Introduction: PAPER GAMING: Pencil Wars

About: What's to say? A student, a writer, a builder, all the many hats of which I don. A person is not a person until someone tapes on a label, you know. My life is adventure, my interests are many, my fedora is gre…

Pencil Wars is made mostly by me. It was based on the obscure paper-and-pencil game Paper Battle. The original, in My opinion, got boring fast, so I added new rules. This one's not so great for car rides, as it requires being able to draw a straight line. But for classrooms and doctor's offices, it's one of my favorites.

The goal is to kill all of your opponents soldiers, while keeping yours.

To play you will need:

@ Writing utensil (preferrably a pencil due to it's erasability)

@ Paper

@ A ruler or tape measure

@ An opponent.

Also recommended are pennies, washers, or anything that will let you
draw a neat, even circle.

Included is a picture of a finished war with the optional Fort rule.

Step 1: Setup

Fold your paper in half length-wise (hamburger way). Hold it in your hand so that it resembles a bird in your palm, and draw a line over the crease. The two halves are you and your opponents playing fields.

There are three types of soldiers, Knights, Ninjas, and Archers. Knights have higher stamina, Ninjas can move faster, and Archers, obviously, can shoot arrows. You begin the game with two knights, two Ninjas, and an Archer. Each player takes turns drawing their soldiers on their side of the field, covering up the other end so that they cannot see where the other player has placed their soldiers. Stick figures are recommended, just circles are great as long as you can diffentiate them. Where you place them is crucial.

It comes in handy to have a penny to trace their heads with, because it makes sure they are all the same size, ensuring fairness (this will be clear in a second). You may place your soldiers anywhere, as long as it does not touch your opponents playing field.

Soldiers have "Life Points" (LP). Knights have five, Ninjas and Archers have three. Write each soldiers life points somewhere next to him.

Step 2: Playing

Players take turns making attacks or moving their soldiers. Knights and Ninjas can attack anywhere within three inches of the center of his head. Archers can attack in any direction emanating from the center of their heads (see below).


A player can choose to move his soldiers as his turn. Knights and Archers can move up to one inch in any direction, Ninjas can move two. You can move your soldiers anywhere within this radius. Mark off the spot you're moving to, this will be the new center of the soldiers head. Erase or cross out the previous location. Soldiers cannot move into their opponents playing field.

ATTACKING (Knights/Ninjas)

As said before, a Knight/Ninja can attack anywhere within three inches of the center of their head. Mark off your attack with a "X".

Now, fold the paper back up and hold it under a light. If the mark you made is on an opponents Head or Body, the opponent loses a life point. If it hits their arms, they cannot attack for the next two turns (mark this by scribbling out his arm, or something to that effect). If it hits their leg, they cannot move for the rest of the game.


Archers attack in any direction from the center of their head. Instead of the "X", draw a dashed line, with one inch lines, one inch apart, until you hit the side of the paper or the line between playing fields. Do the same thing, fold it over, check for a hit. If you accidentally hit one of your soldiers drawing the line, the take damage as usual.


The first person to destroy all of their opponents soldiers is the winner.

Step 3: Options

Feel free to add in anything you like to the game. Don't like the Soldier types? Make up new ones. Think the rules need to be tweaked? Tweak away.

Here's a few things that you might do:


With this rule, each player gets three "mines" to place anywhere on their side of the field (Use pennies to standardize the size). If these are hit by an enemy soldier, they explode and the attacking soldier loses a life point.


Use different types of soldiers to add more variety to the game. Here's a few:

Bomber: Can throw mines within three inches of the center of his head.

Barbarian: Same as knight, but they can only attack within two inches of the center of the head and do two damage instead of one.

Medic: Can give an extra life point back to any soldier within three inches of the center of their head, but cannot heal the same soldier twice in a row (i.e. they must heal someone else before healing the first one again).


This is useful for when you're playing with extra soldier types. At the beginning, players have no soldiers or mines. Before starting a game, each player gets 30 points to spend at the store. Soldiers cost five points, mines cost two. The victor at the end of the game gets an extra ten points to spend, and the game restarts as many times as you wish.


Ninjas and Archers get only get two life points, and Knights get three. This is good for short games when neither player has the time or attention span.


This can lengthen a game by hours and add a strategic point. Each player gets a fort, traced from anything larger than a penny, as long as both players are using it e.g., quarter, eraser, etc. Players can move their soldiers back to this point, and when touching it, declare "base" and all the soldiers touching it are healed two life points. But, if the opponent can hit the base with an attack before the other player can move out of it, all the soldiers touching it take one damage. The fort itself has seven life points of it's own and can take that much damage before being destroyed.


This is an optional rule intended to reduce arguments. If one player thinks the other wasn't measuring from the center, or was attacking outside of their range (i.e. "off kilter") the player may declare "Kilter" and the other player must redraw it without a complaint.

Step 4: End

That's it. This game could last minutes or hours, depending on the players. It's an amazing way to kill time and a fun creativity exercise when creating new rules. Any rules you can think of that should be added in? Tell me in the comments! Oh, and rating, subscription, all that jazz.

1 Person Made This Project!


  • For the Home Contest

    For the Home Contest
  • Game Design: Student Design Challenge

    Game Design: Student Design Challenge
  • Make It Bridge

    Make It Bridge


stick bob
stick bob

Reply 5 years ago

me to!!!

stick bob
stick bob

5 years ago

It looks fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

dungeon runner
dungeon runner

Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

Bombers depend on the "mines" optional rule in step 3. The idea is that bombers can make mines appear. Step three details the use of mines better.


Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

you rock thanks for making this game but can you try making it 3 or 4 player?

dude you rock but it think there should be a watch tower that cant be destroyed and can shoot 3 lines 4 inches long each during the game and if it gets hit then you can either heal one of your troops or damage the troop that hit you.


12 years ago on Step 1

this is perfect for indoor recess at school when we play soccer or anything

dungeon runner
dungeon runner

Reply 12 years ago on Introduction

There's really no right or wrong way. Just make sure all of the soldiers are of the same proportions and you can tell one from the other.