Simple Warhammer-like game can be played over Christmas dinner

A tabletop designer and writer challenges wargaming fans to bring some Warhammer-like gameplay to Christmas with a super simple ruleset.

Warhammer 40k christmas an army man with an xmas santa hat.

A tabletop game designer has made a super simple Warhammer-like wargame that can be played at the Christmas dinner table. Call of Plastic 2023 is a two-page wargame that takes a minute or less to learn. The designer suggests you bust it out on Christmas day while the relatives are still in a food coma. You can also try it mid-meal for maximum mayhem.

51-year-old Australian writer Adam L Dobbyns sowed the seeds of Christmas chaos, posting their Call of Plastic miniature wargame in the Super Cheap Wargaming Facebook group on November 23.

“You may at some point find yourself sitting at a large table of food, bottles, cans, plates, glasses and maybe the odd ornament?” their post reads. “It’s ALL terrain. Stop looking at it like a meal and start looking at it like a Christmas themed battlefield!”

Call of Plastic is an incredibly straightforward wargame in the Warhammer 40k vein, that Dobbyns describes as “the fastest way to roll dice with army men”. You won’t find the complex lore of Warhammer 40k factions or Age of Sigmar armies here. All this title requires is a ruler, some little green (plastic) men, and a couple of regular d6 dice.

While there’s nothing particularly festive about the wargame’s design, Dobbyns says he puts it out on social media around Christmas each year. “Folks like the idea of using food and the chaos of a Christmas table as a war zone,” he says, adding that he often sees images of festive firefights on Facebook after December 25.

Another reason to play on Christmas day? “You will also likely be in the company of people you may like to take a shot at.”

According to the 2023 holiday rules, the last person with soldiers standing is declared Christmas king or queen for the year.

Dobbyns says they enjoy quick wargames that are easy to learn. “My philosophy has always been to have the player spend more time looking at the tabletop than in the rulebook. From reading, to “shots fired” as fast as possible.” They say they specialize in ‘ultra compression’, creating games that, while compact, are highly functional.

“What I like about COP is it has almost a Japanese short form Haiku kind of style to it. It’s brief: says what it says, then is gone, yet leaves a lasting impression. Minimalist and without ambiguity.”

Check out these other indie Warhammer alternatives that use Lego or Playmobil, for some more inspiration. And for some Christmas break reading, you might also enjoy our up to date guide to every single Warhammer 40k Primarch.