I have settled on using the Portable Wargame for my WW2 gaming needs. The scale of action that I am planning means that a simpler set of rules will work better and besides, I am very familiar with them and can tweak them without breaking them! I shall be using a square grid rather than a hexed version - I already have a suitable playing area ready to use in this regard. It will also mean that I can use Sam Mustapha's Rommel readily enough.
The one thing I do not have though is a suitable set of naval rules (I can almost hear the groans of 'Oh no, not again!') for the war afloat. Actually, let me rephrase that, I have many sets of rules I could use but none of them tick the box as far as being Portable Wargame-like. This is an important consideration for me as ultimately I want a seamless set of rules that cover land, sea and air operations with a common origin. Bob Cordery has developed both ironclad and pre dreadnought Portable Wargame rules so there is a precedent for what I want to do.
I have a number of ideas as to how I can realise this set of rules and needless to say, there are several sets that will contribute ideas into the pot. These will be simple but not simplistic and significant differences between types will have a part to play. Ideally I want to do away with damage record cards and will instead use a system of shell splash/hit markers for combat results. The rules will also be gridded - to keep in with the PW 'flavour'.
Ships will be defined by type and rated as being superior or inferior to the norm based on their historical data. This will allow for a degree of personalisation to the ships within a players fleets - as a long standing naval wargamer this is an important consideration....I intend rating ships in three categories - protection, firepower and speed - and these will essentially drive the game mechanics.
There are a couple of sets of naval rules that have been at the forefront of my thoughts around this project - one of which is pictured above. I rather like the damage system from this set as it will fit in well with what I am trying to achieve. At this stage I will not go into details but suffice it to say there is certainly value in how the rules work this key element of naval wargaming.
The second set of rules that I am harvesting for ideas is Axis and Allies: War at sea, the collectible miniatures game. The rules for this are very straightforward and crucially there is an awful lot of additional material available from around the web that adds to them.
The main thing though is that the final set stay true to the Portable Wargame philosophy and I shall be delighted if I can achieve this.