Sunday, 19 March 2017

Messing around with One-Hour Wargame WW2 rules

While I have been painting away on my 19th Century Image-nations units. I decided (while waiting for the paint, PVV glue or varnish to dry) to have a play around with One-Hour Wargame WW2 rules and try out one of two options.

A grid-based game about to start to test out some rule options
I already use a OHW WW2 rule variation modified for a grid. Rather than build on those, I thought it best to go back the original rules as they provide such a good foundation to add to.

German defenders with orders to hold the buildings at all costs and let the reserves counter-attack (they can be seen lined up top right-hand of picture)
Rules options I was trying out were:

Tracking of hits
I find tracking 15 hits on a unit quite frustrating at times with having to move markers or up to 3 hit dice around with a unit. I don't mind moving 1 (or maybe 2 dice at a pinch) around with a unit. Mainly because they can fit the dice on to a stand. So I choose to try halving the to hit dice scores and also reducing the number of hits a unit can take to 6 after which it is eliminated (on the 7th hit). All to hit dice scores are rounded down:

1 = 0 hits
2 = 1 hit
3 = 1 hit
4 = 2 hits
5 = 2 hits
6 = 3 hits

This then has implications to halving again for cover as occurs within the OHW rules. Leading on to treatment of cover option...

In OHW the number of hits is normally halved. The alternative option is to double the number of hits a unit can take to 12. This does mean once a unit has taken hit number 7 when in cover it is committed to remaining in cover. For should it move out of its defensive cover it will be eliminated.

Defenders are able to endure more hits. The attackers are at their limit with 6. One more hit and they are eliminated.

I incorporated this mechanism into my American War of Independence OHW variation rules awhile back and found it works well, making units commit to a defensive role (especially with militia units). It does mean if you want to launch a counter-attack you need to hold units in reserve to do so.

Shooting (and multiple attacks)
Rather than having multiple attacks on a unit, only one combined attack can be made per turn on a unit. With combined attack the primary attacking unit (normally the one with the best modifier) rolls an additional dice for each supporting unit engaged in an attack. Then selects the highest dice score to apply the number of hits.

For example: an AT gun with two infantry units against a tank rolls 3 dice selects the highest score and adds +2 modifier.

An AT gun with two supporting units rolls 3 dice and selects 5 as the highest scoring roll. Adding the +2 modifier as the  target is a tank causes 3 hits (5+2=7 halved and rounded down). This will cause the tank unit to be eliminated as it is already on 4 hits and the 3 additional hit will take it past its allowance of 6 hits.
(This also allows the opportunity for units at half range (excluding artillery) to roll an addition dice or for flank attacks get an addition dice to roll. I have yet to try these.)

Overall the mechanism does favour the defenders over attackers, who will need a minimum of 2 to 3 attacks (depending on modifiers) to eliminate a defending unit assuming they are in the open.

To introduce an element of unpredictability to movement, roll one dice:

1 = unit does not move
2 to 5 = unit moves as normal
6 = unit moves as normal and is able to shoot

So far the options are working to provide an enjoyable and quick game. There are a couple more changes I want to try out over the next few weeks.

German reserves counter attack


  1. Some nice tweaks. I think the hits / cover idea is good, reflecting that as a unit degrades it will be reluctant to leave cover. Are units ever forced to retreat? as such a rule would cause a unit with 7+ hits retreating to be removed from play (probably of itself not a bad thing, though a consequence of the rule tweak).

    1. I have been considering retreats. For example, if a 6 is rolled then a forced retreat is required, but a 6 is too likely with additional dice for supporting units. However, if with supporting dice there are two 6's rolled then take the hits and a forced retreat. Pushing this one step further, if three 6's are rolled the unit is eliminated.

    2. Hi Norm, no retreating in the original OHW but see the link I posted below to KK's OHW P&S amendments. He has a unit retreat 3 inches if it scores no hits on an opponent in a round of HtH combat.

  2. Peter,
    I can see the value of your D6 'Movement' Rules - for unpredictability...very useful mechanism for Solo Gaming. Cheers. KEV.

    1. I was trying to add some friction into the game. If I did not use a grid, I would consider 1 or 2 is 50% move, 3 or 4 full move and 5 or 6 extra 50% move.

  3. Good progression on your OHW refinements. Your cover amendments sounded very familiar to me but could not place where I had read something similar in an AWI game. Turns out, you were the source! I went back through your old postings but could not find your original to refresh my memory. Which posting did you discuss the remaining in cover if hits exceeded a preset level?

    In a similar project to amend OHW and reduce the number of hits from 15, see Kobold Kaptain's amendments. He reduces the number of hits to '5' throwing either 1D6 or 2D6 to score a hit.

    KK OHW Rules amendments for Pike and Shotte:

  4. Thanks. I did like the Kaptain Kobold approach and used that approach when playing AWI before switching to doubling the number of hits a unit takes. With AWI games I liked the way doubling hits allowed helps Militia when in cover particularly. I am not sure yet if the same approach gives a good WW2 game (or one I enjoy)