My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Monday, December 17, 2018

One-Hour Skirmish Wargames – Follow-up with Author

I always enjoy it when an author contacts me about a review. (Well, usually. There was that one time...) It gives me a chance to dive deeper into their thought process, usually get insight into what I got wrong, and to ask for answers to questions that I still had or that I provided my own solution. Someone who read my blog post contacted the author, who in turn contacted me. Whoever you were, thanks for that.

In return, I would like to share my questions and the answers that John Lambshead gave me regarding One-Hour Skirmish Wargames. (Tip of the hat to Kaptain Kobold for the questions about Jokers and shuffling the deck.)

If a joker is played after the turn has ended do you skip it? I’ve played that if the joker was drawn during casualty resolution, because there was a red joker and a black joker it was a valid card. However if it was drawn during a morale check because the joker does not have a defined value it seems like it would not be valid. That said I decided to rule it as a value of zero, but it never came up.
This has not arisen in eight years of development. But it clearly will eventually to someone. Ignore the Joker after a turn has ended.
The rules never define when you re-shuffle (or I missed it). Now it’s obvious that you would re-shuffle if you ran out of cards, but I actually re-shuffled after the end of all end of turn activities, i.e. between turns. The reason I think this is significant is that it resets the odds of getting a joker between the two decks if you re-shuffle between turns.
Yes, other people have had this query. I meant to say that one uses all the cards up, shuffles, and then carries on from the new deck.
Wow! Let me just say that the combination of the last two answers brings forth the possibilities – however improbable – for extended turns. In the four turns I played twice I drew Jokers during the Casualty Resolution Phase (never during the single card drawn for the Morale Phase). Although it is not probable, it is possible that you could play all four Jokers ending the turn and resolving post-turn activities. That would leave the remainder of the deck and much of a re-shuffled deck for a single turn (assuming the Jokers ended up drawn late in the re-shuffled deck). I would think it even more probable for a short subsequent turn when you end a turn, no Joker is drawn in post-turn actions, and then start a new turn with half a deck. As it stood, Most of my turns lasted about 1/2 a deck, so they were lengthy. Not re-shuffling until the deck is depleted I think will make for turn lengths much more varied.

I was discussing the idea of adding an extra action point in order to fire if you have a musket or a rifle. So a musket would be to action points and the rifle would be three action points and ordered a fire. The reason for this was it seems like age of musket troops fire too rapidly. I was going to give it a try and maybe blog the result, but I was wondering what your thoughts are on this.
Yes, I know. I agonised over this but then left the somewhat unrealistic rate of fire for muzzle loaders on the grounds that they are unlikely to be used in the same scenario as more modern weapons and it left the game with a smooth basic ruleset. However, one can make a good case for doing just as you suggest.
I understand the idea of design consistency, but for me this goes to period flavor. The idea that you can move farther under fire during the musket period than in more modern times is more important.

Why did you choose to limit this book to just after the introduction of the firearm? It seems like, once you solve the armor question, it would work well for ancient and medievals too. I was thinking that armor would just simply be like mobile cover, i.e. light armor no additional defense, medium armor one additional card, heavy armor two additional cards. Thoughts?
Yes, the basic system will work fine for pre-gunpowder, but I was running into consistency problems with the muskets so decided that it would be better to have a separate game for pre-gunpowder so I could stretch the range of probabilities to the max over just pre-gunpowder weapons. If the book sells I might get asked to do another.
Well, here's to the book selling well!

I don't know about you, but I would love to see a book of scenarios aimed at skirmishes at the scale covered by One-Hour Skirmish Wargames. Games Workshop published one called Warhammer Skirmish that had some good fantasy-oriented ones, and I have one for sci-fi that is more narrative-oriented than map-and-forces-oriented. Given that I was more interested in the scenarios of One-Hour Wargames, I would be happy to see one for this scale. What about you?


  1. Yes, I can see a pre-gunpowder set working OK. It's the transition period that may be problematic, where you have gunpowder weapons mixed with non-gunpowder and some troops wearing armour. However even that would not be an insurmountable issue.

  2. Doesn't seem like a big deal - "gunpowder weapons ignore armor"

    Interestingly, you could have longbowmen and other archers who fire as fast or faster than even bolt-action rifles, but the arrows are quite slow, easier to dodge as they are visible...lots of tensions.

    With all due respect to the author, 8 years of playtesting should have a basic mechanic like when to shuffle and the joker question worked out, IMHO.


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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 58 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ working for a software company for the last three years. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").