Wednesday, 7 December 2016

OHW - Other Era's ?

I have taken a short break from the ACW campaign, though it hasn't stopped me thinking, planning and sorting out figures. The One Hour Wargames does contain very similar style rules for other era's too. The two that particularly caught my eye, were the Medieval and Pike and Shot periods.

I have a large number of 28 mm Wars of the Roses, plus some Arab Warriors in the same scale. Also a decent amount of English Civil War figures, again in 28 mm. These rules were written with 28 mm in mind, to allow for decent sized battles on a small table, so the old grey matter started ticking over.

If anyone reading this, saw and listened to my intro to last nights Tabletop Commanders Paint & Chat, (6th December 2016), you will have heard me touch on this subject. I also mentioned the fact that my table is only 30 inches by 43 inches, meaning I would have to adapt some of the provided scenarios in the book to fit my table.

Someone, who's name I only know as Maps and Things, made a blindingly obvious comment. Simply use a 30 inch square and reduce movement and firing ranges to suit! It was so obvious, I never thought of it, but it is the perfect answer. For example infantry will move 5 inches as opposed to 6 etc. This will indeed allow me to fight on the table available to me, with barely any alteration to the provided scenario maps.

I had been sorting out some Medieval figures yesterday. Tomorrow I shall do the same again for English Civil War troops that I have. The beauty of the rules is that an army list is generated by throwing a single D6, and you will never need more than ten bases of figures for any given army.

I can demonstrate that better by looking at the following photographs.

The Arab Army, just like all the other armies in the Medieval Period, could have a maximum of four units of mounted knights. Two units of foot knights, two units of archers and two units of levies. This is the full force below, though of course you will only ever have a maximum of six on the table at any one time. The heavy cavalry on the back line, I shall give the same stats as the mounted knights. The elite foot, centre left, will be foot knights, archers and levies are just the same as their counterparts in the Western style armies.

Two units of levies

Two units of archers.

Two units of elite infantry (foot knights)

Four units of heavy cavalry at the rear, (mounted men at arms, or knights to you and I)

I also have enough liveried troops to make up four more armies for the table. The two stands of light cavalry at the rear right, will be classed as mounted knights, they wear the green and white, of the rest of the force, so will do very nicely.

I have only shown two stands of foot knights, though in theory, a total of four may be required, dependent on the die roll. I have also selected another two bases of them, only they will have a banner to differentiate then from the enemy. So all four Western armies will use the same figures.

A black and amber army, again only the multi-use foot knights are not wearing the army colours. Spear men of course, will be the levies.

Claret and blue.

Finally, blue and white.

So a total of five armies, ready for action on the table top. A straight up Yorkists versus Lancastrians, Western versus Eastern, or simply an Imagi-nations campaign.

Now to sort out my Royalists and Parliamentarians...

Saturday, 3 December 2016

OHW - The Campaign - Part Seven.

The next scenario in the book is titled 'Flank Attack (2).' The whole Union force has to start on the large hill in the North, a small hill opposite has two units of enemy troops, but the remaining four units are placed in the marked area in the top right hand corner. The idea being that the Union commander is expecting an attack from the South, but the Rebels have worked around to his flank with the greater part of their force.

Looking from the small hill to the larger one in the North.

The area in which four Confederate units will be placed on the flank.

Rolling the die for composition of forces produced the following:

1 x unit of Zouaves
3 x units of Infantry
2 x units of Cavalry

1 x unit of Artillery
2 x units of Zouaves
3 x units of Infantry

The artillery and one unit of infantry positioned on the small hill.

All the Union units on the large hill.

The Confederate flanking force.

Top down view of the battlefield.

'After the Union debacle on the Bewick Road, the rebel army switched to the offensive, striking North. Brigadier General Dale Norbeck was ordered to hold Lookout Hill, in an attempt to slow down the Rebel advance.
General Norbeck glassed the small hill opposite, he could see a battery of artillery unlimbering. with them a regiment of infantry was also deploying into battle line. He grunted, that was not much of a force, something wasn't quite right! Intelligence had reported a brigade sized formation advancing on his force. From his position atop the hill, he had a clear view in every direction. The rolling hills and small wooded areas, were plain to see in every direction. If the enemy was trying to outflank him, he would be able to see them, with plenty of time to to adjust his defensive lines. What were the Rebels planning?'

He would soon find out...

