First Scouting Wide Game: Snow Forts

Quick making and PVA gluing of polystyrene Snow Forts

Wide Games or Outdoor Games from Baden Powell’s Scouting for Boys 1907/8

The Snow Forts game in progress …

Setting up the game board and Lego based snow fort alternative build.

This was a ‘jolly good fun’ short game, featuring a small force of Gladys and four other Girl Scouts of Daisy Patrol, defending their snow fort with snowballs against an attacking force of eight Boy Scouts of Red scarved ‘Bull’ Patrol.

I will post a full game write up in the next few days, my first playtesting of some simple Scouting Wide Games rules.

It takes three Snowball hits on a defender in the Snow Fort for them to lose their ‘life’ (restored once journeyed back to HQ tent camp), but only one hit to take the ‘life’ of an attacker.

Snowball ammunition is unlimited. One scout equals one figure.

Ranges were set out or measured using lolly sticks, for close range (one lollystick – 4,5,6 is a hit on a d6), medium range (two lollystick distance, 5 or 6 to hit) and long range (three lollysticks – 6 only to hit).

Movement on snow and ice was half normal pace, (so using half a lollystick marker to measure) and no fast Scouts Pace (a strange mix of periods of running and walking) was allowed due to weather and terrain

Alan Gruber, Tradgardmastre of the Duchy of Tradgardland blog is also going to be working on the Scouting Wide Games rules and borrowed RPG elements like individual character cards.

I added some simple RPG style elements like names, age or scout ranking from Tenderfoot to First Class Scout or Patrol Leader, and badge or character achievements.

For example, Gladys the Patrol Leader of Daisy Patrol of the Girl Scouts and young Ernest, Second Class scout of Bull Patrol (Red Scarves) both have Marksman scout badges, adding +1 to their chance of hitting a scout of the other patrol with a range weapon like a snowball.

Jolly Good Fun! The game ended sportingly with three cheers for the winners and three cheers for the losers. Afterwards Agnes and Ginger of the Daisy Patrol of Girl Scouts built a “Snow Scout”.

I will also be developing a separate WordPress blog for the Scouting Wide Games project, for storing pictures, rules, research and play-testing. Watch this space for details:

The 1914 Christmas Truce – was there a Snow ball fight?

I dug out some old Airfix unarmed WW1 figures. The Snowball fight element of this game lends itself to both civilian, Christmas and military scenarios.

The Christmas version using tree ornaments – red versus white and blue.

Posted by Mark, Man of TIN on 5 October 2019


12 thoughts on “First Scouting Wide Game: Snow Forts”

  1. A great start to the Wide gaming. I think the set up looks great fun and the photo taken from a Scouts eye position on the table is particularly evocative of being in the fun ourselves. I look forward to hearing more about this.


    1. The first solo game needn’t really well. If I had used both Boy Scout patrols, I think the outcome would have been different much sooner.
      I shall write this up this week. Bit of a scrambled together game and terrain. Only got one RPG element of marksman badge into this first attempt but naming characters makes a big difference (number on base linked to name, rank etc.) and makes it easier to keep a hit / life chart etc. For all characters.
      Didn’t look at morale, cheerfulness etc. as snow seems to wipe many accomplishments such as bicycles and level all sides.

      I have a second scenario planned for a full patrol of eight defenders where supplies of chocolate / hot chocolate in the snow fort are running low and the defending snow fort Patrol must send a foraging party back to collect these from HQ (one corner off the board) whilst also defending the fort.

      If supplies run out, they will have to surrender. An onslaught of two patrols to a. attack the fort and b. intercept the foraging party and take them prisoner.
      It takes two scouts to accompany each prisoner back to HQ.
      HQ restores any hits or lives taken after an agreed or random dice time.
      Could be fun.


  2. Splendid looking game Mark – nice to mix in some RPG style “Statistics”
    I like the WW1 scene – is it home-made scenery?


  3. Jolly good fun indeed! The forts were clever – really effective but easy to do. The comment about snowball ammunition being unlimited made me smile. It put me in mind of my Cracker Battery of the Yuletide Artillery which I made last year, their cannon firing giant snowballs.


      1. What a pleasing and inspiring post by Der alte Fritz! Not managed to get my own daughter much into my world of figures but she humours me well enough. 🙂

        As for my Christmas Corps, a new box of figures arrived recently actually and I am indeed planning the next seasonal batch…


      2. I thought it was a really nice celebratory birthday / gaming post by Der Alte Fritz.

        Maybe something nonviolent like the Scouting Wide Gam Snowball games might attract your daughter?

        As for the Christmas Corps this year, intriguing…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I like it! This would certainly be more appropriate for kids than many wargames. (Though I could see close combat with quarterstaves!) I’m itching to find some scouts of my own now. Good work!

    Is that a paper towel for the tabletop?

    And is a lollystick what we across the pond call a popsicle stick or craft stick?

    Up the Scouts! And I hope to see more, it’s about time we got a glimpse of what you’re doing with this. I’ll have to see if Junior General has paper scout troops.


    1. I thought of your library set up when doing this game. There are Lemax style Christmas village snow ball figures.
      The tabletop is paper kitchen towel with icy swirly patterns.
      A lollystick is a popsicle stick.

      There are Boy Scout figures in the USA including home cast Dunken ones. Mine are from LBB30 STS Little Britons 42mm range from Spencer Smith Miniatures. As you say Junior General is another option.
      Lots more scenarios where this came from!
      I have bought both reproduction first copies of the Boy Scouts of America and Daisy Low’s Girl Scouts of America handbooks , many of these are featured in these guides as Wide Games, albeit with the risk of bears, rattlesnakes so many rural scouts (girls and boys) were taught to shoot!


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