By Jim Rohrer
I enjoy rules from both “One-Hour Wargames” and “The Portable Wargame.” Often I have used grid movement rules from TPW with combat rules from OHW. Today I am wondering about the assumptions behind the different combat rules and thinking about how they affect game play. Specifically: flank attacks. In the medieval era, OHW doubles the attack points for the flanker and does not allow the combatants to separate until one unit is destroyed. In TPW, the flanker gets a one-point advantage and if the defending unit is hit but not destroyed then it must retreat one square.
The OHW approach reflects the devastating impact of a flanking charge by knights. It also creates an incentive for the players to maneuver until they can flank and also to avoid being flanked.
The TPW approach allows for a struggling unit to inch backwards, which seems realistic to me. It also might be somewhat more reflective of the lesser impact of flank attacks during more modern eras.
Both approaches allow for fast moving, simple games, which is great for me. At this moment, I think TPW works a bit better with a grid. This is not surprising since it was developed for use with grids.
There are several other differences between the two rules systems that should be considered.