Base Width measurements in One Hour Wargames WW2

Following on from my Review of Martin Rapier’s One Hour WW2 (6 hit), I thought I’d take another look at using my Big Bases with One Hour Wargames (OHW). Specifically using Base Width as the measurement rather than inches.

OHW Distances and 8cm wide bases

I’m a fan of Big Bases, but as I mentioned in Using my Big Bases with Neil Thomas’s One-Hour Wargames, I don’t have a 3’x3′ table and I don’t have big 4-6″ wide bases. I do have a 2’x2′ table and I use 8cm wide bases. Reducing the table from the suggested 3′ x 3′ to a 2′ x 2′ suits my Big Bases perfectly. 8cm is about two thirds of of the recommended base width (4-6 inches). The only change to the rules is to reduce the distances (movement and ranges). Multiply everything by 2/3, so 6″ becomes 4″, 9″ becomes 6″ and 12″ becomes 8″. These are the main distances used.

But I think I can go further with distances. For my own Tilly’s Very Bad Day I use measurements based on base widths (actually half base widths). I can do the same for OHW.

I already have measuring sticks to match. My measuring sticks are in 4cm sections.

Sticks-84 40mm segments
Sticks-84 40mm segments

I can use them in 4cm sections, so half BW.

Sticks-85 40mm measuring sticks
Sticks-85 40mm measuring sticks

Or I can combine them in BW sections (two 4cm segments).

Sticks-87 Two inch measuring stick next to 80mm measuring stick
Sticks-87 Two inch measuring stick next to 80mm measuring stick

Base Widths in Neil Thomas’s OHW WW2

Kaptain Kobold pointed out, as a comment on Using my Big Bases with Neil Thomas’s One-Hour Wargames, the relative sizes of the bases and boards in OHW. The game specifies that units are between 1/9th (4″) and 1/6th (6″) of the width of the board (36″). Cavalry move and shooting range tend to be 1/3rd (12″) of a board in most OHW rules. This is also true for the WW2 option.

Because it is all nicely proportional, I thought I’d make that explicit by moving away from inches and to base widths. Okay the proportionality isn’t exactly nice because OHW allows a range of base widths, from 4″ to 6″. So I thought I see what it looked like for 4″, 5″, and 6″.

Troop Type Movement (Inches) 4″ Base Width 5″ Base Width 6″ Base Width
Infantry, Mortars 6″ 1.5 1.2 1
Anti-tank Guns1 8″ 2 1.6 1.3
9″ 2.25 1.8 1.5
Tanks, Cavalry2 12″ 3 2.4 2
Table 36″ 9 7.2 6

(1) I’m not sure why Neil Thomas made Anti-tank Guns 8″ movement as in the other rules the intermediary distance is 9″. I’ve included both options.
(2) Neil Thomas excludes Cavalry from his WW2 variant, but they appear in the other periods.

Okay, I’m not convinced that helps. The 4-6 inch rule is killing me.

Base Widths in Martin Rapier’s OHW WW2 (6 Hit)

For Martin Rapier’s One Hour WW2 (6 hit) I can get pretty close to the inch measurement using 5″ base widths (BW):

Distance (BW) Distance (Inches)
based on 5″ BW
Martin’s Distances (Inches) General Movement Ranges
0.5 2.5″ 3″ Tracks road bonus
1 5″ 5″ Base Width
1.5 7.5″ 6″ Infantry, Artillery, Wheels road bonus Spotting
2 10″ 9″ Tanks, Motorised, Cavalry
2.5 12.5″ 12″ Recce, Fast Tanks
4 20″ 18″ Light artillery
8 40″ 36″ Table width Field Guns
12 60″ 54″ Heavy Guns

These proportional measures give pretty close results. If Martin had used a 4.5″ base width, rather than 5″, then these base width measurements would correspond almost exactly to the distances in his inch based variant.

In three cases I’ve gone for a half BW. This is to provide a greater level of granularity. Like I said, I had to do this for Tilly’s Very Bad Day and I ended up using a 1/2 base width as the standard measure. I gave these 1/2 BW measurements a name, Tilly Unit of Measure or TUM for short, because “a half base width” does not roll off the tongue.

The following diagram shows the Original Neil Thomas table and distances, the Martin Rapier version, my own version on a smaller table using BW measurements, and an adaptation of Martin Rapier’s table using BW measurements.

One Hour Wargame WW2 Distances
One Hour Wargame WW2 Distances

This is good enough for me. And it works very well for my 8 cm wide bases.

Base Width Distances - One Hour WW2 (6 hit)
Base Width Distances – One Hour WW2 (6 hit)

My 2′ x 2′ table is a tad small as 8 BW would be 64 cm (about 2′ 2″) but close enough.

4 thoughts on “Base Width measurements in One Hour Wargames WW2”

  1. Interesting analysis. I like big bases as they discourage silly bunching, but it partly depends if units are allowed to interpenetrate or not. There is a case for putting artillery on smaller bases but I like to clutter them with prime movers, AA, officers etc.

  2. I also want to be able to use smaller frontage bases for OHW WW2. I’m looking possibly at 6.5cm with depth up to 6.5cm. I have small stands each of a 1/300 vehicle, gun & crew, or infantry 4-fig squad. These have magnetic sheet underneath so I can place up to 10 of them on a tin unit base.
    Your 8cm also sounds good, depending on what scale figs you will be using? I regularly visit your blog, and will be doing so to see your further progress and maybe some game AARs testing the 8cm? Warm regards.

  3. I repainted old 1/72 WW2 crap, glued the stuff on bigbases and used one of the more complex scenario’s to introduce a newbie.
    We had excellent. fast fun.
    More recently I played a Horse & Musket game with the simple Control The River scenario against a seasoned Napoleonic wargamer and the game was boring, and the same rules bland. You used this scenario in your WW2 game. I’d say that your disappointment comes from the scenario, and probably not the rules as such.


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