The Mid-20th Century version seemed like the best starting point, not only because the table was still set but this version covers the widest time frame thus offering a good scope for fine tuning. It is also a period for which I don't currently have a set of rules, just various half tested ideas.
My starting point was to decide how many units I wanted to field and how long I wanted the game to last, then I thought about what aspects of the first game that I thought might be honed to suit what I wanted my game to feel like.
In the previous games Sudden Death had felt a bit too sudden at times but my experience using the strength point system for the Zulu Wargame suggested that the planned game would take too long and that going from possibly sudden death to never sudden death would reduce some of the adrenaline factor. I decided to settle in the middle by giving all units 2 hits and counting lost units for exhaustion. This left the possibility that a unit could be eliminated in a single turn if it was fired at by two units.
I had meant to try giving some Elite units 3 hits while reducing some Poor units to 1 hit but once the game was underway I forgot! In the end I upped the Home Defence units to average and just gave the Elite units their usual willingness to retreat rather than die.
Lastly I decided to experiment with a Pin result to stop units that are pushed back from simply reoccupying their position as if nothing had happened. After much thought I decided to try having all units become pinned if they take a hit. They would then take a -1 on shooting and combat dice and be prohibited from moving adjacent to an enemy or initiating close combat. A unit which wasn't adjacent could remove the pin by not moving or shooting. Pinned units were marked with red bingo markers, casualty markers will look better.
The forces for this replay were:
Roscia. 11 units + Commander
- On table: 2 Infantry.
- Reinforcements: 1 Elite Infantry with armoured carriers, 2 infantry, 1 MG, 1 Mortar, 1 Engineer, 1 Heavy Tank (Centurion), 1 Medium Tank (Sherman 76mm), Commander.
Naryatria. 16 units + Commander
- 1 Armoured car, 1 Patrol car (as Armoured car but not armoured), 1 Heavy tank (T##wannabe), 1 medium tank (T34/85), 1 Heavy artillery, 8 infantry (inc 2 Elite), mortar, 2 trucks, Commander,
This balance and the fact that tactical errors caused as many or more losses than unusual runs of dice both contributed to my enjoyment of the game. Of course with a 4'x6' table and double the stands per square its not as portable as it could be but then it really has no where it needs to go. Of course the game would play the same with 1 stand units on my portable board.
And so ended the long series of border wars between Roscia and Nariatria. The Naryatrian President was faced with unrest following heavy casualties in defeat after defeat and applied to the UN for arbitration. With the growing threat from the Republic of Lital, Roscia was only too glad to agree so that they could focus on the real enemy. Undisclosed sources report that Lital is buying up surplus equipment from the Naryatrian army and even recruiting their discharged soldiers to swell their ranks. There are real fears that some serious Portable Wargaming between Lital and Roscia could break out as early as this summer.