Saturday, 12 January 2019

One Hour Skirmish Game

My wargaming effort is currently rotating between:

  • ECW Campaigning
  • WW2 Tank on Tank Western Desert, and
  • One-Hour Skirmish Wargames using Necromunda figures

This weekend I plan to prepare for the next ECW campaign game. First up though is a quick One Hour Skirmish game report using a couple of my very recently painted Orlock gang figures from Games Workshop's Necromunda range.

The game scenario has two undercover Adeptus Arbites, Tango and Cash, along with a squad of Arbites from the local precinct and supported by two Ogryns. They are raiding a local gang's stash of supplies. The Ogryns are slow and can only make one activation, other figures can make multiple activations.

Tango and Cash and their Arbite friends
A brutal looking gang typical of the outer hive sprawl.
The tabletop area is 3x4 foot with a six inch grid. Squares are categorised as open, rough terrain, or buildings. Both rough terrain and buildings provide figures (within the square) with an extra resolution card. However, with buildings it is possible to hide out of view. Also, if firing from an elevated position cover is ignored. There is a definite advantage to the building levels in this scenario.

The rules for the weapons were kept simple and scribbled down on a piece of paper. The later chapters in the book provided useful examples from some modern scenarios upon which I based the weapon rules.

A view from the gang table side. Their stash is on the ground floor of the large building.
The Arbite view from their entry side.
When setting up the gang, two figures were allowed in each flank building and the remaining six started in their base, the large building complex.

A couple of the ganger on guard.
The other flank had a couple for guards.
The Arbite plan was to split their forces and move down either flank. Take control of the buildings before both assault the main complex and gang base.

The Ogryns create a shield wall behind which Tango and Arbite armed with a shotgun move forward.
On the left flank the remaining Arbite squad arrives without Tango who was running late.
Tango and Arbite provide covering fire from behind the shield wall.
Cash turns up late...
...And charges forward with both pistols firing. All shots missed, but covering fire by the Arbite squad downed the ganger.
Cash was able to continue his sprint and dispatches the downed ganger. I like the rule where any downed figure is an automatic casualty in a close combat action. As I am using a square grid I use a rule variant where if another figure is in the square they must be attacked before downed figures.
The squad starts to move forward in support.
Tango, not to be out done by Cash, has cleared the balcony and gives a wave to Cash. As buddy undercover Arbites do.
Surprise! A ganger in hiding gets the jump on Tango. 
Things not going well for Cash either and he has been downed.
Cash survives, he had just hit the dirt to avoid the shots. Whenever a joker is drawn the turn ends and checks are made for all downed figures and force moral.
The gang decides to retire. They drew a 2 of Heart, but Tango ended up a casualty and was rushed to the nearest Orders Hospitaller to receive attention.

I actually played this game a couple of times. In the game described above I made a variation to the action costs. Instead of 1st action = 1 action point, second action = 3 action points, and 3rd action = 5 action points. I went with 1st action = 1 action point, second action = 2 action points, and 3rd action = 4 action points. It meant the game moved along a fraction quicker, and I will see how other games will go.

I am enjoying the book and rules, which are designed to be a toolkit, and do deliver on fast "Hollywood movie speed" action games.


  1. Hi Peter- an interesting Skirmish of Necromunda- looks very enjoyable for you. Have not seen the J.Lambshead book of rules before...I've just about settled on my 1-Page Skirmish Rules that I have written for my 'Star Deco' games- though always on the look out for neat Skirmish mechanisms. Cheers. KEV.

    1. Hi KEV. The book was present and is providing some enjoyable games. Good luck with your rules. Peter

  2. Great writeup, thanks. I got the book myself and it seems very interesting - but haven't played yet. Nice to see your amendment to the action points. The rules don;t seem to have received much press yet, but good to see a playtest here. There are some quite innovative touches, I think.

    1. Thanks. I am enjoying the card mechanisms and unpredictable turns as a solo wargamer.

  3. "As I am using a square grid I use a rule variant where if another figure is in the square they must be attacked before downed figures." I really like that rule. I felt that defending a downed figure when using freeform movement was really hard and that if a figure wanted to avoid a defender, they could.

    Given the range of action points (1-13), I thought that 1-3-5 for multiple moves was appropriate. May try 1-2-4 as you suggest.

    Are you still moving and acting with figures individually? I notice groups of figures and was wondering whether you introduced some group move mechanic.

  4. I have not attempted group moves. Now that you mention it. It would be quite temping to allow a leader to use one action to yell "follow me lads" and all models in the square move with the leaders move action.