The Viking Legal Team in Action

The Viking Legal Team in Action
Snorri is unhappy about your bar tab - VERY unhappy...

Monday, November 27, 2017

"Inspired by OHW" - Medievals, Scenarios #4 and #28

Yet another dispute is settled the old-fashioned way... with blood, not paper. This saves trees, if not lives.


Well, it's time to start flapping and leave the nest. Neil Thomas' "One-Hour Wargames" has had quite an impact locally here for quite some time. However, with both respect and adoption of many of the principles he espouses, we tend to rules that have a bit more complexity as long as the complexity shapes historical tactics instead of just adds chrome.

For example, the a-historical yet well-loved wargamer pastime of making medieval units homogeneous with weapons and armor [a rare thing]. Sure, it is a bit more fun to think of a unit as armed with swords, spears and shields, but the reality is often quite different, so abstraction is both simpler AND more realistic in such cases. So no "Chrome for Chrome's Sake" in our take on the rules. We hope that the evasive Mr. Thomas would approve.

So, there are a few things here that are pretty different.
- 6-hit units, which allows one dice to track Hits.
- 3d6 attacks, said method put forward by John HERE
- a combo method of varying the number of dice and the Hit number
- rallying off of hits, in a simple, limited way.
- a partially diced move system [pure genius...well, I did think it up]
- A combo of Actions and fixed phases
And of course, all the needed bits like Line of Sight and terrain definitions is in here, also, so that the "What's Missing in One-Hour Wargames" aspect is taken care of.

The scenario was an "old reliable", #4 "Take the High Ground", a popular one for me as it is tactically interesting but the battle development doesn't obscure the play of the rules. Below is the book setup.

And below is the close-up of an easy and faithful reproduction of it.

The most important thing about today's play is that it would be with a local hero of the gaming world, a retired colonel who has been gaming since rocks were units and sand was a board. He's published several sets of rules over the years, and who knows how many he's developed. Most importantly, he has the right mind for playtesting and a great grasp of miniature mechanics [the physicality of how the stands move, fight and contact one another on the table] and how they impact design and vice-versa.  So getting his full attention for a while is quite a privilege.

We did a run-thru of the QRS I brought as well as getting caught up. As many of the mechanics are not novel he had them figured quickly and we jumped straight into the scenario. He had two Knights, two Bowmen, a Serjeants and a Freemen [the last two are the same except the Serjeants are Armored and reduce Hits inflicted upon them]. Attacking him I had three knights, a Serjeant, a Bowmen and a Freemen. He deployed the Bowmen and the Serjeants on the hill, with the two Knights, a Bowmen and the Freemen entering as reinforcements.

I quickly developed an attack on the hill with a Knight supported by the Bowmen and the Freemen, while jamming my knights down the road to hold off his reinforcements. This crushed his Bowmen on the hill quickly, and I bogged down his Serjeants fighting my Freemen, then moved my Knights and Serjeants to support the attack down the road. Due to dice and decisions, I ended up with the below situation after 4 or 5 turns:

My Knights are not doing well, and his Bowmen are providing a steady support against my left knights who look to be losing the melee. I withdraw the Serjeants from the road and prepare to defend the hill.

Broader view of the same turn - I think my Bowmen are just off camera at bottom. Well, I managed to just barely lose, as my knights were defeated due to not quite enough support, and his Bowmen managed to put in some telling blows from a distance.

The best part was that he was clearly pleased with the play. I made some quick notes to myself on the parts that he seemed to have trouble remembering, but generally speaking he knew how to play halfway through, and was grasping the subtleties of tactics. 

We had time, so we played again with my scratch Goths v. Byzantine forces, he taking the role of the attacking Goths and I that of the defending Byzantines. This time, I clearly had the game in hand for much of it, but he persisted and somehow eeked out a victory at the end. He made a few - very few but useful - suggestions and pronounced the rules ready for prime time, so I'll be running a large game of it at his house in February.

Very encouraged, I set about the make the few changes he suggested and I noted, and play them out. I chose the unusual scenario #28 "Botched Relief" from One-Hour Wargames. This was a very interested scenario I'd meant to play for a long time. The defender holds the town with two units in the field, and four on the hill. The catch is the four on the hill are immobile, except for one that can activate. So the battle starts as a 4 on 3 attack, but the defender has another 3 in reserve! When a unit from the hill is destroyed, another one is able to be activated as a replacement. So part of the goal I found is to NOT destroy the unit from the hill, while the defender is trying to get it committed as quickly as possible.

I played this several times, the nuances of the scenario took a while to get under my belt. Once I felt that I knew what I was doing and the risks I was taking, I set about to attack the Barbarian Goths with a surprise attack by that paragon of civilization, Imperial Byzantines.

