|Sherman disembarking from a huge (too big to capture in an iPhone pic) cargo ship.|
My son is four. A bit too young for Hail Caesar, SAGA and Fireball forward, but not too young for playing games and rolling dice. "Cooties" and "Hi Ho Cherry-O" don't quite cut it in our house, so we invent our own games, hack the rules of existing games and are constantly on the look out for new games we can enjoy together.
We introduced him to Legos about a year ago and they've been one of his favorite toys since then, even if some of the smaller pieces are a bit tricky for him. I saw a Lego based wargame pop up on Penny Arcade the other week, and I was hoping it would be something we could play together, but the rules are a lot more complex than I expected from a game designed around colorful building blocks. The game, Mobile Frame Zero is a sci fi skirmish game in which players build miniature mechs or robots and duke it out for control of a certain number of "station" objective markers. I glanced over it and it appears to use a dice pool for each mech's subsystem (offensive, defensive, movement, etc.) and there's a points system for balancing forces. There's a Flickr group dedicate to the custom mechs that players have built. Lots of clever designs and a robust rules set at first glance, but not exactly something my preschooler could handle at the moment.
I thought that was the end of our Lego wargaming excursion, but over the weekend I took my son to a local Lego festival, Brick Fair. I'm not a "Lego guy", but my wife and I thought my son would enjoy attending the show, and it was a good day trip to get out of the house. What I wasn't expecting was a number of displays centered around military subjects. Even with a limited selection of shapes and colors, the tanks, artillery and battles were easily recognizable. I snapped a few pics, but there were scores more of outstanding models. Maybe there's hope yet for a Lego wargame for us :)