Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Not Quite Seven Years War with One Hour Wargames

 I am not making much progress with my resolution to blog more this year…perhaps I can alter my habits by January, a more traditional time for resolutions.

At any rate, I have a list of rules and periods I have been wanting to try, and I had some time this past Sunday to check another one off the list.  At some point during the pandemic, I bought some magnetic movement stands from Litko, sized for units in One Hour Wargames. My intention was to use them to temporarily mount stands or figures from other projects; I should be able to do some sort of ancients, Dark Ages, Pike and Shot, and Horse and Musket.  First up (finally!) was Horse and Musket.  I randomly selected a scenario from the book, which turned out to be Scenario 1, Pitched Battle, based on Ceresole in 1544.  I used figures from my NQSYW collection to field a Red (League) army of 3 infantry, 1 skirmisher, and 2 cavalry aganst a Blue (Coalition) army of 3 infantry, 2 artillery and 1 cavalry.

While not the best idea, I looked at that and decided that the League either had to withdraw or attack, since they would otherwise be worn down by artillery fire without being able to respond.  The 3x3 table doesn’t allow a lot of maneuver, and the horse and musket rules give infantry a 12” range, so it was a die rolling contest for the most part.  The game ended on turn 11 with a charge by the Coalition dragoons scattering the last League infantry.

I followed the suggestions in the short chapter on campaigns, and did a follow-on game by allowing the winning side to choose which position they would take in randomly determined Scenario 12, where an army defending a town is about to be outflanked by an attacking force which discovers a usable ford.

I elected to have the Coalition play blue, the attacker, and thereby relegated the League to the role of Red, the defenders.  The dice gave the same force composition for Blue (obviously they just continued the advance after the first battle), and Red now had 4 infantry, one artillery, and one cavalry.

The attacking army is prohibited from shooting on turn 1, and must set up within range of the defenders, so things got off to a bad start for the Coalition; three League units concentrated fire on one Coaltion infantry unit and broke it immediately.  The Coalition cavalry rode for the objective hill and were met by the League cavalry. By the rules (as I understood them) this resulted in an indecisive melee on the hill for several turns.  The Coalition artillery was generally ineffective, and the final situation saw all units broken except for the League cavalry and one Coalition artillery surviving on Turn 15.  Without the hill in their possession, victory went to the League.

This was only my second experience actually laying with this rules, and the previous time we played the 19th century version.  They seem reasonable for a first introduction, but I do have an urge to complicate them a bit … perhaps next time.  It wasn’t a bad way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon, though, and, as is usually the case, I was glad to get some figures on the table.

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