On the hill were my four Gothic units [clockwise]: a Bowmen, a Warband, a Brigan [skirmisher] and a Mounted Brigan [light cavalry]. The first off would be the Bowmen - the shooting would make them hard to ignore, and if they were destroyed the Warband would be unleashed! The last two units would be the skirmishers as they could move fast and shoot, giving them good reach if poor hitting power.


On the field are a Serjeants [in the town] and a Warband in the open, covering them. I want them within their strike range but not too far forward lest they get shot up by Bowmen. The Serjeants are purposefully positioned so they cover the front and the left side of the town - they can only see the a few inches out the right side as they aren't on the edge [red marker].


Attacking them are a small strike force of Byzantines: one Skutatoi - Serjeants - two Cavalry and a Bowmen. They need to move fast and be careful who they antagonize!

Turn 1 Below. Thanks to some great dice rolling, the Cavalry pound in against the heavies first turn, hoping to get in some Hits or lure the Warband into a flank charge [shown by the blank base] but the other Cavalry is covering [shown by the 45 arc template] so not a good idea. The Warband is not replaced with a Unit from the hill if destroyed.

More Turn 1. The Serjeants advance up the road and the Bowmen plod behind, Cavalry inflict a Hit on the Serjeants in the town. Goth Warband  pushes up a bit and covers the flank while the Bowmen threaten the Cavalry - a problem since if they are destroyed they'll be replaced by a Warband from the hill.

Turn 2. Byzantines retain the Initiative [blue die] and charge the Warband. The support with their Bowmen who're getting into range, and the heavy Spearmen - Serjeants. Unfortunately, the dice go down bad and the Cavalry have little impact while taking a smack in the jaw on both Units - 4/6 of their Hits are gone! Time to think smarter?

Turn 3. Not smart enough. The Cavalry pull back while the Goths go on the offensive! They charge the Bowmen with the Warband and their Serjeants charge out of the town against the Byzantine Serjeants. The Bowmen won't last long, but few Hits are inflicted on the heavies. Still, it is going to be hard to have time to rally Hits off the Cavalry, and they are half the force, as well as its most mobile element!

Turn 4. Byzantines retain game Initiative, but have lost the combat Initiative! The Byzantine Bowmen are destroyed and removed thanks to the hard-hitting Warband and supporting Bowmen. The Byz spearmen get a good push against the Goth Serjeants, inflicting two Hits and taking none, but only the far Cavalry Unit rallies off a hit, and there's marauding Warbanders behind them!

Turn 5. Thanks to fate, things balance out a bit for Byzantium. They charge the Warband [despite being out of front arc, they are so close that arc doesn't matter]. They max out at inflicting three Hits on the Warband. The heavies continue to bring a little hope, inflicting a Hit and taking none, while the other Cavalry fail to rally more [phbbbb!].

Turn 6. Things are clearing out a bit in the center. The Cavalry finish off the Warband, but are wiped out by the Gothic Bowmen. In turn, the push of heavies in the center continues in the slow favor of civilization. The Cavalry rally off another Hit - yay!

Turn 7. Luck may be running low - the Byzantines retain Initiative but do nothing to the Gothic Serjeants but take a hit. The Goth Bowmen move up to be a real threat.

Turn 8. Initiative retained, the Byzantines knock out the Goths with thrown spears, then their heavies march into the town and its protection. Goth Archers let loose and inflict max three hits on Cavalry, bringing them a hit from destruction.

Turn 9. The Skutatoi position themselves within the town - they can't be seen unless the Goth bowmen enter charge range, also. The Cavalry dash off to rally elsewhere. With no additional reinforcements coming off the hill, the lone Goth bowmen has to call it quits.

Whew! A wild and woolly confrontation. This was the seventh or eighth time I played this, and it was a hum-dinger each time. The trick of not destroying - or getting destroyed - the reinforcement Unit from the hill is key here. While I generally found that a shooting Unit was the best immediate threat, I also played this several times with the Goths as the marauding force and used the Cavalry to get off the hill, and that made it easier to get them committed to a melee where they had to die or win - both are good for them at that point!

Another good example of an interesting scenario provoking tactical thought.

Very pleased with the rules. I used a couple tweaks from my playtest with the colonel, and it was a grand success. I just couldn't get this posted before Thanksgiving!


You may be wondering where the rules are - I actually won't be posting them here at this time. I'm going to do a proper write-up and then send them out for blind playtesting. If you are interested, do let me know and we'll talk about the parameters of that.

Basing Part [7]: Mass Rebasing!

Basing, basing and re-basing - the last for this bunch!

above: over halfway thru a big drive to re-base the armies

With lots of progress on my rules, and having played with single-bases for some time it is time to finish re-basing many of the figures. It took a while to work out the game mechanics for a single, solid base but I'm certain it will work. There's no doubt for me that 25mm is my "army scale" for larger boards and venues [I'll keep my 15mm Greeks and Romans/Gauls for small table games], and no doubt that the single large base is sturdier, safer, and easier to handle.

