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Subject: AAR, Scenario 26 "Triple Line", with Valor and Victory rss

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Evandro Novel
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Several reviews of One Hour Wargames point out the value of the thirty scenarios included in the book: they can be played with different rule-sets, always providing interesting challenges.

My personal taste is for games at a smaller scale than that proposed by Neil Thomas. I have recently discovered the free hex and counters rule-set Valor and Victory, in which each piece represents a squad or an individual leader. I play my solo games with Memoir 44 tiles, cheap plastic army men and paper minis: plastic figures represent squads (with crouching figures representing "reduced" squads i.e. half squads). Blue pebbles mark leaders.
Since my playing space is limited, I have found that a good mapping for One Hour Wargames "units" is to convert each of them roughly into two Valor & Victory tokens, where a token can be a squad, a leader or a support weapon. Following what Neil Thomas did in his book, I defined some simple tables to randomize the selection of tokens. This is the order of battle I rolled for Scenario 26 "Triple Line":

Attackers (Italian communist partisans): seven squads, two junior leaders, three support weapons (light machine gun, grenades, satchel charge)

Defenders (Italian army): five squads, one senior leader, two support weapons (light machine gun, grenades)

This is my hex version of the map for this scenario.



Valor and Victory games typically have a maximum duration of five turns and I tend to stick to it. Since One Hour Wargames battles usually have a 15 turns limit, events scheduled for a particular turn in One Hour Wargames will happen at TurnNumber/3 when using Valor and Victory.

Here is a short AAR of my go at Triple Line. Initial set up:



Turn 1: the attackers enter from the left table edge: their objective is conquering the hill at the right. The partisans have no choice but to advance in the open. They are severely damaged by opportunity fire.



Turn 2 and 3: the attackers destroy with a close assault the defenders deployed in the most advanced line, but they lose half of their forces (one of the two leaders and three squads, with one of the surviving squads being reduced). Since the attackers have advanced close enough to allow them to move (as prescribed by the special rules in the scenario), the defenders in the second line have been able to retreat to the hill, joining the third line of defence.



Turn 4 and 5: the attackers take cover in the woods at the two sides of the road, but their forces are not sufficient to overcome the defenders with ranged attacks. They are forced to attempt another close assault, but the light machine gun of the fascists stops them, killing the second and last partisan leader. The defenders hold the hill and win the game.



In this scenario, the initial deployment presents several interesting options for both the attackers and the defenders. More generally, I really like the fact that each of the scenarios presents different challenges, often with simple special rules that simulate specific tactical situations. I have played several of the scenarios with this downsized scale and I can confirm that this collection of encounters is amazingly well designed.
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Lorenzo Nannetti
Italy
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Interesting report.
When you scale down the units in a period like WWII where firepower is dominant, cover could be vital and many of OHW's scenarios have little cover. The reason is that most cover that would affect squads and single men would be irrelevant to larger scale actions. But once you get to down to squads and single men, then you may need to factor the increased cover your small scale forces would enjoy. And/or you may want to change deployment to a more realistic view.

This scenario was designed starting from a 1812 battle in mind, and while it can be used for everything, not all forces from all periods would start - for the defenders - in such an exposed position.

In your case, both attackers and defenders started mostly without cover - it's good if you want to represent a sort of mutual "surprise" encounter, otherwise having defenders in a batter cover and attackers advancing more cautiously could be more interesting. You can do this in two ways:
1) put some more cover (trees, rocks, bushes...) in the open terrain.
and/or
2) change the deployment of some forces to allow them to start in cover.

Just a thought anyway, it's good to see these scenarios being used for different rulesets too!
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Evandro Novel
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Thank you for your comments, Lorenzo!
I agree on your observations: scenario 26 is particularly rich in terrain, when compared with other scenarios in the book. In other cases, I added 2 or 3 "light cover" hexagons scattered randomly through the board.

It's also true that this scenario represents an unusual situation. In greater or lesser measure, all 1HW scenarios represent peculiar encounters, often with simple special rules making each battle even more unique. It's one of the traits I greatly enjoy in Thomas' book!
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