Wednesday, 10 November 2021

5 Minimal Scenarios

Project 10 currently has a mini-campaign of 5 Scenarios, intended to ease players in with small forces gradually growing to full size over the length of a campaign.

I'm currently trucking away designing Horrors and Scenes for The Doomed, so I could do with a change of scenery for today. 

Let's dive back into One Hour Wargames and see which of its 30 Scenarios are especially ripe for the picking here as standalone alternatives to the include campaign. They're already pretty minimal, fitting on one page of text and one for the map, but we can go further.

For me, a good scenario moves significantly away from a pitched battle. As much as I touted the mantra "there are no pitched battles" in the design of this game, in reality I think they have a place as a simple throwdown, or opportunity to test out some more wacky army compositions or board layouts. 

So a proper scenario doesn't need to compete with the pitched battle, it's something else. Balance isn't an end goal, but I want both sides to face interesting decisions coming from challenging objectives and some chaotic elements thrown in by the scenario itself. It's tricky, but a great scenario also paces itself well to avoid both early anti-climax finishes and long drawn-out epilogues after the battle has already reached its peak. It's not a huge concern with a game this fast, but it's worth keeping in mind. 

Basics

All Scenarios assume units of base width 10cm, and board sizes around 100x100cm. Terrain is mentioned when needed for the scenario, but it by no means an exhaustive list. Always give your board a nice mix spread of terrain types, mainly based around Open, Bare, Cover, and Rough types.  

Players are designated as Attacker or Defender, and each takes an opposite side of the board. 

Unless noted both armies are composed as follows:

1 Commander
3 Common Units (typically some sort of basic infantry)
2 Uncommon Units (a more specialist unit type like cavalry or artillery)
1 Rare Unit (go wild here, whatever suits the flavour of the army)

Unless noted each player attaches their Commander to a unit of their choice at the start of the battle. 

Objectives

I wrote about self-assessed objectives back here and I'm keen to try them out in a more traditional one-on-one wargame context, so that's what we're doing here. The objectives are broad and may involve some discussion at the end of the game. Of course I can imagine some players not enjoying this approach, but as always I'd rather make something with specific appeal over general. I never much liked counting up how many units I had within x inches of an objective marker. Better to just cast an eye over the final situation and make the call. Guess this rules out a Project 10 Global Tournament. 

And now, a few very simple Scenarios to use in your Project 10 games. 


Scenario 1 - Bridgehead 
Inspired by OHW Scenario 4

Battlefield: River running across the width of the board, with a single crossing on the defender's half of the board. Variety of terrain on the attacker's side of the river.
Deployment: The defender deploys one unit just on the attacker's side of the bridge. All other units and commanders are held off board. 
Special: At the start of each defender turn they deploy a unit of their choice from their board edge, attaching the Commander if they wish. At the start of each attacker turn they deploy two random units from a random board edge, excluding the defender's edge. These units must deploy on the attacker's side of the river. 
Victory: After 15 Turns the side that controls the bridge most effectively wins. 

Scenario 2 - Double Delaying Action
Inspired by OHW Scenario 9

Battlefield: River running across the width of the board with two crossings on the attacker's half of the board. Mostly beneficial terrain on the defender's side of the river. An exit point on the defender's board edge marked with a road. 
Deployment: The defender deploys their units anywhere on their side of the river. The attacker deploys theirs on their board edge.
Special: Any unit can leave the board via the exit point on the defender's board edge. Defending units cannot cross the river. 
Victory: The game lasts 15 turns, after which the attacker wins if at least two of their units left the board via the road. The defender wins if they prevent this while also withdrawing three of their own units via the road. If neither are achieved the attacker wins. 

Scenario 3 - Surprise Attack
Inspired by OHW Scenario 11

Battlefield: A hill, crossroads, or other significant objective in the centre of the defender's half of the table. Variety of terrain outside this. 
Deployment: The Defender deploys two units in the centre of the board, with their Commander attached to one of them. The attacker deploys all six units on their board edge. 
Special: At the start of their third turn the defender deploys 2 units from their board edge. At the start of their ninth turn they deploy 2 units from the board edge on their right. 
Victory: After 15 Turns the side that controls the objective most effectively wins. 

Scenario 4 - Twin Objectives
Inspired by OHW Scenario 21

Battlefield: A small town or ruin in the centre of the defender's board edge. A lightly wooded hill on one corner of the attacker's board edge. Variety of other terrain outside of this, but no more hills or towns to avoid confusion. 
Deployment: The defender only has 4 units. They deploy 1 unit on the hill and the others on their board edge. The attacker deploys on the half of their board edge not containing the hill. 
Victory: After 15 Turns the defender must control both the hill and the town, or else the attacker wins. 

Scenario 5 - Shambolic Command
Inspired by OHW Scenario 29

Battlefield: A large hill in the centre of the board. Mixed terrain outside this.
Deployment: The defender deploys 4 units on the hill and 2 on one of the corners of their board edge. They do not have a commander. The attacker only has 4 units and deploys from anywhere on their board edge. 
Special: The defender's shambolic command means they can only activate 2 units on each of their turns. They must declare which units are being activated before performing any actions with them. 
Victory: After 15 Turns the side that best controls the hill wins. 





3 comments:

  1. These look great! Looking forward to giving them a try.

    ReplyDelete
  2. When it comes to how many units an army should have, it seems like 4 is the absolute minimum, 7-10 is the maximum. To few reduces your tactical options, to many adds bloat without adding depth of play.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've done tests with armies of 12 and 18 units, but I used a slightly wider table for them (likely 1.5m or 2m). I actually really enjoyed the bigger battles, but I want to make sure that things work well at the original small scale (6 units, 1x1m board) as a first priority.

      Delete