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Monday, 30 October 2017

Other people's Portable Wargame battle reports: Romans vs. Gauls and a mid twentieth century battle

Ross Macfarlane and his long-time wargaming friend Ron recently fought an Ancients battles using the rules from DEVELOPING THE PORTABLE WARGAME ... and his battle report can be read here.


It would appear to have been a very enjoyable battle for them to fight, and I was interested to read both the House Rules they devised and the discussion in the Comments section.

Subsequently Ross fought a solo skirmish battle using some of his 54mm figures and models. The battle was set during the mid twentieth century and saw the forces of two imagi-nations battling it out for control of a village.


His battle report includes some interesting observations and house rules, and is very well worth reading.

Please note that the photograph featured above is © Ross Macfarlane.

8 comments:

  1. Hello Bob,
    A question if I may. Looking at figure 20 0n page 42 of Developing the Portable War-game there is an illustration of a possible ancient formation, and with figure 21 there is discussion over hex vs squares. I was wondering if there is a particular reason why you chose to use the hex orientation (flat side up) that is illustrated?

    In Command and Colors, for example, the hexes are turned through 90 degrees, pointy side up, allowing linear formations to be used in the same way as a square layout.

    Just curious.

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    1. Bob Kett,

      Very early on in the process of designing the original PW rules I decided to use the flat-side rather than the point of hexes uppermost as it allowed me to write rules with wording that would work with both hexes and squares. I know that this means that linear formations on the tabletop can end up looking wavy, but it does mean that units moving directly ahead can do so in a straight line.

      It is one of those design compromises one has to accept.

      All the best,

      Bob

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    2. Thanks for the swift answer Bob.
      Would it be a problem playing the rules with the pointy end up? The reason for asking is that my hex mats are printed this way. I am guessing not, as a unit could turn to face a flank during the game in your suggested layout?

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    3. Bob Kett,

      As long as the measurement of moves and weapon ranges is made through the edges rather than the points, I cannot see any reason why the rules will not work with hexes that are point uppermost.

      May I ask a question? If you turn your hex mat through 90 degrees, won't that make the flat edge of the hexes uppermost?

      All th best,

      Bob

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    4. It would indeed, but my hex mat is 13 x 7 hexes, with the pointy hexes being on the long edge. I shall test the rules and see how it goes. Thanks for your responses.

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    5. Bob Kett,

      Ah! I'd assumed that you were using a hex mat that was square. If yours is 13 x 7 then I can see why using it with the point uppermost makes perfect sense.

      All the best,

      Bob

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  2. Bob,
    But if the hexes are point uppermost and troops can only exit a hex via an edge, a line must oblique either to left or right when advancing straight forward, or move alternately to left and right, which will seem a bit odd.
    Sometimes, I think it might just be easier to use a square grid and ignore the difference between orthogonal and diagonal movement - chess has never had a problem with it!
    Regards,
    Arthur

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    1. Arthur Harman (Arthur),

      I think that you have succinctly summed up the reasons why I designed the PW rules with the side of the hex uppermost.

      As to the use of squares as opposed to hexes ... well as you know, I use both and cannot definitively decide which is best.

      All the best,

      Bob

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