Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The portable wargame: All change ... no change!

I mentioned in a very recent blog entry that I was giving serious thought to restoring the balance in the rules I have been using with my portable wargame. I thought that the Native Infantry Units were disadvantaged by the reduction of the movement rates, and I was looking at ways to dealing with this. My original intention was to classify all Native Infantry Units as 'light', and giving all 'light' Infantry Units – including European ones – a movement rate of two grid squares.

Since I wrote that blog entry, I have received two comments from regular blog readers – Conrad Kinch and arthur1815 – that have made me re-examine that decision ... and I have decided that I will try an alternative option first. This is one that will allow the player commanding Native forces to make double-moves with their Native Infantry Units. The example I gave in response to a comment made by Ross Mac some days ago was as follows:

'If the ‘Risk Express’ dice allow the natives to ‘move’ five Infantry Units, the natives could move one Unit one square and two Units two squares (i.e. the three native Units have moved a total of five squares).'

As I stated in my reply to Conrad Kinch's recent comment this choice means that:
  • I do not have to add an additional movement rate for Native Infantry;
  • It restores some degree of balance to the rules as it would allow Native Infantry Units to rush forward and engage European Units in Close Combat before they can fire
  • It gives a player the opportunity to make additional tactical decisions during the battle … which is no bad thing!
So it is all change ... and no change at the same time!


  1. That seems like a good compromise to me. I've been enjoying the portable wargame posts. Have to dig out my Morschauer book.

  2. Gratuitous Saxon Violence,

    I am pleased that you are enjoying my mental ramblings. Blogging helps me think ... and allows me to pick the brains of other people as well.

    The more I think about it, the happier I am with this particular solution. Time - and a play-test - will prove if I am right or wrong.

    All the best,


  3. I have done that when I play solo Horse and Musket rules. Sometimes along the front the fighting becomes static; by allowing playing pieces that have retreated a double move I see it as the men have been rallied and are charging forward to "save the units honor". Playing the 'Horse and Musket' rules I sent you a copy of, sometimes the advancing army will have individual pieces all over the board; double moves can give the conquering army a chance to form ad hoc units to push forward for reinforcements.

  4. Jhnptrqn,

    This double-move concept does seem to be gathering support, especially from people such as yourself who have had experience of using something similar.

    It further confirms my opinion that this is the right decision to have made.

    All the best,