Thursday, 21 July 2016

Gaming on a smaller table

I usually play on a 6' by 4' table and have a tendency to use too many units in a game, and overload the table leaving little space for and flanking manoeuvres. Most of my recent games (WW2 and SciFi) have been played on a 4' by 4' table and I am learning to resist the temptation to play with too many units. This is because I know I cannot use all my units, and partly due the playing games in a campaign where the selection of units is generated by rules.

This week I was continuing to play some SciFi games on a 4' by 4' table as I wanted to test out some rule variations and have some quick games as well. With one of the games I decided to keep the forces picked and just open up the game by playing on 6' by 4' space, increasing opportunities for manoeuvring of units and not relying on the edge of the table to protect the flanks. It is an approach I will be trying to do more of in the future to break the tendency of crowding too many units on a tabletop.

The latest addition to my Chaos forces


  1. Good idea, getting some real flanks In the process. Doing a similar thing in reverse might make for a natural looking landscape i.e. Terrain out a 6 X 4, but when setting up, ignore the left and right 1 foot area - things like hills and rivers might then co-exist as single features intruding into both the 4 X 4 and the extended parts of the table and offer a true continuity of terrain.

    charging double movement cost to a unit when it first enters a 'flanking zone' or making it halt as soon as it enters the zone, might put a bit of a brake on units moving out of their central positions too 'conveniently'.

    1. I do like the suggested idea of penalties for units moving into 'flanking zones'.

  2. Hi Peter,
    When you do a WWII battle on a 4x4 table, how many units do you field per side? Does it seem cramped?

    I have been wondering about using my 6x5 for Thomas' WWII rules, because they are "intended" for a 4x3 area. I am concerned the units will be lost in all that space, or most of the space will go unused if they concentrate.
    I like Norm's idea of setting up as if on the smaller table but having the extra space available.

    Wargaming quandries. How can they seem so silly but matter so much?


    1. Hi john,
      With my WW2 campaign games the number of defending units is the total of 2 average dice plus 6 (10-16 units). In a major attack the offensive unit total is 2 average dice plus 18 (22-28 units), and in a limited attack it is 2 average dice plus 12 (16-22 units). All sides, defence and offence, must have half their forces in reserve. I have found this works well for me as units become eliminated or retire quite quickly with my house rules.
      Regards, Peter