Thursday, 1 June 2023

Developing The Portable Ironclads Wargame….Part 5

The last game I fought using squares - a Confederate raider is caught by a Union patrol

After the dust had settled and the models and terrain were packed away following my recent action, I was left pondering a number of points in connection with the Portable Ironclads Wargame. More than ever I am satisfied that the core mechanics are ‘bang on the money’ but there are a couple of things that will feature as an optional rule or alternative when the next volume is published. There will also be a small errata included - nothing major, a couple of typos and some correction of detail. It is really not a second edition - more like an expanded first if you prefer!

A substantially larger action fought using larger squares than in the first picture. This was before I moved to the ‘model on two squares and then hexes’ option

One area that will certainly feature as an alternative and is quite a sizeable undertaking due to the amount of ground it will cover is the use of squares. You may recall that in the early stages of the design of the rules I used squares a lot and indeed, the change over to hexes occurred at quite an advanced stage of the overall design. At the time I was struggling to get certain square based mechanics to work successfully but I now reckon I have it configured to my satisfaction. The main difficulties were around firing arcs and the thorny topic of using diagonals and their effect on movement and ranges. I spent a lot of time on this but only succeeded in tying myself up in knots (no pun intended) - probably as I was still working on the rest of the rules and was therefore unable to think it through with any degree of logic or clarity. Certainly being ‘away’ from the rules for a while has enabled me to think about this in a rather more ordered fashion!

In other news I shall be building more ships for the Royal Navy and the Turks - at this stage 7 for the former and 4 for the latter. This will enable me to endgame in a hypothetical ‘Anglo -Turkish War of 1880’ and yes, the land side will also feature, Portable Wargame style. I will use the figures from War in the Age of Imperialism for the British forces and will look to acquire some suitable Turkish types in plastic. The inspiration for this latest bout of insanity comes from the British 1882 campaign in Egypt and also from Bob Cordery’s various games involving Zubia. 

One of the 1:72nd scale generic infantrymen from the board game War in theAge of Imperialism

Africa as reimagined in Bob Cordery’s World of 1891

I am sure he wont mind me, ahem, borrowing a few ideas of his! Follow the link to see just what a fantastic resource his ‘world’ is.


KEV. Robertson. said...

I do like your Confederate and Union ships David- beautifully made. Cheers. KEV.

Mark Cordone said...

Both Hat and Strelets have alot of suitable figures, along with the Italeri Arab warriors. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with.

David Crook said...

Hi Mark,

You are absolutely right and there is also the set from Waterloo 1815 that looks pretty useful. In true Portable Wargame style I will not need a lot of kit for this but as ever, the first priority will be the ships and possibly a couple more forts.

Whatever gets done for this will be fun for sure!

All the best,


David Crook said...


Thank you kindly sir! I have a few more for this phase of the ACW project but nothing major - perhaps half a dozen models or so - and then it will be the RN and the Turks. I will need to order in the material for some of these as the hull form or certain ships doe not fit my standard template. Once I have the material the build can commence - around a dozen ships in all so there will be absolute forests of masts to make (which is curiously relaxing!) and I am planning a repaint of H.M.S. Superb.

Plenty to be getting on with then!

All the best,