Wednesday, May 03, 2017

"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 11 - "Surprise Attack" - Redux

I'll be the first to admit that my happy victory in the recent game DG and I played was somewhat overshadowed by my mis-reading of the scenario, and an overwhelming view that the outcome of the scenario was significantly skewed by the (duff) initial manoeuvres... for two reasons....

Not only did it nullify the whole intent and purpose of the defending forces advance guard (which were positioned where they were for good reason! ), but two, it also accelerated the time taken for any attacking flanking forces to get to their nominated attack points - I reckon at least a two move advantage and given the scenario is only 15 moves in total that's some advantage.

The more I thought about it the less happy I was with the victory, so with rain stopping play (or sailing) on Sunday, and therefore an unexpected four or five hours made available, I took it upon myself to do a solo replay of the game to see what the difference would be in reality..  couldn't have been happier I did, as it went all the way to the very wire!

First though some set up details - forces were the same, dispositions were the same, and the attackers tactics were the same - as much as possible I also adopted/adapted DG's defence tactics...

By the way - when I played the game I found an unexpected advantage with the modified OHW rules we're using that the mechanism of deciding unit movement by dice allows you to enhance solo play by throwing to see who "moves" (or throws dice) first - which allows the other side to react....  when playing against an opponent both sides throw at the same time, for solo play, throwing one side at a time and decided by dice, brings in some interesting friction....  having said that, the Union were inordinately lucky with the decision dice, but not always so luck with the following disposition dice!

As an experiment then - here is the game move by move - one shot per move, for 15 moves - all pictures taken at end of turn:

So it was another Confederate victory, but far closer than the previous game - and in three main phases....  centre, east flank and finally west flank...


As in the last game I had brought two average regiments on to "pin" the advance guard which allowed my flank forces to start their (slightly longer) march... unlike the first game, I charged with the Union cavalry immediately though, and there then ensued a fearful knock out melee that lasted at least three or four moves with the cavalry attacking one, while the artillery peppered the other - but job done - while they were doing this the flank forces exited their area of influence...

In the end, the cavalry destroyed the infantry regiment they were battling - but in doing so opened themselves up to an attack by the surviving Rebel regiment who destroyed the, but in their turn were then destroyed by the artillery...

Phase over, with only the Union artillery surviving - they about faced and moved towards the Union home baseline and subsequently had an effect in the west flank phase...  but first...

East flank:

As in the first game this ended up in a firefight between my two Zouave regiments (not necessarily those curiously uniformed fellows, in OHW terms it is more a phrase or term for "elite"/"veteran" type troops) and the Union Zouave and one average regiment...

The rules do not allow units to close to melee unless they have a significant advantage in points (5+ over their target) so the musketry rolled for some time before..  eventually....  the Tigers overcame all...  the problem then being that they were too far away from the artillery to engage them, and were destroyed by the artillery before they could close...  which then brings us to...

West flank:

On this flank I had sent two average regiments through the woods in order to counter the Union final reinforcements which would be entering the table by the road on move 9 (to the right int he oicture following)

The regiments subsequently arrived, and another massive firefight ensued..

Happily for the Confederates, the Union deployment dice were not always playing ball...  lower the better for deployment so what this shows is that a lot of Union units would be doing their actions late in the move...

First Union regiment was destroyed in two moves by a mahoosive firing hit, which generated enough of a difference for them then to be charged and destroyed in the next move. The other Union regiment was flanked and destroyed in the following move..

Which left two Confederate regiments to finish off the artillery and force the crossroads...  suffice to say that on the very last move one last Confederate regiment was on the cross roads..  talk about taking it to the wire...


  1. Great photos Steve and lovely figures. I like the way you keep the terrain layout open and simple, avoiding the endless fencing that can make ACW games difficult to play. Got me thinking now!

    1. Lee - one of the benefits of OHW is that the tables are fairly clutter free - so you can only dress them so much ... in the book the only features of this scenario was the lake and the wood, oh and the roads... anything else of a fence/building/obstruction nature might impact the scenario so I left them out...

  2. I like the video experiment Steve. I seem to remember from the dim dark past that with wargaming episode of Edward Woodward's Callan series did something similar.

    1. I like the video experiment Steve. I seem to remember from the dim dark past that the wargaming episode of Edward Woodward's Callan series did something similar.

    2. Thanks Anonymous.. may try it again...

  3. Hello Steve. Always nice to see an ACW game - my first proper wargame period. Also, thanks to the 'promotion' of OHW my son and I are trying one out next week but probably using Neil thomas's rules in his Introduction to Wargaming book. We have found it difficult to leave a game up from one week to another and the games you have described look like fun.
    It seems that Tony may have had the same problem as myself in that I can only post as 'Anonymous' - I must admit that I do like the idea of signing an anonymous message!
    It was the problem with this which stopped me commenting on your post regarding possibly going to Facebook. If I can't cope with putting messages on under my name Facebook will be beyond me I am sure! I understand that it would be easier and your blog must take a lot of time but I will miss being one of your deluded fools.
    Best wishes
    Jim Walkley

  4. Hiya Jim - and apologies Tony missed your name at the end of the comment! - no need to worry I'm not departing for Facebook but I have noted a number of my fellow bloggers have... a useful finger in the air is my Feedly account.. Feedly is a news reader so it's a way of putting all the blog feeds in one place and getting the updates.. I follow 334 wargaming blogs... last year I was seeing 60-70 posts a day, this year 20-30... has the blogging golden age passed, or will they all come back when they realise that Facebook for all the bells and whistles is all a bit baby food compared with the blogger full roast dinner.. if you know what I mean... :o))