Copyright 2005 T. Sheil & A. Sheil All Rights Reserved
The Classic Toy Soldier Game
|SHAMBATTLE is a game for toy soldiers. It was invented by U.S.
Army lieutenant Harry Dowdall and play-tested at the military base at Governor's
Island. Harry's test crew were the sons of fellow soldiers. The
game was presented to the world in 1929 by a book entitled SHAMBATTLE
: How to Play with Toy Soldiers. The book went through one
printing and was forgotten, except by collectors of rare volumes. We discovered
it and saw that it had a lot of potential. Sure., it was a kid's game,
but it also had some innovative ideas that could be applied to more sophisticated
games. Even at that, it was a great game for children.
|SHAMBATTLE was written at a time when mechanized warfare was new.
The horse cavalry were still considered a vital part of every modern
Army. Back then, toy soldiers were made of cast metal and were painted.
The better soldiers came in small sets of six to nine infantry, three
to six cavalry, or a field gun. The most popular uniform colors for
these soldiers were red and blue. Most were imported from England.
SHAMBATTLE was written with these toys in mind.
|Toy soldier games are different from most miniature war games. There
is more play and less realism in toy soldier games. The most famous
toy soldier game was described in H.G, Wells in his book Little
Wars, published in 1913. Wells' game remained the basis of war games
for many years afterwards. Wells admitted that as good as his rules were,
he was unable to find a way to incorporate certain elements of the real military
,such as field hospitals. Ironically, SHAMBATTLE included the
same items in a simple and practical manner.
|When we first encountered the original version of SHAMBATTLE, we recognized
it as a great game. Unfortunately, the original text is long and poorly
organized. Our task was to revise it and organize it so people could
be up and playing faster. The new version, entitled SHAMBATTLE:
A Game for Old Fashioned Toy Soldiers, makes the game easier to
play and enjoy Read more about it
Our other version is a Wild West Shambattle game that is actually two games in one: Six-Gun Shambattle and Tomahawk Shambattle. Cowboys and Indians has never been this much fun! Click here to see more.
|SHAMBATTLE incorporates a great toy soldier game system. We
found that it could be adapted for other types of toy soldier play. With
a few additions to the excellent game, we made Knightly Fightly, a Game
for Toy Knights. By adjusting for Medieval weapons, Knightly
Fightly is a game for battles with Toy Knights, Toy Vikings., Robin Hood
and even Knights versus Monsters of Medieval legends. For more information
on Knightly Fightly, Click
SHAMBATTLE is also an excellent way to introduce young people to Wargaming
To see more Art Deco Soldiers, click here