Monday, 28 September 2015

OHW machine age wargames with Peter Laing miniatures

This post is a bit of a departure from the usual SciFi (40K) posts. After reading One Hour Wargaming by Neil Thomas I got to thinking about using my old Peter Laing WW1 miniatures for the Machine Age Rules from the book. I had ear-marked the old figures for another project, but I also found the other half of the WW1 figures (British and German) when doing some more unpacking leftover from moving 8 months ago. All up I had approximately 200 miniatures per army with cavalry, infantry, machine guns and some artillery. They were 80-90% painted from way back when I was 18 years.

I started rebasing the figures to play a coupe of games and created some simple scenery along the way. The painting was very simple: black undercoat, a quick one colour for the uniform, black for the gun, a dab of flesh on hands and face, and a final contrasting blob for any equipment. It was great fun and a marked departure from my usual painting style with my 40K miniatures. In no time I finished off the armies and had a game going. Very quickly I added a scratch built British tank and added some house rules (as the rules don't cover tanks). 
One of my early games

A few more games and a quick read of the period in Donald Featherstone’s  “War Games through the Ages - Vol.4 1861-1945” and I was adding a Sturmtruppen unit, AV7 German Tank and aircraft. What I’ve ended up with is two armies of approximately 15 units, which is about as many as is suitable for a 4 foot by 6 foot table, and has consumed most of my available Peter Laing WW1 miniatures. 

AN AV7 tank trundles down the road
The scenery is all really basic with felt cut into strips for rivers and roads, painted sponges for trees, books for hills with a cover throw over them, and all scratch built. The table does not look over crowed with the figures and there is room to manoeuvre units.
An aircraft strafing troops

As for the house rules - see free rule link (top right hand of page). The summary of additions are:

Movement - is variable, I took 3” off all those in Neil Thomas rules and added an average dice throw (2,3,3,4,4,5). For example infantry now move 3” plus what ever is scored with an average dice.

Assaults - some units can carry out an assault proving they are within an average dice throw on the target unit. 

Added Tanks (Heavy and Medium) and Armoured Cards which need to throw to see if they move to reflect their unreliability.

Aircraft can perform limited strafing during the game.

All the vehicles are scratch built from balsa wood strips stuck together, sanded and covered in PVC glue.
PowerPoint was used to print templates which are stuck to 3mm balsa wood strip
The balsa wood is cut out at stuck together and sanded (with lots of  PVA added after)


  1. Lovely to see these old figures in action. I think the scratch built tanks look great

  2. Thanks Ian. I have plans to add an armoured car model for each side and that will be about it for these armies (other than wargaming). Its be real joy to war-game with these figures.

  3. That tank is excellent at that scale. I have done the same with 1/600th tanks, but it's really not the same :)

    1. Thanks Kaptain - I find the smaller the scale the more problematic cutting of the balsa wood becomes to ensure clean edges. Your 1/600 scale tanks would have been a great challenge. BTW - I am reading your 3D printing blogs with great interest (the Churchill's looked great!). Regards, Peter