Two events separated by millions of years would work against General Norbeck today. The first occurred when the very hill he was perched, on tore itself apart in a huge explosion. For the stunted hill was only the remains of a once mighty volcano. The land for hundreds of miles around was in constant movement, lava breaking the surface and forming chasms, only for a later shift of the tectonic plate to close them up and create new ones. The magma chamber below the volcano, boiled and pulsated with the movement around it, the pressure built up to incredible levels. The top of the volcano had been plugged tight by the shifting and twisting of millions of years.
With no means of escape, the pressurised lava exploded, vaporizing most of the mountain. The molten rock now free of the chamber, gushed down the remains of the volcano, some of it running into wide chasm to the East.
Over the intervening years, that winding chasm, had itself been slowly filled and eroded until today, it was no more than a shallow depression, running roughly North/South. It was however totally invisible to anyone looking across from Lookout Hill.

The second rather more recent event, was that Brigadier Frank Frey had been born in this very county, and he knew the countryside like the back of his hand. He was still smarting from his defeat at the Battle of The Two Brothers at the very hands of Dale Norbeck, though at this moment in time, Frank had no idea the two of them would once again be crossing swords. He had led most of his brigade North along the narrow, winding gully, knowing he would not be seen from the Lookout Hill, which he had been ordered to capture.

General Norbeck wasn't going to let the enemy cannon, on the small hill opposite, tear huge holes in his lines at their leisure. He ordered a regiment of cavalry to advance, it would give the gunners something to think about.

 He was about to order his second unit of cavalry to assist them, when a startled shout went up from one of his aides, Enemy infantry on the flank sir! He didn't need his binoculars, the enemy were so close. Where in the hell had they sprung up from? Enemy troops, masses of them, stretched right along his flank to a wood, and those troops were already on the move.

The cavalry dismounted to face a regiment of Zouaves who were already in musket range.

The only regiment in range opened fire and scored a hit on a Zouave regiment.

The Union cavalry dispatched to trouble the gun crews also dismounted and prepared for action.

General Norbeck was no man's fool. The only way to defend this hill was to move his men off it, and form a battle line facing the newly arrived foe.

The Union troops begin to move down the slope of the hill.

More enemy troops appeared coming out of the wood.

The right flank Zouaves fired a devastating volley into the dismounted troopers on the hill.

The second unit of Zouves also poured shots into their target, the infantry on the hill.

The Rebel artillery fired a salvo at the closest Union infantry, as it descended the hill.

A single hit being the result.

The Union troops struggled forward, they could now see more of the enemy in the wood.

Gunners dropped as the troopers unleashed a volley.

The troopers on the hill, also hit their mark.

So too, the infantry. Both units of Confederate Zouaves suffering casualties.

The Reb infantry on the hill moved down the slope to join the fight, they would hit the flank of the enemy.

The last unit emerged from the wood.

The artillery switch target to their aggressors and score a single hit.

Devastating Confederate fire ripped through the Yankee ranks, dropping men by the score.

Both the infantry and troopers on the hill were close to destruction.

Again the gunners came under sustained carbine fire.

Casualties mounted alarmingly.

The Union troops from the hill, were now in musket range of the enemy units who had emerged from the wood. The Rebels suffering heavy losses.

A potentially final volley from the hill, score hits on the Zouaves, but not enough.

The artillery and troopers continue their own private duel.

Hit in the flank and front, this Union regiment escaped lightly.

However, the Union Zouaves did not fare so well, their ranks thinning fast.

On the hill, it was disaster for Dale, both the infantry and cavalry troopers were swept away by volleys from the enemy Zouaves.

The battle in full swing.

More hits on the gun crews.

The Confederate infantry now began to suffer substantial losses.

General Norbeck moved his only reserve, to face the advancing Zouaves.

Hit once again from two sides, this Union infantry took casualties, but poor shooting kept the hits down.

The Union Zouaves take more fire and are close to destruction.

The two gun lines remain toe to toe, the casualties are numerous, both sides are starting to waver.

A volley from the Zouaves destroys a Rebel regiment.

The Zouaves facing the hill take some hits from the last Union regiment defending the summit.

The artillery/cavalry duel continues, with little damage done by either side.

Being hit from two side finally took its toll, and the Union regiment was destroyed.

In a moment the Union line disintegrated, the Zouaves broke.

A crushing volley from the two Zouaves units, obliterated the regiment on the hill.

The carnage can be seen on the battlefield.

General Norbeck called back his cavalry and left Lookout Hill to the enemy.

General Frey's Brigade had taken heavy casualties, but had achieved their mission, they had taken Lookout Hill. He was even more satisfied a couple of days later, when he found out the defending general was none other than General Norbeck. Honours were now even.

That puts the campaign points at 4 - 3 in favour of the Union, with the Confederates now pushing the Union army back.