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"Isolation Challenge: Tobacco tin travelling wargame...?" Topic

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03 Apr 2020 6:11 a.m. PST
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Bozkashi Jones28 Mar 2020 6:18 p.m. PST

Being in isolation, it seems a good time to issue a challenge.

Most, if not all, of us are probably in various stages of lockdown right now, and some of us, who's partners don't normally live with us, may have more time on our own than we're used to. I wondered if it might be fun to have an informal competition to keep us going?

The idea is to produce a 'travel wargame' that can be easily carried in the pocket in a tobacco tin – link – or similar.

Here are the 'rules', though this really should be more in the spirit, rather than the law:

1) It must be in a container that fits in a standard jeans pocket
2) It must be self contained – rules, miniatures, board, dice, etc, must be in the box. When we finally get to go to the pub again, this must be all we'd need to shove in our pocket
3) Any scale, any period – but it must be a miniatures game. I'm posting on the naval and air boards primarily as a couple of aircraft or ships better lends itself to this challenge. If you can fit Waterloo in a box, feel free (but I'll still go for naval!). There again, a 1/300 tank hunting game in Normandy 1944 or gladiators could be a great little game…?
4) It's a game – within these parameters it may not be possible to have lots of nuance – better to think of this as a generic 'game' for 15/30 minutes of fun. And, lets face it, after this we'll all need a bit of that :)
5) Original rules – feel free to borrow, copy or steal, but they must essentially be able to fit on 2 sides of A4 in Ariel 12 font. If it's DBA simplified that's fine, as long as someone picking up the tin can follow them. And commit to sharing your rules

That's it – judging criteria could be:

1) Aesthetic appeal – the whole design, basically how it looks
2) The 'fit' – how neat is it? Do all the components just dovetail together or is it an almighty mess when you open the box?
3) Satisfaction – is it a fun wargame? I'm imagining that this will need ultra simple rules to fit in the tin, so simple and flavourful will be a winner
4) Execution – my weakest skill as I'm not the best painter/modeller, but the reason I'm launching this is to be inspired by what you guys can do (but, yes, I will put a design forward)
5) Innovation – if we're doing something small scale, why not experiment?

As a judge, I suggest that we call an end date – say 30 June 2020 (subject to change, as it's hitting us at different times) – and then we collate all the entrants somehow (please help me on the details!) and ask Bill to organise a poll.

I've deliberately kept this fun and small – something which we probably all have time to complete with things we already have in the house.

Prize: None, unless Bill Armentrout can use his Armin-clout to get someone like Warlord Games to offer a voucher? Otherwise its just the adoration of one's peers.

Please accept the challenge, let us know that you're in and post pictures of your progress. Have fun devising fun rules and enjoying a bit of modelling!

Best wishes, and see you on the other side!


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2020 3:03 a.m. PST

Hmmm. 2mm figures, painted silk map, DBA/HFG if the map's not gridded, using a length of cloth tape, or "Portable War Game" if it is gridded.

Yes, non-skirmish land warfare is feasible. No, I'm not going to do it. I've got a range which travel complete in a laptop or courier bag, and no reason to go smaller.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP29 Mar 2020 7:49 a.m. PST

Not an Altoid tin but a travelling set:



Complete "How To"


ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa29 Mar 2020 9:55 a.m. PST

1) It must be in a container that fits in a standard jeans pocket

That might be a bit too constricting, heck if you play with deck protectors, you can't even manage that with an MtG deck – unless you have very big pockets. Though granted a 2mm DBA army would probably fit in a 50g tobacco tin as long as you were careful about the size of your camp/stronghold. Personally I'd suggest a mobile phone box, probably more of those about than tobacco tins these days (I know I've got at least three kicking about), not unreasonable size (typically will fit in a jacket pocket) and quite robust.

Peter12330 Mar 2020 4:44 a.m. PST

I've got a plan!

To be called 'Sneaky Peeky', with a flavour of that old board game Project CIA but with some Commando raid wargaming in there too. It might not be fantastic but it'll definitely be small!

Give me a few weeks and I'll post results,


1x600031 Mar 2020 1:52 a.m. PST

I would be happy to provide any victorian warship (1880-1900) in 1/6000 scale.
I built them, I cast them in Resin, I want them to be used!!


HMS Collingwood


HMS Inflexible


HMS Hawke

Here's some more pics: link

Bozkashi Jones01 Apr 2020 7:52 a.m. PST

Sorry to post and not get back for a few days – I seem to be busier than ever working from home.

robert piepenbrink – that's the ticket – have a go, you've got the ideas!

Extra Crispy – that looks great, I especially love the way you did BUAs.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa – Dunna fatch, man! It's a bit of fun so the rules can be bent as much as you'd like as far as I'm concerned. If you can get a game in a mobile phone box then go for it matey!

Peter123 – Good man! That helps kick my arse into gear so I actually produce something too!

1x6000 – I'm speechless! 1:6k? Really?! You have some wonderful skill there – beautiful models and beautifully painted. I love your diorama of the Victoria/Camperdown incident.

Thanks for the replies – I'm just sat staring at my tobacco tin… Bloomin' 'eck it is small! Ah, well – time to get started :)


forwardmarchstudios01 Apr 2020 11:55 a.m. PST

I put forth this idea a week or two ago:




Bozkashi Jones01 Apr 2020 3:28 p.m. PST

forwardmarchstudios, didn't see that, but love it – looks like you're way ahead of me and Peter! That's a whole Kriegspeil battle in a tiny box

don't you think that there's a certain pleasing aesthetic about an Altoids tin?

