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"Neil Thomas - One Hour Wargames" Topic

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4,188 hits since 27 Jun 2014
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Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP27 Jun 2014 1:51 p.m. PST

Now I know it hasn't been released yet – link – but has anyone seen a review copy or playtested the games or anything like that. Am interested to know how it's pitched.

Course I pretty much collect wargame books, so I'll be buying it anyway. grin

Privateer4hire Inactive Member27 Jun 2014 2:41 p.m. PST

Looks interesting but the title reminds me of the car insurance commercial trend (double savings in 7 1/2 minutes).

saltflats192927 Jun 2014 3:17 p.m. PST

6 minute abs!

PzGeneral27 Jun 2014 3:31 p.m. PST

He's got 15mm Franco-Prussian minis from Irregular Miniatures on the cover…kewl! I have them too! thumbs up

PzGeneral27 Jun 2014 3:37 p.m. PST

Here is the link to the US Amazon site:

Martin Rapier28 Jun 2014 2:42 a.m. PST

We play his Napoleonic and Nineteenth century sets so I imagine it will bemore of the same.

Jeff965 Inactive Member28 Jun 2014 6:58 a.m. PST

I think they will be more like his SIP rules, rather than the rules in his other books, especially if you get a game completed in an hour.

Privateer4hire Inactive Member28 Jun 2014 8:55 a.m. PST

Can anyone give insight on the author's other rules? Anything novel about them?

Jeff965 Inactive Member28 Jun 2014 11:05 a.m. PST

Here is a link to a review and aar for his 19th century rules which may be of help.
SIP or Simplicity in Practice were a set of H&M rules published in Battlegames magazine.
My own take on the rules are that they are very easy to learn and give a good game, I've played his Ancients, Napoleonic, 19th century, ACW and WW2. I tend to only game once a month and so these rules are ideal to pick up and reacquaint yourself with in one evening. I don't finish the evening with a headache ;)
If you google any of the above there is a wealth of information on the net.

Martin Rapier29 Jun 2014 10:39 a.m. PST

"Can anyone give insight on the author's other rules? Anything novel about them?"

Simple, quick and fun with some very clever period specific mechanisms. His treatment of artillery and coverign formations in the Napoleonic set is brilliant, something truly original in a set of wargames rules. Which isn't something you see every day.

flipper Inactive Member26 Sep 2014 1:55 p.m. PST


Received my copy today and I like it!

You have to dig around a bit to get the gist of the various rules – for example, chapter 2 ‘Ancient wargaming' covers some generic stuff that is relative to all the rules – so if you jump into chapter 11 ‘horse and musket rules' you are likely to be scratching your head (or hair).

There are 60 odd pages dedicated to rules and period specific information, 60+ pages of scenarios, a couple of pages on campaigns and solo play followed by a further 18 pages of ‘further reading' and finally a few pages devoted to some ‘useful addresses' and figure manufacturers (UK specific).

The 'further reading' section gives a 'mini review' of all the mentioned titles, which is a real help.

This is very much the modern day ‘Featherstonian' type of book/rule set – pretty minimal in places, but a great starting point and I don't doubt that the rules are playable ‘as is'.

If I had to moan it would probably be that a few examples of play might have been nice, with perhaps a few ‘awkward' situations (resolved by example, of course) to add elucidation to the rather minimal rules – there are no photographs here, only drawings for the scenarios – again, a few photographs relating to the scenarios or (if there had been any!) examples of play or simply some examples of how the author bases his armies or whatever…. we like photographs, don't we?!

Sorry to harp on about the photographs – can you imagine ‘Charge' or ‘The wargame' without theirs?

For the equivalent price of a couple of magazines this is a vital buy for anyone interested in historical gaming of the less (brain) strenuous variety!

warhorse01 Oct 2014 7:31 p.m. PST

Definitely. And they are incredibly easy to add things to. One thing you'll notice is he has several troop types covered from pre-gunpowder periods, but they're scattered throughout the rules. Warband are in the Dark Ages set, so port them over (you'll need to adjust) to get the Gauls. One period has Swordsmen (blades anyone?) that aren't so great against mounted. The Pike and Shot era has pistol-packing "Reiters" that could work (modded as needed) as Skythian horse archers, and so on.

Use your imagination, and the solid foundation his rules have built, and get stuck in! The great thing is these rules are so fun for kids too!

arthur181502 Oct 2014 2:16 a.m. PST

You're so right, Warhorse! The pity is that Thomas does not suggest doing so as a way of developing the rules once one has mastered the basic concepts, nor even admit the possibility, as his rules are ideal for tinkering with to suit the historical period and/or type of game one wants.

Queen Catherine Inactive Member07 Nov 2014 12:17 p.m. PST

he seems to have a bunch of period-specific books also, perhaps those have more mechanisms and ideas that can be pilfered and added to the 1-hour rules?


Queen Catherine Inactive Member07 Nov 2014 1:19 p.m. PST

I liked the sound of them and On MIlitary Matters has them available and on sale for $17 USD, so I grabbed them. I've now had a couple of friends ask about my wargaming problem, and a quick-play easy to discern set may be just the thing.

Queen Catherine Inactive Member08 Nov 2014 8:24 a.m. PST

I feel almost obligated to note that altho I regard DBA 3.0 as quick-play, it is not easy to fully understand or read thru the rules for a beginner. I'm hoping these will fill that niche. or perhaps D6 Ancients:
PDF link

The funny thing is that DBA is now my "experienced gamer" quick-play set. Clearly a reflection of decreased time and energy available on my part!

Queen Catherine Inactive Member19 Nov 2014 7:15 a.m. PST

OK, I got my copy of 1-Hour Wargames and have to say it is a MUST for the gamer who wants to understand game design better, who wants to intro newbies to the hobby, who has a spread of interest across the period, and of course has about a 1-hour time crunch. For those with a 2-hour time space, one can certainly switch sides and play again.

The design notes and bibliography is almost worth the price of the book. I've bought two more books from his list.

Books is worth getting at twice the price. Couldn't advocate for it enough. It's a wonderful antidote to the "lots of rules and complexity is more realistic" mindset. Think "Hail Caesar" and "Pike and Shotte" on a 3-page set of rules in a paperback size book, and there you have it. Or perhaps "Kings of War" is a better parallel.

I'd say that the strngth of the rules is that he narrows focus a lot so that you don't have to read pages of rules that are irrelevant to what you will play. Then he gives you 30 scenarios to play with that all meet the same criteria.

It's totally changing my gaming paradigm, in a good way. For under $20 USD I feel like I got a real deal.

Queen Catherine Inactive Member21 Nov 2014 9:09 a.m. PST

Lots of info out now, some links below. Got my copy and love it! Only $17 USD from On Military Matters.



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