Back as a kid, I "wargamed" with LEGO, using a dice to determine what was a very lose "RPG" style wargame. BRIKWARS has been around for 20 years and kinda formalizes this.
BRIKWARS has its own slickly-produced website, forums etc. I didn't know fighting with LEGOs was so serious!
The production values are very nice, although the latest rules are a web-only document that would be a PITA to print. LEGOs "Minifigs" have a 5" move. Weapons (1 d6 for ranged, 2d6 for melee) are compared to an armour stat; if they beat it the little dude is downed (remove legs or arms as appropriate). Bricks can be connected or blown apart by attacks. You can reward your opponent for cool feats, storytelling, and constructions by giving them a free extra d6 to add to a roll. The rules are not-serious and rather fun, but quite extensive. Pity LEGO as a hobby is the only thing I can think of more addictive and expensive than wargaming... I swear the bricks are made of pure unobtanium....
The other thing to trigger nostalgia (and an interest in 1:1 wargaming) is this awesome scene from the movie Ant Man.
Thomas the Tank Engine... classic!
This, along with reading a book on ants to my two-year old, has inspired an interesting in reviving a game I used to play in my teens - "Ant Wars" - where plastic ants (dully divided into blue and red factions with a dab of nail polish to the head) fought. I recall they used their jaws AND automatic weapons fashioned from toothpicks and wire and heroic ant squad leaders had special attacks.
Little dudes like this (they are about 1cm long) were one of my first painted wargame armies.... Painted with nailpolish, that was.
(I just went to Pete's freewargames page and googled this topic - apparently I was not original - see Tac Ant ) While I was in the misc section I also saw Conquest of the Lost World - there you go, Paul - a new set of rules to try - and a Fistful of Honey (gunslinging bears) as well as Dinosaur Cowboys among other things... I'm easily distracted...) Anywhoo, where was I?...
Ah, yes, Ant Wars. I'm thinking I might revive this game as a fun holiday project. There are plenty of ant powers and special abilities based on the real thing. Besides the more mundane stuff:
-Can survive underwater for about 24 hours, some can swim
-As well as immune to fall damage, some can perform a controlled glide
-Can sense with no eyes
-Some can fly
-Enslave each other/keep herds of insects
-Some squirt acid/poison or have venomous bites/stings
-Can lift 50x body weight, cut things in half with jaws
-Great teamwork but also individual scouting, and leadership
-Queens = assassinate missions!
We have.... suicide bombers who explode their own heads; and gliding ants whose heads work like doors, zombie ants controlled by parasites, ant that can jump backwards with their jaws, minefield/trapper ants, cannibal vampire ants etc. Mafia ants smear chemicals on rivals to to incite others to others kill them, ants that release nerve gas to kill termites, (other ants gas can force ants to treat an area as a no-go zone) other ants have chemical camouflage that allows them to trick enemy ants into thinking they are friendly. Others don't have this and simply trick with visual mimicry, never coming close enough to be smelled. Others taste so bad enemy ants instantly drop them - they're the real "untouchables." Other ants can clone themselves.
...and people wonder why I never finish a project. I'm so easily distra....
Why stop at 1:1? The awesome microtanks of the Eyelau Sequence are 1:20 - i.e. 20x larger than their actual 2mm size... talk about interesting terrain....
Yep. I'm going to look into ways to use the regular messy rooms that come part-in-parcel with living with a 2-year-old into interesting and varied terrain. Why stop there? The micro world is fascinating. The Eylau Sequence is probably the most interesting and innovative wargame background I've ever seen; featuring tank battles between hovertanks only milimetres long. That's thinking outside the box!
Now off to the local Flash Harry's $2 junk shop for some plastic ants....