Its those damned bases again. After that refreshing, modified Morschauser game, I realized that not only am I tired of my massed single figure experiments, something that was considered pretty well obsolete in many circles by the time I started wargaming in the 70's but which just had to be tried, but I have discovered that I have been harbouring a nostalgic longing for my 1 stand is a unit V&B days. This actually fits well with my slow absorption of comments from Jerry and Norm (see vive-la-difference.html) over letting unit commanders handle the details.
On Monday I set out to play a Square Brigadier game but was interrupted and ended up playing a turn or 2 per day with various experimental versions so no battle report. However, it did give me a chance to think about last year's Nine Year's War games using the then Square Brigadier that worked so well and managed that "don't fret about the internal unit details" thing well while producing good games. For some reason the 4 figure units that filled a square just made it easier because they couldn't do a credible variety of formations any way and the presence or absence of bases was irrelevant. The same was true of the early WW1 games last year. Mounting my 40's on 4x2 man bases to get back to 4 "strength points" sort of did the same thing but the temptation remained to fiddle and fuss about formations and so on.
|Gratuitous picture because I love it! A Square Brigadier game in progress.|
With another fantasy game last weekend using a 1 stand of 40mm troops is a unit but without the grid, I started thinking and experimenting. Would it work? Could it help? What size base would look like a unit and work with my buildings? And my train? (gotta fit the train on the grid and the troops in the train or its a deal breaker!). After much experimentation, a 60x40 stand will hold 4x40mm infantry inc mg's and look big enough to look like a 'company' to me at least. 4 of these can then make a battalion as envisaged last fall. 60x60 will fit a gun and crew or 3 cavalry. 4 such infantry bases will fill a 6" square or 2 cavalry/artillery which is what I was experimenting with last fall and getting units mixed. That would allow games ranging from a skirmish between a few companies to battles between brigade sized forces with 2 dozen up to 3 dozen. Excellent!
But can I handle that many? I have been working towards reducing the number of units figuring that it would make the game faster and make each unit more important to the player thus hopefully increasing his engagement with their fate. The Morschauser games with as many as 35 units on a table were faster and more furious with if anything more engagement since no one was ever really safe and generalship seems even more important, reserves must be in the right place at the right time and a player always ready for the unexpected, even without any sort of activation mechanism.
Portable Wargame site. My conclusion is Yes! it can work.
Hopefully a rules summary post tomorrow and a game on Sunday.