Start off by deciding what you want to achieve. Don’t make it too complicated and don’t try to cover all possible options. Keep your objective firmly in mind, and don’t be distracted.
Then list what figures you have available, or which you are prepared to buy, to achieve that aim. When you have done so you may have to adjust your objective. But better to do it now than try to change everything later.
Finally consider how you will fight your wargames. Do you have a permanent wargames table where you can leave your game and play when you wish? Or do you have to set up and take down your battlefield within a few hours. Will you game solo, with a set group of friends or in a club where you will have to share facilities?
Having done so you will now almost certainly have to compromise. You may not be able to do everything you would wish to do. You may not be able to fight the type of battles you would like to. It might help if I run through my own experience.
I wanted to create a Napoleonic campaign which would provide interesting battles for my wife and I to wargame. I wanted to use all of my available wargame figures and scenery on a regular basis. I did not want to buy, paint or rebase any figures.
I have a medium sized Napoleonic army covering all of the major powers, and many of the minor ones, of the period. I have 6mm, 18mm and 28mm figures all based to represent the same number, types and nationalities. I also have a large collection of scenery and buildings, both commercial and home made in the same three scales.
I have a permanent 6x6 foot wargames table.
My model soldiers had been collected, and updated, over a long period. They were bought to be used with “In The Grand Manner” rules, so the infantry formations were 36 figures and the cavalry 8 figures.
With a 6x6 foot wargames table I would not be able to field multi corps armies with each battalion represented by 36 figures. So my first problem was to work out an acceptable order of battle.