Wednesday 30 December 2015

One-Hour Wargames for a W40K universe

While my interest is turning to historical wargaming for WW1 and AWI using house rule variations of One-Hour Wargaming (OHW). I do still like gaming with my W40K armies, but not using existing GW rule sets. I had one game of AWI with my visiting Son (which he won) and he suggested a W40K battle. So we adapted the OHW rules to a W40K universe (click here for link to the one-page rules). We found our challenge was to decide upon a unit's primary weapon and single ability which help define the use of the unit in a game. Here are some sample units defined using the rules for our Tau vs. Space Marine games...

Space Marine Tactical Squad

Unit type - Troop
Movement - Normal ground unit
Combat - Tactical weapons
Defence - Armoured troops
Ability - Veteran Leader


Unit type - Medium Non-Troop
Movement - Walker ground unit
Combat - High Force (anti-tank)
Defence - 3 armour point
Ability - Veteran Leader


Unit type - Light Non-Troop
Movement - Fast Skimmer
Combat - High Force (anti-tank)
Defence - 2 armour points
Ability - Deep-strike

Tau Pathfinders

Unit type - Troop
Movement - Normal ground unit
Combat - High Force (anti-tank)
Defence - Lightly Armoured
Ability - Stealth


Unit type - Troop
Movement - Normal ground unit
Combat - Tactical weapons
Defence - Lightly Armoured
Ability - Sniper

Tau Battlesuits

Unit type - Troop
Movement - Walker ground unit
Combat - Support weapons
Defence - Heavily Armoured
Ability - Droids


Unit type - Non-Troop
Movement - Fast Ground Unit
Combat - Ordinance
Defence - 4 armour points
Ability - None


Unit type - Troop
Movement - Normal ground unit
Combat - Combat weapons (hand-to-hand)
Defence - Lightly Armoured
Ability - Stealth

I found I quite enjoyed the game and we soon added some Psychics, Characters and Warlords. Treating them as non-troop units so they didn't get killed off too quickly and could influence the game, but forced to be attached to a unit of troops (followers/bodyguards) for their movement.

I'm now thinking about a mini sci-fi campaign after reading "The Solo Wargaming Guide".

Monday 28 December 2015

AWI One-Hour Wargame Rules

Over Christmas I found time to write up some AWI house rules based on the Horse and Musket Age Wargaming rules from the book “One-Hour Wargames” by Neil Thomas. There are other ideas included, such as: command ideas from Volley and Bayonet, and combat mechanics from the blogs The Stronghold Rebuilt (GNW rules) and John's Wargames Page (combat mechanic options). 

The game is played on a 6" square gridded war-game table. I tend to use a 6' x 4' table with 8 to 15 units depending on the size of game wanted. With fewer units I reduce the table to a 4' x 4' area.

I have added the draft rule write up (5 pages) to my rules page (Rules Page - click here or  the link at top right of page). Based on previous experience I will be modifying these over the next couple of months with clarifications and removing typos. I am a solo wargamer and it can take a while knock rules into shape. I lack that independent view and input of different ideas. Anyway, here are a couple of ideas introduced to the OHW AWI rule format.

Command Ideas
Units can only move if they are within 2 squares of their commander at the start of their move, or are moving as part of a line which has units within the 2 square command range of their commander.
Command range for movement
The dotted line shows the 2 squares from the commanding officer (CO). Unit C is outside of the command range and cannot move. Units A and B are able to move as they are part of a line and are performing the same move as units within command range.

The use of command ranges places the reliance on linear formations to move units and reflects some of the difficulty in coordinating movement often in difficult terrain.
The command range does not restrict combat as those decisions left more to the units commander.
Moral checks occur whenever a 6 is rolled when shooting or for cavalry charges. Only one moral check is taken for any attack regardless of the number of 6’s rolled.
Roll 1D6 with the following modifiers:
+1 if in cover
-1 if skirmishers
-1 if militia
A score of 2+ and the unit stands. Otherwise, the unit retreats directly away 1 square and takes 1 hit. If the unit’s retreat is blocked by a friendly unit, then retire behind them and the blocking unit also takes 1 hit.
If a units retreat is blocked by an enemy unit it is eliminated.
Other stuff....
At Christmas one wargaming present was the book "The Solo Wargaming Guide". I have quickly read this and really enjoyed it. It is geared towards solo campaigning and has many good ideas in its 120 pages. I am now enthused in the new year to do some small campaigns to add some context to my games.

