Friday, 22 December 2017

One Hour WW2

Shortly after One Hour Wargames came out, I had a go at converting the system to hexes, and in particular, re-working the WW2 rules to what I felt was a more appropriate level with battalion sized units. I'd solo played it, and as with so many rules development projects, having developed something which apparently worked, immediately lost interest and moved on to something else.

Some months later, I was in need of a quick game to take down to the club and I thought I may as well try them out. The scenario is from OHW, and is 'Bridghead'. It starts with Blue having one unit over a river, and various Red units turn up from random locations while the rest of the Blue army rushes to save them.

I set this game in Normandy in 1944, loosely based on the Battle of Brieux, 49th Infantry Divs bridgehead over the Orne and famous mainly for the unfortunate fate of 107th RAC at the hands of the Panthers and Tigers of KG Wunsche. 

Both sides rolled up similar forces. The Germans got a tank unit, a mechanised infantry and four leg infantry who nicely stood in for KG Wunsche and the regiment of 272nd ID who took part in the battle. The British rolled up a tank, a motorised infantry and four leg infantry too. I elected to make the German tank and Panzergrenadiers elite (18 hits), and downgraded two of the leg infantry to green (12 hits). 

In the photo above, KG Wunsche is attacking the unfortunate battalion holding the bridge. Each unit is a battalion, and each hex is a kilometre or two.

KG Wunsche is repulsed as 107th RAC runs to the rescue. If an assault fails to clear a hex, the attackers fall back.

Later in the game, KG Wunsche continues to be engaged while the British fend off hordes of German infantry moving through the woods (historically, the Foret de Grimbosq).

In the end, the Allies held on by the skin of their teeth and it was quite a decent game. It was very useful to play with some actual players and I realised afterwards that I'd forgotten how the assault system was supposed to work. With short ranges and long move distances, I'd intended that assaults could only be conducted if starting the turn adjacent to the enemy to give a chance for some defensive fire. In the game I completely forgot this stipulation with the result that tanks went charging about assaulting with merry abandon. It was all very heroic, but not very WW2.

At some point I'll try them again, with a slightly tighter interpretation this time, but it was a reasonable bit of fun. If anyone else is interested in them, they are in the One Hour Wargames variants subfolder in the AMW yahoogroup.

Strangely, the result ended up being somewhat historical, with 107th RAC obliterated by the Germans driven off in some disarray. No Lt 'Deadshot Dick' Foley sending the SS Panzergrenadiers packing with his Webley in this though.


  1. Looks like a very fine WW2 scenario. Not an action I have heard of previous to this. So I looked it up. Seems that the Germans got the better of the fighting, but were stopped pretty much by massed artillery.

    Thank you. Must give it a try some time with Hexblitz or something.

    1. Brieux has been one for my favourite battles for decades, ever since I read John Foleys memoirs. There is a decent account of it in Reynolds history of the 1st SS Panzer Corps in Normandy.

  2. Nicely done, great pics - in my version, an Assault is an Action that a Unit can only take if it is already in close range. This normally means that the defender will get to shoot at them.

    Funny, I do the same thing sometimes...plan everything out carefully, then forget some key aspect of the rules in execution!

  3. Nice looking game, great pictures...

  4. Thanks for all the kind remarks. I can't believe I forgot that assaults could only be conducted from an adjacent hex, as it is a mechanism I use a lot. I prefer it to the NT approach of short moves an excessive ranges.

  5. Thanks for sharing. You've inspired me to give WW2 OHW another go. At least your variant. Thanks.

  6. At some point in 2018 I will have to take a look at OHW - Great Post!