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This game about mechanized fighting potatoes requires ... real potatoes

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It goes well with beer and pretzels

It is universally accepted that miniatures are expensive. It is just as universally accepted that potatoes are cheap. How cheap? They literally sell them by the pound. So one sprouting game designer mashed the two together. The result is called Kartoffelkrieg, or Potato War in the German. First announced as a goof on Imgur just 18 days ago, it’s already got a publisher lined up and a Kickstarter scheduled for March 7.

To play, you’ll take your potato and draw from a bag of bits. Inside are all the parts needed to make a proper mechanized potato including armored plates, laser weapons and grasping arms that both slice and dice. Players trade their bits until they have enough limbs to both move and fight. Using a simple character sheet, you track power and damage as you move around. Everything plays out with eight-sided dice. There’s even rules for line-of-sight and melee attacks.

The print-and-play version, which was first conceived by YouTuber Michael Craughwell, can be found on Google Drive. You’ll need some black foam board, some white glue, a bunch of toothpicks and a hobby knife. Glue the pages down to the foam board, cut out the bits with the knife, pop them onto a toothpick and you’re all set. You’ve got a workable wargame in just a few hours for less than the price of a homemade meal for a family of four.

If you think about it for too long, the whole thing sounds pretty stupid.

But, if you think about it for just a little bit longer, it actually makes a lot of sense.

Afterall, Mr. Potato Head started out as a cheap bag of bits that children would take home and stick into actual potatoes. Now it’s a globally recognized brand name. I’m not saying that Kartoffelkrieg is about to get acquired by Mattel any time soon, but they are absolutely on to something.

And why not be the ones to make a silly, family-friendly miniatures game? Warhammer 40,000 is as grimdark as it gets, and Flames of War is full to bursting with actual Nazis. Why not add something light and easy to build to the market? In fact, it’s easier to make even than this papercraft mech game that I reviewed ages ago which, oddly enough, was also full of Nazis.

I can definitely see myself playing this with the kids on the kitchen counter. If nothing else, I could finally getting some use out of that Kitchenaid mixer that we got as a wedding present. It would make an excellent terrain piece.

Congratulations, Kartoffelkrieg. This spud’s for you.