Thursday, September 15, 2016

"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 9 - "Double Delaying Action" - Game

This is my 800th post, so it seems strangely right that it should feature, one, a game (which is after all one of the main points of the blog), and two, those venerable old Minfigs American war of Independence figures Lofty C donated all those years ago..  Funnily enough, it's also near enough damn it, the blog's tenth anniversary - my first test post was on the 20th August back in 2006 [clicky].. portents do indeed abound!

So the evening before Colours [clicky] DG came round for what is now our traditional game before the show- DG lives a few hundred miles away so Skype aside, and not being what you'd call a clubbable fellow, this is how I get most of my games...

As per the set up post [clicky] this is scenario #9 from the "One Hour Wargames" book, and that without spoiling the outcome at all, I can confirm that without a doubt this is the best scenario so far in both our opinions..

First things first then, and we diced for forces, and then we diced for who would be attacker/defender - since force composition might influence that choice...

DG ended up with a 4 for his force, I rolled a 3; we then threw again and DG won and opted to attack...

Die RollInfantryArtilleryLight 

Table is as follows, north is the furthest edge - the key terrain points (in terms of scenario) are the town and the road entrance on the top (north) edge...

So  15 moves to get a result ...bring it on 

Initial deployment was as follows....

I deployed first with:
  • my artillery (light) immediately on the hill at the rear edge
  • one battalion of infantry in the town
  • three remaining infantry battalions and the cavalry in the centre to cover both river crossings - one infantry until held back as a reserve
DG then deployed and moved - he concentrated almost his entire force opposite the town except for one battalion of infantry on his far left flank

This is the end of Turn 1 ==>

..and so the game started - the scenario calls for a staged withdrawal (from the road exit on the north table edge) by the red player (me) - the Blue player also has a requirement to get units off the table by the same road, and also a winning goal to capture the town... the cunning'ness of the scenario of course is that there are balances to be made (for the red player) as every unit withdrawn reduces your ability to deny the blue player his victory conditions..  fiendish...

End of first few moves - following - about move 3 I think...  DG (whose hands are visible top right) is launching an assault on the two - his artillery is deployed - I have already identified that he's out of range of my artillery (d'oh!) and have opted to use them as my first "withdrawal unit" - I needed to withdraw three in total..  I have also taken the decision to reinforce the town with an additional battalion of infantry - out of picture bottom left that single battalion of DG's infantry has crossed the river so my reinforcement force remains where it is covering both flanks....

Two or three moves later (piccie following) and I send further reinforcements to the town (one of my units is out of site the other side of the house)..  we treated the town as one large building in terms of terrain, so reduced movement and lots of penalties for firing, movement, and attacking in melee..  I think it worked quite well (see post match analysis)...

My tactic here was to hold back from the edge of the town meaning I was not eligible as a target to DG's artillery, but I also couldn't fire, but given the victory condition was to control the town DG would have to force me out at point of bayonet...

Which he attempted to do over the next several moves ==>

Many battle honours were won by DG's infantry as they charged repeatedly over that little bridge (which is by Bellona as spotted by one of my followers - bear with, as I'll put up a post about that long forgotten little manufacturer at some point in the future), eventually however numbers told, as DG started to feed units in from the flank (see above), and at the end of the game I was forced from the town on almost the last move..

So - end of game and time to tally up the results - I was convinced I'd lost - but when we checked the winning conditions again we realised that although DG had managed to take the town, he'd neglected to also exit the required number of units via the road! My how we laughed... "fog of war, old boy", I chortled...

Post match analysis:

  • casualties were fairly light - I lost more units, but mostly as a result of failed morale - as usual Erbprinz looked magnificent and routed early!  This is not a casualty counting scenario so losses are largely immaterial providing you meet the other conditions..
  • the rules cludge to manage the fighting in the town was to treat the entire area of the board as one giant building, but with firing/moving penalties in the area as if from building to building.. We worked out afterwards that for all the shooting no casualties were caused to either side while in the town, similarly there were only one or two successful melee's - by far the worst outcomes were as a result of failed morale checks.. units fled as a result of poor morale rather than outright casualties... and it was this that eventually delivered the town into DG's hands
  • this is quite a difficult game for the attacker to win as not only does he need to take the town he also needs to me the unit exit criteria...  we talked about it afterwards and will definitely play this scenario again, but one area that worked well was DG's flank attack - rather than funnelling everything across the bridge, a bigger outflanking manoeuvre might have yielded dividends
  • ales on the evening was Adnam's "Ghost Ship" [clicky] snacks were Hula Hops Puft (who have their own Twitter page - what a marvelous age we live in when a starch based snack can have it's own presence on social media )


