Other people's Portable Wargame battle reports: The Battle of Newark - Although I have yet to write an English Civil War version of THE PORTABLE WARGAME rules, others have ... and a report of one such game recently appeared on...
15 hours ago
So here's what Stuart had to say. I'd be interested in any comments. I'm going to try this out, although I think I'll get some 30mm bases instead of 1" because my figures are larger than Stuart's (his are Peter Pig 15's). Also, I don't think I'll permanently base my figures. Since my 15's are on steel washers I'll add a magnet to a Litko 30mm base and create a "movement tray". It'll give me more flexibility as I work all of this out.
Stuart Murray SGII - Company Mods (This does not relate to Cinegrunt, that's an entirely different beast*)
It became apparent to my gaming group that the typical platoon-level SG game was over too quickly if one side lost a single squad from arty or aerospace attack. We kind of stopped using these in games so games lasted a little longer. I started thinking about this more and I realized that what I wanted to play was a reinforced company level combined arms game in which a small amour contingent could effectively support a single company (including organic mortars/HMGs) and not skew the game too much with its firepower.
One problem with using larger forces is the alternating action phase. Because opponents can react to the actions of a single squad operational coherency quickly dissolved. It seemed wrong to me that a company commander could not gain an advantage by activating a whole platoon rather than a single squad.
Another disadvantage of playing larger SG games is the time it takes to move lots of individual figures. While playing I observed that players tend to worry greatly about the facing and disposition of individual troops. I noted that in larger games this focus on the individual troops tended to distract the commanders from the 'larger picture' of the tactical battle.
I began tinkering with how I could activate whole platoons in a timely manner while lifting the tactical level from squad combat to platoon/company combat.
I tried it a couple of times on gaming buddies before bringing it to the GZG ECC. The feedback from them was positive. There is very little 'learning curve' and the leaner game appealed more than regular SG to a player who was new to SG (he had only played a couple of times).
So, what I ended up with is a way to play faster, more complex, games of SG in an evening and I still get to use all my little toys*
If I've forgotten anything I'll try to add later.
A few comments on 'Moving Things Along Quickly'
One thing I try to do ay the GZG ECC is move games along, if people feel that I'm being too pushy, I'm sorry. That is not the intention.
In Cinegrunt games I try to steer the game toward a suitably cinematic climax. The casualty in this is usually the SG rules. I tend to play them very loosely, perhaps players have already noticed this =8-). I feel that player involvement and a fun plot is more important than the rules.
In combat a platoon commander has to make quick decisions, they may not always be the right ones, but his men are depending upon him to make decisions. If a commander is slow and indecisive he may miss key opportunities to turn the battle. If this wasn't enough, junior commanders are always under pressure from their higher command.
So, when I press players to 'use it or lose it' I'm encouraging them to try to take timely actions/turns and not spend too much time agonizing over strategies, that's the job of the higher-ups !
My goal is to try to show players an alternative style of SG game, it may not always suit their style but I try to help make it a fun game. Finally, I'm no ogre; if you do play in one of my games and you feel I'm pushing unreasonably please let me know. It's a game; it should be fun for you too.
I think both sides played a good game and they appeared to enjoy it too, a bonus! Stuart.