Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Guinea Pig Heroes

A game of heroes, cards, and vindictive guinea pig action
Most of the time, when a range of figures is released, they are either related to a specific set of rules or they are figures such as historical miniatures for which a wide range of wargames rules already exist. Rarely, though, a manufacturer produces a set of brilliant figures for which very few - perhaps even no - commercial rules exist. Although I have to admit that this will not be the case for long as a commercial set will be available shortly.

However, that's what Annie did a year or more ago - and it's taken me that long to get it in a form worth posting on the blog. Yes, this post is all about guinea pigs.

You've probably heard of Annie (aka the Dice Bag Lady/Bad Squiddo Miniatures). If you haven't, chances are you're not a wargamer, or you've been hiding under a rock somewhere. I urge you strongly to visit her site, where you are almost guaranteed to find something interesting. I'll leave you to do that in your own time. Suffice to say that amongst many other brilliantly original ideas, Annie has produced some figures of - yes, you guessed it - guinea pigs, for which you will probably understand there were until recently very few sets of wargames rules.

That said, after chatting with Annie I understand that another set of rules is currently in prep for which Annie's gun-toting guinea pigs, bunnies and cute-animal-driven-armoured vehicles (I told you you needed to visit her web site) are perfect for, but there's no overlap here with those. The game here doesn't involve guns and such things. Instead, and proving just as judiciously violent within the game mechanics, we have a cat and a bunch of carrots.

This new game (as you may have already suspected from the title above) is called Guinea Pig Heroes. It's a simple and (fairly) quick play sort of race game using a dice and some cards, designed for four players who have no qualms about being vindictive to each other. I'm not going to bore you with game mechanics here so if you want to play it here's the link to the guinea pig game rules and cards. Yes there are cards too! All free to download and use as you wish, but please do comment here if you do anything with them!

You will need, in addition to the rules and cards, some guinea pig figures (get them from Annie - for every set sold £1 goes to Glynneath Guinea Pig Rescue). I based my guinea pigs on 1p pieces and textured and decorated them appropriately.

Guinea pigs
More guinea pigs
Yet more guinea pigs
You will also need figures representing a cat and a bunch of carrots, and a specially marked up six-sided dice

The cat
My cat figure is a Schleich cat, sitting based on a 40mm round base appropriately textured to match the bases of the guinea pigs. It's a bit big, but that just makes it all the more terrifying if you are a tiny little guinea pig. Just look at those cute creepy eyes...

Mmmm... carrots
My carrots are made from green stuff, painted and based on a 2p piece, appropriately textured. These are really not very difficult to make at all.

The special die
The die I use is a blank die (available from many, many suppliers) with the appropriate symbols drawn on the faces with a permanent marker, as required in the game rules.

Dice symbols (l-r): 2 x blank, 1 carrot, 2 carrots, 3 carrots, the cat
You'll also need a table to play on, some terrain, and two things to represent a house and a hutch. Books, paper, beer mats, or whatever will serve perfectly well for all of these things (except the table. For this, you should really use a table).

Basically, the game is a race to get your uniquely heroic guinea pig from the house to the hutch, made more difficult by the need to have specific cards in your hand, the presence of the tempting carrots and the malevolent cat, and the vindictive actions of the other players. We've play tested the game a few times, and it works. Once you get the hang of the mechanisms play should be pretty quick and you can play a game in 1-2 hours easily - though the more players pick on each other the longer the game is likely to last.

Please download, play and enjoy - and if you have any feedback at all (even if you think it's rubbish!) please post a reply here as I would love to hear from you! And also in the spirit in which the whole concept of wargaming with guinea pigs was conceived please do consider donating to Glynneath Guinea Pig Rescue as well.


Guinea Pig Heroes