D&D, RTS, and Chess Skylanders Games

Geek Culture

With growing interest at what the next technological and gameplay step will be for the Skylanders, I find it more than a little ironic that my kids seem to spend increasing time playing with our collection of Skylanders figures away from the game.

In fact, they have created a whole range of games to play with the Skylanders figures, that started off with our own version of Chess and most recently has seen them develop a Dungeons & Dragons style tabletop game that makes use of the Skylanders Stats cards, tape measure and various dice.

Skylanders Chess

Skylanders ChessSkylanders Chess

Skylanders Chess

A revised set of chess rules for Skylanders figures played on a traditional chess board. While my kids have always been invested in chess, it wasn’t until we started developing this Skylanders variant that they really started working out how the game worked. Although a lot simpler than a full chess game, this version has the novelty of the Skylanders figures to get them thinking about the sorts of strategies they can use.

Requirements: Two players, eight Skylanders figures ($7.99 Amazon) of varying elements, a chess board.

Rules: The game is played like chess although the different Skylanders figures each have different abilities.

  • Flighted Skylanders can jump over other figures and move like Knights.
  • Water Skylanders can move as far as they want in a horizontal or vertical direction, like castles.
  • Fire Skylanders can attack another character up to 2 squares away in any direction.
  • Air Skylanders can move as far as they want diagonally, like bishops.
  • Earth Skylanders move one square at a time in any direction but can attack up to 2 other characters in one go provided they are in range.
  • Life Skylanders can bring any one character back to the game if they reach the opposite end of the board.
  • Undead Skylanders can remove any one opposing character if they reach the opposite end of the board.
  • All other Skylanders can move forward one square at a time and attack diagonally, like pawns.

Skylanders Wild West

Skylanders Wild WestSkylanders Wild West

Skylanders Wild West

This is an imaginary wild west shoot out where players first create a cardboard cut out wild west town, and then use Skylanders to act out a showdown. My kids enjoy the making and constructing part of this as much as the actual showdown. In fact they can spend a couple of hours making the town and just fifteen minutes with the actual shooting — unless they get into some three way shoot outs that is; those can go on for days.

Requirements: Two or three players. Cereal/shoe boxes, felt tip pens, scissors and sticky tape. Six Skylanders ($7.99 Amazon) from two different Element groups.

Rules: Although there are no strict rules in terms of who can move or who shoots first the idea is that the players create a realistic battle. When my kids play this it involves a range of dramatic deaths, and to the nail shoot outs in the street:

  • Each player selects two boxes each and cuts out doors and windows. Where the boxes are open topped, roofs can be made by sticky taping them together (as shown in the picture here) at an angle. Felt pens can be used to add detail to the outside of these constructions — Saloons, Jails and Haunted Houses seem to feature heavily when my kids play this.
  • Once the houses have been constructed they are laid out in a town plan, ensuring that good cover and shooting opportunities are created for both sides.
  • The players then place their Skylanders in the town before acting out their wild west show down.

Skylanders Dungeons and Dragons

Skylanders Dungeons & DragonsSkylanders Dungeons & Dragons

Skylanders Dungeons & Dragons

A turn based strategy game using Skylanders figures and Stat cards. Gameplay combines Top Trump (choose a stat showdowns) with measured movement and strategic use of cover.

Requirements: Two or three players. Cardboard cutout town as described above. Four Skylanders ($7.99 Amazon) per player. Six D6 dice. Ruler or Tape Measure.

Rules: The rules are as follows, and loosely follow a Dungeons & Dragons tabletop format:

  • Each player takes it in turn placing one of the buildings on the table. Once placed it cannot be moved until the game in complete.
  • Place the Skylander figures in the middle of the table and their stat cards in a pile face down.
  • Each player takes it in turn to pick a Skylander for their squad.
  • Once all players have four Skylanders each they take the related stat card from the deck.
  • Each player places their Skylander at the edge of the table where they are sat.
  • The game then proceeds in turns:
    • Movement 1: The player can pick one of their Skylander figures to move. Each character moves their Speed/10 in inches.
    • Movement 2: A Skylander can move into one of the buildings if they were touching the building the previous round. Once inside a building they are award an extra dice when defending an attack (see below).
    • Combat 1: The player can choose to attack an opposing Skylander within 3 inches of their characters.
    • Combat 2: The attacking player chooses one Stat for the Skylander he is attacking with, if this is greater than the same Stat for the defending Skylander he gains an extra attack die.
    • Combat 3a: If the defending player has another Skylander within 3 inches of the defending character they can have an extra die (one for each character in range of their defending Skylander).
    • Combat 3b: If the attacking player has another Skylander within 3 inches of their attacking character they can have an extra die (one for each character in range of their defending Skylander).
    • Combat 3c: If the defending Skylander is in a building (see above) they are awarded an extra dice.
    • Combat 4: Attacking and defending players roll their dice and the player with the highest number wins. If the defending player has once die and rolls a six the attack is replayed.
    • Combat 5: The losing Skylander is removed from the game.
  • The game is won when only one player remains with Skylanders in play.

Skylanders Karting

Skylanders KartingSkylanders Karting

Skylanders Karting

A round the living room racing game using Skylanders figures ($7.99 Amazon) as runners. The Skylanders are flicked from marker to marker, and players need to agree beforehand what is a legal/illegal flick. When we play we restrict this to an underarm movement with the index finger (although younger players are granted more leeway).

Requirements: Course markers made from Blue Tack, one Skylander for each player, string for finishing line.

Rules: The rules follow a loose Subbuteo format and are as follows:

  • Players take it in turn to place the race markers around the room. We usually use seven markers.
  • A player who has not placed the race markers places the string for the finish line.
  • The player with the Skylander who has the highest Speed stat (on their Stat card) goes first.
  • Players take it in turn to flick thier Skylanders towards each of the markers.
  • Only when a player’s Skylander has hit the marker can they move on to the next one.
  • The player to get their Skylander to each of the markers in turn and then across the finish line is the winner.

These games make use of Skylanders figures and their related Stat Cards that come with the Starter Kit (from $49.99 Amazon) or can be purchased separately in Single, Triple or Adventure packs (from $7.99 Amazon).


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