Tuesday 14 July 2015

The Portable Block Wargame

A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to receive a substantial chink of painted Heroscape terrain tiles from Bob Cordery. There is acres of the stuff - all textured and painted a pleasant shade of grass green. I should also point out that I also have a substantial amount of Heroscape terrain that is unpainted for which pans are afoot but that is for another time. If I am honest I have not really made much use of it although I have had a number of ideas over time. The problem has been the size of the hexes as they are around 45mm across the flat sides which is less than half the size of a Hexon tile. Clearly then, using smaller figures would be the order of the day as you would struggle to get more than a handful of figures on a tile - this would be even more of a problem once you started adding terrain pieces.

Unless you did away with figures entirely (and I am not counting 10mm and smaller figures here although they would work just as well methinks) and used something else instead. Like blocks.

That's it - using blocks.

My block collection has lain forlorn and unloved for most of this year as the games I routinely fought with them tended to be very Command and Colours based i.e. units of 4 infantry blocks, 3 cavalry or 2 artillery. This would not work with the Heroscape set up so I thought that using a single block per unit and hit markers would be in order. Certainly that is the approach I shall adopt although using such things on a tabletop is usually viewed in a dim light.

As far as terrain goes I will need to think about buildings and woods for the most part and therein lies the problem. The terrain will need to be quite small (in respect of the 'footprint') but with sufficient height to be quite clear as to what is being represented. I have a few ideas for this which will feature on the blog in due course. Hills and waterways are of course no problem.

I am hoping to have an experimental game over the weekend if I am able with the results and impressions reported in due course.


MSFoy said...

Blocks with the small hexes is a fine idea. I am also reminded that the old Napoleonique rules, which were published by the Der Kriegspieler miniatures people (Hinton Hunt tribute band), used a hex terrain, but the units do not have to fit inside a hex cell - the hexes exist merely to simplify distance measurement. I have a copy of the Napoleonique booklet, and can provide some extracts if this is interesting. No - I'm not trying to sell the idea of Napoleonique - I wouldn't fancy playing the game, but that has nothing to do with the hexes, it is to do with the wacky dice "combo" tables used to simulate probabilities. My main point, I think, is that it is possible to use hexes without having single-hex-sized units - it's easy to overlook this (as I do regularly!)...

David Crook said...

Good morning Mr Foy,

I had not heard of these rules but would be interested in finding out more if I may. I have never considered using multiple hex units and, if I am honest, am not sure if that would work for me as my feeling is that using a single hex for a unit is sufficiently abstract.

Something else to ponder methinks.

As far as the Portable Block Wargame is concerned though I am thinking that one on one will suffice for the time being. I am certainly keen to see how Napoleonique tackles the subject.

All the best,