I have used Bob Cordery's Portable Wargame rules for both 19th century and modern (WW2 in old school speak) games very successfully and will happily do so going forward. However, being an inveterate tinkerer I have a few ideas to throw into the mix. I am not alone in this as many other gamers have been experimenting with other periods - The English Civil War being one, with Steven Page being the driving force with his blog - Forlorn Hope ECW. For my own part (and much as I would love to tackle the ECW at some point) my immediate needs are far simpler, comprising as they are the 'musket' period (roughly 1700 to 1850) and perhaps some 'tribal' types to add in to the 19th century (and earlier as well). I also have some additional plans for the 'modern' set.
For the traditional 'musket' era my thoughts are fairly simple. I want to include unit formations in some fashion - the traditional 'column, line and square' that feature in many sets covering the period - and also to allow for skirmishers and light infantry. My plans are very much in their early stages with this but the key thing for me is to be able to represent such formations within an individual hex. Once I have some clarity around what I want to do and how I want to do it I will post to the blog in the usual fashion.
The 19th century will add in some Tribal types for the Colonial era and also for earlier so, for example, the French and Indian War could be gamed with its hordes of woodland Indians. Mention of Indians also raises the possibility of Clive and his exploits on the Indian sub continent as well as the later wars up to and including those campaigns of a certain rather well known British historical figure to boot....;-)
For the modern set the changes I want to try are probably more radical than for the earlier set. I want to be able to break units down so that for my current set up a single block is a strength point and that a hex has a stacking capacity expressed in strength points rather than units. This would enable, for example, a couple of blocks of infantry supported by a machine gun block to be represented. I am also toying with allowing individual blocks having their own combat dice rolls so that the aforementioned unit of two infantry and a single MG would roll 5 x d6 - 1 each for the two infantry and 3 for the machine gun. This would raise the spectre of assigning hits but there are various ways of getting around it with the simplest being to roll a d6 and count around. Failing that, (and is probably the simplest method) just assume that the hits are taken by the majority type first so the formation above would lose both infantry with the MG being the last man standing. I would also like to employ area effects for artillery (one could argue that possibly MGs should be so treated) and at the moment my thoughts are along the lines of if an artillery piece hits a hex then all strength points currently occupying the target hex are attacked. This would encourage players to spread out and avoid bunching which is perfectly accurate in my opinion.
Essentially my thoughts around the modern game are very much geared towards a lower level of action than the earlier set and are probably closer in intent to such rules as Command Decision where a base represents a platoon-sized formation.
All of this in very much in the early, experimental stage and naturally I will report via the blog as and when I have something concrete to convey.