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.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Machine Age wargaming and AWI with Peter Laing Miniatures

While messing around with trailing some one-hour wargaming rules for science fiction. I found one of the rule mechanisms of allowing veteran unit re-roll their "hit" dice gave me the solution for representing shock troops in my WW1 1918 house rules based on OHW Machine Age. I'm using shock troop units to represent: 1) German Strumtruppe units trained for infiltration, and 2) Canadian and ANZAC units which gained a reputation for aggressive and innovative tactics. Shock troops when shooting or assaulting can re-roll their dice if not satisfied with the score rolled. However, any re-rolled score must be used even if worse than the original score rolled. The rules are now at the point where I expect few changes (hmmm - we'll see) and I will now think about running a little campaign based around the Hundred Days offensive, which I am currently reading about.

My current reading
In the background I'm still chipping away with painting my old Peter Laing miniatures. In the next couple of weeks I hope to complete enough to play a quick game using the horse and musket rules from the One Hour Wargame book.

AWI units painted and based so far for OHW

Friday, 27 November 2015

One Hour Wargaming and Science Fiction

Having played a number of WW1 Machine Age games using house rules based upon the One Hour Wargaming (OHW) book. I got to thinking about applying the OHW rule approach to science fiction, or more specifically the Warhammer 40K universe as I have quite a few miniatures. While I already use my own grid based house rules, I thought it would be fun to try out some simpler rules. So armed with a pencil and paper I sketched out some rules and modified them as I played.
Sci-Fi with OHW
After a couple of games the key unit characteristics identified were: experience, personal armour, weaponry and movement. The variety troop types and weapons does not map neatly to any period and seems to be a mash-up of ancient and WW2. Anyway, here is where I am up to with the rules so far...

There are two levels of experience - regular troops and veteran troops. Regular troops roll dice as normal, while veteran troops are allowed to re-roll a dice if they don't like the score and must accept the second dice role.

Personal Armour
I needed to separate armour from weaponry due to the variety of troops. As I played a couple of games and tried different troop types and ended up with the three below. Units could be of variable size, but could not exceed 20 hit points.

Armour Type Hit Points Examples
Light armour
Ork, imperial guard, termagant
Medium armour
Space marine, genestealer
Heavy armour
Terminator, Tyranid warrior, ork warbike

So what does this mean? If 5 hits was rolled, then: a lightly armoured unit would suffer the loss of 5 models; a medium armoured unit would suffer the loss of 4 models; and a heavily armoured unit would suffer the loss of 1 model. Any remaining hits are discarded. This does give an advantage to better armoured units.

For vehicles and monstrous creatures, which were always single models, they had multiple armour points similar to heavy armour each being 3 hit points. A heavy tank (eg, Landraider or Lemun Russ tank) would have 6 armoured points. So similar to the above example, if 5 hits were rolled, a heavy tank would lose 1 of its armoured points and a hit marker placed with the model.

Units are eliminated once they lose all their models or armour points. The most points a unit can have is 20 points, but units can be of any size up to the limit.

A unit's weaponry reflects its primary weapons and tactical use. The difference between a small arms unit and a tactical unit is, the tactical units has one or two support weapons. Support weapons are heavy bolters, assault cannons, auto cannons, etc. Whereas, heavy weapons are really there to target anti-vehicle weapons such as lascannons.

Armour Type Troop Units Non-Troop Units Examples
Hormagaunt, Orks, Marine Assault Squad
Heavy Assault*
Terminators, Tyranid Warriors
Small Arms
Termagant, Imperial Guard, Tau Fire Warriors
Marine Tactical Squad
Heavy Weapons
Marine Devastator Squad, Tanks, Imperial Heavy Weapons Squad (lascannons)
Support Weapons
Razorback (Heavy Bolters), Chimeras
Basilisk, Whirlwind
* cannot attack flyer units unless they have landed.

To use Assault weapons a unit must be within 6" of another unit to attempt attack with an assault.

All ranges are 18" except for ordinance which is unlimited and can attack any enemy units within view (18") of a friendly unit.

