"There'll be some changes made"
Ever since we bought this old farmhouse as a final home a few years ago, I've been struggling to find a paradigm for my gaming that would suit my current situation. Originally I was picturing games along the lines of the following picture from early 2010: 48 sq feet of table space with plenty of troops and lots of room to maneuver.
Actually, part of me might have been secretly picturing something like this Hawks game at Cold Wars 2009 with 120 sq ft packed with over 1,000 figures, but realistically this was a club event at a convention not a home game.
Not Quite Lobositz at Cold Wars 2009.
The truth is my table has been shrinking and the armies have not been growing as quickly as envisaged despite having the metal, the molds and, in theory at least, the time to have built them. There has also been little resemblance to the ideal "lots of room to maneuver" wargame I had envisaged. Instead the larger games tended to be wall to wall, no room to maneuver, games like this game from April.
The "inspired by" Quatre Bras game from April.
When all has been said and done, I've found the smaller games such as this ambush of a train easier to set up and as much or more fun to play and I would rather paint a wide variety of figures and play a wide variety of games than paint a lot of the same thing and play the same period over and over.
The upstairs table, along with supporting storage for figures and terrain, has effectively monopolized my hobby room, making it so crowded that it has been hard to use the room effectively for anything else, including painting or reading on the 300 or more days per year that I was not setting up, playing, re-playing or taking down the various games. When I look at the games played upstairs, 3/4 of them could have been easily adapted to a 1/2 sized table, (roughly 3'x4' actually) either by compression (reducing unit footprint, ranges and movement) or by only including the parts of the table actually used. The remaining games could then have been played on a temporary table as special events. In return I would get a more functional hobby room with room for a daybed or similar so that we could again accommodate an overnight guest.
Obviously, the smaller table isn't compatible with large forces of 40mm figures and I'm not ready to drop down entirely to 1/72nd, let alone 10mm. This means either more skirmish-y games with small units of single figures and lots of figures hanging out for months waiting for their chance on the big table, or going back to slightly smaller units and squeezing more figures onto a smaller footprint and cutting ranges and movements (or both as it happens). Now, that doesn't require the use of a grid or going back to multi-figure bases but I find that both of these help me to move from the dioramic look of the traditional "lots of figures on a big table wargame" to a practical compact game.
Work and planning is in progress so..... Stay Tuned!