The portable wargame: Rules clarification

I realised today that I had not made it clear which of the activation dice (the name I have used in the rules for the ‘Risk Express’ dice) activated Machine Gun Units.

After giving it some thought, I have added the following caveat to the current rules:

For the purposes of activation, Machine Gun Units whose weapons are mounted on wheeled carriages similar to those used by Artillery, count as Artillery; Machine Gun Units whose weapons are mounted on tripods, bipods, or small mountings that can be carried or dragged by hand, count as Infantry‘.

I have made this distinction because it seems to be the best way to reflect the different tactical use made of machine guns during the historical period covered by the rules. The larger, older machine guns that were mounted on wheeled carriages – such as the Gatling and Gardner – were more difficult to move and often appear to have been used as a short-range, fast-firing piece of Artillery whilst the smaller, newer models – such as the tripod-mounted Maxim Gun – could be moved quite rapidly around the battlefield as an adjunct to the Infantry.

A Gatling Machine Gun mounted on a wheeled carriage.

A prototype Maxim Machine Gun mounted on a tripod.

PS. I have uploaded the amended pdf version of the Frontier/Musket Wargames Rules so that blog readers can access it. I have also altered the links from the earlier blog entries so that they go to the latest version of the rules.


The portable wargame: What the cork hills look like on the vinyl chessboard

Today has been quite a busy day, but I finally managed to set up my new cork hills on my vinyl chessboard …

… and I think that they look rather good.

I have not done anything to them except to cut them out and shape them. I did consider flocking or painting the tops of each hill, but decided that – for the time being – they do not need that sort of embellishment.

All I need now is enough time to use them in a wargame!


More cork hills

I was so pleased with the way my first cork hills looked when they were finished that I have made some more today from a second IKEA cork mat that I found in my toy/wargames room.

I now have six hills that are the same size as a single grid square on my vinyl chessboard, and four that cover two grid squares. I have also used some of the odd-shaped off-cuts to make some smaller hills. These have at least one side that is the same length as the side of a grid square so that they can be used on their own or next to one of the regular-shaped hills.


The cork hills … or should that be hills of cork?

After receiving suggestions from both arthur1815 and Conrad Kinch about the possibilities of using cork tiles to make hills for my portable wargame, I have spent the last half hour cutting up an IKEA cork mat to make some hills … and I must admit that they look a lot better than my foamcore ones. Furthermore, they do not need painting as they are already the right colour.

All I have to do now is to sand down the edges to make the shapes look a little less stark and a bit more hill-like. Once I am happy with them, I will see what they look like on the vinyl chessboard … and then I might actually manage to fight the next play-test of the rules I am using.


The portable wargame: The experiment went wrong … but it should now be working!

Well the link to Google Docs did not work … so I have used an older but more reliable method in its place. The rules can now be downloaded as a pdf from the following link:
Frontier/Musket Wargames Rules for use with a chessboard battlefield
PS. I have amended the link from my previous blog entry just in case someone tried to use it!

The portable wargame: An experiment

I have had several requests for copies of the rules I have been using with my portable wargame, and so I am going to try to make them available to anyone who wants them. I have never used the method I am going to try to use, so this is by way of being an experiment. It may work … or it may not, but if I don’t give it a try I will not know if this is the best method to use in future.

I have uploaded a pdf version of the rules to Google Docs, and have made access available via the following link:
Frontier/Musket Wargames Rules for use with a chessboard battlefield


I succumbed to the Dark Side … and bought an iPad!

What I should have done today was to set up the latest play-test of the rules I am developing for use with my portable wargame … but what I actually did was to go to the Apple Shop at Bluewater and buy an iPad.

I don’t NEED another computer; I already have a very good PC and a lightweight laptop … but I have found my iPhone to be such a useful bit of kit that it seemed logical that I should buy an iPad to ‘compliment’ my existing hardware. What is more, my wife thought it was a good idea … and when your wife agrees that buying a new piece of electronic gadgetry is a good idea, it is a strong – and somewhat stupid – man who disagrees. In fact my wife thinks it is such a good idea that she is using it as I sit here at my good old PC writing my latest blog entry!

Now just who did we buy the iPad for? Please remind me …

PS. The spellchecker on Microsoft Word does not recognised iPad as a proper word. I wonder why?