We have an older infobox on our wiki (Conflict Infobox that I would like to remake as a portable version. However, this infobox can have between 1 and 4 columns within parts of it (e.g.:
2 columns, 3 columns) and if I can avoid it, I don't want to have to build separate versions of the same infobox with different columns built in.
Firstly, can portable inboxes support 2+ columns like this in the first place? And can a variable layout be used in a single infobox? (If so, how?)
You can use layout="horizontal" on the group tag to make columns in a PI. If you leave a PI field empty it will just disappear so you can make 4 data tags in one horizontal group and leave 3 empty if only 1 is needed, leave 2 empty if only 2 are needed or leave 1 empty if only 3 are needed.
Portable Infobox width has been set at 270px. Zeon Civil War is 340px wide and with 4 columns some of the data looks squashed. Maximum 2 columns in 270px would be more suitable; so I recommend that you consider a redesign.
I have been playing with some options. I found that using a single column and grouping the sections into collapse groups was the easiest for reading. I did a mock design for Second Battle of Jachin Due (GS:E) - has 3 columns with most sections - as an example.