Copyright 1999, 2003 T. Sheil & A. Sheil  All Rights Reserved

Jersey Shore Battle Games

The Basics

Basic techniques for using the Jersey Shore Battle Games:

Operation Sandtrap, Muskets and Sandpiles, SandPit Showdown, Castle Cracker, Planetary Sand, Treasure of Sandheap, Tanegashima Sandman, Sahara Sand

Copyright 1998 - T. Sheil & A. Sheil - All Rights Reserved

The Jersey Shore Battle Games are a group of simple, easy-to-play miniature battle games developed for one purpose: FUN!  Unlike conventional board and miniature games, Jersey Shore Battle Games dispense with complexities altogether. Our goal is to provide a game that can be set up and played spontaneously, without studying complicated rules or spending extra money for expensive miniatures.  Everything has to be commonly available.  Nothing in these rules ought to be so obscure as to be unavailable in any town with a good toy, hobby or department store.

Ultimately, the idea is that players can open a new playset or a couple of bags of soft plastic figures, and set to playing the games. It's that simple!

What You Need

Here's what you need:

Making tools:

String should be cut in desired lengths.  Each string is then divided by thirds. You can tie a knot to separate each 1/3.

The disk has to be four quarters. Draw a cross over the center to do this.


Throughout the games, you will notice something called range.  Range is written as R plus a number, e.g. R1.  The basic range is one, all others are multiples of the basic range.  Thus, if the basic range were one foot, then R1 is one foot, and R6 is six feet.

We did NOT tie the ranges to a set distance because everyone's circumstances will be different.  If you are playing these games using HO or 1/72 scale miniatures on a tabletop, R1 might be 6 inches.  Playing outdoors with plastic figures, you might opt for R1 being one foot, while if using 12 inch action figures outdoors, you might decide that R1 equals one yard.  You decide what the basic range is.  All others are multiples of that range.

We advise cutting kite string into range cords.  Cut a cord for each range distance - R1 through R6.  Then divide each cord into thirds, separating each segment with a knot of by gluing a bead onto the string.  The thirds represent Close, Medium and Long range.  A Half range is easily figured by folding the cord in half..

We have not made a definite range only because people will be using different sized figures and different play areas.  Of course, we recommend the following:

HO to 1/76 - 1/72 (20mm to 25mm) - R1 = 6 inches

1/64 to 1/24 (30mm to 70mm) - R1 = 12 inches

1/20 to 1/12 - R1 = 24 inches

1/10 to 1/6 - R1 = 36 inches

Cords for measuring are cheap, easy to make, and locally available.  In beach areas, kite string is common.  You can also use yard, twine, or other types of string or cord.


We have limited movement to the following: side one moves, side two moves, both fire simultaneously.  We do not complicate this formula, because to do so would add to the workload and detract from the action.

The Battle

Jersey Shore Battle Game combat is actually a small-scale encounter.  Each piece represents one thing - it is pretty much what it is supposed to be.  (In some conventional miniature games, one piece represents ten or twenty soldiers in a unit.)  Thus, a soldier with a machine gun is a machine gunner, and a knight with a sword is a swordsman.  We do not confuse the game by abstract representation.  What you see is what you get.

Battles are encounters between two or more forces.  Each force is normally less than one hundred men.  The average size of an army ranges from 25 to 80 men, plus any vehicles or equipment they might use.  Larger armies require much more attention and take longer to move.  Troop are all individuals.  Any units are composed of individual figures.

Troops - Your Army

It's as simple or complex as you like.  Your army is as close to the nearest supply of plastic soldiers.  Whether you buy a playset or two or three bags of soldiers, you can play any of the Jersey Shore Battle Games.  We purposely made this game simple so that anyone could start with common toy figures, yet could adapt it to existing collections of action figures or miniatures. Your Army is as close as the nearest store selling bags of toy soldiers.

Be aware that we have not overburdened the rules with historical peculiarities.  We know from experience that toy figures can be out of line with history.  It was not uncommon to find a British Centurion tank and post-1950 armored car bagged along with 1943-style US troops.  Even more usual was finding 15th Century knights in full plate armor sold in a bag with 8th Century Vikings.  While that may annoy historical sticklers, it should not prevent you from having fun.  (If the history bothers you, just imagine that your war is taking place in another dimension where Earth is slightly different.)  That is why our modern warfare rules do not identify tanks by a specific model, and why our Medieval rules do not distinguish between various eras.  

If you want to be historical, do so.  The Jersey Shore Battle Games will work for you.  If you're not worried over details of the past, you can play Jersey Shore Battle Games and have a great time.

In Case of Uncertainty...

Sometimes you might hit a situation that the rules do not cover.  You and your opponent are at an impasse.  How do you resolve it?  While in the midst of the game, you have to think fast.  Flip a coin - heads you take one option, tails another.  For the remainder of that game, that rule applies.  When the game is over, you can address the problem more thoroughly. Look for historical precedents.  Discuss the issue with your fellow games, seek a solution.  You can also email us and ask our opinion.  

No set of rules is perfect, especially a simple set like ours.  In mid-game, play comes first.  Any final decisions can be made afterward.


You can adapt and append rules to suit your own needs.  The Sandy Hook battle Games are very basic rules.  They are a way to start.  In time, you might wish to make changes - to add peculiar historical factors, for instance.  That is fine.  Our rules can be a great framework for you and your friends to develop a more complex and accurate game.

Before adapting, one piece of advice: check the history.  Though rules by other gamers will give you ideas, history explains the plain facts.  Look at statistical data and at the recorded experiences of real people from those times.  Statistics don't tell the whole story.  Using history and getting ideas from other games, you can adapt our rules to suit yourself.

A Note to Experienced Wargamers

The Jersey Shore Battle Games are not wargames, in the technical sense.  Our games are for fun - they are playable, adaptable, and low-cost.  We have purposely avoided things like morale, pass-through fire and flanking because they would complicate our games needlessly.  In the world of these games, it's man-to-man, tank-to-tank warfare.  Terrain is a simple thing.  Movement is kept simple so as to allow players to enjoy the game without spending time writing orders .  After all, an impromptu game on a quiet beach doesn't place folks in close proximity to pen and paper!  

For more intense wargames, check out The Miniatures Page.  Our games are pure fun.  Theirs have the kind of technicalities which wargamers prefer.

 Click here for The Miniatures' Page Miniatures Rules

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