The Game in a Box

At my local wargames club we have been discussing the idea of a “game in a box”. This is a game that is easy to transport (throw into the boot of a car, or the back box on my motorcycle) and put on in  a rush, ideal if someone who was planning to put on a game cancels at the last minute.

Although board games often fill this requirement sometimes players want the flexibility and aesthetics of a miniatures game.  The requirements of a “game in a box” must be that everything that is needed to play including models and terrain can essentially fit into a reasonably sized box for easy transport. Another requirement is that the game must be fairly quick to play with simple and easy to learn rules.


A good option for making a game more portable is “downsizing”. Using 6mm miniatures in the place of larger scales drastically shrinks a game allowing it to be played in a much more compact space.

Fellow WordPress blogger “northernwedding” has built an excellent modular terrain board for use with individually based 6mm miniatures for playing modern skirmish games.



Another good candidate for the title of “game in a box” is De Bellis Antiquitatis or DBA as it is commonly known an ancient era rule set written by Phil Barker of WRG. If played in 15mm scale the game only requires a 2′ x 2′ playing area and games are quick, often lasting less than an hour.


The 3rd edition of the rules are available to buy on amazon or alternatively the unofficial guide to DBA provides the entire 2.2 version of the rules (translated from Phil Barkers questionable writing style) for free (although army lists are not included).

Unoffical Guide to DBA

Naval & Air

Naval and air games lend themselves top easy transport as relatively few miniatures are required and little or no scenery (other than a blue sheet to represent the sea) is required.

The only downside especially true of naval games is that the rules can often be complicated and games are not always the quickest. However this can be solved by picking an appropriate scale of game and a fast-playing rule set.





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