Copyright 2005 T. Sheil & A. Sheil  All Rights Reserved

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Fighting Plastic

by Corey Butler

This is a game for plastic toy soldiers. The original website is gone, but the author gave blanket permission to use it wit ha few restrictions.  It is simple, easy to learn and easy to play.  The author was obviously inspired by 3DO's Army Men PC games.  It is our good pleasure to bring you these rules.

Here are the basic rules for the game as authored by Corey Butler:


FP is a miniatures war game for two or more players using plastic army men and vehicles as units.  Because it was designed for maximum fun and playability, the game can be played with as much lightheartedness as the players desire (e.g. nerf cannons, ping pong bombs, glue weapons, etc.).  It can be played on a large table, in a living room, at the beach, or anywhere else you happen to be.  The only materials needed are these rules, a supply of different colored army men, some six-sided dice, and a couple of yardsticks or tape measures.

Before beginning the game, players should discuss and agree upon the playing area, victory conditions, selection of forces, and starting positions.  Setup is conducted jointly by all players before army assignment is determined.  Players are assigned armies by drawing colors ( as in chess ).  Each player then rolls a die and the highest roller moves first, followed by the second highest, and so on.

An army typically consists of 30-40 men plus a few fortifications or vehicles.  As a general rule, attackers should be given more troops ( perhaps even double ) than army men who are defending a fortified position.

Example scenarios ( and victory conditions ) may include such themes as:   destroy all enemies, capture the flag, escape to a safe area, escort vehicles and cargo, rescue prisoners, capture the enemy leader, destroy a secret weapon, etc.  Variants can include space troops, toy dinosaurs, trains, boats, or any other items on hand.

Additional Game Components

Pencils = anti-tank obstacles

Big paper clips = barbed wire

Jar lids = fox holes

Houseplants = forests

Bottles, cans, etc, = miscellaneous obstacles and cover

Coins = minefields

Rulers = bridges

Boxes of matches = fires and/or smoke

Blankets = low hills or bodies of water

Piles of books = steep hills and cliffs

Dixie cups = small pillboxes ( cut out gunports)


Game Turns


Each Turn represents an abstracted amount of time in which a soldier can move and attack.  Turns are divided into 4 phases which porceed in the following order:


1.  Movement ( sequential )

2.  Automatic weapons ( simultaneous )

3.  Other small arms ( simultaneous )

4l  Heavy weapons ( simultaneous )


Heavy weapons inlcude tanks, artillery, bazookas, flame-throwers, mortars, and anything else that is not a machine gun, rifle, or pistol.  If exotic, high-tech weapons like missiles and lasers are involved, they should be fired in the automatic weapon phase.


Since combat is simultaneous, units destroyed in a phase may still return fire during that phase.  Keep track of destroyed units by flipping them on their sides.  At the end of the phase, casualties are removed or replaced by wounded figures and/or dropped weapon accessories up to a limit agreed upon before the game started.  Destroyed vehicles remain flipped over, serving as cover and obstacles for the remainder of the game.




The standard movement allowance is one foot per turn for infantry, and two feet per turn for vehicles.  The allowance is halved when going up hills, and is it also halved for vehicles crossing rough ground.  Jeeps and trucks ( as well as trains ) can move up to three feet per turn on a road.


Tanks lose half their movement allowance when they change directions by turning.  There is no movement penalty to turn the turret, which is positioned during the movement phase.  Tanks can eliminate enemy infantry by running them over.


Soldiers climbing cliffs must roll one die: 1 fall to death, 2-4 no progress, 5-6 climb three inches.  Climbing infantry may not attack during the turn they are attempting to climb.  Swimming infantry move at a rate of 6" per turn.  They have a 1 in 6 chance of drowning every turn they are in the water.  Paratroopers must roll a die when they attempt to land:  1-2 on target, 3 north of target, 4 east of target, 5 south of target, 6 west of target.  If off target, roll another die to determine how many feet they are off ( max 3' ).  Paratroopers may take no further action on the turn they are dropped.


Opportunity Fire


Army men using direct fire ( i.e. not mortars, etc. ) have the option of attacking any units that moved through their line of sight ( LoS ) during the movement phase, even if they are not in LoS at the end of movement.  This rule eliminates the possibility of units simply running by enemy machine gun placements.  Units attacked by opportunity fir may return fire.




Combat occurs simultaneously, but in different phases for different weapons types.  Any weapon depicted on a given army man may be used, but each figure may never attack more than once per turn.  Check the range ( in feet ) and the attack rating for the appropriate weapon on the table below.  The attack value or less must be rolled on two dice to be successful.  Infantry units are automatically eliminated if hit.  Armored vehicles and other hard targets may be destroyed by heavy weapons depending on a second die roll ( see Hard Targets ).


Rate of fire ( RoF ) indicates how many attacks ( on separate targets ) an automatic weapon can make in a turn.  These attacks must be clustered within a 60 degree arc.  RoF is abstracted and does not necessarily correspond to a specific number of bullets fired.

