Tuesday, 4 May 2021

One Hour Wargames Scenario 8: Melee - Part 2

So with the table set and the weather more like January than early May, it was time for the off, so without further ado...

Opening Moves
As Blue were the Attackers, they started first and advanced quickly towards the hill due to an Admirable roll as the General was attached. From there they shook out into line to try and form a good firing line to attack the Red forces on the hill. The cavalry went forward on the right flank as a guard, whilst the Jaegers pushed towards the woods to try and infiltrate forward and take the Red position in the flank.

The Red force pretty much held their position to await reinforcements, which arrived as planned but did not advance forward too quickly. After a hesitant start, the Jaegers moved off the hill towards the woods to try and cover and approaches from that direction.

The end of Turn 1 and the Blue troops are still in line of march and the Red troops fail to react.

The end of Turn 2 and Blue begins to shake out into line. Both sides Jaegers move towards the woods that will not hinder their movement due to being Light Infantry.

Blue begins its attack on the Red positions as the Red reinforcements arrive via the road on the Northern table edge. Both sides artillery engage in a duel with hits 1 apiece, but the Jaegers in the woods just shoot up the cover rather than each other.

As Blue begins its attack, it's obvious that they will need reinforcements quickly due to the sudden arrival of Red troops to the North.

Mid Game
The Blue reinforcements arrive bar the cavalry and make slow progress forward. As the Blue line dresses ranks into a better line, the cavalry on the right flank makes a charge towards the Red Jaegers to slow their advance, taking hits in turn, but forcing the Jaegers to evade.

Both sides reinforcements push forward and form line where possible, with the artillery duel continuing which leads to both sides artillery going to 3 hits. As the battle begins to develop, the Red reinforcements arrive from the Western table edge, with the cavalry pushing forward over the hill whilst the line infantry stay out of sight.

As the firing intensifies, the Blue force loses a line infantry unit to a mix of musketry and canister, whilst both sides artillery which has been dueling away by the hill, have 4 hits apiece and due to loss of morale, limber up and retreat to try and reform. for the Blue side this leads to some units taking a hit as the artillery and limbers thundered past.

The end of Turn 4 and the Blue reinforcements begin to arrive.

They could do with getting a move on as their compatriots by the hill are coming under pressure.

As the Jaegers in the wood exchange shots, the Blue line infantry on the left struggle through the wood, whilst on their left flank front the Red force is looking ominous.

As the Red artillery unlimbers, the Blue cavalry has managed to slow the advance of the Red Jaegers, but at some cost to themselves.

The end of Turn 5 and the Blue force is struggling to advance towards the sound of the guns.

Both sides artillery goes to 3 hits as does the Blue cavalry on the right flank.

The end of Turn 6 and both sides are taking hits, but the Blue force comes off slightly worse in the exchanges, as the Red reinforcements appear from the West.

Both sides artillery limbers up to retreat and reform, as a Blue line infantry unit routs at the same time.

The end of the Turn after both sides have moved units back to reform and rallied units where possible. Despite having units in hand, the Blue force can't bring them to bear where needed.

End Game
Both sides try to dominate the centre of the battle, closing gaps which appeared at the end of the last Turn. The shooting from both Red and Blue is largely ineffective except for one Blue line infantry unit having to retreat to reform as it had taken 4 hits.

As the action developed, Blue tried desperately to bring more units to the fray as the Red reinforcements from the West continued to push forward. Again the Blue cavalry on the right kept the Jaegers occupied, whilst the Blue cavalry on the left wing counter charged their Red opponents near to the woods.

The Gods were very much on the side of the Red force as their shooting was superb, leading to the Jaegers in the wood and another two line infantry units having to retreat to reform, having taken 4 hits apiece. The Red cavalry nearly destroyed the Blue cavalry, who managed to retreat back far enough to avoid another round of combat, but would leave the table next Turn as they would be unable to reform due to the Red cavalry still in pursuit of them.

The end of Turn 7 and despite the Blue force bring its reinforcements into the fray, see another line infantry unit having to retreat to reform.

The Red reinforcements push onto the hill, guarded by their cavalry who face off against the Blue cavalry.

The Blue line infantry try to push forward but struggle without good artillery support where it's really needed.

The end of Turn 8 and the Blue force is in a state of disarray.

The Blue cavalry retreating to try to reform but pursued by the Red cavalry.

