Home Forums General Game Design One Hour Wargames book -simple rules missing ONE thing

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  • #138772
    Andrew BeasleyAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    I’ve dug out Neil Thomas One Hour Wargames book a couple of days ago after watching the games on YouTube by The Joy of Wargaming (starting with the review here) but soon found out why it was covered in dust!

    No morale for troops…

    Anybody got any home grown rules that are simple and quick?

    I had a few thoughts:

    If I use dice and holders to track damage (e.g. Minibits triple frames[/url]) I could do an opposing roll each time a dice is removed.
    If I use paper, then it’s just a case of marking roll points.

    Possible actions:
    1) Fall back / do not move / fire
    2) Refuse to stand ground vs charge
    3) Run away

    It needs to be simple and quick (as per the whole of the rule set) but allow for peasants through to tanks, loss of combat and terrible creatures (no fantasy in the set but that’s never stopped me). As it stands, the rules allow a severely punished set of poorly Or lightly armed troops (i.e. skirmish or levies with one wound / hit point left) to stand a full charge from knights instead of scattering…

    I’m in two minds over fall back for combat loosing troops – it seems wrong for blocks not to fall back (like HOTT) but for pike style combat with lots of shove and push this makes sense.

    Obviously it has to be simple (Mr Thomas’s rules are mastery of this) but I think the effect on the game will be worth the extra complexity that I see sadly lacking in this set.

    Feel free to shoot me down in flames or chip in as you see fit 🙂

    #138793
    John D SaltJohn D Salt
    Participant

    The classic pretext offered for not including explicit morale rules in a wargame is to say that the combat results include morale effects. Those beaten-up levies being charged by the knights — one might expect them to be eliminated as a result, but does it make any difference to the game if they were struck down in close combat facing the enemy, or scattered and ran as soon as the kngihts worked up to a trot?

    One can see an example of this in the WRG’s long-running series of ancients rules. In the first, and most subsequent editions, individual casualties were tracked, and when 20 casualties had been accumulated, a figure was removed. In the seventh edition, while the tables of tactical factors and the record-keeping up to 20 stayed remarkably similar, the interpretation had changed completely, the points now being held to track fatigue.

    Arguably, the fatigue tracking was a better idea, as in ancient battles it was usually casualties that arose as a consequence of morale breaking, rather than morale breaking as a result of casualties. Hence the massive disparity in casualties in most ancient battles — the killing really starts after the battle has been decided, and one side is running away. So I wouldn’t have morale being mainly dependent on casualties. It’s been a cherished wargamerism for decades, but it’s not what really happens.

    All the best,

    John.

    #138809
    ian pillayian pillay
    Participant

    Andrew – you should sign up to the [email protected]. It’s quite active and this subject of Morale has been discussed and some good suggestions have been made. In fact I am just re- writing my Dark Age Britain rules based on one of these suggestions.
    well worth checking out the group.

    Cheers

    Ian

    Tally-Ho!

    #138815
    MartinRMartinR
    Participant

    As noted, the AMW group is a good place to go. In almost all NTs rules, he regards morale as attritional so morale failures result in a loss of combat effectiveness. The OHW rules are no different, although he does have the “cavalry bounce” rule for some periods, which I like.

    I let the players rally hits off, which encourages them to withdraw and reorg rather than fighting to the death, but in general I tend to view the hits in the game as a mixture of casualties and loss of cohesion.

    The rules are simple enough to bolt on extra chrome though.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #138874
    Andrew BeasleyAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    just a quick thanks – my mind is going around too much to form a proper answer at the mo (just deleted the text again). Please do not think I’m ignoring your kind posts.

    #138888
    Nathaniel Weber
    Participant

    In my own colonial variant for the game, I make units with 8+ damage have to roll their damage or higher to move; failure means they fall back the amount they fail by and lose their turn. Certain units get bonuses.

    EDIT: I list some of my morale ideas in this post https://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/anglo-zulu-war-using-one-hour-wargames/

    #138955
    Andrew BeasleyAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    Right – now the mind is a little calmer (though not tired at the mo) a quick thank you for the thoughts and links.

    I am concerned about making it too complex esp with the fantasy troops adding fear and hatred in the mix so maybe I start simple with just a fear style check that can be used for combat against undead / dragons / charges along Nathaniel’s line and maybe modify the result to modify / force moves or change combat dice…

    Some things I could simplify such as heavy dwarf infantry being the same as heavy human and heavy orc infantry etc. while centaurs (assumes not bow armed) are the same as human horse and wolf mounted orc.

    Fear could be covered by not allowing attacks vs spectral forces or dragons unless you are a specific troop type or, picking up Johns notes above, maybe reducing combat result as only some of the unit can attack.

    Keeping within the style of the rules rather than adding cross reference tables I need to adjust combat and possibly movement and nothing else 🙂 without loosing the fantasy feel…

    #139663
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    While I support the “morale and damage are interchangeable” model (and in fact copied it for Squad Hammer) I did play with a guy who had double the units on the table, then at the end of each turn, units that took damage rolled 2D6. If it was below their total damage taken, they routed and were removed.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #139667
    ian pillayian pillay
    Participant

    Some things I could simplify such as heavy dwarf infantry being the same as heavy human and heavy orc infantry etc. while centaurs (assumes not bow armed) are the same as human horse and wolf mounted orc.

    This would work given the scale of the rules. It’s not a skirmish game where racial and quality differences can easily be taken into account.

    Tally-Ho!

