May 9, 2017
Kicking the new rules around play-test style, I decided to try a Rome vs Pyrrhus battle. Hereclea is always a good test battle since it can be played on a flat, featureless plane. I made the opening moves that the Roman commander did along with the response as Pyrrhus heard word that Roman cavalry had crossed the river.
At the end of turn 1. Rome has the only unit on the board. They move the cavalry forward at top speed. Pyrrhic cavalry enter at the bottom of turn 1.
At the end of turn 2. Rome wins the initiative and enters the board with the rest of their army. They wisely hold back their cavalry. Pyrrhus follows suit.
End of turn 4. There was a small amount of skirmishing. The Epiriot light infantry takes a hit as it has no room to escape. The Roman left flank is turned. Fighting in the middle is inconclusive.
Turn 5-6. The Epiriots easily wrap around the Roman left with their light cavalry. Only luck allows the Roman allied unit to survive as long as they do. Center continues to sway to and fro.
Turn 7-9 The Epiriots drive back the Romans in the center. They realize that that Pyrrhus can slide right and engage again pinning the Roman legionaire against the Epiriot light cavalry. This turned into a fatal mistake. The Roman commander had Pyrrhus pinned against his own unit. It was hit twice and was eliminated. In the ensuing At the bottom on turn 9, the Epiriots manage to kill the Roman Legionaire. Both armies pass exhaustion at this point and the battle is over.
Rome wins 9-8 in a close struggle. This battle could have gone either way. The Epiriots made a fatal mistake with their general and one unit blocking their own retreat. The battle really felt like an Ancient battle as described in some of the primary sources. Lots of scrumming in the middle with some maneuvering on the flanks.
May 8, 2017
Here are a couple of pictures of my Portable Wargame kit box. It is about 7.5″ square and is 5″ tall (I think).
The box all closed up. The multi-colored look is NOT to attractive.
It gets better. What it looks like inside when all packed up.
The flat stuff stays on the bottom while the tray can be easily removed so you can get the pieces setup quickly.
For better or worse, most of the hard parts are done. I will probably add 2 more boards so I can have a 2X3 battle. I don’t think I will have to add any terrain. The only other possibility is, perhaps, more armies for different time periods. Whatever I decide, there is plenty of head space for adding more stuff. I’ll probably have to switch to a different format. Maybe small boxes to fit inside the large box so as to be able to stack the armies “safely.”
May 5, 2017
I’ve been pretty busy with real life stuff over the past few weeks. Birthdays, sports events, more birthdays and work. I finally had a bit of time to make the storage box for my Truly Portable Wargame. I don’t have a picture yet because it is not actually done. Only the container portion is complete. But I can give you a description. It is made of matting board. Blue to be exact. It measures 7.5″ on a side and is 5″ deep. The box was quite easy to build. I just needed to cut a total of 5 rectangles. I’ll print out the lid pieces from the computer on 110 paper. Maybe I’ll reinforce the top with matting board, maybe not. Pictures to follow completion.
I’ve had a look at the forth coming installment of the portable wargame. While I don’t want to give too much away, the new book will have an Ancients game with unit detail along the lines of Phil Sabin’s Lost Battles. I think it could carry you through the early medieval period up through the Baron Wars. I’ve had a game with these rules and they do work quite well. Romans vs Celts. My Celts were a bit stronger than they are in the game now but the game was a nail biter and did feel like an ancient battle.
There is also going to be a set of WW2 rules. These are a bit more detailed with tank differentiation and some extra weapons. There will also be “pinning”, which to my mind, is essential for any set of tactical WW2 rules. I have not played these yet but hope t get a game in this weekend.
April 13, 2017
I finished up the game tonight. I won’t get into the details but here is a picture of the action at the end of turn 7 and then at the end of the game.
Blue advances toward the woods. After a grueling series of close combats, Red’s light infantry is dispatched and Red reaches its exhaustion point.
At the end of the game, Blue had red in a crossfire. Blue was about to seize the back edge of the last crossing. However, Red did still hold on to both sides of the crossing at the end of the game thus causing a draw.
On turn 9, I made a mistake allowing Red to advance another infantry toward the enemy. This, by rule, is not allowed once your exhaustion point is reached. the game should have ended with a marginal victory for Blue as they did hold 1 crossing.
Artillery was key. Blue got a phase every turn where they got to fire and inflict casualties on the enemy without reply. On two of the turns, both guns missed but otherwise, they scored at least one hit on each of the other 8 turns.
Based on this scenario, I’d say 10 turns for One Hour Wargames game length is about right.
April 13, 2017
Some point out that this is a low cost way to play wargames and is portable to boot! But what did it really cost me?
Much of the game was made from stuff I found around the house and on the internet. The “free” stuff includes paper, foam board, artist board and, of course, time. It isn’t truly free of course but some of it has accumulated at the house from stalled projects and leftovers from who knows what. There are some real costs though. One Hour Wargames costs about $16 and the Portable Wargame costs about $8. So, the rules are about $25 all told. Add to that the 6mm houses from Wargame Print. Those are about $6.50. There is also Riverside Scenics from Microtactix which got me the bridge and trees. That set was $9. The miniatures all came from Junior General and of course are free. I used GIMP to process all of my miniatures on the computer and have a color printer to print them out. The cash outlay was about $40 for the whole set or about the cost of a single DBA army in 15mm. Not bad at all.
April 13, 2017
Here is a close up shot of the Red units. The blue units are identical only blue.
Back row: Grenadiers, Infantry, Light Infantry Front row: Artillery, Dragoons, Cavalry Center: General
There is no unit for light infantry or grenadiers in The Portable Wargame. Dragoons fight like other light cavalry.
Light Infantry: SP 3, Range 2, -1 in close combat in the open, Must take the retreat option if available when fighting close combat in the open.
