One Hour Wargame Rules


The base rules are those found in Neil Thomas’s One Hour Wargames: Practical Tabletop Battles for those with limited time and space. For simplicity I will often refer to these rules as “OHW”.  The Kindle version is around $10.00, which given the sums that most of us spend on this hobby is not a very significant amount. Even if you are not specifically interested in the rules, the thirty generic and very well thought out scenarios provided in the book are more then worth the price.

As of this writing I am using OHW for two applications:

  1. Pike and Shot. I need a quick was to handle a myriad of small encounters that occur peripherally to some of the battles fought in on the Celtic Fringe during the period of the English Civil Wars and the early Jacobite Wars. In all cases the outcome of these encounters will have some effect on how the main battle is wargamed.
  2. Horse and Musket. Because I have two small Napoleonic armies I wanted a simple rules set that could be used to fight a mythical campaign using the scenarios found in OHW.

In actually using the OHW rules I decided on some specific rule interpretations:

1. Movement is always measured from the center piece of any unit.

2. Shooting Range is measured from the center piece of the firing unit to the center piece of the target unit.

3. The Terrain an entire unit is considered to be in is that which the center piece is FULLY in.

4. The Command Range (an extended rule) is measured from the command FIGURE to the center piece of any unit. This allows for different command piece sizes to be used. As long as the command piece remains in physical contact with the unit it may be re-positioned anywhere in relation to that unit at the beginning of  the active movement phase.

5. When moving on a Road it is the center piece that must be placed on the road for the entirety of the move. The flank pieces of units may pass through (and halt in prohibited terrain) as long as the center piece is moving on a road.

6. The end piece(s) (but no portion of any other piece) may Interpenetrate another friendly unit while moving but may not remain interpenetrated at the end of the move. This change was made to facilitate tactical moves which I found TOO restrictive for the size of the board and the bases that I use.

I use various modifications and extensions of the base rules that I have found elsewhere as well as a few of my own additions. OHW is very customizable and I try to stay with in the original intent of keeping them fast-play and as simple as possible. As of this writing I am using OHW for two applications:

Pike and Shot  (for ECW Celtic Fringe)

Horse and Musket (for Napoleonic Wars)