You get the idea....
I am pretty sure that most, if not all, wargamers have their own ideas of how battles of a particular period are fought. They will have read up on the period - usually in general and more specific detail - and will have in their mind's eye an impression of what it would have been like. Occasionally there may be a suitable film or TV show that helps to reinforce the impression (for good or ill!) so, at the risk or repeating myself, one has a good idea of how things should look when being translated to the table top.
I am also pretty sure that most wargamers are inveterate tinkerers. How many of us have taken a perfectly usable set of wargame rules and added our own set of 'house rules' or amendments? I reckon quite a few of us have done this at some point in our gaming career - I know that I have.
So where is this heading then? I am keen to put my own stamp on the rules I want to use for the Napoleonic and ACW collections and whilst there is nothing wrong with my default options - the Portable Napoleonic Wargame/Command and Colours: Napoleonic/Charles Wesencraft's Wargames book - I have some ideas of my won that I want to try out.
The rules I have in mind are very much a fusion of several sets - no real surprise there methinks - but it makes sense to outline the foundations.
1. The rules will be hex based and designed with a playing area of 13 x 9 hexes in mind.
2. Units will be 2 to 5 bases strong - and a base can contain a variable number of figures.
3. Where possible unit formations will be depicted - this will include detachments for skirmish screens etc
4. Combat - both fire and close - will be resolved using 1 dice per base.
5. Units will be ordered based on the scenario/army rating - typically 4 to 6.
The above are fairly obvious points but number 2 is an interesting one. Originally I was looking at one figure = one block which is certainly viable for larger actions. However, at a lower level I plan to make up units of bases of figures as this will look better. Typically a four base unit would have two figures on each base for eight figures in total. With this approach in mind you can see the advantage of using figures based individually rather than in multiples.
I need to order in a number of movement trays from our friends at Warbases to achieve this effect and my experiments using card cut to size looks really promising. Using a 4" hex in conjunction with 25/30mm figures means that realistically the largest ground are occupied translates as 4" by 4" which means 8 cavalry figures (4 x 2" x 2" bases) or alternatively a 5 base infantry unit deployed as 4" x 2" and a single 2" x 1" base. In other words this fits in perfectly with the unit sizes I want - either the single figure = single block or single base = single block.
It is early days with this idea at present but it certainly looks feasible and so is something I want to pursue. For now though, the priority is getting the figures ready.