Return to the Portable Wargame

After the two games of the Airfix Wargame and some lunch we played a game of The Portable Wargame again, using my 4′ x 3′ mat marked in 10cm squares. We used my Little Wars revisited armies (with some Pathans standing in for Prussian levies).

The scenario we used was from Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames and was scenario 12: An Unfortunate Oversight which as the blue player attacking over a river through ford the Red player hasn’t discovered. We also used the random army lists from OHW but adding two infantry units to make the totals up to 8 units a side. The scenario lasts for 15 turns and who ever holds the hill uncontested wins.

Anthony rolled up 6 infantry, one poor unit and an artillery piece which were deployed like so:

PW1

Defending the town as the Red player.

I rolled up 6 infantry, 1 poor infantry and a cavalry unit.

pw3

I deployed on the edge of the table south of the river.

pw2

There is a balancing act between using scenarios from one book and rules from somewhere else and we had already learned that you must have cover for the Portable Wargame. In PW the units can be killed in one shot while the OHW rules use attrition so units take hits but don’t immediately disappear. At first, I thought that the balance of the game was off as Anthony’s artillery piece killed my very slow moving infantry as it tried to cross the ford. I sent the cavalry on ahead with the general as an advance strike force.

We realised towards the end of the game that Anthony should have not been able to shoot across the river using direct fire as I was too far away and should have been using indirect fire on the ford itself…

When my cavalry unit finally manage to engage the enemy it proved its worth by wiping out an infantry unit and the artillery in one round and then turning on the other infantry to clear the hill. Unfortunately it was eliminated as it pushed the poor quality infantry off the board. Anthony had the foresight to have moved one unit from the bridge towards the hill and it came down to a melee on turns 14 and 15 to determine who would gain the hill, a struggle that Anthony won.

In the end, a very close game and a tense, interesting game to play. If I had been given artillery for the game I could have countered Anthony’s strengths, but then my superiority in cavalry meant I had more opportunity to outflank his infantry.

We will definitely be playing these again with Neil Thomas’s scenarios.

2 thoughts on “Return to the Portable Wargame

  1. What a great battle report! The rules were written for 15mm figures BUT your battles using 54mm figures have convinced me that they work even better with larger figures … and look far more impressive.

  2. I agree! The large toy soldier style figures create a very pleasing effect on the simple terrain.
    I look forward to reading more reports like this.

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