Some more peaceful or non-lethal Tabletop Strategy Games

I remember dimly as a youngster in the early Cold War 80s seeing a small protest outside what must have been a gaming day or convention with placards about “War is No Game. Ban War Games” or some such sentiment. It’s a recurring old ethical ‘chestnut’.

With another war happening in Europe, somehow painting green, grey, grunge or khaki does not seem too relaxing or escapist a hobby at the moment.

I am not alone in this discomfort:

With The News full of jets, tanks, rockets and border incursion scenarios, maybe it’s time to paint something else a little more peaceful like snow ballers or Boy Scouts or bandsmen for a change.

I think I will give the 20th and 21st Century a miss for a while and paint skateboarders instead.

Here are some more peaceful strategy games, some from my Wide Games for the Tabletop blog posts:


Snowball fights

Snowball fight rules “Packing Sugar at Freddie” (PSAF)

With rules help from Alan (Duchy of Tradgardland blog) Gruber:

Some unusual sources of snowballing figures:

And the Girl Scout Patrol versus Boy Scouts in Snow Forts:

No snowball figures? Use cheap military figures as snowballers instead.

Especially useful are those Grenade Thrower poses:

Yukigassen snowball tournament version

And with Space Warriors?


Boy Scout or Girl Scout Wide Games

My early Wide Games posts in 2018 were on Man of TIN blog:

Before I established a separate blog for the Wide Games:

Snow Patrol and Polar Dash game scenarios:

Empire Scouts or Commonwealth Scouts from STS Shiny Toy Soldiers 42mm Range (above)

Lots more to explore on my Scouting Wide Games for the Tabletop blog posts and page.


Splat-ergy Games

Some of these non lethal strategy games are about dominating territory or denying it to others. Some are based on board games, others tabletop variations on video games ideas.

1. Spla-tack! Tabletop paint balling

Paintzookas, Paint-rollers, paint-throwers … at last, a daft painty use for those excess heavy equipment infantry figures.

Paint them in suitable non military painty colours? Orange, pink, yellow for a change …


2. Splafiti Skateboarders and graffiti tagging

Dominate your neighbourhood’s graffitied walls and overspray your rivals’ artwork whilst dodging on your skateboard the flatfoot cops and council workers!

Toyboarders Figures available mail-order from in the USA.


3. Suffra-graffiti

Edwardian Suffragettes on Roller Skates billposting and tearing down rival posters all whilst avoiding the police and ruffians

Homemade city scape, suffragettes and other player characters with inspiration from Peter Dennis’ Paperboys Little Wars 54mm civilian pages:

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, February 2022.

10 thoughts on “Some more peaceful or non-lethal Tabletop Strategy Games”

    1. I think H G Wells had it right back in his postscript to Little Wars in 1913 – not much has changed in almost 110 years …
      I COULD go on now and tell of battles, copiously. In the memory of the one skirmish I have given I do but taste blood. I would like to go on, to a large, thick book. It would be an agreeable task. Since I am the chief inventor and practiser (so far) of Little Wars, there has fallen to me a disproportionate share of victories. But let me not boast. For the present, I have done all that I meant to do in this matter. It is for you, dear reader, now to get a floor, a friend, some soldiers and some guns, and show by a grovelling devotion your appreciation of this noble and beautiful gift of a limitless game that I have given you.

      And if I might for a moment trumpet! How much better is this amiable miniature than the Real Thing! Here is a homeopathic remedy for the imaginative strategist. Here is the premeditation, the thrill, the strain of accumulating victory or disaster—and no smashed nor sanguinary bodies, no shattered fine buildings nor devastated country sides, no petty cruelties, none of that awful universal boredom and embitterment, that tiresome delay or stoppage or embarrassment of every gracious, bold, sweet, and charming thing, that we who are old enough to remember a real modern war know to be the reality of belligerence. This world is for ample living; we want security and freedom; all of us in every country, except a few dull-witted, energetic bores, want to see the manhood of the world at something better than apeing the little lead toys our children buy in boxes. We want fine things made for mankind—splendid cities, open ways, more knowledge and power, and more and more and more—and so I offer my game, for a particular as well as a general end; and let us put this prancing monarch and that silly scare-monger, and these excitable “patriots,” and those adventurers, and all the practitioners of Welt Politik, into one vast Temple of War, with cork carpets everywhere, and plenty of little trees and little houses to knock down, and cities and fortresses, and unlimited soldiers—tons, cellars-full—and let them lead their own lives there away from us.

      My game is just as good as their game, and saner by reason of its size. Here is War, done down to rational proportions, and yet out of the way of mankind, even as our fathers turned human sacrifices into the eating of little images and symbolic mouthfuls. For my own part, I am prepared. I have nearly five hundred men, more than a score of guns, and I twirl my moustache and hurl defiance eastward from my home in Essex across the narrow seas. Not only eastward. I would conclude this little discourse with one other disconcerting and exasperating sentence for the admirers and practitioners of Big War. I have never yet met in little battle any military gentleman, any captain, major, colonel, general, or eminent commander, who did not presently get into difficulties and confusions among even the elementary rules of the Battle. You have only to play at Little Wars three or four times to realise just what a blundering thing Great War must be.

      Great War is at present, I am convinced, not only the most expensive game in the universe, but it is a game out of all proportion. Not only are the masses of men and material and suffering and inconvenience too monstrously big for reason, but—the available heads we have for it, are too small. That, I think, is the most pacific realisation conceivable, and Little War brings you to it as nothing else but Great War can do.”


    1. Non-lethal paintballing tournament is a good alternative idea to finish a campaign … or a fast sport like Yukigassen or snowballing.
      Maybe a sort of a wintry Hunger Games where named contestant teams survive but get knocked out of the tournament … why not a quirky comic British slant of a “Hunger Games” / “Its a Knockout “ fusion thing going on (with or without Royal involvement). Hooray for Jeux San Frontieres!
      A bunch of kids or men and women doing Laser Quest / Laser Tag type games too. Very team building.
      Boy Scouts did this Paintballing snowball style with a limited supply of “whiting balls” or wooden darts with the head of cloth or made up of a ball of rags coated in whiting (whitewash or washable pain?) I bet their mums were pleased with all the washing of the uniforms …

      And wise words to end Little Wars by HG Wells in 1913 …


    1. The H G Wells quote is perennial wise words.
      I did say in my New Gaming Year Irresolutions at the start of 2022 that I might return to the scouting Wide Games, Splafiti and snowballers / skateboarders project. You never know where your gut feeling for games and figures will take you!
      It or I might not make Woking 2022 this March but I look forward to taking the Scouts or snowballers there sometime soon.


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