Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Portable Wargame … revisited!

Over the past few months a large part of my wargaming activity has been directed towards the development of MEMOIR OF BATTLE (MOB) and MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE (MOMBAT). During that time I have not forgotten about the PORTABLE WARGAME although I have not devoted any time to it … until today!

Because I needed to allow quite some time for the glue to set between the layers of Plasticard I will use to create the hull of my ‘Monopoly’-inspired battleship, I had some ‘spare’ time … and I decided to revisit and review the last draft of my PORTABLE WARGAME rules. What struck me was that – apart from the combat system – there were several similarities between PW2 and MOB. I suspect that these arose because MOB was designed after the latest draft of PW2 was completed, and that the design of the latter informed the design of the former.

One thing that immediately caught my eye as I re-read the PW2 rules was the fact that – as presently drafted – it is impossible for artillery to hit an enemy Unit that is in hard cover unless they are at Short Range. It is also impossible for non-artillery weapons to hit Units that are in hard cover regardless of the range.

I cannot remember why I wrote the rules in this way, and on first sight it does not make sense. I suspect that I chose this to encourage players to get their Units in close and to fight close combats rather than to stand off and engage in artillery duels and firefights. Now that I have spent time away from drafting and using these rules, this strikes me as something that I need to think about again … and that is exactly what I am doing.

Link to MEMOIR OF BATTLE (MOB) at Google Documents
Link to MEMOIR OF MODERN BATTLE (MOMBAT) at Google Documents


  1. Hi Bob,
    I have been following your development of PW, MOB, etc. with interest (as well as Ross', David's etc. ideas); having never found Morschauser's modern rules entirely satisfactory. Mainly this is due to the melee/close combat rules causing frequent mutual destruction. Close combat is how infantry took ground, but there is more incentive to stay back and fire.

    One thing I would comment on PW is that a unit attacking an enemy unit frontally is under as much risk as when attacking their rear. Have you considered adding a survivability modifier for position advantage, such as:
    Attacking the flank: +1
    Attacking the rear: +2 ?
    You might also considering a rule that an engaged unit can turn to face the first enemy to close with them, then they are pinned in place.

    I look forward to more of your battle reports. Lately my mini battles are all vicarious.


  2. The Ferrymen (John),

    Thank you very much for your very helpful ideas. I will certainly look at them very closely and give serious thought to including them in any forthcoming redraft of PW2.

    All the best,


  3. Hi Bob,

    The links are fine - long live Google Docs I say!

    All the best,


  4. David Crook,

    Many thanks for testing the links. It will make the provision of future downloads from my blog a lot easier!

    All the best,



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