Foot troops and walkers - 3" + average dice score (2,3,3,4,4,5)
Vehicles - 6" + average dice score
Fast Vehicles and troops - 9" + average dice score
Skimmers - 15" + average dice score
Flyers - 20" + average dice score
All measurement is from the unit leader
Unit Basing
Having no wish to rebase my W40K models, each unit has an identified leader from which all measures are taken and is the last model removed. All other figures in  the unit must be within 4" of their leader. If they cannot all fit, in the case of large units, the are placed behind the unit in a "tail". I treat this 4" as a zone of control which other units except for friendly vehicles cannot enter.
All models are placed within 4" of leader or behind
Lots of missing bits which I'll flesh out with a few more trial games.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

WW1 battle report

This WW1 1918 war-game has German forces counter attacking British lines. A 6'x4' table is used longways to allow for some defence in depth. There are seven objectives worth different points, three first line objectives worth 1 point each, two second line objectives worth two points each and finally two third line objectives worth 3 points. The game uses WW1 house rules (link on the right) that are a variation of the OHW rules by Neil Thomas.
Table layout and objectives
British defending force
On the first half of the board defending first line objectives are 1 x heavy infantry, 2 x infantry and 1 x field howitzer.

On the second half of the board defending second and third line objectives are 1 x heavy infantry, 2 x infantry and 1 x field artillery.

Reserves are 1 x armoured car 2 hours away and 1 x heavy infantry and 2 x infantry all 3 hours away. A dice roll will determine their re-enforment arrival area (a 50/50 dice roll).

German attacking force
Wave 1 arriving at 6:00am - 1 x strumtruppen, 1 x AV7 tank, 1 x infantry and 2 x heavy infantry.

Wave 2 arriving 6:30am - 1 x armoured car, 1 x field howitzer, 1 x field artillery, 2 x heavy infantry and 1 x infantry.

Wave 3 arriving 7:00am -1 x infantry, 2 x heavy infantry, 1 x engineers with pontoon bridge, 1 x field howitzer and 1 x field artillery.

The Germans have 6 zero hour barrages and 2 box barrages to delay reserve arrival. The box barrages can be all be used on either reserve entry point or split between them.

Pre dawn is prior to 6:30am with 12" visibility and 24" visibility until dawn at 7:30am. Aircraft can appear after 8:30am when normal aircraft rules apply.
Table set up with British units in place
Game report
6:00am - The Germans used their zero hour barrages to attack each of the objectives containing British units, and split the 2 box barrage between each reenforcement point causing a 30min delay for  any British re-enforcements. The German attack plan is to advance along their left flank and the centre road, then move on the centre town and bridge. The British called up their re-enforcements which after a dice roll are due to arrive on the flank road.
Wave 1 advancing as wave 2 arrive
6:40am - Wave 1 continues its advance on the left flank town and wave 2 arrives on the road. Minimal casualties so far due to the limited dawn visibility. Although wave 1 was soon under fire from the occupants of the town.

7:30am - Waves 1 and 2 continue to advance slowly on the town and entrenched positions (due to some high average dice rolls on the game clock) so the German wave 3 arrives and its all looking very congested.

7:50am - German attacks with artillery support clear the entrenchment positioned on the road and town. Their armoured car moves through a gap in the wire and looks menacing, causing the British howitzer to up sticks and retire towards the centre town area.
German advance moves on the first two objectives
8:40am - Remaining British units retire to the area around the centre town as German units continue to advance.

9:00am - The first of British re-enforcements arrive, an armoured car which quickly breaks down. The Germans also had no luck with their armoured car either which is destroyed.

9:40am - The remaining British re-enforcements arrive and move along the road towards the centre town. The British armoured car engages advancing German units which are taking hits, sufficient to lose a forward infantry unit. Meanwhile, German aircraft strafe British defenders with little impact.
British defence consolidates around the centre town and nearby woods
10:00am - German attacks eliminate British resistance on the hill opening up their right flank to advance on the bridge and centre town. British defence consolidates around the centre town and woods on either side of the town.

10:20am - The German advance is slowing with the help of British aircraft which attack an advancing strumtruppen unit which had been making rapid progress towards the bridge.

10:50am - Germans advance on centre town and the surrounding woods eliminating a British unit.  However, the defenders are starting to take their toll on the advancing Germans who are hampered by a lack of available artillery which has not kept up with the advance.
German assault around centre town
11:30am - The British armoured car is destroyed as German units intensify their attacks on the town while moving up their artillery for a final assault. British reserve units help bolster the centre town defence as they lose units.

12:00am - The German tank advances on British artillery positions which are being very effective at causing losses on the assaulting German units.

12:50pm - British defenders destroy the German tank and repulse assaulting units with rolling successive 6's with the dice (four 6's in all!). On the left flank Germans engineers successfully deploy a pontoon bridge and advance across.