The Blue line infantry have taken a battering and have had to retreat right across the front.

The Red reinforcements begin to arrive to help strengthen their grip on the important hill.

End of Game
After the end of Turn 8 it was pretty obvious that the Blue force would struggle to take the hill, given that they had so many units reforming. I did some very quick command rolls to see if Red could move and they could, with the outsome shown below.

The Red troops form a strong defensive position on the hill as their cavalry begins to threaten the Blue rear and their lines of communication.

Blue still trying to reform and it would be another Turn or two before they could begin off thinking of attacking again.

Post Game Thoughts
Not having played for around a month or so it felt good to be having a game again, which I really enjoyed. The game itself lasted for about 1 1/2 hours, but felt longer due to note taking and photos etc. So as always a few thoughts on the game:

  • Honours of War once again provided a lovely game and I barely needed to refer to the rulebook, as the QRS was more than adequate for my needs. Being very familiar with the rules helps and it certainly allows me to concentrate on the game, rather than flicking through a rulebook all the time. So my intention of only playing a few core rulesets for most games appears to be bearing fruit.
  • I must admit that my attack plan for the Blue force could have been better. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but maybe an attack to the left of the woods would have been better as it would most likely have shielded them from the Red reinforcements that arrived via the Northern table edge, giving them a few Turns in which to prosecute their attacks when they had numerical superiority. I might replay this scenario to see what might have happened.
  • Even though this was a solo game and I had a God's eye view of the action, I played the moves and actions, especially of Blue, with what they could actually see at any given point. So for them they were unaware of the Red reinforcements arriving from the West until almost the very end. This feels right and really is how we should play these sort of things, which is what myself and my good friends try to do in our games.
  • The woods provided a big obstacle to the Blue force, but maybe if their Jaegers had been lucky and pushed the Red Jaegers back, things might have turned out differently. Another unit of Jaegers would certainly have helped in this scenario, but one of the 'joys' of the random force roll is you have to attack or defend with what you've got. No tweaking of army lists here!
  • Red certainly gained the upper hand on the shooting front at a critical juncture and from there they never let up. Things might have been different if one or two die rolls had gone the other way. Being static as the Defender certainly gave the Red force a slight edge as they did not have the -1 to their die roll for having moved, but the initial Blue numerical advantage balanced this up, but it is something to bear in mind, especially when the Defender is behind say hard cover.
  • Putting the Blue cavalry on the right flank early on was a mistake I think, as they would have been better deployed on the left where they had room to try and get round the Red right flank. They did slow down the Red Jaegers early on, but left flank deployment a better option I think.

Hopefully having played this game I can ride a wave of enthusiasm and get another one in soon. Certainly if I didn't bother with photos and notes for the AAR I would, but one of the joys of our hobby is being able to share our games with others, especially during these trying times we have and are all going through.

Light is beginning to appear at the end of the tunnel and all being well I hope to be able to host a FtF game with my gaming chum Keith Flint and get to play his recently published 'Shadow of the Eagles' Napoleonic ruleset. From the various drafts I've seen they look good but being an old fashioned sod, I prefer to have a book in my hand as reading txt on a screen is not the same. I'm sure they will be as good as 'Honours of War', which means I expect to be playing many more 'Nappies' games in years to come, which is not something I would have expected even a few years ago!

So until next time stay safe and keep healthy.


  1. Interesting looking game.......I am still determined to use HoW with my SYW collection so need to get some test games going.

    1. Thanks Matt. HoW are my go to rules for the 18thC and I've yet to have a bad game with them. The scenarios in the book are a good place to start to get a handle on the rules. I look forward to seeing how you get on with them.

  2. The use of block armies on the tabletop certainly do look surprisingly good, and also make the games easy to follow with the photos.

    1. Thanks Peter. I love the look and they help when playing the game as even a quick glance at a distance and you can tell what's what. If they were figures Id have to double check etc.

  3. Another great report Steve. Personally I prefer figures to the blocks but I can see the advantage of using them and as Peter says above, the colours make it easy to follow what is happening. Seemed pretty one sided...the Reds were never under serious pressure from what I could see. It will be interesting to see what happens if you do replay it.

    1. Thanks Keith. The blocks are prefect for quick pick up games as they are so easy to store and set up etc, compared to my figures. I agree that the Red force never felt really pressurised, probably due to poor tactics on my behalf when moving the Blue force into the attack. Let's hope a replay is in the offing.