Monday, April 22, 2019

One Hour Skirmish Wargame: The Patrol

Saturday night, after the plastic eggs were hidden for the Sunday morning hunt, I cut up a coconut fiber doormat for use as fields in my games. Combined with an itch to field my British paratroopers was all of the motivation I needed to set up a game.

The rules were One Hour Skirmish Wargames, the scenario was "Scenario J" (the patrol) from Platoon Forward.

Paratroopers enter the table in heavy woods.

The lighting is much better in this shot.

I stole the idea for using farm animals as blind markers from someone online - I can't remember who, but they are a genius. Much less obtrusive and kind of comical even. In this case, the cow was not the real force.

The firefight does not go well for the paratroopers who had split up to enter the fields. I was playing that the fields were fully grown and limited visibility (this is not part of the OHSW rules). I'm not sure I liked it. One high point for the Brits - the Deetail PIAT trooper made his debut by taking out two Germans with a single HE round.

Germans fall back to a defensive position at the farm. The paras, their numbers slightly reduced, opted to try to further engage the Germans - to their detriment.

Black and white because the new light bulb in the kitchen really washed out the ground cloth in this one.
The Brits were beaten soundly. In large part, the Germans benefited from having three leader figures on the table (generated by the tables in Platoon Forward) - a squad NCO, jr. NCO, and the Platoon Leader. Lot's of extra cards for attacks.

Maybe it was the scenario, but something just didn't work for me for this one. It was fun, to a point, but I ended up feeling like there were too many grey areas and question marks. I suspect, ultimately, the OHSW rules work best when there is a clear objective or turn limit. A patrol with a sort of vague objective (scout this terrain but give the enemy a bloodier nose than they give you) isn't really ideal. 

Also, as this is the second time I've played scenario J this year, I've decided that the way the blinds appear doesn't work for me. I think maybe Nuts! (at least the older versions, I can't speak for the newest) provides a better system for randomly generating the location and composition of the enemy in a patrol scenario.I probably won't go back to using the Nuts! rules mind you (too much dice rolling), but their Possible-Enemy-Force (PEF) system is pretty great in my opinion.


  1. Excellent that someone has tried these rules.
    Have the book but not yet played.
    Some good food for thought here.

    1. Hello Duc de Gobin, I have played a few games using the rules and I have enjoyed all of them immensely, save this one which wasn't terrible, but not as good. I highly recommend giving them a go when if you get a chance!

  2. thanks for AAR.
    I hold the 1-hour Skirmish rules in suspicion, at this time.

    1. Thank you for the comment! I have enjoyed every other game I have played with these rules (there are more AARs on this blog) but this one didn't gel. I'm inclined to blame the scenario as I have not enjoyed it any time I've played it regardless of the rules (Disposable Heroes/Coffin for Seven Brothers and I think something else). Nuts! has, at least in the past, done a better job of the solo patrol scenario (I stopped buying Nuts! editions after Final Edition!) than scenario J from Platoon Forward! The victory conditions just don't feel decisive enough for a game, though they may reflect reality. The beauty of the OHSW rules for me is the use of cards for everything (I prefer card draws to rolling dice) and they require but a handful of figures per side. 10-14 or so probably makes for the most interesting in terms of decision making for the player, but I think the game works fine with just a few per side (my tank game pitted 3 Shermans vs a Tiger 1 and Panzer IV and the cards rarely allowed all of the vehicles to do everything I wanted per card). I think it's a disservice that they used the "One Hour" monicker as it implies a relationship to Neil Thomas's rules that just doesn't exist, other than the short time required to play a game.