1:30pm - The German assaults are now faltering with most of their infantry units sustaining more than 12 hits which cause them to retire when further hits are taken.
Final positions with British hanging on to the centre town
2:00pm - Germans successfully occupy the left flank town having crossed the river via the pontoon bridge. So while their artillery arrive, all bar one of their infantry has sustained 12 or more hits so any further advances will be impossible.

After adding up points for the objectives occupied, the Germans have 8 points of a total 13 points available. A German minor victory, 1 point away from a major victory.

I will be making a couple of updates to the rules to clean them up, but no actual rule changes per se.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Trying out new tree purchases and Samurai by Minifigs

This is a short post having very recently returned from a two week trip to Japan, and feeling the effects of three connecting plane flights with many hours waiting in airports.
Statue of the great samurai Kusunoki Masashige outside Tokyo's imperial palace
On the trip I saw a model railway shop and popped in and picked up some "N" gauge trees for $15 AUD. At $1.50 per tree it seemed a good buy and importantly - no worries for luggage weight travelling home. I'll be using them more for individual trees along roads with no influence on the games, just to provide a bit of variety to my homemade trees and add to the look of the table.
With no wargaming for two weeks I thought I'd start with a WW1 game (and obviously using my tree purchases). This time I thought I'd try a OHW game using the length of the table to allow for defence in depth.
New tree purchases for a WW1 game
While I am in the very early stages of painting up my AWI miniatures, I was thinking about painting up a few Minifigs samurai I found to play a skirmish game. I plan to use the Song of Blades and Heroes rules by Ganesha Games. which I bought awhile back and have yet to use. The idea came about as I was travelling through Japan (no surprises there) and I should have enough Samurai and Ashigaru to create a couple of 10-15 strong warbands. Generally, I try and stick with one project at a time, but this time I'm thinking it could be quite fun (and quick) to paint 20 figures and add to them gradually to provide a break now and again to the planned painting of some 400 AWI figures.
A selection of some Minifig Samurai

Sunday, 8 November 2015

AWI armies and grid-based sci-fi rules

I'm starting to organise to begin the painting journey for my AWI miniatures. I'm short of cavalry, grenadiers, and standards and have a few ideas to address these shortfalls with the use of green-stuff (or some other modelling material).  I'm hoping to get some time in a few weeks to sit down and really give the project a kick-start.

This week I've started to update my existing grid-based sci-fi house rules, and have been playing a couple of games to test out the changes.  I still need to sit down to proof read the changes, make clarifications, and provide some examples.
A game in progress using updates to the grid-based sci-fi rules
I really enjoyed playing One-Hour Wargaming based rules for my WW1 games. They worked well for that period and when changing periods and using another set of rules, there is always the temptation to replicate aspects of them in other rulesets. The Sci-Fi games I play are large scale skirmish, so need to reflect a much more chaotic and fast moving game. To create uncertainty the house rules I use have variable number of actions, units making multiple actions, reactions and interventions.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

AWI Unit and Orks

This week I have been able to paint up some figures and decide upon the basing of my AWI armies. The figures are Peter Laing miniatures which I purchased some 30 years ago. They are finally getting painted after all this time. I'm going with 18 figure units based on 4" by 2" stands so I can use them on a 6" grid.

Peter Laing - British AWI figures
I found my old copy of "Wargamers Handbook of the American War of Independence" by Donald Featherstone, and published 1977. In a 100 or so pages it provides information on the armies, their uniforms, battle reference charts and details for re-fighting 10 battles from the war. There are some rules in the back, but I suspect I will end up creating some house rules based around Neil Thomas's Napoleonic rules from One-Hour Wargames or Introduction to Wargaming.
My current reading
This last week I've been playing a few sci-fi games and introducing out some new game mechanics like a game clock. Most of the other house rules seem to be working ok and give an enjoyable solo game.
Pre-battle orders to space marines before going planet side

Friday, 30 October 2015

Orks for Orktober

Having a bit of a break from the WW1 games with one-hour wargaming. I'm really enjoying the rules they work well for the period. After numerous modifications, tweaks and play testing, taking a break from the house rule additions will allow me to view them with a fresh when I return to them in a week or two.
WW1 game in progress using OHW Machine Age rules
So as its October, I'm having a few games using my grid based sci-fi house rules using my Orks. In my first game I had to read the rules a bit to remind myself about the last changes, and in the process spotted quite a few typo's. I'll have to update them with all my scribbles on corrections. Having played quite a few One-Hour Wargames (OHW) I will, as I play, be looking at rule areas I can simplify or streamline.
Space Marines vs. Ork Battle for "Orktober"

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

WW1 OHW Battle Report

This game was used to try out some of the recent rule additions for the game clock, barrages and tanks. The setting is an assault in 1918 on two German held towns and overlooking hill by British forces. The assaulting side was set three objectives:

1) Capture the two towns in the centre and on their left flank
2) Take on hold the overlooking hill behind the centre town
3) Capture the bridge on the right flank.

