Monday, 20 June 2011

The portable wargame: Player's reference sheet

Despite that fact that it is getting closer to the end of term and the majority of the public exams are over, I still seem to have quite a lot of school-related work to do. However, once I got home I decided that I needed to draw up a player's reference sheet for my PORTABLE WARGAME rules. This will cover all the main data players will need to fight battles and should mean that they will not need to consult the full text of the rules unless absolutely necessary.

I have almost finished drawing up this reference sheet, and with luck it should be available as a download from THE PORTABLE WARGAME WEBSITE later this evening.

24 comments:

  1. Bob,
    A reference sheet is an excellent idea. Given the commendable brevity of the PW rules I am sure it will be exactly that - one sheet - whereas the Quick Reference Sheets to some commercially published rules are as long as, or longer than! the entire PW rules.

    You might even be able to achieve Don Featherstone's oft-stated ideal of 'back of a postcard' - with the reverse showing a buxom young woman leaning across a wargame table, her ample bosom almost totally concealing a piece of paper, protesting, 'I can't see your roster anywhere, Mr Morschauser!'

    Such a sheet will probably also be invaluable when the rest of us are composing variants of the PW rules for different levels of force and/or historical periods.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Arthur1815,

    So far I have managed to get it down to two sides of A4, but I am going to try to reduce it to one side. The only problem is the size of the font size. If I go much below 9pt it will be difficult to read, especially if your eyesight is not what it used to be.

    As for the buxom young lady ... well selecting one might be interesting but I somehow think that my wife might object!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  3. A great idea, I'm looking at building a wargame in a cigar box, in 2mm scale and using the PW rules. Keep up the good work.

    All the best

    Airhead

    ReplyDelete
  4. Big print, definitely big print wins over bosoms. (Maybe I'm older than I thought!)

    Ron and I are probably going to try an ACW game on Thursday. Since they are American not European cavalry, I'm thinking of suggesting that they will dismount if pinned.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Say what you want about that Cordery chap, but the man has his priorities straight.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Airhead,

    Your project sounds very interesting! I tried to make a simple version using a magnetic chess set (bought in Spain last Easter), but your idea of a 2mm version in a cigar box is taking the 'portable' idea to new heights. I look forward to hearing more about it in due course.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  7. Ross Mac,

    I would love to make the reference sheet just one side of paper, but it would mean that the print would be too small or the text too abbreviated.

    I look forward to reading about your upcoming ACW battle, and I agree with you about the American cavalry dismounting when pinned rather than charging off ... unless they are commanded by Custer!

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  8. Bob,

    If your wife objects to the buxom young woman idea, tell her you're doing it only so that your fans can keep abreast of the latest version of the rules.

    Your ever-imaginative fan,

    Chris

    ReplyDelete
  9. Chris,

    That is a terrible use of punning!

    Thanks for making me laugh first thing in the morning.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, well done, Bob! Rather to my surprise, I've really been taken by this PW project.

    ReplyDelete
  11. AlFront,

    Thanks for your comment.

    It appears that PW seems to have fulfilled a need that quite a few wargamers had, and I must admit that I never expect that it would achieve the popularity that is now has.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  12. A quick Thank You for the reference sheets. They will make things even faster.

    Don

    ReplyDelete
  13. Brigadier Dundas,

    I hope that you find them useful.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  14. Bob,

    Loathe as I am to criticise that isn't a QRS, it's a rules summary. I reckon you can get what a player needs to know on a side of A4. Too much text & not enough tables.

    Trebian

    ReplyDelete
  15. Trebian,

    Point taken ... but it is supposed to be a reference sheet that summarises the main points of the rules.

    I could reduce the amount of information by simply removing the notes or by removing some of the less important parts of the text. However there is only one table, so I am not sure if just keeping that would give the players enough detail to use the rules.

    I will revisit the reference sheet in the future, but for the present I would prefer to give players too much information than too little.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  16. I was mentally going through all the 6 and 15mm lead I have to paint when my thoughts turned to the handful of 25mm colonial British I have had kicking around for a while. Not enough for anything more than skirmish, they were a gift from the missus so I was reluctant to get rid of them.

    Then the heavens opened up - there's those Portable Wargame rules I read about from time to time... and a solution was found. Sadly I will now have to buy some 25mm Zulus... ;)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Pat G,

    I am glad to hear about yet another wargamer who is giving PW a try.

    As a long-term Colonial wargamer, the rules were written with Colonial conflicts in mind, so they should serve your purpose admirably ... and you probably want to buy some Zulus anyway, didn't you?

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  18. Bob,
    Trebian has a point, but on the other hand a ewo page summary would certainly be a very useful player aid, as one would never have to refer back to the full rules.
    Could it be that PW is basically a two-page ruleset, when stripped of explanations and designer's notes? In which case, perhaps one could have a Book of Portable Wargames, with a section devoted to the fundamental principles common to all PW games, followed by two-page sections for each variant? A more concise example of the layout of Neil Thomas's Introduction to Wargaming?
    A set of rules that can be summarised in two A4 pages has much to recommend it!
    Arthur

    ReplyDelete
  19. Arthur1815,

    You are absolutely right! PW is - in essence - a two-page set of rules when the notes and explanations are removed.

    I would love to write a book of rules based on the basic PW mechanisms, but I am not sure that a publisher would be interested in publishing it. Mind you, Pen & Sword are moving into publishing wargames rules, so you never know.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  20. Bob,
    The poor proof-reading and editorial decisions regarding use of photographs &c in Grand Battery would not make Pen & Sword my choice of publisher for wargame rules.
    Regards,
    Arthur

    ReplyDelete
  21. Arthur1815,

    I have not seen a copy of 'Grand Battery', so I cannot comment about it ... but as it is your area of expertise I will take due note of your comments.

    I may well talk to John Curry when I next see him about the possibility of him publishing PW (and its variants) in book form.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete
  22. Bob,
    A very good idea! John Curry's paperbacks also conform to the cheap 'n cheerful, no frills ethos of the PW, so he is the perfect publisher for such a volume.
    Regards,
    Arthur

    ReplyDelete
  23. Arthur1815,

    It seems like we are in agreement! I will try to talk to John Curry at COW2011.

    All the best,

    Bob

    ReplyDelete