Writing a Sci-Fi Tabletop Wargame – Part 4

So following on from our previous articles;

  • Writing a Tabletop Wargame – Part I
  • Writing a Sci-fi Tabletop Wargame – Part II
  • Writing a Sci-fi Tabletop Wargame – Part III

Our latest votes are in and you’ve all voted that games should take up to two hours and that measurements should be carried out in inches.

Now we can start getting into some more detail of the game, such as the gaming area and the smallest element of the game.

Gaming Area Size

There are a few things we need to take into account here. The first is that we wold like the game to take up to two hours. Therefore, we have to consider this when we think about our gaming area, a smaller gaming area may result in either more detailed rules or a ruleset where it becomes difficult to kill units, this is because with a smaller gaming area there will be less units on the board and therefore you want those units to be in play for a longer period of time in order to have the opportunity to survive till the games end.

Likewise, if the table is too large then there will be many more units on the table and the rules will have to be adjusted to make them either easy to kill or make it so that there movement or range becomes a lot further than you would expect in order to make it across the gaming area.

I’ve therefore narrowed these options slightly to ensure that the rulesets don’t become too influenced by these affects.


Smallest Element

Our next question is about the smallest element in the game, what should this represent. I’m using this to classify air and ground units only, as with the space combat element, we’re going to assume the elements are the individual ships themselves.

There are a number of options to go with here and these will have an affect on the way in which the overall ruleset is contructed. For example, should we go with a single base representing a squad of men, or should it represent an entire Regiment? Should it be an individual tank or should it be a squadron of tanks? If we choose a base representing a squad or a single tank then we have to write the rules to represent this, likewise if the elements represent a platoon, battalion or even a brigade. So the question here is what level do you want individual battles to take place at?

All the options below are based roughly off the modern military formations of the British Army;


  • Section (Consisting of roughly 8 men)
  • Platoon (3-4 Sections)
  • Company (3+ Platoons)
  • Battalion (3+ Companies)
  • Brigade (3+ Battalions)
  • rigade (3+ Battalions)
  • Division (3+ Brigades) (Infantry & Armoured Mixed)
  • Corps (2+ Divisions) (Infantry & Armoured Mixed)


  • Troop (3+ Tanks)
  • Company (3+ Troops)
  • Battalion (3+ Companies)
  • Brigade (3+ Battalions)
  • Division (3+ Brigades) (Infantry & Armoured Mixed)
  • Corps (2+ Divisions) (Infantry & Armoured Mixed)

Next week we’ll look at basing our elements and whether they should be on round or rectangular bases and what base size they should be on.