Tuesday, August 28, 2018

"One Hour Wargames" - Scenario 17 - "Encounter" - Setup and Game (Part 1)

I know, I know, far too long since the last update, but we're in the middle of the long hot summer of '18, and all my time has been spent either being ill, not going on holiday, working or sailing [clicky], and with time short, something has to give... and no I'm not going into details on the illness/holiday thing except to say they are not unrelated, and "mightily bored you'll be"* if I went into explanatory detail...

*kudos and a virtual pint if you name the movie..

This weekend however, the weather has broken, and having sailed Friday, done family stuff Saturday, Sunday howled with wind and rain all day, and with the family otherwise occupied the loft beckoned.. it was time for a re-acquaintance with the little metal men...

Turning to my favourite book of scenario's I find that I have reached #17, and having read it and toyed with the idea a Colonial set to, it seemed to me that the scenario was purpose built for the Wars of the Spanish Succession, so I decided to go with that..

No changes to the table as designed in the scenario - as is standard for me it's 4' square (to match my terrain tiles) rather than 3' square, with a bit of scenic dressing I came up with the following - I diced for the hill 1-4 'gentle slopes', 5-6 'steep', and it came up as "gentle"..

Feel free to click and embiggen any of the following pictures...

A scene of bucolic charm with nothing but a supply column gently wending their way to the main camp, little knowing that the peace and quiet is about to be rent by shot and shell..  well...   shot anyway...

A solo game but the One Hour Wargame scenario's are quite suited as there is a fair amount of randomness in the game set up step - first I diced for who was the "red" player as they move first in each turn - the French. Then I rolled for forces - six units/side - and as per the following, the French threw a 6, and the Allies, 1, leading to the following forces...  French on the left, Allies on the right:

One of the French units is "guard" (I picked Navarre for obvious reasons) - they gain a +1 morale modifier. The Allies have come up artillery heavy - given the nature of the scenario though, and to add verisimilitude, the guns are classed as "light", in game terms only marginally bigger than a battalion gun...

..little do they know...
Both sides get to deploy one unit for turn 1 - both sides went with cavalry for obvious reasons

Turn 1 - both sides advance - French on the left, Allies on the right..

Tactically this is a fairly simple "problem" - get their "the first'est with the most'est", the only wrinkle being that you also need to be the "last'est" to leave!

The only other wrinkle is that reinforcements up to your 6 unit maximum are diced for and there's only a 50% chance they'll arrive each turn - given the game is only 15 turns, statistically there's a chance that not all your units will arrive by end of game, but I can report that for this game, all units had arrived by about move 8...

France's finest - sabres drawn..  Ligonday.. love the grey in the middle..

Faced by England's finest..  heirs of Cromwell's ironsides..  Schomberg's..  "The Black Horse".. dour sums it up..
Turn 2 and the French get reinforcements (Navarre in this case) and the British don't..  the cavalry are facing off on the hill top... NB. In my rules only the French cavalry have a firing ability...

End Turn 2
Turn 3 and the Allies get reinforcements, the French not - time to bring on the first Allied gun - my plan for them is stand off and hope for a lucky shot at long range..  on the hill the French cavalry close to musket range and let fly causing Schomberg's to become shaken...

End Turn 3
Turn 4 - Both sides get reinforcements - on the hill Schomberg charges Ligonday, and sends them packing (note rout marker)..  Navarre reaches the hill...

End Turn 4
...so initial success to the Allies but there's a long way to go..

Navarre prepare to assault the hill for the glory of France...  Minifigs painted by DG a long while ago...
Turn 5 - and both sides again get reinforcements - these are easy decisions for the French, but the Allied decision point is when to bring on the second gun instead of more infantry...  with three French battalions on the table I opted to bring on infantry this turn..  Schomberg's have done their work and withdraw to the friendly edge of the hill... 

End Turn 5
Turn 6 - more reinforcements for both sides - both sides now have five units of their six...  the French cavalry has continued to rout, Navarre have moved on to the hill..  the British gun is getting close to being in range...

End Turn 6

French infantry marching quickly for the objective..

British infantry doing the same..
Turn 7 - the French get reinforcements - all their units are now on the table...  the gun has forced the French tactics for their deployment - no point in deploying in the face of artillery, but the French will need to deal with it at some point in time as it dominates the hill...  the French cavalry have recovered to shaken..  that British gun deploys and opens fire causing Navarre to become shaken (but no casualties)...

End Turn 7
Turn 8 - last reinforcements arrive for the Allies - both sides are now at full strength. British infantry is deploying to face the French infantry but in significantly less numbers..

End Turn 8
On the hill Navarre have closed to musket range and fired with some effect..  Schomberg have quietly slipped down the reverse slope holding themselves in readiness..

Turn 9 - the action begins to warm up!  You'll note the French cavalry is swinging round the French right flank - not difficult to see who their target is...

End Turn 9
On the hill, in a double assault Schomberg's and the infantry to their right (Derring's) charge forward at Navarre who fail to stop either of them closing, and in the ensuing bloodbath, flee (red pin again signifying rout)..  Regiment Saintonge have taken Navarre's place..  and we have the Wild Geese as back stop..

Stay tuned for part 2 - I have to say that it's difficult to see this as being anything other than a draw but time will tell...

Current butchers bill...

French have lost 5SP's (strength points - each unit starts with 6)  - 2 from the cavalry, 3 from Navarre. The Allies have lost 1SP (from Derring's) - despite two successful charges, Schomberg's remain un-bloody..


  1. Hi Steve,

    I reckon A Bridge too far..."This will be a tale to tell your grandchildren, and mightily bored their'll be."

    I am enjoying the virtual pint....

    All the best,


  2. Definitely Edward Fox in A Bridge Too Far.

    Known as a Film Too Long at the time I believe!

    1. Matt, I'm feeling generous, have a pint as well.. :o)

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Neil, compared to some I see it's a little 'under-dressed', but it works for me.. :o)

  4. Nice series of pics Steve, I like the snaking infantry columns marching on and forming into line, and the overhead shots make it easy to follow the action. As for terrain, personally I still like this old school approach, it's very practical. I was looking at some of the pictures on the blogs from a recent wargame show, the boards are more like scenic model railway layouts, works of art, but I'd rather spend the time painting soldiers and playing on a simple functional table. Your figures of course are great, I thought Minifigs at first but not so sure now?

    1. Cheers Lee... I am, if anything, old school.. :o) Figures are a mix, infantry are either Minifigs or Black Hat, cavalry either Minifigs or Freikorps (Peter Pig as well but they aren't present for this game)