I am a serious artilery game fan; this is the game with those small tanks shooting to each other in 2 dimensions on beautiful ballistic arches. Perhaps the most famous title is the 'Schorched Earth' or the 'Howitzer'. Some of them are designed with tanks, some are castles, (but there was a game in this collection even with two gorillas in it, who threw exploding bananas, standing on the buildings of a big city, and I found a game with two Santas throwing explosive snowballs...). Very funny. This game concept is very clever and entertaining, because you must control the angle and the power of the cannon, and you must count also with the obstacles of the landscape when aiming. So it's my favourite game on PC; but why don't we try to make a similar game using simple materials in the real world?
Step 1: Plans and Concept
After a little planning I began to collect the needed things, to construct a wooden-cardboard version of the artillery game. I've choosen the castle version, so that my game became a tank-free artillery; let's call it Castle Siege Game. There are two castles and the catapults, some kind of ammos, and a counter which counts the damage during the siege. The castle is made of cardboard, the catapult is a wooden one, and the ammos are beads or other small balls, depending of the distance of the castles; be creative. You can control the aiming with the angle modification, and the power with the shooting unit.
Step 2: How to Make It?
First plan your castle; halve a normal A4 paper sheet along its shorter side to get a cca. 10 cm x 30 cm sheet, then fold it in half, and repeat this once more; so that you get a four sided sheet, something like this: W.
Then draw a castle on the one of its side, something like you can see on the image, and cut it folded; when you open it, you get a four sided castle template with the towers at the folded corners. When ready, copy it on a cardboard sheet, and cut them twice to get two same foldable castles, and glue them at the opened corner. Of course, it's a good idea to paint them with different colors or styles, but they have to be the same size.
Now you have to build two catapults to be able to aim and shoot with it. First cut two longer (cca. 5 cm) and a shorter (cca. 2,5 cm) wooden pieces as you can see them on the images. The width and height are optionally, but try to follow the original proportions, if you can. Now drill the holes into the two longer pieces together, for the exact symmetrical placing of them, and measure the points on the shorter piece where this holes will fit. See the drawing for the visual explanations. Now get a bottle cap and a floppy plastic stick, and assemble them together as seen on the pictures. The cap may be glued onto the plastic stick. Now you are ready with the catapult. Paint or varnish it, if you want.
The base is a cca. 20 cm x 10 cm wooden sheet. On the one of its side you can glue or screw the catapult firmly, and onto the other side you can place (or glue) the cardboard castle. Behind the castle you can drill 11 small holes for a counter, to registrate the lost men in the castle during the siege, with a toothpick-counter. The max. number is 10, and, when a castle reaches the 0, its player has lost the battle.
Find them creatively, the mass and the size of them depends on the required distance, the material of the throwing arms, its lenght, and a many other circumstances. Some idea: beads, folded paper ammo, plastic tokens, small rubber cubes from an old eraser, bean, pea, or anything else you find usable.
Step 3: Rules and Ideas
These are optional. Measure the distance on the carpet between the castles, and after this they are no longer moveable. State the hit power of the ammos; this is the amount of the lost men when hitting.
I recommend a rule what says: when a bomb only knocks the wall of the castle, it hits the normal hit points, and when falls into the castle, this number will be doubled. We use a NORMAL BOMB, which hits 1 on wall, and 2 when is fallen into the castle. The FIRE BOMB hits 3 and 6 in the same way. The DOUBLE BOMB is originally a set of two half cannon ball tied with a strong link; this bomb is rotating and may cause a bigger damage around itself, but the aiming with it may be more difficult. You can make it with two thread-linked beads. This bomb causes 4 hit points on wall, and 8 when reaches the inner area of the castle. But you may invent a lot of other bombs, with its hit points, if you want. These bombs may be used from a free stock, when you are novice in the aiming, but - as seen below - you may use a 'Market', which will sophisticate the gameplay.
To determine the shooting order I recommend to: 1.) toss a coin to randomize, 2.) winner (or looser) first, 3.) both of the player shoot in the same time, 4.) previously determined order.
The lenght of the game may be about 10-15 rounds, but if you play a longer game, the prices (below) could be modified.
And a pretty evil idea: put a small plastic coffee cup or some other 3-4 cm holder into the castle, and, when any bomb falls exactly into it, thet means the castle got the max. damage immediately, and the other player won. Let's name this death zone "gunpowder depo".
And another idea: try to expand this rules with some 'landscape' items, and the 'market' option: we, for example, use initially only NORMAL BOMB, and only the round winner can buy ammo after the round, only one per round, for his earnt money (see below). The market may be expanded with defense items, too: extra castle walls in different sizes, which are put in front of the castle, and can defend some hits when the wall is knocked. But these are more difficult to register during the gameplay. The extras may be small cards with the benefits and possibilities on it. Here is a small collection for it:
Weak extra wall: eliminates 1 hit on the castle wall. Price: 5
Strong extra wall: eliminates 3 hits on the castle wall. Price: 10
Super extra wall: eliminates 5 hits on the castle wall. Price: 20
Normal bomb: hits 1/2 (wall / inner area) Price: free and unlimited
Fire bomb: hits 3/6 (wall / inner area) Price: 5 for 3 pcs.
Double bomb: hits 4/8 (wall / inner area) Price: 10 for 2 pcs.
The earnt money is the number of the winner's remained men. This number may be added after rounds, and must be always written. (As I mentioned before, this may slow the gameplay, but perhaps worths for a more complex game).
To buy items: only the round winner can buy, after its round, and only one item. When the winner is on the market, he can only buy 1 item, but, if this is a bomb, then that is a 'pack', as you can see, 3, or 2 pcs. of bomb for that money.
The rules are optional, you may find anything to change the gameplay. Good luck!