Advisory Note

Please Note: This blog contains poorly painted toy soldiers that may offend those of an aesthetically sensitive disposition.

Monday, 2 April 2018

A Couple of One Hour Wargames


A couple of One Hour Wargames (OHW) were bashed out this morning using the Late 19th Century "Rifle and Sabre" section (Chapter 13) of Neil Thomas's popular tome. I have been enjoying the SYW OHW games being umpired by another Neil over at Toy soldiers and dining room battles ; definitely worth a look if you haven't seen them already.
By default these games are fast and very bloody on my small gridded board, even after reducing the ranges to the minimum. One grid square = 6" in the rules; this means that Infantry and Artillery move 1 square, Cavalry move 2 squares. Rifle range is 2 squares, Artillery 8 squares (the length of the board!) Both scenarios had a similar theme; an attempt to get part of a force away from the enemy. The fly in the ointment for the army on the move in OHW is that a unit can either move OR fire which slows down a hasty retreat. The first scenario involved an outnumbered Army Red...

Game 1: Encirclement or Breakout

This game saw Army Red (Albiona) going too deep into enemy territory and having to breakout before being encircled. The setting was based on Scenario 4 of Scenarios for all Ages (CS Grant & SA Asquith). The objective for Red was to retreat and get 50% of its force back over the baseline to its rear. The objective for Army Black (Swarzlandia) was to destroy at least 60% of the Albionan force. 8 turns were allowed.

Army Red have gone a few squares too far
Army Black's positions as revealed by Red's scouts
Black's guns start blasting holes in the Red ranks
The Guards and the Naval Brigade blow aside a Black battalion
The oncoming Black forces cause carnage 
Red's last attempt to silence those d**ned guns
Black's cavalry mops up survivors

About 20% of the Red force limped off the field. A resounding victory for Swarzlandia.

Game 2: Flank Attack (1)

This game was based on Scenario 6 of OHW. Each side only had 5 units; Army Red's objective was to get past the Army Black road block and get 2 units off the table. Black had 2 units of cavalry on Red's right flank. Again only 8 turns were allowed.

Red's force marches onto the board
Black's guns begin to fire (deja vu sets in from the start)
Off the road lads
Red keeps moving forward though harassed by Black's cavalry
In range of Black's rifles
Heavy casualties on both sides of the road
End of Turn 8 - Red don't quite manage to get what's left of the Guards off the field

Fast, furious and frivolous fun for a wet Bank Holiday Monday.


  1. Excellent stuff here. I always thought that the OHW rules would make for excellent campaign games, since the battles are fast and bloody.
    I was thinking that perhaps card play or some for of trying to outwit the opponent at each map point, might allow them to pick the format/design of the battle, and each battle mounts to give an overall victory to the campaign. Will be following the games with interest here.

    1. Thanks! The OHW games are certainly bloody.
      Nice idea for a campaign...

  2. Great looking games sir, i have heard nothing but good things about OHW but have yet to pick them up (shame on me!). Im with the Duke in thinking simple systems make the best basis for a campaign. You want to be able to get a result quite quickly so you can build the narrative arc without getting bogged down in rules slop!. Looking forward to seeing where you take this!.

    1. Cheers Mate!
      Get yourself a copy of OHW Mr Sprinks - its full of good ideas

  3. Two nice looking games. Are those Irregular Minis?

    I have to admit that I'm curious why you cut the number of turns in 1/2 when your board is bigger than Thomas's? (At 1 sq=6" his board would be 6 squares by 6 squares.)

  4. Thanks Ross. Yes Irregular Miniatures 28mm figures.
    The grids on my 2 foot square board are 3 inches so I've cut all the moves/ranges in half as NT's are all divisible by 6 inches. His 48 inch Artillery range becomes 8 grid squares (24"). As for the number of turns, I usually find 10 is enough for OHW. On an impulse I reduced it to 8 today!

  5. Having thought about it some more Ross, you are correct to query the move reduction. Despite starting with some units well on to the board it was going to be a difficult task indeed to move the remaining 5 squares and get past the blocking forces in 8 turns! Albiona was short-changed! Having said that, the few remaining men that would have got past the enemy lines would not have formed a fighting force, such is the devastation caused by the rifles in the late 19 Century rules - hence trenches and hitting the ground became the sensible option.

    1. Wasn't saying it was wrong, I was just curious.

      Sometimes I'm too impatient to manoeuvre but it can make a big difference or not.