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Subject: Turning kids toys into a board game (fun project time) rss

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Jay Sears
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Playing kids toys can be a little bland at times (of course depending on the toy) and all made up with imaginary play. Why not flip the coin and turn the random play time into a strategic thinking game that has some structure to it.

I came up with the idea of turning Lego into a strategic and structured game play. You can do this with any toys, for example I could use my daughters farm pieces to create a strategic board game with trading goods and building up your farm business.

Get your kids involved for them to come up ideas, this will draw interest for them to play board games. Have them help you create the board; colour in, use pritstick, cellotape etc. It will be a super fun artistic project for them, and they could even work towards school project.

Let's get to it...This is how I turned a basic game play of Lego medieval knights battling it out with a random winner, into a classic strategic thinking board game.

First, the game board.


1. Because Lego can take up a lot of space if you have a lot of everything, you will need x4 A2 pieces of thick card. Either custom draw your board layout or cut out a custom pieces to use for the layout. I decided to use hexagons for the board so it would be better for moving pieces around. I had to create a custom hexagon as Lego pieces would need a lot of space.




2. Draw out your board layout. It is a little more tricky with 4 boards needing to join up, but don't worry about any little mistakes, it should be fun and enjoyable. On the board either draw square boxes or hexagons evenly. You may need to make custom size ones. This will be the most time consuming part. If you can't be bothered then you can simply draw several large areas like in Smallworld. Determine how many regions you want. For this size of board we will have 4 (equivalent of 1 on each A2 board size). Now outline the region areas with a different coloured marker pen. Draw the regions how you like, making sure you can clearly see them. The areas we needed were for; red knights, blue knights, goblins and a neutral friendly market zone.




3. The super fun part - colour it in. Have your kids choose the colours and see what they can come up with. It took me a day to colour my board in. The middle pink section is the friendly and market place zone(where you purchase resources), while the other colour areas are the 4 different sides for the battle.




4. Cut out the edges on your game board to make it look neater. Make sure if kids are using scissors they are child safe (goes without saying really!).




5. Put what ever icons you want on your board. You can draw these in if your good are art, but as I was not and my 4 year old daughter would get frustrated I printed off some pictures instead and stuck them on. I made each area slightly different. Each region will have certain resources you can collect the tokens/cards from which you use to go the market place. So, work out where you want these. For the purpose of this game, we will have resources for knights, horses, carvery, dragon, friendly (to acquire a friendly side).




6. I then numbered my 4 areas with 2 numbers on each so that players at the beginning of the game roll the D8 to see which side to begin on.




7. Last part was to cellotape it all together. If you do this right you can fold the board to create a tri-fold.




So what is the game?
A medieval battle with strategy.

You'll need to purchase x3 D6, x3 D8, x3 D10 dices for this game, but you can use whatever you like.


Mechanics/Game Play

- To begin the game each player selects a side.

- Each player rolls the D8 to determine which region they begin on and puts their army in the region but must be at least 3 spaces away from a border to another region.

- Each player can move up to 3 pieces each round. The player selects which 3 they want to move, collects the correct x3 dices to roll. D8 dices are used for knights, D10 dice used for horses and dragons, D6 used for Calvary and anything else. You move your playing pieces up to the number indicated on the dice.

- Only up to 3 playing pieces per side can be in the friendly zone at any one time. You cannot engage in battle within the friendly zone and you cannot engage in battle to those outside the zone.

- Outside the friendly zone: When a player’s knights or horses are on the same hexagon as the enemy they can engage in battle. When Calvary and Dragons is within 1 they can engage in battle.

- During battle: For Knights you use D6, for Horses you use D8 and for Calvary and Dragons you use D10. Up to 3 can engage in battle (just like 3 can move) and you must select which 3 they are and which 3 (if there are 3) you are attacking. You can select any 3 from any hexagons that is within reach of the enemy. For example, if player 1 has x2 Knights (with 1 on a hexagon to the left of the enemy and the other one on a different hexagon to the right) and player 2 has x1 horse and x1 cannon on the same hexagon, player 1 rolls x2 D6 dice (for the x2 knights he is using to attack with as they are within 1 hexagon of the enemy being attacked) and player 2 rolls x1 D8 and x1 D10. If the attacking player's combined total is higher than the enemies he wins that battle and the oppositions pieces are removed from the board. However if the enemies combined total is higher their pieces remain on the board.

