Thursday, 13 August 2015

More WW1 play-testing...

Général de Brigade d'Orange and I were keen to do some more play-testing of his splendid rules "Zero Hour" so I laid out a table and waited ... since he was fashionably late ;o) I decided to take a few pics of my WW1 British heading for the front line.

Think this chap needs the attention of a pretty nurse at the nearest aid station - sadly it will be some tired, over-worked and possibly ham-fisted medical orderly who will apply the dressings.

A walking stick ... the ideal weapon for tackling the might of the Imperial German army.

Not quite an army of Germans, but a few of them were getting ready to give the BEF a warm welcome.

Others were beyond caring what the enemy did.

Anyway, the good Général de Brigade d'Orange finally arrived, muttering something along the lines of ".. couldn't let the fois gras go to waste.." or perhaps ".. I was really enjoying that French tart.." ;o)

So enough faffing around with dollies and scenery... and on to the game!

Dave and his Germans man the improvised defences.

The British get ready to "bully off for the final chukka". Players of WaC may notice some similarity of the deployment zones with one of the options listed in Battle Begins. That's because Dave has been drawing on the excellent WaC rules to update Zero Hour.

As with WaC we both had objectives for the game. The British had to destroy the two best German Companies, whilst the Germans "just" had to hold the line and take out 75% of the British. A tough ask for both sides.

The British press home their attack on the left.

On the British right, the advance is more cautious. A17 'Arthur' rumbles towards the German centre.

You can see here that a few models are mounted on poker chips - these represent the command influence of the platoon, company and battalion officers. The Command Tokens (as they're known) are used either to give troops additional commands, such as double pacing, or they're used to boost morale rolls from 2D6 to 3D6 and choose the two lowest dice. But in each turn once they're used they're not available until the next turn.

What's this!? Air support? Yes, the Battalion commanders can use their command tokens to request a range of support, e.g. air cover, artillery barrages, gas, reinforcements, etc. It's worth noting that officers can fall during the battle and with them goes their command tokens, representing the confusion of battle as casualties mount.

Hurrah!? Britain flexes her Imperial muscle and sends in the 9th Deccan Horse.

Ground troops watch the fly-past.

The British press on to the German lines.

The tankers provide covering fire as the brave Indians head for the enemy positions.

Alas, that's the last of the pictures but I can tell you that the rules are coming along very nicely indeed. Plus it was a narrow victory for the British ;o)

The blend of WaC mechanics and Command Tokens (similar to WaC Strategy Intervention Points but slightly more flexible) make for a compelling game. There are never quite enough Command Tokens to go round so you have to prioritise your key actions from turn to turn, plus consider what the enemy will do in their turn.

Thanks to Dave for a super game! Zero Hour is really shaping up to be a great set of WW1 rules.


Andy Duffell said...

Lovely looking game Matt. Fun to see a bit of proper combined arms stuff in a WW1 game.

Rodger said...

Awesome looking game Matt!

Sidney Roundwood said...

Matt, this looks great! A really lovely looking game, with some fine figures. I love the Deccan Horse! I would be very interested in hearing more about "Zero Hour" ... do you need some playtesters? :)

Stefan (aka. Monty) said...

Looks like a wonderful game. I'm really interested in how the rules work since we start working on a WW1 project for 2016 or 2017 currently.

DeanM said...

Wonderful looking games, great figures and terrain - photography really nice too.

Hobbyworker said...

Thats is stunning looking miniatures and terrain!

Matt said...

Thanks to you all! :-)
I'll make sure Dave sees your comments and questions.
Matt :-)

Tom Young said...

Totally assume table!

Abikapi2 said...

Really interesting Blog,

Who sells the "Zero Hour" set of rules?

I'm not able to find them looking in the net...

Thank You