation/party, can move together or independently but must end movement within six inches of another element of the squad, platoon, or company.
Infantry moves 3 inches per action and vehicles move 6 inches per action. No unit has to move, or move its entire movement allowance. On each turn, units (of whatever size) may move up to their full allowance, and fire, before their turn ends. Players may move and fire up to every one of their units per turn, but each unit only once per turn.

Barricades, placed anywhere by the workers before the game begins, or built (by at least whole affinity group, or 5 workers, in the place where they begin their turn, which will take one full turn-no firing or moving).
Barricades halt vehicles. Foot soldiers end turn at an enemies barricade, but can climb to the other side as their next turn (but not continue forward until a following turn – it costs 1 turn to vault a barricade). Climbing over a barricade can allow for a melee attack on the other side within the same turn, but the soldier cannot fire. Once a barricade is cleared of defenders, 1 squad of soldiers can dismantle/remove the barricade at the cost of 1 turn. Barricades can also be dismantled by a direct hit from artillery.

Stairs/Floors of a building
Stairs/Floors of a building will be treated like a barricade. IE, vehicles cannot climb, foot soldiers end turn on base of stairs, must clear enemy before advancing, costs 1 turn to advance, may climb stairs and melee defenders in same turn. Workers do not have to "rebuild" stairs, only move to reoccupy the top landing. Our model Telefonica has 3 usable floors (ground, 3rd, and 9th).

Once per turn, each unit may fire upon an enemy unit within range. Player must "order" (verbally communicate) which of her units will fire at which enemy. Players can also fire whole squads/AGs or platoons/unions simultaneously, and common action is rewarded with an extra dice per squad/AG.
Thus, an individual combatant will roll 1 die, while a affinity group or squad of 5 will roll 6 dice.

When a unit or units fire upon a target, the target must be within 5 inches of most units (excluding snipers, or emplaced MGs or artillery) to be within range.

Cover: If a target is in cover (behind a barricade, wall, in a trench, staircase, subway entrance, inside a window or doorway etc), subtract 2 from the roll, unless firing from the flank, behind, or a vantage point high enough to see over low coverage (ie, clear line of sight between shooter and the exposed body of the target).

Suppression: A unit in the open fired upon, but missed, by the enemy may be "suppressed." In this case, if target is near cover, it takes cover. If target is in open, target must retreat to nearest cover within 3 inches. If no cover exists, merely retreat 3 inches straight back.

Rolling the Dice: We use simple 6 sided.

Firing Table:
1 – no action
2 – miss
3 – kill target within 2 inch range, suppress target within 3 inches:
4 – kill target within 3 inch, suppress target within 4 inches
5 – kill target within 4 inches, suppress target within 5 inches
6 – kill target within 5 inches, suppress target within 6 inches.

Melee table: From their starting point on a given turn, foot soldiers and workers may charge any particular target within 3 inches (including up or down stairs, or over a barricade). If figure has a bayonet, add 1 point to each roll. Whole units may charge together, with an added die per AG/squad.
1 – no action (combatant does not charge)
2 – combatant charges and dies en route.
3 – combatant charges and dies en route.
4 – kill target within 1 inch range, suppress target within 2 inches
5 – kill target within 2 inches, suppress target within 3 inches
6 – kill target within 3 inches and suppress the closest enemy (1) to the killed target.
7 (bayonet, and if target does not have bayonet) – kill 2 targets within 3 inches and suppress the closest 2 enemies to the killed targets.

MGs Firing Table
1 – no action
2 – miss, suppress target within 3 inch range
3 – kill target within 3 inch range, suppress target within 4 inch.
4 – kill 2 targets within 3 inch, kill 1 target within 4 inches, suppress target within 5 inches
5 – kill 3 targets within 3 inch, kill 2 target within 4 inches, kill 1 target within 5 inches, suppress target within 7 inches
6 – kill 4 targets within 3 inch, kill 3 target within 4 inches, kill 1 target within 7 inches, suppress 2 targets within 9 inches.

Sniper Firing Table
1 – no action
2 – miss, suppress target within 6 inch range
3 – kill target within 5 inch range, suppress target within 7
4 – kill target within 7 inch, suppress target within 9 inches
5 – kill target within 12 inches, suppress target within 15 inches
6 – kill target within 20 inches, suppress target within 30 inches.

