1/72 Or: What’s Wrong With One Hour Wargames?

Today I played my 2nd 1hr-wargames-wargame, a ruleset I analyzed earlier. My first trial game happened more than a year ago, shortly after I had finished the simple 1/72 Airfix/Revell big bases recommended by Neil Thomas. My opponent was a seasoned wargamer and we had a good game. Fun. Nothing complicated, just good fun.

Today a newbie entered the club and I wanted to introduce him quickly into this hobby of mine. Let’s do the Thomas trick, I thought. Again, we had a good game.

1HW is basically a rock-paper-scissors combat results table tailored to 8 different era’s, ancients to WW2, with standardized movement rates and smart scenarios, played within an hour on a smalll 3×3 table. Look at the simple WW2 crosstable below, roll D6, add modifiers.

Defending unit
Attacking unitInfantryMortarsAnti-Tank-gunsTanks
  • Mortars are effective vs infantry but ineffective vs tanks
  • tanks are effective vs infantry and mortars but not vs other tanks
  • AT are effective vs tanks but are ineffective vs other targets
  • infantry are effective vs other infantry and AT-guns but ineffective vs tanks.

The scenarios are more important than the game as such – maybe the game is not too challenging, but the puzzles are.

Such games might not be as deep and megalomaniac as my beloved smallscale 3-5hr big battles. So what? I had a nice ‘snack’ fastfood wargame, and next time when I visit a board game club or board game shop to promote miniature wargaming, I can bring a shoebox with a few big bases, a second shoebox with simple terrain, set up within 10 minutes on any small table and invite any newbie to play a wargame.

A BoardGameGeek reviewer called Thomas’ approach ‘beer and pretzel’, ‘entertaining’ and also ‘a study in compromises’. In conclusion, he wrote:

Would I spend my money to buy it? I believe ultimately I would. While it covers nothing extensively, what it does cover is sound and well done. The rule do allow quick battles on a smaller scale but makes it feel like a bigger engagement. The use of the scenarios means quick campaigns can be set up and played in an evening.

I think that sums it all up. Fellow wargamers donated me their old 1/72 miniatures, 1/72 is the cheap scale Thomas recommends. And they looked damn fine – diorama bases, quickshade, tadaa! the overall look is convincingly good.

I prefer 6mm these days, but to all gamers who left God’s own plastic scale to play the giant 28mm resin scale loved by the Devil, I ask: what was ever wrong with 1/72?

3 thoughts on “1/72 Or: What’s Wrong With One Hour Wargames?

    1. Soft plastic – true. That’s the main reason why I switched to 15mm, and 6mm. But the proportions are excellent, modern acrylics stick quite good to the figures and with varnish the paint doesn’t flake off. The HäT and Zvezda ranges for example have a much higher quality than old Airfix and are very diverse. So don’t underestimate the 1/72 scale – although abandoned by the mainstream wargamer, the figure detail and paint jobs can be excellent. I’ll publish pics of my speedpainted 1/72 Germans and British soon.

      Liked by 1 person

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