  1. A worthy anniversary battle. Here's to the next ten!

    1. Cheers Ross... doesn't seem like ten, and certainly doesn't seem like 800.... !

  2. Congrats on 800 posts, 10 years, and a victory!

    1. El Grego - “The greatest happiness is to vanquish your enemies, to chase them before you, to rob them of their wealth, to see those dear to them bathed in tears, to clasp to your bosom their wives and daughters.” ... :o))

  3. Looks great and congratulations on 800 posts!

  4. Steve, I very much like what you (and DG) do. Your approach to the hobby is something I admire. The game looked wonderful and I really like the dice roll based army list, in this day and age when everyone seems obsessed with 'points based armies'(Bolt Action for example), and argues the toss over every single damned point it's refreshing to see an alternative. I'm so fed up with endless arguing on the BA form it's almost put me off the game, but I can see that a chart such as that you posted giving random but fairly balanced forces is something I'm going to adopt for BA. Thanks for the link to the book, I have just ordered a copy :)

    I'm not an obsessive wargamer, I love the hobby and have clung to it most of my adult life and doubt I could ever give it up. I spent this morning drinking coffee in the garden and reading through V2 of Bolt Action, I put all the forum cr*p and negativity from my mind and tried to read it with an open mind.

    Adnams is legendary, my Father in Law and I used to drink 'Broadside' and the dark 'Winter Warmer' on cold nights. Good to see they do a lighter Pale Ale, must try it.

    All the best,

    1. Lee - DG and I have been playing for almost more years than I can imagine.. I think we started gaming in about'86 or so; we used to work for the same large American computer company and we used to play DBA at lunchtimes.. flip chart paper with drawn terrain and cardboard scale counters for units.. did that for years.. moved on to Firefly (super detailed WWII) and then other games over the years... so we kind of understand each other! :o) We can "discuss" rules until the cows come home but at the end of the day we come to an agreement and move on... and that's what's missing in some of the forums, no one knows each other from Adam so they're not willing to back down.. I don't frequent TMP for that reason - they're all far too precious.. the Old School Wargaming forum was a diamond mine until the moderator suddenly started getting 'funny' now it's all but dead from what I can see.. I stick to the forums, enjoy the hobby as I see it, and like Robbie Roddis damn the button counters daily!

    2. PS. Lee - the "Ghost Ship" is good..

  5. Congratulations on putting out content for so long, for the benefit of us all. I feel like sending you some hex terrain as some sort of celebration :-).

    I was thinking of Lee's comment. I was running a blog, which I enjoyed and basically due to comments at TMP, I closed it down, spoiling a creative output for myself and others. On reflection, I think I would much rather spend my internet time immersed in blogs , which are by default generally creative, positive people who give freely of their time and have a genuine passion in sharing.

    Anyway, I greatly enjoy yours - thanks Norm.

    1. Norm - that's very sad.. if it was me I'd have done it the other way round - left TMP and kept the blog.. I work from the assumption I am writing for myself, and if anyone else comes along and enjoys my ramblings that's a bonus! Life is too short for negativity... :o)

      PS. feel free to send the hex terrain.. I'm short of coffee cup coasters.. :o))

  6. Congrats on 800 posts and a nice AAR to boot

  7. Well done on all those posts Steve - that's a lot of words. Another enjoyable battle report too - further proof that a good game doesn't have to be large.

    1. Jim - that book is pure unadulterated old school diamond dust in terms of scenario's and quick/pick up games for when time is short.. the rules in the book are short and bloody but fun to tinker with... without a doubt the best tenner I've spent in the last year or two

  8. Hi Steve,
    Another good battle and report, of many that you have posted.
    I do have a question, though. If DG rolled a 6 for force structure on the chart displayed, how did he have any artillery to deploy?

    1. John - in the words of the immortal Captain Mainwaring "Ah, good, I wondered when someone would notice that".. :o) It was of course a 4... thanks for actually reading this stuff..!

  9. Excellent battle report Steve, I've got the same book, but never used any of the scenarios........yet! Adnams?...not bad beer.

    1. Ta Ray.. Adnam's "not bad"??? Damned with faint praise! :o))

  10. congrats on your 800th post! the scenarios in the neil thomas 1HW book are worth the price alone!

  11. Had a couple of games with this book in last 12 months, good scenarios played Napoleonics and WW2....will eventually report on them to