By Jim Rohrer
One-Hour Wargames (OHW) is my preferred rule set (Thomas, 2014). I like it because the rules are simple, it is intended for play on a small table, games are short, and it is so flexible. Units of any size can be used because the notion of a unit is abstract. You could assume that your units represent a squad, a platoon, a company or whatever. In my games, I follow Featherstone’s suggestion and assume that my units each represent 10 soldiers (Featherstone D and Curry J, 1973).
A disadvantage of using OHW for solo play is that games always run short. Fifteen minutes or less is a real possibility. However, game duration can be increased as follows.
- Change the hit scoring system. In OHW, 15 hits are allowed per unit. The number of hits is determined by the points on the dice with modifiers based on the type of unit and cover. An infantry unit shooting at another unit under cover would divide the number of points on the dice by two. My practice is to say any roll higher than three be counted as one hit but subtracting two for cover. This more than doubles the length of game and I believe it to be more realistic. If 10 soldiers, under fire, are returning fire against 10 soldiers under cover, using single-shot weapons, how many hits are likely per round? Most likely, they will all miss. The ones under cover are likely to get some hits. So, I say a six counts as a hit for the attackers and 4-6 counts as a hit for the defenders.
- Increase the number of events cards. A greater number and variety of random events will extend the duration of the game and also make it more interesting.
- Increase movement. Movement extends the game, even if it is just turning to fire at an ambusher, so choose scenarios that involve movement.
I hope anyone who has tried and rejected OHW for solo games will consider giving these suggestions a try.