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.
- 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?