Thursday, January 17, 2013

Breaking Free

I was interested to read Jon Sutherlands article in Battlegames #32. Whilst the whole was more about unit activation with initiative cards, it was the first few paragraps of the article that really caught my attention.

He describes a game where in addition to the main action, there are a lot os little tables scattered about the periphery. These contain goodies of the nature of marching columns of troops and various operational objectives - bridges, supply dumps, rear base areas and whatnot.

These are all marked down on a master map.

If flank movements are needed, extra tables are added to facilitate this. As the action ebbs and flows on the main table, other empty tables may be brought in to make that happen too. Indeed, as the action moves forward, the original table may be broken up and moved forward. Those march columns? As they come off their tables onto the main one, their original tables may be recycled.

Every table may be mobile throughout the course of the game.

The obvious benefit of this is that there are no table edges anymore, the toe-to-toe slugfest is gone and maneuver becomes possible.

I know of some who've tried something along these lines - I think Jim and Bill's games often use a "back table" for reserves, the gap between it and the main table does not exist in the reality of the game. I have always been happy to condsider small seperate tables in the Khartoum game to allow the representation of Fort omdurman across the other side of the river. Of course, I've alweays been rather enamoured of the notion of little steamers on tea trolleys chugging their way up the gap between the tables. But these notions are a little static.

The obvious downsides are the amount of physical space and terrain that might be needed, to say nothing of the number of tables!

Still, it seems worth exploring to me in the context at least of the convention game where floor space and table numbers are not so much of a problem.

No comments: