Little Brother wanted me to play with him. All the games I suggested were not quite right until I said, “How about Dinosaurs V. Army Guys?” He was up for that.
His train table was covered, not with wooden tracks and Thomas the Tank Engine, but in Dinosaurs and an Army Guy base. All the figures were mixed up and/or upside-down. So we sorted them all out. I got the Dinosaurs and he got the Army Guys. As we chose our sides of the table and started setting up for the battle I was treated to a lecture on the “garnades” that his Army Guys have, and which one is the Master Commander (I would have called him a Sniper, but what do I know?) I was also informed that if my Dinosaurs step on his bomb, then they will get bombed. Obviously he has seen too many Looney Toons because “bombed” does not mean “dead”–it just means that for a period lasting not longer than 3 seconds, that figure is out of the battle.
As my mom has been known to say, playing games with Little Brother is like playing “Super Cranko” with the M*A*S*H characters. The rules are subject to change at any time because you make them up as you go along. Of course, the only one who gets to make up any rules is Little Brother, and of course the rules always favor him. What four-year-old would have it any other way?
He did offer to share an Army Guy with me–not a Master Commander, though–and gave me a fighter plane. I think he felt sorry for me, as I only had brute force on my side, while he had tanks, planes, bombs and of course many “garnades.” Also, he had “27 health” and every time I knocked down one of his guys, a miraculous resurrection would take place. But my Dinosaurs, once knocked down, were out of the game.
It was a successful battle, though, and at the end he asked me if I liked the Army Guy Team. I told him I did, and that maybe next time we play he could be the Dinosaurs and I’d take the Army Guys. His answer: “I’m going to give you a hug!”