I managed to find a couple of ships today so I might be going naval, but there again I also found some 1:1200 A4s and Sea Harriers I'd forgotten I had while searching- hmmm…

I also have a battered old Amber Leaf tin so at least it's a start.

Best wishes


Slow Oats02 Apr 2020 11:20 a.m. PST

This could be fun, I actually have a full extra cohort of Irregular's 2mm late Republican Romans. Six units of Romans (one for each century), an opposing force of Gauls, and a few small pieces of terrain and a fold-up board or map and you not only have a small altoid-sized wargame, it's visually accurate to the historical units!

Very cool idea, thanks Bozkashi.

forwardmarchstudios02 Apr 2020 2:02 p.m. PST

I have some pictures using my 2mm figures as well, I just didn't want to get accused of show-boating!
I like the universality of the blocks though. You can use these same pieces to represent any kind of ancient or horse and musket warfare. Or, you could count the cubes as planets and use the rectangles as space ships for some sort of sci-fi naval game. Lots of options.

Robert le Diable02 Apr 2020 2:47 p.m. PST

I built a wee house.

Bozkashi Jones02 Apr 2020 3:53 p.m. PST

forwardmarchstudios – sharing a good idea isn't showboating matey!

Bozkashi Jones02 Apr 2020 4:06 p.m. PST

Game on!

forwardmarchstudios02 Apr 2020 5:36 p.m. PST

"forwardmarchstudios – sharing a good idea isn't showboating matey!"

True, I own the company though and that's occasionally an issue on here recently.
I may put some pics up though… using the 3D printed figs is actually much better looking.

I was wondering what you were talking about with tobacco tins; we don't have those in the US. Or do we? I quit smoking about seven years ago so I don't know anymore.

But actually I started smoking in Europe (Spain), and I don't remember these there, either. Are these a British thing?

Bozkashi Jones02 Apr 2020 5:39 p.m. PST

Slow Oats – oh, yes! That sounds like a cracking idea. It would be so cool to get a full proper battle in a tin.

I have some 2mm Irregular ECW pike blocks, cavalry and guns (gonnes?) but unfortunately I've already put then on 50mm bases in brigades. Sod it – they'd have been just right for this malarkey.

Forwardmarchstudios – Well, bearing in mind what's going on at the moment we can put things in perspective and enjoy seeing what fellow wargamers can come up with (I'm actually quite excited to see what Peter123 has in mind…). With regard to tins, maybe; the one I have is about 3.5 x 2.5 inches and an inch deep, but some are slightly bigger. Basically whatever tin you can lay your hands on, providing it fits in a pocket. I was eyeing up my daughter's pencil tin earlier ;-)

And where in Spain? I spent 2 years in Valladolid and had a lot of US friends. I hope you didn't start on Ducados!

Looking forward to seeing some pictures of your progress gentlemen.

Best wishes,


Slow Oats02 Apr 2020 7:22 p.m. PST

Forwardmarch, personally I'd love to see your figures used in this challenge. Of course if you're that worried about it, you could always pull a Miracle on 34th Street and show off some Irregulars instead!

Bozkashi, I feel your pain. I just based all my Gallic infantry on 50mm×25mm a few days ago, if I'd known I'd be doing this I'd have set a few aside. Looks like Roman Civil War is the way to go!

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa18 Apr 2020 4:36 a.m. PST

Okay I'm in! Sneak peak of wip – really just need to nail the rules down

Bozkashi Jones18 Apr 2020 9:01 a.m. PST

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa – good to have you on board!

We seem to be in different places – I've got my rules nailed down now, but I haven't painted a bloomin' thing. That SF stuff of yours looks good.

Not the most original of titles, so maybe a change still needed there:

Happy gaming,


ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa28 May 2020 9:29 a.m. PST

Done. Link.

Please note the rules are unedited and untested. The mech names are part pastiche and part avoidance of using an 'already taken' name. The game board was just for the purposes of the photos.

Slow Oats06 Jun 2020 12:38 p.m. PST

Super rad, ROU. I especially like how the titans fit inside the buildings. All together on the table it looks like a condensed version of that GKR Heavy Hitters board game that came out a little while ago.

Also, I just recognized those robots as Risk 2210 A.D. peices! I should really find my old copy and raid it for parts. I specifically remember the character minis being pretty cool.

Bozkashi Jones07 Jun 2020 3:58 a.m. PST

Fantastic stuff ROU! I imagine I can get everything I need to play the game for a a few quid, so I'm going to have to give your game a try.

Apologies for not having checked in on my own thread for weeks – Bill moved it to the Wargaming in General message board, which is somewhere I rarely frequent so I sort of lost it.

I'm nearly done on mine and I've stuck with the Age of Sail theme. Trying to make a hex game board at the moment which will actually lay flat – I'll hopefully post pictures next week (I'm taking a couple of days off work this week to have some 'me' time – It's been manic during covid 19!)

All the best,


Bozkashi Jones07 Jun 2020 4:01 a.m. PST

Oh, and I've just read my OP again:

"Here are the 'rules', though this really should be more in the spirit, rather than the law"

Maybe I should have done a medieval game based on the 1216 Siege of Barnard Castle ;-)


ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa07 Jun 2020 9:53 a.m. PST

@Slow Oats
Risk 2210 pieces I got by buying a new set and then flogging the everything else as spares on ebay to get a bit of money back – did pretty well IIRC. Though frankly the mechs do form a substantial chunk of my plastic/lead mountain!

Thanks for the comments. Second warning about 'untested rules'! Note the cards where intended to be business card size so they'd fit the box, but formatting them correctly in Word was getting too painful and I couldn't find any thin card. So I gave up printed out big and stuck on cereal box card. So ended up being quite a thick stack!

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