Tuesday 22 December 2015

One Hour Wargames WW2 and AWI

I am still working on an AWI one-hour wargame rule variant for a 6" gridded table. I have had a couple of test games (one with my son who has returned for Christmas) and all seems to be falling in to place. I'm hoping to type up my notes over the holidays and put them in my next blog.

WW2 project - not a good picture

On the painting side I have made a good start with my WW2 20mm project for some more one-hour wargaming. Although progress will slow down with all the Christmas activities.

Thursday 17 December 2015

Peter Laing AWI armies all painted

I finally yesterday managed to complete all my American War of Independence units. These are the last of my Peter Laing miniatures and with the few odd figures left over I will create a baggage train and camp site for use in some of the battles to come.
AWI in the first test game
I am now modifying the Horse and Musket rules from the One Hour Wargames book. At the moment they are a page of notes with added scribbles made during a test game last night. The rules are using a square grid which worked out ok with last nights test game, and also kept the units nicely spread out. The plan is to write them up this week, so they are in a reasonable format to be used for a couple of games with my son who is returning very soon for the Christmas holidays.

A couple of pictures from the game...

Tuesday 15 December 2015

WW2 Project and Tracking OHW hits

In-between finishing off my final few AWI units, I have started to saw up the MDF bases my WW2 project and complete a couple of Panther units to see how that came out. Its been a long while (if not decades) since I have made any WW2 kits. In the last couple of weeks I purchased some Armourfast kits which are quick to make. I searched through my few remaining reference books of the period to find a camouflage scheme I liked and painted away.
A couple of Armourfast Panthers
When playing one-hour wargames I generally track the units hits with dice, placing them behind the unit. This does get rather messy when units begin to accumulate hits. I have tried tracking hits on paper, but find this unsatisfactory, and always end up coming back to using dice.
Usual way of tracking unit hits
I have a fairly large range of coloured dice from playing Warhammer 40K and have in recent games been using the various colours in indicate the level of hits. So for hits 1 to 6 a green die is used, for hits 7 through to 12 a black die is used, and hits above 12 a red die is used. This way units only ever have 1 die, which can be placed on the stand so they don't get left behind. In more than one game I have found a stray die left behind.
Using various coloured dice to track hits (same hits as previous picture)

Sunday 13 December 2015

AWI and One Hour Wargames

I am now roughly 80% of the way through painting my Peter Laing AWI armies. I just need to remain focussed and complete the remaining five to six units before moving on to my next project. The models for this 20mm WW2 project are already stockpiled and waiting to go. Well, I did start on two WW2 models yesterday, but only while waiting for the undercoat to dry on a AWI unit. The new or next project is always so tempting, but I will complete all the AWI units as these are the last of my remaining Peter Laing forces in the next week or two.
AWI units completed to date and ready to try out some rules
The figures are simply painted without fuss
Units set out on a gridded war-game table (you can just see the grid dots)
I now have enough units painted I am ready to try out some One-Hour Wargames horse and musket rules, or a variation of them most likely using some the suggested rule adaptions on other blogs ( and are two which spring to mind as I write). I will start adapting the rules to use a grid and see how they go over the next few weeks with some test games. The horse and musket period seems to lend itself to the use of a gridded table - more so than WW1 (see previous posts on my attempts to use a grid).

