Back on 10 Oct 2012 Andrew Coleby and I had a go at Bob Cordery’s Portable Wargame. I didn’t write it up at the time because I was busily converting this site to WordPress. Nominally the game was for the Battle of Maipo. I like the idea of wargaming on a chess board but the rules themselves need refinement.
I like historical scenarios so even for something that was meant to light hearted I couldn’t help myself. I laid out the terrain for the Battle of Maipo. I also selected armies the kind of matched that battle, but within the constraint of the rules which demands even forces.
The figures are my normal 15mm Liberators armies. Infantry units were four bases, cavalry and artillery two.
The terrain is 5mm scale. I was going through a phase where I was using smaller terrain for games on smaller tables. I specially made the hills, square of course to fit this kind of grid.
Andrew was the Royalists (on the far side of the board) and I was the Patriots (near side).
To fit with the conventional set up on the rules Andrew deployed on his base line, and hence off the central hill. Historically of course the Royalists deployed on the hill.
We both lunged forward as fast as possible. Racing for the central hill.
As soon as we got within range of each other the artillery and muskets started to play. Andrew initially benefited from this. He destroyed one of my infantry units on the right.
But the dice were evenly balanced on the day and I got the benefit of the shooting in the centre and left. Andrew lost several units – horse and foot – to my guns.
By this point in the game we were starting to realise that artillery rules the Portable Wargame. Both of our armies were being whittled down by the guns.
I took the big hill in the centre but mainly because the Patriot guns had wiped out all his troops in that sector. But I was suffering similarly on the flanks.
The games was a draw. I didn’t take photos at the end because it was getting silly. We literally ended up with just the four artillery batteries left alive – two on each side. And they are more or less invulnerable to each other.
So although I like the idea of wargaming on a chess board the rules themselves need refinement. Artillery needs to be toned down. Both in terms of firepower and in terms of vulnerability.
The rules also need some guidance on how to win a battle. We fought to the end out of bloody mindedness but in reality the armies would have given up earlier.