Artillery Firing Table
1 – no action
2 – miss, suppress target within 10 inch range
3 – kill target (including barricade) within 10 inch range, suppress target within 15 inch.
4 – kill 2 targets (including barricade – ie 1 barricade plus 1 combatant) within 10 inch, kill 1 target within 15 inches, suppress all enemies within 2 inches of impact
5 – kill 3 targets within 10 inch, kill 2 target within 15 inches, kill 1 target within 20 inches, suppress all enemies within 4 inches of impact
6 – kill 4 targets within 10 inch, kill 3 target within 15 inches, kill 2 target within 20 inches, kill 1 target within 30 inches, suppress all enemies within 7 inches of impact.

When any engaged unit loses more than half of their members (ie, 3 of 5 affinity group members, 6 of 10 union members), or their officer—if requiring one—dies and there is no other officer within 10 inches, the unit will "route," or flee away from the direction of fire the maximum length of space allowed per turn. This routing will continue each turn until the fleeing combatants reach (or are intercepted by) and thus join another friendly unit. Routing combatants stop at the edge of the board, and can then be collected by an officer.

Last Hussar01 Aug 2019 1:46 a.m. PST

Your problem is in every period someone has to play the bad guys.

arthur181501 Aug 2019 5:02 a.m. PST

'Tis he when you play with your soldiers of tin,
That sides with the Frenchmen – so never can win.'

From The Unseen Playmate by Robert Louis Stevenson, A Child's Garden of Verses.

Makhno191801 Aug 2019 6:25 p.m. PST

You guys are funny. Love the poem! I explained the rules i made up (with a couple minor improvements) to my daughter and she yells "i get to be the anarchists!" Maybe ill play the nationalists in a second or third game, but i wasnt going to for my first.
Im pretty stubborn, so is she, and i anticipated this, so i told her she could be the Mujerez Libres. I have over 50 milicianas painted for her (ive been busy), and plenty of other workers for my CNT/FAI groups. The army has fairly clear instructions, and we're taking turns rolling for them and deciding where they should go when the directions arent clear.

We've been playing a half hour here, and hour there, when we wake up early waiting for the rest of our family or other spare moments. Its been a lot of fun for me, she seems to be having a good time too, if we finish the game before she loses interest, that'll be a sign she truly enjoyed it. One night i gave her a bandana and sidecap to wear and put on some period songs. If nothing else, the game has helped me bring the history alive for her, and im positive im not the only history nerd here who appreciates that.

Ive been taking photos and notes, am sort of considering writing a report like you all like to do :-). A bit hesitant as its not too pretty, none of the bases are done, using tape for roads on a "Plaça" made of wood spray painted brown (my usual primer), and, besides, we're literally making it up as we go along. As always, thanks for your thoughts, suggestions, and good humor.

Mike O02 Aug 2019 12:59 p.m. PST

Hi Makhno, some great ideas there in your house rules!

Seems to me what you are attempting is solo wargaming but with the human side split into two forces and the other side programmed, in this case by the initial historical actions of the rebels.

Of course computer wargame programmers have spent a large amount of time creating convincing AI opponents that can react in a challenging and realistic way to a range of changing situations but this aspect is often the most criticised by players. Therefore attempting to do the same with paper rules on the tabletop is even more difficult but some have tried and you might find some helpful ideas!

There's the solo gaming board here on TMP:
TMP link

Website dedicated to discussion of solo gaming
Also has a set of free solo rules
PDF link

A couple of seminal books on the subject:
Charles S Grant "Programmed Solo Wargames"
Donald Featherstone "Solo Wargaming"

Makhno191817 Aug 2019 8:21 a.m. PST

We recently finished the game. Had fun, though I'll be updating my rules specifically around ranges and movement distances. I sort of just took a tape measure and eye-balled/guessed when making the rules. I was off! All the weapons ranges were too short, especially emplaced MGs which were pretty useless trying to reach targets from the perimeter buildings around the big Plaça. This was one of the main factors in the workers' easy and overwhelming victory in our test game, though there were tons of casualties on both sides.