A sketch of the battlefield and objective order
The attack was to commence at 5:40am with dawn at 7am, and provide 1 hour 20 minutes of game time where visibility would be 12". The attack would be proceeded with two barrages, one preliminary barrage at zero hour attacking the entrenched units, and the second box barrage behind enemy lines attacking there communication lines. The result of barrage on the communication lines was to delay all reserves by 1 hour and add +1 to the German resupply difficulty calculation.

Aircraft support is increased between 9am and 11am for the British and will appear to strafe and bomb on a 4+ dice roll.

All German reserves would roll to determine which road they would enter the table on (1-3 at point A and 4-6 at point B).

German defence force

On the table: 2 x infantry, 4 x heavy infantry (additional machine guns), 2 x pillboxes, 1 x field artillery, and 1 x field howitzer.

Reserves within 1 hour (plus any delay due to attacks on communication lines): 2 x heavy infantry, 1 x field artillery and 1 x field howitzer.

Reserves within 3 hours (plus any delay due to attacks on communication lines): 1 x heavy tank detachment and 1 x Strumtroppen unit.

British assault force

Wave 1 arriving at zero hour: 2 x heavy infantry, 4 x infantry, 2 x heavy tank detachments, and 1 x medium tank detachment.

Wave 2 arriving at +1 hour: 2 x heavy infantry, 2 x infantry, 1 x field howitzer, and 1 x field artillery.

Wave 3 arriving at +3 hours: 3 x cavalry, 1 x armoured car, 1 x field howitzer, and 1 x field artillery.

A game clock was made to track game time from zero hour at 5:40am
5:40am (Zero Hour) - The assault began with wave 1 British forces being placed on the table and calculating the effects of barrages on the entrenched units and communication lines.
5:40am wave 1 arrives with tank support
6:30am - The British forces advance on objective 1 the two towns in the centre and left flank. One tank detachment was delayed to to mechanical difficulties (they rolled a 5 on the average dice roll for movement).

7:10am - With dawn lifting German artillery placed on the hill behind the centre town were able to add their firepower to the attacks on the advancing British troops.
Wave 1 assaulting the towns with wave 2 just appearing
7:40am -  The assaults were progressing well and weathering the fire from the defences. Tank units were used to clear a path through the barbed wire and overrun the entrenched German infantry. While behind the British second wave arrived to support the attacks on the towns. The German reserves arrived, delayed by 1 hour from the barrage on communication lines, two infantry and a howitzer arrived at point A and one infantry and field artillery arrived to strengthen defences around the bridge.
The Germans counter attacking on the British left flank
8:10am - The left flank town is captured and German defences retire from centre town after an assault. A counter attack is be prepared on the British left wing as German reserve units move up.
British units force the defenders out of the centre town
8:50am - Germans attempted to recapture the centre town where some of the supporting British units are forced to retire with 13+ hits. (A new rule where units in the open with 13+ hits must retire a  an average dice roll each time they have more hits.) Meanwhile, British artillery moved into position to support their troops against any counter attack in the centre.

British forces push on from the centre town towards the bridge
9:20am - Both sides were starting to lose units in the fighting around both towns. The British were starting to put pressure on the Germans in the centre and towards the bridge, while the two heavy tanks moved on the hill, their second objective.

10:00am - As German unit loses were mounting and the bridge looked like being lost, but last minute reserves arrive in the form of an AV7 heavy tank. On the left flank a battalion of SturmTroppen arrived to support the defence of the hill. British casualties were rising with the loss of a heavy tank and infantry units were being forced back due to accumulated hits.
The bridge is secured for the Germans with the arrival of the AV7 tank
10:40am - The last British tank was destroyed attacking the hill, while on German counter attack on the British left flank was in full swing and forcing them to relinquish control of the town.
The British are forced out of the town by a German counter attack
11:00am - The British were able to reoccupy the left flank town while artillery support helped to nullify the German counter attack.
British regain the town and only one unit made it to the hill
11:20am - While a single British unit advanced to the hill it was countered by the arrival of a Sturmtruppen unit. This marked the end of the game with the British achieving their first objective of the two towns, but failing to take the hill and bridge. Both sides were running out of steam with most  remaining units having accumulated too many hits to carry on with the assault or counter attack.