Weapon Range Attack RoF Notes
Knife 0 6 1 silent, no adjacent bonus
Pistol 1 6 1  
Rifle 2 7 1  
Sniper rilfe 3 9 1 stationary
Submachine gun 1 8 3  
Assault rifle 2 8 5  
LMG ( bipod ) 2 8 7 stationary, 1/2 move
HMG ( tripod ) 3 8 10 as above, crew of 2
Grenade 1 6 1 6" diameter blast
Light Mortar 2-4 6 1 6" blast, stationary, 1/2 move
Heavy Mortar 2-5 6 1 as above, 9" blast, crew of 2
Flame Thrower 1 9 1 6" wide cone, 1/2 move
Bazooka 2 6 1 6" blast,  1/2 move, crew of 2
Tank gun 4 7 1 6" blast, crew of 3 ( inside )
Light cannon 3 7 1 6" blast, stationary, crew of 3
Howitzer 6 7 1 9" blast, stationary, crew of 3
Missile 9 8 1 12" blast
Laser any LoS 8 1 automatic elimination
Glue Cannon 3 7 1 immobilizes 9" area

Special Units
Leader +1 attack for troops in 12" area
Binoculars +1 to attack with range >3
Radio allows indirect fire without Los, can transfer leader bonus
Engineer can destroy obstacles, stationary
Medic Convert wounded to healthy soldiers on a roll of 7 on two dice
Mine detector locate mines, deactivate a 3" path per turn
Minefields one attack of 7 on all men vehicles during the movement
Barbed wire blocks infantry, can be destroyed by engineers, tanks, guns
Tank obstacles blocks vehicles, can be destroyed by engineers

Miscellaneous Notes
bullet A natural 2 always eliminates its target and a natural 12 always misses.
bullet Automatic weapons jam on a roll of 12.  Can be fixed by rolling a 7 or less next turn.
bullet All tanks, heavy guns, and flame-throwers are out of ammo on a roll of 12.
bullet Stationary weapons cannot attack on the same turn in which they move.
bullet At least 50% of a target must be within a blast area to be hit.
bullet Attacks on AFVs use armor-piercing rounds and do not make a blast.
bullet Most tanks and planes may fire LMGs in addition to their other armaments.
bullet There is a 50% chance that a flame-thrower will explode ( 3" blast ) if hit.

Attack Modifiers
Behind cover -3 flame-throwers and grenades are -0
Flying -4 planes can only be attacked by MGs and lasers
Inside pillbox -5 flame throwers are -0
Range >3 -1 NA for high-tech weapons such as lasers
From lower elevation -1  
Adjacent +2  
From behind +2  

bullet Guns using indirect fire ( and/or range >3 ) are -1 on their first attack on a fixed location.
bullet Infantry with shovels can entrench ( -3 cover ) after two turns of digging.

Hard Targets

Unlike most units, hard targets such as armored fighting vehicles ( AFVs ) and pillboxes are not automatically eliminated when hit.  Furthermore, they are immune to most weapons.  Bazookas, tank guns, cannons, and flame throwers that land a successful hit have a chance to eliminate them according to the following rule:

Roll one die... For AFVs: 1-2 no effect, 3-4 immobilized, 5-6 destroyed.  For pillboxes: 1-4 no effect, 5 stunned for one turn, 6 destroyed.  Die roll modifiers...
bullet Target is a half track +1
bullet Target is the side or rear of a tank +1 ( flame throwers NA )
bullet Target is a heavy tank -1
bullet Weapon is flame-thrower or howitzer +1
bullet Weapon is a high-tech missile +2
bullet Weapon is land mine or bazooka -1

bullet Flame throwers cannot destroy pillboxes... only the occupants can be targeted
bullet Destroyed vehicles are flipped over and remain in place
bullet Crews survive destroyed tanks ( not jeeps or half-tracks ) on a subsequent roll of 1-2, pillboxes 1-3.
bullet Cannons are automatically eliminated when hit by tanks and other big guns.
bullet Trucks and jeeps can be eliminated by tanks, cannons, mortars, and sustained HMG fire.
bullet Infantry units can eliminate adjacent AFVs with a natural attack roll of 2

Army men in pillboxes cannot fire at targets that are behind the fortification or directly below and in front of the gun ports ( Exception:  grenades can be tossed onto units in front of pillboxes ).  Enemy units in these safe zones can destroy the occupants of the pillboxes on any roll other than a 12 if they are armed with either flame-throwers or grenades.

Small arms can be used to attack soldiers in pillboxes and half-tracks.  If they score a successful nit after the appropriate penalty ( half-tracks act as -3 cover ), they eliminate enemy units but do not affect the hard target itself.


One or more army men form each side can be designated as heroes.  These men may or may not be leaders.  Heroes must be "eliminated" three times before they are actually removed from the game.  They have +1 on all of their attack values and may have additional abilities that should be agreed upon beforehand.  Figures representing heroes must be unique or easily identifiable.  They should be given names like Tex, Radar, Sarge, or Bill.

Designers Notes:  This game is copyright 2000 by Corey Butler.  It may be freely distributed in its original form, with this notice, but not sold.  Modifications and house rules are encouraged and should be labeled as such.

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