To produce a set of One Hour Wargame rules that evokes command decisions and problem-solving at the Corps Commander or higher level.
|An infantry division and cavalry division struggle for control of the hill against 2 rival infantry divisions|
In discussion with Alex, we both felt that the 1HW "engine" has much promise for Corps-sized battles and that refighting Corps sized actions are entirely possible.
So with that in mind, I set out to try and put to paper a rules-set that is Neil Thomas in its flavor, but rests in the grand tactical scope. The following are some modifications that allow me to reach the objective above.
First, gone are the generous ranges from 1HW. Musket armed units are now full sized Brigades or Regiments. As such the ground scale is tweaked to offer the Corps Commander 3 options for his brigade in the offense (and those of you who play "Blucher" should feel right at home here)
"Skirmish Fire" which is the Brigade's long-range firepower from skirmishers and pickets, as well as its supporting batteries that you don't see on the table. This is a 2 x basewidth range. (half of the Brigade's strength points are used for firing).
"Volley Fire" which is the Brigade's subordinate battalions online and presenting maximum firepower against an enemy. This is a 1 x basewidth range. Up close and personal. (all of the Brigade's strength points are used for firing)
"Assault" which is the Brigade maneuvering against an enemy unit. The Brigade rolls all of its strength points against an enemy unit, who gets to fight back rolling all of theirs. Assault combat units are touching.
All hits in combat, for now, are on the roll of "6" (not sold on this - more later). Units add or subtract D6 for advantages or disadvantages.
Second are the issuance of "orders" for units. For my first game, the entire division had to receive the same order. One of the following: Move, Volley Fire, Skirmish Fire, Assault, March, and for Artillery Battalions - Artillery resupply.
Third is much more restrictive movement. Infantry Brigades move 2" plus a D6 roll. On "march" orders they may move 2 x D6 plus 2". If there is ANY pivoting at all, it must occur at the beginning of movement. Additionally, ANY pivoting at all incurs 1/2 movement penalty. So if you rolled a "6" you can move 6 +2" for a total of 8" . If you must pivot at all, you get to move 4". All movement is in straight lines as it should be.
Fourth are Grand Tactical Orders of Battle for which I had a clever idea. For Neil Thomas' random force generator, 1 "unit" equated to a division. So if you force has 3 total infantry "units" that means you have 3 Divisions of infantry, broken into 3 brigades each for a total of 9 infantry brigades. Pretty sweet idea, but it's hardly "one hour" long. A 15 turn game where you have brigades that take 7 hits to die would take a few hours. I went back to NT's force structure but may return to the Division concept if I can speed up the attrition.
Speaking of attrition, each Infantry Brigade has 7 total SPs. Cavalry Brigades have 4 total SPs. Artillery batteries have 2 total hits, but if they are contacted, are wiped out following a full blast of grapeshot.
I really like the idea of orders, too. Each commander rolls a 1D6 at the start of his turn which tells you how many Divisions can receive orders. I tweaked this for my second game and dispensed with the larger OOB and opted for Neil Thomas' OOB from his random force generator which gives a much quicker game.
|Cavalry Brigade and 2 x Infantry Brigades assault the single Brigade atop the hill in my second game.|
The goal here is to produce a set of rules based on 1HW, that gives a Corps' Commander perspective and allows the reader to replicate large battles or significant portions of large battles. I'll try and post the AAR of my first 2 games this week sometime.