I mentioned in the last post that I will detail the armies and the various house rules used with OHW rules in future posts but I do need to mention that I made some significant changes in the Pike and Shot categories. These changes were done to reflect the time and place for the battles that I will do (and certain personal presences). I still thing I have keep the spirt of the OHW design.
1. Reiter. This category becomes Artillery (Ordinance or Guns). The original rules correctly assume that artillery was not particularly effective in battles in the field nor was it very mobile. This said it had an inordinate morale effect on troops being fired upon AND I just plain want to use it. I have reduced its mobility to half that of infantry and as soon as it fires it can no longer move. The Reiter function has been added to some of the cavalry. Reiters were in more common use somewhat earlier AND were usually at least three-quarter armored making them near obsolete in this time and place.
2. Cavalry (Horse). This category is split equally into Trotters (which must expend all their ammo before charging) and Gallopers that cannot shoot but can immediately attack.
3. Infantry (Foot) This category remains unchanged and represents units of combined pike and muskets.
4. Swordsmen. This category is heavily reworked. The rules as written seem specifically geared to mid 16th and early 17th century warfare where Swordsmen (sword and buckler, halberdiers, Doppelhander, etc) where more often employed. I have added Dragoons for the English and Highlanders for the Scots. The former is much more like the Skirmisher catagory found in a later period, while the latter represent a close approximation of the Swordsmen category. The Dragoons, although mounted, almost always fought on foot in this period and they are so portrayed here.
Notes on my One Hour Wargame modifications can b found in the page index or here.
This is a replay of the same same scenario (S1) as the previous (1809) post and uses the same unit catagory mix. The north/south directions are, however, reversed (the English are placed to the south). As the board is perfectly symmetrical it hardly matters which end is used, only that the English deploy first and move first. Although a solo game, I will play the English side.
So, on with the game:
While the Napoleonic game was over very quickly the ECW took about an hour and fifteen minutes to complete. This time, however, also included referencing the rules (and home modifications) and shooting the pictures.
The game played out over ten full turns in game time (recall that the Napoleonic game only went five). In his play through and analysis Norm Smith indicates that some of the OHW scenarios may be over generous in the number of turns allowed. Based on playing this scenario twice I tend to agree. As a solo player I usually don’t continue to play out a game if it becomes obvious that NOTHING will change the outcome. It was clear in the Napoleonic game that the issue was decided by turn five with no chance of the British altering their fate. This was not the case in this ECW play through. While the odds of the English wining were diminished with each passing turn, it was still possible.
As with the Napoleonic game, I had a great deal of fun playing. Even with my modifications, OHW delivers a great deal of quick action and sufficient tactical decisions to hold one’s attention. Will it satisfy the player that wants granularity in detail? No it won’t. It plays like a boardgame (which is not a bad thing) and while much is “unrealistic” it more than satisfies the urge to simply play.
The thirty scenarios supplied along with the random generation of your forces means a near endless supply of varied games. To add even more interest I have nearly completed a campaign structure for Napoleonics and will do the same for ECW. This will mean that game outcomes will choose the next scenario to play AND some units MAY be affected by the outcome of the previous battle.
I plan now to do one more test game in the ECW period using my 10mm figures. Since most of the Scots Covenanter and Irish Confederation armies are currently tied up on my large table to re-fight the Battle of Benburb, I probably will use elements of my New Model Army and Ormonde’s Anglo/ Irish army. I randomly selected Scenario 26 which has lots of terrain features and unequal armies. I will use the “English” force structure for both sides.