I was wondering if anyone could suggest to me the general averages on movement sizes and weapons ranges for the various rulesets you play with using 1/72 minis. I imagine many use metric system (i can convert), and base specific weapons on the scaled versions of their actual ranges, but that's another level we wont reach for a while. Just general averages. Here's what we've been using (all too short based on this first experience):

-Movement – 3" inches per turn infantry, 6" for vehicle
Weapons ranges
-Rifle/smg/pistol – 6" max (on a perfect role)
-Thrown explosive – 6" max
-Emplaced MGs – 7" max
-Sniper – 20" max
-Artillery – 30" max

Otherwise the rules worked pretty well. We both shared in deciding what the army was going to do, as their broad orders broke down pretty fast once they hit the square.

Next I'm going to try to work myself through the FYOW rules, thanks Mike for that PDF and everyone else for the helpful suggestions to my typicallly-un-orthodox post.

bobm195919 Aug 2019 5:37 a.m. PST

No Pasaran……

The H Man Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2019 8:29 p.m. PST


Both Play one side, half each. However you also both use the enemy.

Eg. P1, P2, P1(enemy), P1, P2, P2(emeny), so on or such like.

Or just roll a die to see who uses the enemy each turn, that could be interesting.

wmyers06 Nov 2019 8:52 p.m. PST

If you study the history of the conflict, I think you'll be far more likely to play the Nationalists.

A lot of people just use "imagi-nations" when playing games, too.

Makhno191807 Nov 2019 10:04 a.m. PST

I really like the h man's suggestion. And thanks for the input wmyers, however i do study and respectfully disagree. My interest in this subject is workers history first and foremost, not playing on the team most likely to win.

Wolfhag07 Nov 2019 5:23 p.m. PST

If you want historical context and flavor, make some event cards that would represent some of the highlights, events and human interaction of leaders and heroes of the Spanish Civil War. The GMT COIN game series does this very well.


Simon E Davies25 Apr 2020 12:28 p.m. PST

This is of course long after your first game Makhno but I thought I'd weigh in anyway. Emotionally and politically my natural preference is to play Catalan Anarchists and that is certainly the main side that I am building. But as I read more about the Civil War I can also find a way of being sympathetic to the Falange Bandera's in Aragon, who are regularly berated for their incompetence and cowardice. I suspect however that many of them were ordinary people, possibly sympathetic to and even members of the CNT, who had seen what happened to their comrades in Zaragoza. They chose a blue isabelino rather than a black and red isabelino and a coffin, but unsurprisingly, their enthusiasm for the nationalist cause is limited! This allows me to be a good sport and play the unpopular side when needed, but of course I would still rather play my Anarchist Column!

Viva La Revolucion!

Makhno191825 Apr 2020 5:08 p.m. PST

Well Simon your a better sport than i! My kid ended up sort of interested in a game or two, that was about it. im not trying to push it too much though, she'll come play when she wants to. Since this game, i ended up making my own rules with single player mechanisms that, im still ironing out, but have been working well for me.

Simon I saw you mention your interest in gaming the Aragon front. Im also working on some sort of campaign game tentatively titled Á Zaragoza…sort of writing it as i play it. Im up to 14 scenarios so far taking me up to … September 14… Its overkill, im going to pear it down, clean it up and share it for free once we get to Zaragoza 😁. Mike promised to help me out a bit with it, he doesnt know what hes signed up for though lol.
My thought right now is to do as many of the actual battles and skirmishes i can find the research for, between Barcelona and the Durruti Column actiom at seige of Madrid, then add some "alternative history" options for those of us who would have liked to see the anarchists push closer to their goals, such as a battle for Zaragoza itself. As i said, im planning to share it for free once its in a state worth sharing, id be happy to trade notes for scenarios etc.

Simon E Davies26 Apr 2020 7:04 a.m. PST

Hi Makhno

That sounds really interesting – I'm a long way from being able to run campaign games yet, but one day …

You might also be interested in the way I ran my first game in quarantine. I sent a friend the nationalist briefing, he replied with a plan of attack and I ran both sides, rolling the dice etc during the day but my friend was able to watch on Facetime and alter his plans as his troops uncovered the hidden defenders. It was not as good as a live game around a table but it was a very good second best.



MacColla05 May 2020 11:41 a.m. PST

If you're still looking for a game where no-one has to play the Nationalists you could try the May Events in Barcelona, 3rd to 8th May 1937?

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