Saturday, 21 May 2011

The portable wargame: Improving the rules

In the light of various feedback I have had from littlejohn, Ross Mac, and others, I have spent some time this morning changing certain aspects of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules. The changes can be summarised as follows:
  • Making all footnotes part of the main body of the rules
  • Italicising any notes and examples that now form part of the text of the rules.
  • Reducing the Close Combat Power of Infantry, Cavalry, and Machine Guns by 1.
  • Adding a new Unit Type, Infantry (Rifles), with a Weapon Range of 3 hexes.
  • Amending the existing Infantry (Firearms) Unit Type so that it is now called Infantry (Other Firearms).
  • Adding a new section that contains rules relating to the Command Units. These now give the Command Units a supportive role in Close and Fire Combat.
  • Clarifying the situation regarding whether or not Command Units are counted as part of an army for the purposes of calculating the number of Activation Dice that the player commanding that army can throw.
  • Clarifying the arcs of fire by adding suitable diagrams in a new Appendix to the rules.
  • Ensuring that the Fire Effects of Artillery and Non-Artillery Units are the same, thus removing an existing anomaly whereby Artillery firing directly at targets that are two or less hexes away could not miss.
  • Generally tidying up the text of the rules in the hope of making them easier to understand.
I intend to make this draft of the rules available sometime later today or tomorrow morning. As it is now quite a lengthy document, I will not publish it as a blog entry but as a PDF that will be downloadable from a webpage.


  1. Bob,
    I felt the 'anomaly' that artillery firing directly at targets two or less hexes away was a reflection of the difference between indirect and direct/point blank fire - and also, quite a good way of portraying the lethality of cannister shot at close range. Personally, I think I'll keep it for my earlier period games.

  2. Arthur1815,

    It does make sense to keep this 'anomaly' for battles set during the early nineteenth century, but for the latter part of the century the newer version means that I have a consistent set of Fire Effect results.

    All the best,


  3. Ross Mac,

    The changes make sense, and reflect the feedback I have been given.

    All the best,


  4. all changes sound most interesting Bob...

  5. Littlejohn,

    Some of them are thanks to you and your play-tests. Your feedback (along with feedback I got from Ross Mac and others) helped me to decide that several developments and changes that I had previously drafted - but had not included in the rules - were likely to improve them without adding too much additional complexity.

    Many thanks.

    All the best,



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