Friday, 28 August 2015

One Hour Wargames: Pushing the envelope

Having now tried out Martin Rapier's hexed-based variant of the World War II rules in Neil Thomas's ONE-HOUR WARGAMES book – and having thoroughly enjoyed the experience – I decided to add a few bits of 'chrome' so that I could set up a scenario that is not in the book!

I wanted to see if I could set up a landing on a defended beach using naval gunfire support ... so I did. The only significant additions that I made to the rules related to the use of a large warship (in this case a battleship) to provide gunfire support. The model in question occupies two hexes ... so I treated it as two units that move together but that may – or may not – fire at the same target each turn. The battleship was given a starting strength of 30 points (i.e. 2 x 15) and each gun turret fired as if it were heavy artillery but is not allowed to fire at targets that are in hexes next to friendly units. For assessing damaged caused to the battleship, the ship is treated as if it were a tank.

Scenario
In retaliation for the recent border incursion, the Eastlanders decided to seize control of a small, fortified island off the coast of Morschauserland. To achieve this they sent a force of Marines – carried in a number of small steamers and barges and accompanied by the battleship Republicka – to the island.

The Eastland Battleship Republicka.
The Marine force comprised:
  • 5 x Infantry Units
  • 1 x Artillery Unit
The defenders occupied a number of concrete blockhouses and trenches, and comprised:
  • 2 x Infantry Units
  • 1 x Artillery Unit

The Terrain


The Defenders
Each of the blockhouses was occupied by a Morschauserland Infantry Unit whilst the Artillery Unit was sited within the trench system.


Turns 1 to 3
The first three turns of the battle saw the Republicka concentrating the fire of her main armament on the two blockhouses.


The two Morschauserland Infantry Units in the blockhouses suffered casualties, but were by no means suppressed.


The Morschauserland Artillery Unit returned fire, and inflicted minor damage on the Republicka.


Turn 4
Now that the defences had been softened up, the vessels carrying the Eastland Marines began to move towards the beach.



The Republicka now switched her fire onto the Morschauserland Artillery Unit, which suffered a few casualties.


Morschauserland Artillery Unit fired back at the Republicka, and caused her some more minor damage.

Turn 5
The vessels carrying the Eastland Marines began arriving at the landing beach ...


... and the Republicka continued firing at the Morschauserland Artillery Unit.


For some reason the Morschauserland Artillery Unit fired at the Republicka again ... but her shells just bounced off the battleship's armour.

Turn 6
The first of the Eastland Marines stormed ashore ...


... supported by fire from the Republicka.

The first Marines onto the beach immediately came under fire from the Morschauserland defenders, and the Eastland Marine Infantry Units began to suffer casualties.


Turn 7
Whilst the Eastland Marines that had already landed laid down covering fire, the remainder of the Marines landed.


The Republicka continued to fire at the Morschauserland Artillery Unit, which was close to being destroyed.


The Morschauserland defenders continued to engage the Eastland Marines, and all along the beach the number of Marine casualties began to rise.


Turn 8
Whilst the Eastland Marines engaged in numerous firefights along the edge of the beach (as a result of which, the Morschauser Infantry Units in right-hand blockhouse was destroyed) ...


... the Republicka finally managed to destroy the Morschauserland Artillery Unit.


At this point the remaining Morschauserland troop surrendered ... and the island was firmly in Eastland hands!

This battle was a great pleasure to fight, and the Eastlanders did not have as easy a time of it as I had expected. The battleship rules worked well, and show that the basic rules have an almost infinite capacity to be developed to meet specific needs.

18 comments:

  1. Hi Bob,

    Cracking little action and it was good to see the battleship doing it's thing! The whole concept of the OHW and the ability to bolt on and tweak the core system to suit one's own nefarious purposes is a real bonus. I suspect that we shall be seeing a whole lot more from you in this series....;-)

    Am I correct in identifying those brown coloured Fimo vessels as normally being Dhows? They are really useful for a variety of periods and look equally at home under sail or engine power.

    All the best,

    DC

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  2. Very interesting Scenario Bob- do like the photos and narrative- well done. Will there now be an inland Campaign for the Eastlanders? Do like how You have adapted the Rules to suit the needs of a Naval Landing. Regards. KEV.

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  3. David Crook,

    The more I use the OHW rules, the more I like them. I find the combat system very easy to use, and once one has grasped the basic design philosophy, they are quite easy to add to without increasing their complexity.

    The brown model vessel ARE some of my FIMO dhows, and are very suitable substitutes for specific models of barges.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  4. K.C. Robertson (Kev),

    I am very pleased that you enjoyed reading this battle report, and thanks very much for your kind comments.

    I am not sure whether or not there will be further follow-up scenarios ... but I somehow suspect that there might.

    As to the rules ... well they are very adaptable and I can see me using them quite a lot in the future.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. Bob
    Great looking little game. Love the battleship!
    Cheers,
    PD

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  6. Peter Douglas,

    It was my most enjoyable OHW to date.

    The battleship is a 'cartoon' model of a Russian/Soviet Gangut-class battleship that I scratch-built some years ago.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  7. Nice little game and AAR. I just love your ships and boats - very evocative.

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  8. Jonathan Freitag,

    Thanks very much for your kind comment.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. William Stewart,

    I am very pleased to read that you enjoyed this battle report, and thank you for your kind comments about it and my models.

    I try to make my model ships resemble the real thing but to also have a toy-like quality. I know that some wargamers would insist that they could not bear to have anything on their tabletop battlefields that was not an accurate representation of the real thing ... but to me they are fundamentally just big boys toys ... and it doesn't worry me that they look like that.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  10. Bob,
    Another very nice looking engagement. That battleship seems to be bristling with guns - I wouldn't want to tangle with it!
    Regards,
    Arthur

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  11. Arthur1815 (Arthur),

    Thanks very much for your very kind comment.

    The battleship does have quite a few guns ... but fewer than the real warship she is a 'cartoon' model of.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  12. The Battleship Republicka looks great. Cheers, Karl

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  13. Herr Zinnling (Karl),

    Thanks you very much for your complimentary comments about my model battleship. I have several other similar model ships, including a German pre-dreadnought based on the Schleswig-Holstein.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  14. Nice looking game Bob- always been a fan of Combined Operations.

    Your toy like aesthetic approach give the game a timeless feel too - in a good way.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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  15. Good to see the fleet in action. Sets the mind in motion too.

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  16. Pete.,

    Cheers! When one looks back in history, it is amazing how many sea/land operations took place, ranging from a longboat of Napoleonic sailor and Royal Marines destroying a French signal tower to a full-blown invasion like D-Day.

    Thanks also for you comments about the 'look' of my wargames; you have summed up exactly what I want to achieve.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  17. Ross Mac,

    I was so pleased with the way this game turned out that I am thinking about building some more warships and proper landing craft.

    All the best,

    Bob

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