I am now five battles into the the thirty battles provided by the scenarios in One Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas. I have to say the rules and scenarios are both quick and enjoyable to play, which of course is the whole point of the rules.They will certainly not appeal to everyone, but then again, what rule set does? The possibility of playing a reasonably large scale battle, with just a few units of troops, will be appealing to many.
I must start off by admitting to a rule error in the games I have played so far, namely musket range is actually 12 inches, or 12 centimetres in my case, not the six I have been employing. Would it have made a difference, quite possibly.
This is a photo from the Hog's Head River scenario. The Union troops had difficulty finding room if they crossed the ford. With a range of 12 centimetres, the unit of infantry at the rear, could have moved to the river bank opposite the wood, and engaged the right wing of the Confederates by firing across the river.
I will correct that error in future battles. Other than that I have stuck rigidly to the rules provided and will continue to do so for the remaining 25 scenarios. However, and there is always a however isn't there? I do intend in the future, once the campaign is completed, to tweak one or two rules, without losing the quick, easy and brutal play they currently provide.
The first tweak, will be to artillery. They automatically receive a minus 2 on their die roll when shooting, this is fine, but once in canister range, I think the negative modifier should be dropped.
The rules allow an infantry/cavalry unit to fire using the normal die score, even when it is virtually broken (again see the above picture, the Union infantry regiment on the left flank is just a single hit away from being destroyed.) I would like to reflect casualties and fatigue by a unit losing a pip on the die roll when it reaches 6 and 11 hits, signified by blue and red discs respectively, in the photograph.
I don't think the above couple of tweaks, would impact too much on the quick play aspect of the rules and would be easy to implement on the table.
The die roll to discover the make up of the army is also a clever idea. The forces will never be identical, as if both sides throw the same number, it has to be re rolled until different.
Could the game be scaled up using these rules? Yes, I don't see a problem, of course with a larger numbers of troops, then a larger playing area would be required. Not a problem for me, as I could just step up to the the 3 x 3 feet board recommended for 28 mm. It would of course, mean the battles would be more lengthy, so no longer qualifying for the One Hour Wargames ethic.
I would like to try a division versus division battle, each division having a pair of brigades, or possibly three. Again the make up being decided on a die roll and consulting a chart, this time home made of course.
Finally, I have thoroughly enjoyed writing the narrative that runs alongside each battle, many of you have commented on this aspect, and how it converts from a normal battle report into a story. I have also taken the liberty of using the names of some of you too. Those characters will crop up again and again as the campaign progresses.