I came across some plastic toys from the old Star Patrol line of plastic army men. There were various manufacturers and from various countries of origin for this line. The most common and well-known maker was probably Tim Mee Toys.
They were popular in the late seventies and early 80's as they had a Star Wars "rip-off" vibe to the models. There was a low rent Buck Rogers/Luke Skywalker model, a knock-off Darth Vader, wanna-be Wookie, a female "Princess" or crewmember at a control panel, and a squared off droid looking suspiciously like a low-rent R2-D2. Plus, there was F-16/X-wing lovechild. To top off the line, there were also a couple of random, normal looking astronaut figures. I am sure many of you had these as a kid or have at least seen them someplace.
Of course, I naturally wanted to turn them into a Dexterity Game, but ultimately there were not enough "useful" models in the range for me to really make a good, stand-alone Dexterity Game like Total CARnage, Green Army Men, or High Noon. The models in the packaging just did not lend themselves to this idea. Plus, I only had one package to work with, and did not really want to order more as the trash to useful ratio was pretty low.
Over Thanksgiving I shared this problem with my younger relatives. They had spent a lot of time playing High Noon over the Holiday. They had plenty of ideas on how to add these Space Patrol figures into a Cowboys vs. Aliens scenario for High Noon. I have to hand it to the kids, they had ingenious ideas!
For those of you that have High Noon all ready, I guess you could call this a "supplement" to the game! If you don't have the rules, you should head over to my Wargame Vault page to get them, and then add these new add-ons for your own Cowboys vs. Aliens battles.
Our first model is the Buck Rogers/Flash Gordon/Luke Skywalker wanna-be. I guess he is supposed to look like a 1950's ray gun wielding space cadet. That ill-fitting helmet makes him look SO heroic! We decided that he would have the following weapons:
- Ray Pistol - Direct, Hand-to-Hand, Rapid Fire Coin: 2 Nickels
He couldn't shoot as fast as a Cowboy fanning his revolver, BUT he had bigger coins when he did shoot so it would be easier to hit his target!
If you so desired, you could also choose to give them the "shield/armor" trait to represent a Force Field or power of mystical, cosmic energy, or just advanced armor compared to Cowboy weapons too.
Next up is our Female Controller and Robots. I guess this could be a crew member type figure or something similar. However, it is clear that she is using a computer to do "something" and here is where the kids got pretty creative. They gave her two different potential ways to use her "computer"
- Orbital Strike- Indirect, Blast Coin: 1 Quarter
In this option, she is calling down fire from an off-board resource like a space ship or flying drone. This would give her the ability to use "indirect" fire. The only way to stop the rain of destruction was to take her out!
- Bomb-Bots- Blast Coin: Robot Model
In this scenario, the Female Officer was using her console to move about and detonate the square little Bomb-Bots. They could move like ordinary figure in their turn. However, in the Female Officer's turn, should could use her action to "detonate" them as a normal Blast weapon. If she was taken out-of-action, the Robots would also become inactive.
We also discussed various ways to use the Robots on their own, without the Female Controller. After all, R2-D2 and Battle-Droids do not need a controller! Here are some options to make them fun!
Square Bots Option #1
- Square Bot- Hand-to-Hand Coin: None
In this case, they are considered to have small shockers/tazers like R2 uses in Return of the Jedi. They can use these like a Knife or hand-to-Hand weapon in normal High Noon.
Square Bots Option #2
- Square-Bot- Protective, Blast OR Area Coin: None
In this Option, the robots are not offensive, but Defensive. They can choose to project a force field to act as the shield/armor as either a Blast radius around themselves OR as a Shotgun spread in front of themselves. This gives any model under the effect the "Shield/Armor" keyword for the rest of the turn.
Our next figure is the dreaded Space Knight who totally isn't a Darth Vadar wanna be! Honest! This guy could either be a "Big Bad" individual, or a bunch of faceless thugs to an evil warlord! Depends on how many you have! Either way, here is what we came up with for these guys:
Evil Space Knight #1
- Evil Space Knight: Hand-to-hand Coin: None
Like the Space Cadet, you could also give him the "Shield/armor" ability to represent his magic, space powers, better armor, or just carrying around a force shield.
You could also say that his "Beat Saber" could send out an electrical pulse similar to many video games. This would give him the following profile:
Evil Space Knight #2
- Evil Space Knight: Hand-to-hand, Area Coin: None
- Nottawookie: Direct, Rapid Fire Coin: 3 Quarters
- Clawed Alien: Hand-to-hand, Shield/Armor Coin: None
- Clawed Alien: hand-to-Hand, Shield/Armor, Direct Coin: Penny
Finally, we have the astronauts from an Apollo mission. I honestly have no idea what to do with these guys. They look very unthreatening. Perhaps their suits give them protection and strength? At a stretch the guy with the portable oxygen tank could be wielding some sort of Area weapon? Maybe..... The other guy just looks like he should be planting a US Flag into the moon. We didn't have much for these guys. We thought maybe they could be objectives for the aliens to try to capture while the Cowboys/Indians tried to protect them.
So, here is some half-hearted attempts to do something with them.
- Astronaut: hand-to-Hand, Shield/Armor Coin: None
- Astronaut with Tube: Hand-to-hand, Shield/Armor, Area Coin: None
If you have something better for these guys, feel free to post it below in comments or on the Messageboards.
I didn't think these Star Patrol models would be enough for a new Dexterity game, but it sure could be fun to add them to a game of High Noon in some Cowboys vs. Aliens type scenarios. Give these rules a go and let me know what worked for you!