Last night, I decided to do a little experiment using the One Hour Wargames "Machine Age" rules (well, my modification of them).
Movement was randomized -1d6 in the open, 2d6 on roads or to charge into close combat.
After determining the force compositions, I doubled the number of infantry bases called for in the Infantry column of the table. Each one would count as a unit on its own - and as I think of them as companies, it gives me 1.5 to 2 battalions per side (I'm looking ahead to a map-based campaign and I'm trying to figure out what scale the battles will take place in).
For Heavy Infantry results, a single MG base was fielded, but attached to one of the Infantry bases (thus making a Heavy Infantry unit out of it).
Cohesion - companies in the same battalion, with the exception of those in reserve/off table at the start, must remain within 12" of every other company in the battalion.
Assault Infantry (I replace the Cavalry column with Assault Infantry) get only 1 base, for a max of two companies. They receive +2 in close combat and ignore cover when close assaulting.
Artillery is all off-table and I determined target zones from which they could not deviate. Where the shells landed would depend on a die roll for a location in the zone - if a unit, enemy or friend was in the vicinity, it would be hit. Finally, artillery was limited to 2d6 rounds.
As it turned out, I rolled a whopping "4" for the Austrians. For the Italians, I borrowed a technique from my solo role-playing days and rolled 2d6 vs the number already fired. As long as the number rolled was higher than the number already fired, the round arrived. Once the numbers were equal, the Italians would be out of artillery rounds.
The scenario was "Take the High Ground".
The Italians started with two units entrenched on top of the hill.
As soon as the attack began, the Austrians suffered heavy losses from Italian MG fire.
|In the distance, Italian reinforcements make their way to the battle.|
With tenacity and courage, the Austrians managed to reach the trench and wipe out the Italian defenders.
|The Austrians are on old wooden "trays", and, of course, their magnets don't stick, so they slide off on the hill. The Italians are on metal "trays" and thus stick to theirs. I have to dig out the rest of the metal bases I have.|
A determined Italian counter-attack eventually returned the trench, and the hill, to Italian hands.
|Please pardon the sudden appearance of the A-H mg team. I forgot to put them on the table at the start of the game!|
With 8 units on the table per side (plus an off-table artillery unit each) it still only lasted 10 turns and about 45 minutes!
On a grid, I think accepting 2-figure trays as a company is pretty easy. To my surprise, I like the four 2-figures-per-base battalions on the open table and I have no trouble picturing what they represent. When not using the trays, I think 2 figures acting as a company is harder to see (for me), and I prefer treating six to eight figure units as companies in that case.
Again, this is just me trying out ideas as I consider a map based campaign.