Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Friday, October 6, 2017

Coming back to One Hour Wargames

As a rule, I don't like to be negative as far as wargaming is concerned. It's a small hobby, and while there are times when a serve may be required I've seen that firing off with double barrels tends not to win you any friends, and nor does it take into account that most people are writing rules for the love of it, not for the money. On top of that, should some eagle-eyed reader realise that you've misunderstood the rules you are savaging you end up embarrassed, apologetic for having been unjust, and overall looking like a prize idiot. 

Despite knowing all that I was almost about to go off on a rant here. Having come back to and played through a game of Neil Thomas's One Hour Wargames, I'd been thoroughly disappointed. It had not been all that impressive first time around, but here I could see that it was completely broken. I was incensed enough to gear up to write up a negative review, wondering why it is that Neil Thomas can serve up garbage and apparently get given a free pass. 

But at that point a sort of wargamer's 6th sense kicked in. 

I went over the rules again. Was I sure I hadn't been doing something wrong? Nope, nothing jumped out at me. I was pretty sure I was playing it as written.

I checked again. This time I looked at a few reviews from bloggers I respect. Mostly positive. There was the odd dissenting voice, but nobody saying what the problem I had with the rules was.

And then I realised: yes, I had in fact been playing it wrong. 

Ahem.

Franks observe Norsemen as yet unaware their flank is threatened...

So I went back and replayed the game with the right rule interpretation, and it was far more satisfactory.

There are still grey areas, but it was not the disaster that my rule misinterpretation had made it.

And the lesson here for me? It's wise to think before I post!

13 comments:

  1. Well, your prudence pays off, Aaron. I would have enjoyed reading your rant, though. What mechanism or process had you twisted up?

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  2. I haven't played them though I have read them. There is a yahoo group that has some additions to the armies and other items. I would also be interested in what the misinterpretation was.

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  3. Like Jon, I think posting what you had mucked up would be a good idea - it may be that others are doing the same thing? I certainly played it wrong the first time out, but since then I've had several very enjoyable games (albeit, with some modifications to the original rules).

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  4. If only more folks took the time to think before laying hands upon keyboards.

    As I have yet to play OHW, I also am curious to hear about the snafu.

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  5. Well, I shall bow to pressure! The muck up was to do with turning. If charging, units can only turn a maximum of 45 degrees. I'd wrongly assumed that this restriction held when making turns during normal movement as well. Playing with this restriction meant that skirmishers could not get out of the way of heavier enemy troops, it was very time-consuming to change facing, and it threw everything out of kilter.

    The actual rule for turning during movement does not specify a limit, so skirmishers can now scoot after shooting, and units can change their facing (they just can't do it and charge in the same action), so everything fits together much better.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

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  6. My hat's off to you, Aaron. Not for just your honesty, but also for your soli endeavors. I have it easy with rules as a lot a folks here play them and I can always ask them for clarification.

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  7. Good post, the power of the keyboard is often taken for granted, when most of us can remember a time when the only way to have a voice was via an editor. It is a responsibility that needs consideration, especially as just a few words can harm the endeavours of others.

    OHW are interesting, if only from the exercise of seeing how much you can actually strip away from a set of rules before they become either dysfunctional or too generic. In that regard this is quite a clever set and the 30 scenarios alone can be a useful tool for gamers.

    There are quite a lot of OHW posts on the net, which could suggest that more people are managing to get a quick game in, that they might otherwise not have time for and in that regard they probably meet a significant part of what the author was trying to achieve.

    For my money, in the games that I have played, I have wanted to add a few house rules (morale and some command and control), to get them to 'my simple set'.

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  8. I'd agree that it was a good thing that you listened to that internal voice saying "I MUST be missing something here!", and I'd also be curious what that something was!

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    Replies
    1. (Which of course you have answered now)

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  9. Thanks gents for your considered comments, as always. I've found it usually takes me a good 8-10 games to really start to appreciate a set of rules. Sadly, these days it's rare for me to get more than 2 or 3 games into that relationship before I have to take a break, and then it might be a year or two before they see the light of day again!

    I guess that's why I keep coming back to the familiar territory of Lost Battles. I know what I'm doing and can just slot into a game without any bother about learning rules before play.

    It is lazy though and I do need to make more effort...

    Cheers,
    Aaron

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  10. Aaron I want you to become my Sensei! Boy have I found myself exactly in that spot you describe, then find myself embarrassed. Thank goodness my friends know me so well and guide me through my errors patiently. Fortunately

    Cheers
    Kevin

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    Replies
    1. Always good when you've got regular gaming buddies, Kevin!

      Cheers,
      Aaron

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  11. I have the kindle edition of OHW read it but not tried it out. It seems like the simplicity of the rules would make a great base for resolving campaign battles (with a few house rules added) fairly quickly.

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