- Purchasing additional resources: When any of your knight pieces lands on the icon you collect a token/card. Only knights can collect the resource. To make the exchange your dealer needs to go to the market place. You only have one dealer so you need to protect him. Move your dealer to the market place and when he is inside the friendly area and within 1 space of the market you can exchange that token/card for a resource. After the exchange is complete your dealer must move back out of the friendly zone on that round (if you have enough actions left) or on the next round (if you don’t have enough actions left in your current round).

- You cannot exchange more than 3 resource pieces at any one time as only a maximum of 3 of your playing pieces are allowed in the friendly zone. If you already have 3 playing pieces in the friendly zone you will not be able to exchange until room is made available. Purchased resources must begin from the friendly zone and be at least 2 spaces away from the enemy.

- Only 3 actions can be carried out per round.

- 3 is the key number to remember; up to 3 can move, up to 3 can engage in attack, up to 3 actions can be carried out per round, up to 3 playing pieces can be within the pink friendly zone and new purchases from the market must be at least 3 spaces away from the enemy when first placed on the board.


Ways to win the game:

Choose either of these options:

- The game ends after 20 rounds. The player with the most points wins calculated as so: Knights remaining equals 1, Horses remaining equals 2, Calvary remaining equals 3, dragons remaining equals 4. You get an extra 10 points for any region you control.
- The game ends when you have defeated all enemies, being the only one standing.


Added Mechanics

If you are using Lego castles and towers then you can add more complexity to the mechanics.

- To break down a castle door you must score at least 16 on your attack roll. As you can have 3 attacks in one round, you can try up to 3 times.

- To attack a knight on the upper level of the castle you can use the ladders, but only knights can operate this and must be within 1 space of the castle to use the ladders. Only knights can climb ladders and 3 knights must be used to climb the ladder. A minimum total of 9 is required on the roll of all x3 D6 dices. When that is rolled successfully the 3 knights climbs up to the level the ladders where set at. When ladders are dislodged you can no longer use them for that building, but can use them for other buildings (not attached to it).

- For the defending the castle you may dislodge the ladders but must have knights on that floor the ladders are set at. At least 3 nights are required to dislodge the ladders and a minimum total of 12 is required on the roll of all x3 D6 dices. When that is rolled successfully the ladders are dislodged.

- When attacking inside a castle you do not need to abide by the rules of being within x amount of spaces. It's free for all; on your round select who you want to attack.

- Use wizards as part of the game to add some excitement that can collect magic spells. You can place magic spell icons on the board.



Well, I hope you enjoyed reading this and create your own fun projects. Many thanks for reading it and my daughter will love receiving the feedback.
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Lieven De Puysseleir
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Waw, you definitely spent some time on this. I must admit I haven't read it all but what I read was interesting.

I was lured into this thread by misreading the title as "turning kids into a board game" which picked my interest since I've got some of those myself.
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Alan Gaskell
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This is great!

Violent but great!!!!

Sitting down and making the board creation part of the fun with your kids is a masterstroke, most kids want things finished "right now".
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Jay Sears
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VALIS13 wrote:
This is great!

Violent but great!!!!

Sitting down and making the board creation part of the fun with your kids is a masterstroke, most kids want things finished "right now".


Yeah violent for young kids, but I make sure she knows it is fun pretend and not real. It was what naughty people did in the old days and we are friendlier today. I also got her to use fairies and use them as friendlies, and create a game around that where they have to build up their kingdoms. I placed temporary icons on top of the current ones for a trading game instead. She loves both concepts and also calls the knights naughty bad people lol.
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James Arias
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This is a great activity and shows up in the Geek Dad book!

My daughter and I made a game about bugs, and both kids like using my heroscape terrain to play war. Way better than thise Barbies
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Jay Sears
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Thanks for all the feedback so far. Been telling my daughter how great people think her creation is.

If anyone is interested in other projects I work on here are a few things:

- I do a monthly blog (pixygamesuk) which has now had additions to it with a quaterly geek entry and monthly interviews.

- I issue out a monthly newsletter. Im currently on no.6. Issue 5 listed lots of childrens board games to chrck out. The next issue will list all the board games I am working on, one of which is this childrens game. You can sign up to it if you like.

- Im getting my first board game released on Kickstarter next year. Ive set up a Facebook Group if your interested in keeping up to date with its progress.
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Alan Gaskell
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Subscribed.
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