    #139668
    Ivan SorensenIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    Some things I could simplify such as heavy dwarf infantry being the same as heavy human and heavy orc infantry etc. while centaurs (assumes not bow armed) are the same as human horse and wolf mounted orc.

    This would work given the scale of the rules. It’s not a skirmish game where racial and quality differences can easily be taken into account.

    You can always assume a unit is “one combat equivalent”. (1CE)

    1CE is defined as the amount of troops needed to deliver a reasonable beat down in combat. Let’s say that’s 40 humans with sharp sticks.

    Dwarves are tougher so 20 dwarves make up 1CE, while it takes 60 goblins and 41.7 left-handed humans with slightly shorter sticks.

    So you make your goblin bases crammed with gits and your dwarf bases sparse but it’s all still “units” under the rules.

    Nordic Weasel Games
    https://www.wargamevault.com/browse/pub/5701/Nordic-Weasel-Games?src=browse5701

    #139669
    PatricePatrice
    Participant

    In the very first experiments of my rules (many many years ago) there was the idea that a morale test should be done at the very first casualty of an unit. And also that seeing friends running away would trigger morale tests on other units too.

    And we had this battle, on a very large table, with a lot of woods and a small NPC Hobbit fortified village in the middle. On one side there was a large Human army with heavy knights and sergeants and skirmishers etc., and on the other side there were Uruks and other Orcs and smaller Goblins etc.

    And what happened… a small Goblin skirmishers unit in the first line shot at a human skirmishers unit, which basically was represented by early HYW Welsh infantry in white-and-green livery… and one of the small Goblins killed one of the (fantasy) light Welshmen. This human unit did a morale test… and ran away towards their own lines. Their knights would not have been affected to see this, but the armoured sergeants on foot had to do a morale test… and ran away too. And this triggered a morale test for the knights… who also ran away. And the whole battle was finished for a single arrow (except for the few NPC Hobbits and humans drunkards in the Hobbit village inn who were left alone to be massacred by the Orcs-Goblins attackers).

    Since then, I’m in the idea that real morale tests should happen best in the players heads rather than with the dice.

    http://www.argad-bzh.fr/argad/en.html
    https://www.anargader.net/

    #139914
    Andrew BeasleyAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    Well after another trip to A&E over the weekend at the local hospital I’ll not have to rattle dice as I’m now rattling – 12 tablets, up to 8 eye drops and a cream every day for the next couple of weeks on top of the mental health issues I’m going to have to spend time on games for relief…

    I’ve joined the AMW group – did not know that style of group still existed outside of the Linux development crowd but will work through the old posts.

    I like the idea of cutting down the numbers of figures depending on troops – I’ll need to track skirmish, regular and heavy types of troops – maybe by label, base colour or number of flags (more the better?) I think.  Big beasts (Giants / Dragons) can go one per base with maybe Ogres reaching three or four…

    Not sure what to say about the revolt / retreat other than I have seen crowds act like that where the smallest thing has a major impact (butterfly effect) and was a fascinating study subject in managing change.

    As for figures, I’m torn between 10mm and 6mm (15s being too costly for me now) with a strong leaning to the Magister Militum 10s if I can cope with the site long enough to order (UI programmer needs to finish course) – if you want a laugh search for elf and try to work out why the tanks come up.  To start with though, I’m going to scribble out the notes I have and make some paper figures to try them out – I may even have some top down figures from a few years ago on disk somewhere…

     

    #139917
    ian pillayian pillay
    Participant

    As for figures, I’m torn between 10mm and 6mm (15s being too costly for me now) with a strong leaning to the Magister Militum 10s if I can cope with the site long enough to order (UI programmer needs to finish course) – if you want a laugh search for elf and try to work out why the tanks come up.  To start with though, I’m going to scribble out the notes I have and make some paper figures to try them out – I may even have some top down figures from a few years ago on disk somewhere…

     

    Ive gone back to 10mm for my fantasy mainly as I stumbled across a tin containing several unfinished warmaster armies! They are now being finished and will get some games. Long over due. I think some must be knocking on for about 20 years!
    Pendraken do a fairly comprehensive range of 10mm, there are others of course my favourite is Cromarty Forge – the Samurai Ratmen are awesome! I also Stumbled across a company called Lancer Miniatures and they have a small range of 10mm Beastmen which I am going to investigate further.
    There is also this site https://ordinarygaming.blogspot.com/?m=1

    that has top down paper counters that you can download. These might me useful.
    Cheers,

    Ian

    Tally-Ho!

    #139956
    Andrew BeasleyAndrew Beasley
    Participant

    Looks like my red printer ink has dried or gummed up so mono prints for me for the moment – not sure if ink is cheaper than hand gel but it maybe 

    I do have some dwarves and goblins in my library on Drivethru but they are for a skirmish game only and would look a bit odd…  I’ve a folder of paper figures on disk somewhere but with years of files it could take awhile (165 products in Drivethru alone – ridiculous).

    I looked at Pendraken about four / five years ago and was not that impressed by the fantasy figures but I think they may have been the old range as the newer figures look better than I remember. Lancer was a surprising mix – not keen on the Centigor figures but the foot figures are good.

    The other thing not covered in my thoughts is the effect of hero characters / leaders – not keen on the GW ‘walking tank’ idea (so no single figure bases for now) and even unsure if they would be that handy without adding complexity to the rules.  I may just skip over this for the first draft though the galant knight rounding up the troops (or crazy wizard scaring the orcs) sits well in my mind.  I could limit this by saying you only have ‘x’ chances to use this (counters maybe to simplify tracking) but today leaders are buried in the pack and go down fighting in that unit.

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