The particular question I was pondering was whether my Late 19thC/Early 20thC 40mm units should be 1 stand or 2, whether I should be aiming rules and units/grids towards 1 game unit = 1 scenario unit or 2 and so on. If it was 1 stand per scenario unit then my WWI "armies" are nearly complete but if it was 2 per unit as originally planned then I needed to double the shelf space allocation on the already full shelf. Then I asked what if I want to put this game on the big table? Will I need to double the forces again? Oh....What was the plan again? I decided that before I waste more time wrestling the Detail Alligators before me, I should go figure out what it is I really want to do with the Swamp.
|General's Eye view of the current game at the midpoint.|
1. Why do I want a small table? This is fairly easy to answer. I could fit a bigger permanent table, say 5x4 or 6x4, that could be made to suffice for all my needs but it would be constantly in my way and I am tired of squeezing around and bumping into things, tired of overflowing cupboards and tired of the resulting clutter. I know a smaller table, well designed to fit a particular selection of games, can keep me amused and allow scope for indulging in a series of small "armies".
2. Why do I want a bigger table as well and how often would I use it? This one is harder. I suspect part of the answer is "Because" or " I expect it", neither of which are good answers really. Other answers include "In case I ever find myself hosting a game for 3 or 4 players again," Which is valid even though it has been about 6 years since the last time I hosted a multi-player game and about 4 since the last 2 player game. A 2 player game could easily be played on the small table though, if it rolls out to make room on each side and I have played in multiplayer games, just not hosted them at my house. The final reasons are to play a larger, more complex game or to test a convention game to be played on 6x5 or bigger table. Based on how life is shaping up at the moment, I suspect the answer is maybe once or twice a year or less.
3. Would a bigger game be an upsized version of a small game or something different and does the grid on the small table need to be matched on the bigger table? This is actually a key question. If I am going to expect some or all of the games played on the small table to have Big Table versions then will they all need Big Table sized armies or can I use small armies on the big table for a game with more elbow space or can I have some armies designed for the bigger table but able to be used in part on the small one and others that only have small table versions? Repeatedly over the last few years I have found myself wanting to do some small pairs of "armies" so having these and the small table designed to fit each other would be ideal. While I have various armies that are organized for and usually appear on a larger table, most of them actually appear as conglomerates of various armies lumped together so as to fill the table.
Unless the game and rules on the the big table are going to be significantly different from the game and rules used on the small table, I might get more enjoyment from actually finishing up some of the small ones and getting around to long delayed terrain building. It would be good if the expanded table was designed as an extension of the smaller one with the same grid so that the same rules and terrain could be used on bother tables. In this case, since the large table will be less than double the small one, the extra space could be used for scenarios requiring more space rather than more troops. The option to ignore the grid or cover it with a cloth would still exist.
Based on this, the best course seems to be to let the bigger table go for now and focus on the best possible set up of troops, rules and terrain for the small table. I have enough "stuff" squirrelled away to be able to improvise an ungridded cloth covered 6'x4' table in under an hour if needs be, all set to play Charge!, MacDuff, Rough Woing or Gathering of Hosts. A matching permanent expansion/storage unit on wheels or "lay on top board" could follow.
As for that smaller game, good progress is being made on the WW1/Colonial front but this post is over long already so I'll save that for another day.