Friday, December 26, 2014
One Hour Wargames
The rules for the nine eras of warfare - Ancient, Dark Ages, Medieval, Pike & Shot, Horse & Musket, American Civil War, Horse & Sabre, Machine Age, WWII - are simple and straight forward, filling generally no more than 2, or at most 3, screens on my Kindle, and involve armies composed of 4-6 "elements" chosen from a short list of element types - for example, the Ancients list is composed of Infantry (including Hoplites, Roman Legions, etc.), Archers (such as those employed by the Achaemenid Persians), Skirmishers (quick-moving Peltast-types) and Cavalry. Games consist of turns, with each player performing all their actions - moving, shooting, melee, etc. - at a go, then their opponent doing so. Elements are removed from play after suffering 15 "hits," which are calculated by rolling a six-sided die and adding or subtracting modifiers for troop type, terrain type, etc.
The rules take up maybe a third of the book, and then the second third is different scenarios to play through - and Neil Thomas really kind of opened my eyes here, because he comments on how often "tournament" games are two perfectly matched armies lined up and slugging it out in a pitched battle, and I realized that yeah, every time I've seen a Warhammer tournament that's exactly what's going on at every table.
The final third of the book covers solo and campaign play, which I'm looking forward to experimenting with as well.
I think once I finish Cthulhu (which honestly shouldn't be long now - I'm at the point of doing detail work, more or less) I'll base my Greeks and Persians as described here and start playing around with these rules. I ordered a stack of 50mm x 100mm bases as a Christmas present to myself, enough to base two full-sized armies for One-Hour Wargames -- a little smaller than the 4-6" frontage Thomas recommends, but still a respectable size.
I think I can squeeze on 8 figures to a base (two rows of four) for Infantry such as my Hoplites, and then do six to a base for Archers (such as Persians) and Skirmishers (such as, perhaps, my Amazons). Or maybe just four to a base for Skirmishers. This also models the relative toughness and damage-dealing capacity of each type of element.