This is an interesting “variable movement” system laid out by Paul Grace in an old issue of Lone Warrior!
Giving Short Measure
By Paul Grace
Here’s a quick way to inject a little more uncertainty into your solitaire games:
According to your chosen set of rules, make up five measuring sticks / rulers for troop movement. With the first three rulers, mark them out as per the distances laid out by the rule set. However for the fourth ruler, take the distances given by the rules and increase them by 20%. The fifth ruler is marked up with the distances decreased by 20%.
Now make five measuring sticks for shooting ranges, again reducing one by 20% and increasing one by 20%
Avoid making any indication on the ruler as to whether they are long short or correct measures. The length of each stick should be the same.
At the start of each bound randomly select a measuring stick for movement and at the start of the shooting phase randomly select a firing stick.
To increase the uncertainty, you could try randomly selecting a measuring stick for each unit that moves or fires. So, for a group of units moving together in line, the first to move might not take its full movement allowance in case one of its companions receives a shorter measure (representing that unit stumbling over uneven ground or meeting some other previously unseen obstacle or delay).
Preparing the measures will take a little time but once done, you have a quick and simple way to randomise movement and shooting effects without recourse to buckets of dice or chance cards.
This method need not be restricted to solo play – introduce it to those opponents who delight when after advancing their troops place them just half a mm out of your charge or shooting range.
Try it! Have fun!