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Gaming with Children

Mike Ricotta
United States
Virginia Beach
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Microbadge: Hollandspiele fanMicrobadge: Parent of Two BoysMicrobadge: I like tacosMicrobadge: You're in my zone of control!Microbadge: Pax Renaissance fan
So now that I’ve got the two boys (2.5 years and 7 weeks) I want to bring them into this little hobby of ours. I know that some of you may say “Aren’t they a little young?” but I disagree. They are the perfect age to play my new game! Please note that this game requires you own a baby and a toddler. Sullen teenagers are optional.

The Children’s Crusade

This is a miniatures style wargame. All units need to be made out of cardboard or a paper material however. Units come in 3 varieties, Infantry, Calvary and artillery. Each cardboard piece is required to have this written what it is on it. Otherwise unit design is up to you.

Units of measure. The standard unit of measure is one baby. The baby may be of any size/age as long as both players agree on the baby. Each player may want to use their own baby though. This is possible but it gives the advantage to players with taller babies. If you are willing to exploit your baby’s size advantage in this manner you will go far in this game. Babies over 12 months old are not recommended. Making cardboard cutouts of babies instead of using actual babies for measure is FROWNED UPON.

At several times in these rules there are measurements given such as 1/s Baby. It is imperative that YOU DO NOT ACTUALLY CUT A BABY IN HALF for this. Perhaps a playsuit with a stripe down the center?

Set up

Select a play surface. Put some terrain on it. Try not use pointy things, there are children involved here. Each player selects 10 units. They may choose what units they want. Finally each player selects a side of the table.

Place chosen units within ½ baby of their table edge. Whoever provided the baby goes first. If you are using two babies the younger baby owner goes first.

Finally place several full glasses of water around the edge of the table. I think you know where this is going….


If you have sullen teenagers available each player texts their teenager. Whoever gets a response first gets to go first. If this takes to long or no teenagers are available roll two dice, high roll goes first.

The active player selects one unit to activate. That unit may move then fire. Artillery may move OR fire. Once the activated unit completes it activation the opposite player activates a unit. Once all units have been activated the turn is over.


If someone (I’m looking at the toddler here) knocks over a cup of water a flood has occurred (literally and figuratively) if you can no longer read the unit type written on your cardboard unit it is removed from play. All wet areas of the board are now considered to be mud.

If the toddler gets to the play area and moves or destroys a unit or piece of terrain, well that’s an act of god. Live with the results. You may want to place candy near you opponents Artillery Park. Just saying…

If the toddler steals a unit, don’t fight him for it, it’s gone man, it’s gone.

End of the turn

If all of your units have been destroyed you have lost the game. If the baby has pooped and you can’t find your wife to change him then the player with the most remaining units is the winner! If there is no winner start a new turn.


Calvary moves 1 baby. Calvery must stop when they enter rough terrain or mud. They may move normally next turn (finish crossing the encountered terrain.

Infantry moves ½ Baby and must stop for rough terrain. They are not effected by mud.

Artillery may move ½ baby and must stop for mud and rough terrain.

Each firing unit has a range. Target must be within the given range and the firing unit must have line of sight to the unit. If the firing unit can see any part of the target they may fire at it.

Roll a d6 on a result of 5 or 6 the target is damaged. The result is modified per the following:
Target has cover -1
Target is wet +1
Target has been damaged by the toddler +1
Target is artillery +1
Artillery firing at ¼ baby or less -1

Artillery - 2 Baby (good luck with that)
Cavalry – ½ baby
Infantry – 1 baby

If the unit is damaged give it to the toddler. After he puts it down determine if it has been destroyed or not. If the unit is not destroyed place it back where it came from.

And that’s how you play….

Please note that this game is 100% fake. Our discussions last night thought using a baby as a measuring device was a funny idea. Perhaps it is…

Plastic Hell on the other hand is a real game and much better than this. I promise…
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