Wednesday, June 06, 2018

"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 16 - "Advanced Guard" - Setup and Game

On the 74th anniversary of D-Day it seems somewhat apt to be posting a report on a series of games that DG and I fought last weekend, and which were set in WW2, albeit in the North Africa sphere..

First time I'd seen DG since Warfare [clicky] so it was doubly excellent to get an email telling me he was coming down for a visit and also did I "fancy a game"? Silly boy - must give him his arm back some time...    Gave DG the choice of periods to play and so it was we headed to the desert sands of Libya

The subject of scenario however was a little more unclear - usually my rules of choice for this period and scale are Blitzkrieg Commander but it's been a long time since I used them, and in fact for the last game I'd used the rules from the One Hour Wargames book, and since they are easily assimilated fro two old codgers of limited brain power we agree we would use them again despite some misgivings (more anon) on my part...

The scenario was then #16 from the book that was the best ten quid I ever spent - "Advance Guard" - two equal sized forces are tasked with occupying a small town - they are advanced guards for larger forces, and there is only one way to win the game which is to have undisputed occupation of the town..

Table then was as follows:

A road running north and south is the only entry point for each side - forces are diced for on the random table in the book and provide the frisson each time the game is played..

The book is not incorrectly titled - DG and I played four times and at the end honours were even..  the following pictures from various of those games but don't ask me which one was which... 

Game 1 I think, as I fortuitously rolled two mortars which you can see in the foreground - my infantry is occupying the town..  DG's armour is flanking the town while his infantry takes a pummelling in the distance

In each game I played the Germans - we rolled for starting forces before each of the four games so as to try out options..

Game 2 as I recognise the forces I had

Game 3 or 4 as I had the same force in both games
Post Match Analysis:

  • So honours even at the end of the four games, and an opportunity to banter, discuss rule improvements, try some different tactics etc.
  • There was no way around the fact that whoever gets to the town first wins the scenario - there's no move and shoot, but the town blocks line of sight for firing, and also divides any casualties in half (because of cover) - time and again whoever started first got his infantry to the town, spotted for his mortars, who then utterly pounded the other guy..  if one side got into the town subsequently they were counted as moved and the other side pounded them anyway...
  • All the games back this up and were 10, 7 and 7 turns long - in the last game I went for an outflanking attempt but ran out of time (and troops)
  • DG and I are having a back and forth at the moment with the rules in order to make something out of them that's a little more playable/"realistic"
  • I have concerns about the strength of the mortars - they really are ICBM in these rules - anyone can automatically spot for them and they have a range of four times anything else..
  • I have concerns about the fact that intervening friendly units can be fired through, but intervening enemy units can't - and block line of sight to units behind - so it was you would send a "phalanx" of infantry forward - only the first unit was a target to the enemy - but all four or five ranks could fire back!
  • Refreshments on the evening were my latest favourite ale Wychwood Brewery's "IPA" - they're better known for "Hobgoblin" but this knocks it into a cocked hat - 5.6% but dangerously drinkable..  DG bought a present of a couple of bottles of Felinfoel "Double Dragon" which are cooling even as we speak!
Plans have been laid to reconvene on or around July 14th for a visit to the tank museum at Bovington to also attend the wargame show - can't wait..!


  1. I think the movement capability of A/T guns is also a strangeness, making them behave more like assault guns.

    1. Norm - yes - though given the level of abstraction that category of unit may actually be designed to cover such vehicles as well as the more typical wheeled versions....

  2. I am not at all familiar with the rules from the One Hour Wargames Book. But, based on what you wrote, I would ask whether either of you used your mortars to lay down smoke. With a smoke screen up it might be possible to close on the village and then prepare an assault. In this period AT guns were placed, dug in and sited. Yes they could be limbered to a tow vehicle fairly quickly but no matter what rules we play it always takes a full turn to unlimber and set up to fire. All in all an interesting re-cap. Thanks.

    1. CC - far too detailed for the level of abstraction he's going for though I fully agree it's what would have happened - no smoke option though, but also no air strike option either...

  3. Have just played our first OHW WW2 game and our reading of the rules was that friendly units could move through each other but not fire through, the comment above about smoke is an interesting one. See our game here:

    1. Thanks Brian - will check your game with interest.. the question of firing through friendly seems to be a given.. so (from Ch 19 - Second World war rules) section 2 "Units may only shoot at units they can see" and from line of sight, observation is bocked only by intervening enemy units, ergo you can fire through your own troops which clearly makes no sense .. so I think I will change the rule to remove "enemy" from the section - that way any intervening unit blocks line of sight and therefore firing...

  4. Lovely pics as usual Steve, great models, are they peter pigs? I know the social side of the hobby is what appeals to you and you are lucky to have a like minded opponent.

    Use of smoke is such a major feature in WW2 rules now, Flames of war, Bolt Action etc, lay down a wall of smoke and assault through it, such fun! Just adds that extra dimension.

    Nice choice of beer :)

    1. Cheers Lee.. 10mm or N scale by Minifigs.. lovely figures/models, and ideal for larger battles as they are small enough to fit a lot on the table while being big enough for me to see what they are.. 6mm is too small for me, they're just metal boardgame counters! :o)

      Did you make it to the real ale pub?? :o)

    2. Steve, we went hunting for the White Swan in Gandia, much closer to where we are staying. I was really looking forward to it as it advertised itself as a real ale pub run by Brits on Facebook. SatNav said we were there, but no sign of pub, just more Spanish bars! We were definitely in the right spot, must have shut down as last review was 2016 we noticed :( Not a handpump to be found so far I'm afraid.