There is a saying that in a country of blind men a one eyed man is king. Over the last several years in my gaming I have found this to be more and more true.
When I started off I wanted a table of massive armies with at least a hundred figures/tanks. I wanted tons of cruisers and battleships with lithe destroyers scouting the way. I wanted companies creating grand movements and squadrons of ships going hither and yon.
For those of you that do this that is great! You obviously have more space, money, time and imagination than I have. I have found that to have all these toys on the table not only costs a fair amount of coin, (please see my erudite piece on 15mm two posts ago) particularly for us solo gamers. But it takes a lot of space if the toys are going to have room to manuver or lithly scout the way!
Moreover it takes a lot of time! Time to paint up all those hundreds of toys and time to set up and take down the grand battles.
Lastly is imagination. I find that if I have 8 T-34s I am not too concerned if I lose 4 or 5 of them. I will throw a company of infantry into the fray or a squadron of destoryers in harms way with little thought. (That is probably why I lose all the time!)
I have found that if I have 1 T-34 I am very concerned about it's safety. With a platoon of infantry or 3 destroyers every unit is important and I think carefully before I do anything. Don't get me wrong, I still lose but it seems more fun. I have also found that the battle seems more intement and personal. You can't get attached to 8 tanks but you can to 1. Of course Platoon Forward (and soon Squadron Forward and behind that Flotilla Forward) has helped me personalize my games as well.
I have found that my smaller games have actually been my most enjoyable. I still set up "big" games like Stalingrad or Savo Island and they are fun. But the small games continue to surprise me by being fun way out of porportion to their size. Take my last post, Sgt Smith runs for daylight. The British had 2 sections and a mortar. For me that was 5 bases total. It ran 80 minutes and was a joy to play.
Lastly playing smaller games has allowed some weaker units to come to the fore. I have had several coastal actions where a minesweeper was the big man on the board! In most naval games minesweeperer are an afterthought if a thought at all! I have had some great games with jeeps and halftracks dueling it out!
Don't get me wrong, I am not against the huge tables with thousands of figures or ships. I have found for me that the smaller games actually give me more fun when actually playing them. In addition, it allows me to savior some of my one eyed figures...