Wednesday 2 February 2022

What have the Romans ever done for us? Part I

 Well they gave us roads!  And here's a nice straight one, just the job for scenario 13 of One Hour Wargames (OHW) by Neil Thomas.  After several grid based games in recent months we decided it was time to get back to a more traditional style of play.  That's not entirely true, Anthony has recently built up a very nice 54mm toy soldier collection of Romans and German Tribesmen, and we were both itching to see them on the table.  Here's how it went:

One Hour Wargames is an ideal game system to use with 54mm toy soldiers and requires minimal amounts of terrain, we chose scenario 13 which sees a German raiding party returning home chased by a Roman Legion looking for vengeance!  

The battlefield is split sown the middle by a fine straight Roman road running North to South, in the north corner is a small hill and on the other side of the road, a little further south is a sizeable forest.  The opening position sees 6 German units following the road from the north and discovering their route home blocked by a Roman cohort on the road to the south of them.

We used the OHW "Ancients" rules but incorporated the Warband features from the "Dark Ages" section, as it better reflects the nature of the German tribesmen and gives them greater mobility with a combat bonus to offset the armour advantage of the Romans.

The Germans drew 4 Warbands of warriors, 1 of Archers and 1 of Skirmishers.  The Romans drew 4 Cohorts of infantry, 1 of Auxiliary cavalry and 1 of Skirmishers.

The Roman Legionaries here are modified from A Call to Arms figures to make the poses more realistic, all the figures in the collection have been expertly converted by Rupert of  Drum and Flag toy soldiers.

As the German tribesmen charge headlong up the road two of the Warbands peel off to move around the flanks of the Roman cohort blocking the way.  The skirmishers have already moved into the woods behind them to protect the rear, with OHW skirmishers have little combat value but are good for holding rough terrain, from which they can dominate the surrounding area with fire while remaining relatively safe.

The Warband figures are converted from several sources including Weston Toy Co Mexicans, and Expeditionary Force Early Germans

Here the German skirmishers (converted from HaT figures) have taken up position in the woods to protect the Warbands from any pursuers.

Two more Cohorts from the Roman Legion have now appeared on the hill to the north east and charge in support of their beleaguered comrades. 

The Roman Cohort blocking the road has been retiring in order, maintaining a steady line while the Tribesmen bear down on them.

The leading Warband slams into the Roman shieldwall while two more hit the flanks.  Can the Cohort hold out long enough for their comrades to reach them in time?


  1. If only the story ended there!! Great write-up Brian, keep going:)

  2. Will it be the Testudo or the Lepus - the Tortoise or the Hare?

    1. Nothing so sophisticated in our games I'm afraid.

  3. Smart Mexican peasant conversions!

    1. Aren't they! An awful lot of work has gone into them.

  4. Lovely! The inclusion of Mexicans surprised me, not sure why, my original Celtic cavalry were made from $store ripoff cowboys & indians.

    (not going back there, not going back, not...)