Bare Essentials

Every good wargames project needs a good set of wargames rules. My first thought as far as what rules to use was that this was the perfect opportunity to employ my shiny copy of Black Powder. Unfortunately even though I could see these excellent rules adapting easily to a smaller scale, it would produce a very different game than the one I had in mind. In fact, any adaptation of any existing quality rules appeared to be silly because what made them robust and therefore appealing was their success in creating a set of rules based around their preferred figure scale – in this case, not 10mm! My plan changed to a DIM job – that’s a do-it-myself job not a dim job, by the way. These would be based around fielding entire armies on a to-scale historical battlefield.

Plans Afoot

Many January days were spent planning and sketching out ideas. But before taking any big decisions, of course, I had to try and determine the figure and ground scales I was going to use for this wargames project. A big decision in itself! A lot of juggling went on with existing rules, my preferred figure base sizes, and orders of ba ttle  – and all the rest – but I eventually hit on a solution t hat appeared to fit my preferred base sizes, the armies’ orders of battle, and my existing terrain and available table size. My building blocks were my own personal preferences. These were my existing 200mm-square terrain tiles and my preference for six infantrymen mounted on a square base. Bringing together these two elements, it made a lot of sense that figure bases were a simple division of a terrain tile. So, 20 or 25mm bases would work well. As 10mm foot figures look good on an 8mm frontage, a rank of three infantry figures with a frontage of 24mm rounded up to 25mm made 25mm a neat solution that would suit both my building blocks.