Grenadiers: Behaves like other Infantry units for movement and shooting. Close combat at +1.
Cavalry get a +1 to hit in close combat.
I seem to be tweaking this game a lot. The best part is that it is pretty hard to break when modifying the rules.
April 13, 2017
The action from turn turn 2 through 5.
Turn 2 starts with the Blue artillery scoring hits on the Red cavalry and 1 infantry unit. Blue wins the initiative and charges. Red gives ground, Blue follows up but is then repulsed. Blue infantry advances to the river. Red holds the cavalry back and the light infantry moves up to attack Blue cavalry and scores a hit driving them back further. Blue infantry advance onto the western bridge.
Turn 3: Artillery fires scoring another hit on the Red cavalry and one on a Red infantry. The infantry can and does retreat. The cavalry has to take the hit. Red wins the initiative. They advance over the bridge with 1 infantry and secure the bridge head on the south side. The close combat is inconclusive though Red takes a hit. Red cavalry attempts to run the Blue cavalry off the board but is repulsed. The light infantry however, scores a hit. Both cavalry now have 2 hits.
Turn 4. Artillery firs again, this time scoring no hits. Red wins initiative They slide 1 infantry to the western edge and shoot scoring 1 hit on a Blue infantry. A second infantry moves to the bridge. Though in range, I decided the Red infantry could not shoot from the bridge because it would be in a column and unable to fire. Blue slides to the west to block the Red advance and is content to shoot at the Red infantry to no effect. Blue cavalry charges the Red cavalry to no effect. The Blue infantry charges the Red cavalry in the flank scoring the needed hit to destroy the cavalry. However, the Blue infantry also takes a hit and opts to retreat.
Turn 5. Blue fires its artillery at a single Red infantry scoring 1 hit. Blue wins the initiative. Blue is content to fire at Red with its infantry. Its scores 1 hit on the Red infantry on the bridge. Blue cavalry is down to one point and does not want to chance getting hit by the Red light infantry. Blue’s infantry charges the Red light infantry and inflicts a hit but is repulsed. Red fires with 1 infantry and scores a hit on the Blue infantry directly across from the bridge. Blue then charges with the other infantry and ends up taking 1 hit in the inconclusive close combat.
The game really moves along at a good clip. It is also very well suited for one hour wargames. The fight hangs in the balance.
One last modification is with regard to exhaustion points. The rules are somewhat ambiguous but seem to suggest that exhaustion points are assessed as they happen. I am assessing them only when a unit is defeated. This will give some incentive for a player to not go all in and needlessly sacrifice its units. As it stands, Red has an exhaustion level of 8 and Blue 7. With the loss of the Red cavalry the score is Red 5 and Blue 7.
April 12, 2017
I’ve finished the armies and most of the terrain. I do still need to make some barricades and perhaps a marker or two for a ford. Below is the setup and the end of turn 1 for scenario 3, Control the River in One Hour Wargames. Red has 4 infantry, 1 light infantry and 1 cavalry. Blue has 3 infantry, 2 artillery and 1 cavalry.
The end of turn 1. Extra terrain bits are shown in the foreground.
For 18th century warfare I’ve made the following modifications.
- Artillery is can only be used if it has a line of sight. It also is not as accurate as 19th century artillery. No rifling and ranging tools are in their infancy during this period. So artillery get +1 to hit and not the usual +2 for 19th century guns. If playing WSS or GNW, artillery was towed by civilian teamsters. So, once the guns are set, they can no longer move though they still can change facing.
- All infantry have smooth bore muskets. Range is 2.
- The rules have a flank penalty of -1 in close combat for the unit being flanked and a bonus of +1 for the unit attacking the flank. This may seem like a double penalty but both units fight in close combat. To add a little variety, allow the +1 when close combating the flank as per the rules. Only give a penalty to a unit fighting an enemy to the rear. So being flanked is bad but being attacked from the rear is worse.
I converting One Hour Wargames scenarios, I have limited the game length to 10 turns. This is because of the shorter board. I’ll adjust upward if the game length is too short.
April 7, 2017
I had a long stretch of time and energy last night and was able to complete several more trees and another house. I also drew up some rivers and roads, including intersections and bends. I printed out a sheet of each. I am very happy with the results.
The result of a night’s work with some newly configured infantry regiments including one prototype (right front) for comparison.
The last bit I did last night was to rearrange the infantry command stand. I found that the flag was flying in the wrong direction. Wherever the commander stood, there would be an open space over his head. So I changed it so the flag fly behind him. I then placed him in the middle of the stand. The regiment looks much better. Take a close look at the stand to the right front and compare it to the stand next to it. You will see what I mean.
Left to do: cavalry, light infantry, artillery, bridge, ford, entrenchment
I have a set of grenadiers already placed together. As I am drawing, I keep the masters white except for the skin color, common parts (muskets, swords, scabbards, pouches etc) and place them in a group front-back so they can be colored quickly. I keep one single of each to colorized and then simply copy and paste it into position directly over the white models.
April 6, 2017
While fighting off the stomach bug and allergies, I’ve not been completely idle. I have been slowly building up a paper miniatures layout including a board, terrain and miniatures. Here is a sample of what I have so far.
The figures are from Junior General by C.J. Fiorito. The trees are from Microtactix. The house, several actually, are from WargamePrint and I created the boards and hills.
I used an olive color on the board and then used HSV noise to give it a speckled effect. I then blurred the image to make it look smooth similar to a game mat. The background on the figures are done in a similar fashion to those you can get at Paper Terrain. My only mistake is that I cut into the commander figure a little too far. I do also still have to texture up some bases. I should have let the cut run across the top of his head or even kept it level with the bayonets. I still have roads, river and maybe a bridge or two to make. I am pretty happy with the results so far.