Wednesday 9 December 2015

Grid-based Machine Age WW1 - or not

This weekend gone I tried a grid-based version of my WW1 house rules (derived from One-Hour Wargames - Machine Age rules) this was a second attempt. The last being a month or two ago. I have come to the conclusion for this period a grid based approach does not work for me. There are certain aspects of the movement rules that work best without using a grid. The proposed changes I mention in a previous blog post played ok, but they had lost part of the flavour and messiness of variable moves. Unable to quite put my finger on why, I will be staying away from grids for this set of house rules.
Barbed wire entanglements
While messing around with rules I revisited the barbed wire rule, around how its deployed and artillery attempts to destroy it. So with some wire and a pencil I set about twirling wire around the pencil, creating a fair number of 3" to 4" lengths of barbed wire for a game to represent the barbed wire entanglements often used and key features in battles.
Bombarding a 12" length of barbed wire - scored a 5
The attacking barrage rule allows a 12" length of wire to be damaged. At the start of play the attacking player identities the 12" section being bombarded, then rolls a dice and removes wire pieces equal the dice score within the 12" length being attacked. Providing a piece of wire is in (or straddles) the 12" section the attacking player choses which individual wire pieces to remove. For every 12 pieces of wire deployed on the table one barrage attack is permitted.

5 pieces of wire removed to create a gap
During the game tanks still destroy pieces of wire they cross. Infantry units take one turn to remove any length of wire they are in contact with. All other units cannot cross a length of wire.

Saturday 5 December 2015

AWI Painting, Grid-based WW1 and next project

This week I have been able to really focus on painting my Peter Laing American War of Independence (AWI) miniatures. They are based so they can be used in either with one-hour war-game style rules or Volley and Bayonet rules. My original target I had set for Christmas was to complete 6 line infantry units, 2 artillery and 3 light infantry per side. Plus 1 grenadier unit for the British and 2 militia for the Americans. Based on this week's progress I'm hoping to exceed that, but there are always distractions. I'm finding Peter Laing miniatures straight forward to paint as they don't have excessive detail and are not "chunky". So far most figures only have 5 colours to paint, and no dry-brushing or washes to slow down the process. The quick painting time helps with a feeling of momentum and an enjoyment of painting.

British AWI - Peter Laing miniatures

All the AWI completed so far
While painting away this week I've been thinking about how to convert my Machine Age (WW1) house rules to work on a 6" grid. I really like the variable movement the rules have and want to  somehow incorporate that variability into a grid movement system. I tried about a month ago, but I was not satisfied about the changes. The movement was the sticking point and I ended up staying with what I had. My revised thinking to date is:

Movement is for the most part not variable and is a constant 1 square move (my grid is 6" squares on  6'x4' table).  Variability only comes in with poor visibility when a D6 is rolled and any 1's and the unit does not move.

Heavy Tanks
Roll a D6 and on a 2+ move 1 square. This represents the unreliability of tanks during this period. In poor visibility tanks do not move if a 1 or 2 is rolled.

Light/Medium Tanks (e.g. Whippet)
Roll a D6 and on a 2+ moves 1 square, on a 5+ moves 2 squares. A roll of 1 indicates a breakdown and no move. In poor visibility tanks do not move if a 1 or 2 is rolled.

Armoured Cars
Roll a D6 and on a 5+ score move 3 squares, otherwise move 2 squares. A roll of 1 indicates a breakdown and no move. In poor visibility tanks do not move if a 1 or 2 is rolled.

Roll a D6 and on a 5+ score move 3 squares, otherwise move 2 squares. In poor visibility do not move if a 1 is rolled.

For units that can assault, they must be in an adjacent square to the unit they are assaulting. They then roll a D6. If the score is 4+ the assault had an element of surprise and they roll two D6 for combat and select the highest score for hits. Otherwise, the assault lacked surprise and they roll two D6 for combat and select the lowest score for hits.

There will be other rules needing modification for use with a grid. So I'm hoping in the next couple of days to set up a game and try these rules and address other changes.
Getting ready for the next project - WW2
I have decided my next project will be building up forces for a WW2 game maybe based around the one-hour wargaming rules (by Neil Thomas) as a starting point. As with my WW1 games I'll have 10-15 units in a game on the usual 4' x 6' table. I have already started my purchases with mostly ArmourFast kits plus some Airfix kits which I remember from youth and many happy memories. Unfortunately, I never kept any of these kits only some of my metal miniatures.