Below you can see how I shape the wood fill up into and against the corrugated cardboard on which the figs sit. You can also see how raised and solid the base itself is. As this is a continuation of previous posts HERE, in these posts, I won't repeat all the reasoning behind and creation of these big bases. It is important, I think, to work the 'fill in against the holes of the cardboard, so the weaker edges are braced.


Again, the fill is being pushed into the gaps - sometimes I removed a figure or two to easily access the other figs. Do NOT use superglue to put figs on bases! If you use Elmer's, you will be able to remove and adjust them pretty easily. Note the gap behind the higher figs that will be filled up. There's some height to this hill, but it seems like it'll work out.


Here are three figs that were removed to access the others easily. I'll get the 'fill in there and then re-glue them when the base is mostly done. Then they will dry with all the rest.


I occasionally had to add water [or leave exposed] the wood fill itself so I could get it wet and thin enough to use easily, but not too drippy. This is more of a "process as you go along" than a "one and done" sort of thing. Just add water whenever it is getting a bit stiff and then stir with an old brush handle, and you'll be fine.

Below, I am over the hump, and for a change of pace I'm testing the positioning of the Byzantine Scutatoi, testing how they fit together and look "natural". This takes a few minutes, but is one of my favorite parts of basing little dioramas.


Below. you can see how the back rank of Scutatoi are lining up. The guy on the right is providing a little drama by reacting to a threat. Once these fellows are mostly dry, about 45 minutes, I do most of the wood fill and am ready for the front rank, posed above them.


And here you see the result. The officer and rankers are in the front, and there's a nice feel of a solid infantry "block" yet they have some character and a touch of drama. One can feel they are holding a small rise in the face of the enemy, relying on shields and cohesion.


The forces massed, and organized for battle. Each row has six units, representing my thoughts on forces that should match up well for a "fair fight" and intro to the rules. I will use some cheap crayola brown paint to wash the bases as there's no time to flock them.


Below, the tools I used: Elmers Glue, Elmers Pro-bond Wood fill, old brushes [two about a 1/4" / 1cm, two smaller, one fine, the latter ones to work the 'fill in between the stands], all for basing. To remove figs from the old stands; the heavy [sharp] wood chisel, X-acto blade, wire snips, and some super-glue to make repairs for bits that came loose in the process.


It's been a bit of a saga itself, but I'm very happy with where the rules, the rule mechanics, and the craft work of basing are all coming together. I'll have a game that is mechanically easy to pick up, filled with subtle tactics and tactical choices, and the Units themselves will also quicken the game by being easy to handle. Plus, they will look great and be safer to handle and more resilient against scraping and breakage. Game on!

The next post will be about flocking - I want to learn some skills, including working with some rocks and fake water, so give each army a distinct basing scheme related to the terrain of their home country.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

25 to "Heroic 28" Figure Comparisons

The Usual Suspects, in a line-up

L->R: Irregular, Soldier and Swords, Old Glory, Black Tree, GW, Foundry

Various projects demand various figs and approaches if you've interests in the aesthetics of the hobby [some aren't...my first game club had a guy who used ceiling tiles as hills, no paint, nothing, white side up or brown side up, mixed!]. Having been at this for over 30 years, I've definitely developed some preferences and approaches.

Figure size, bulk, and sculpting style are all factors that I take into accounts with various projects. Sometimes the projects itself is figure - driven, or even fluff - driven. More often it is history and game play driven. However, the aesthetic of the figs themselves matters to me.

Realism verses a style and paintability all come into play with my figure collection. A while back, I discovered some Black Tree Design figs in my collection, posted HERE, and had not only forgotten they existed but what they were! I like the big monsters, and as I get older bigger figs are better figs, generally speaking. I bought more of them from BTD with the intent to do either some medieval skirmishing with them, or build them up into a Kings of War army. I got stymied on the mounted knights, however - BTD didn't have a great selection of great sculpts. I checked into GW Bretonnians, and thought they might do the trick but didn't have any luck trading for them. Then the KoW group sort of died down and I got busy and the idea of building and painting an army of any sort was ludicrous. 

The other day, I wandered into the FLGS and lo and behold was an old WHF box set with Bretonnians and Lizardmen, in good shape, for $40. I did some math in my head and couldn't see how I could lose on the deal, even if I sold it for parts.

Indeed, the Bretonnians are a good matchup for those figs. Here's some size comparisons that I think will be helpful against some well-known manufacturers:


L->R: Irregular, Soldier and Swords, Old Glory, Black Tree, GW, Foundry. The Foundry and OG are comparable, altho the face on the OG is exaggerated for ease of painting. The GW plastic Bretonnian is very nice work by a Perry Brother. The BTD is clearly the largest in height [just a hair taller than GW] and bulk. The ruler sits on the GW bases. Heights of model from sole of foot to highest point, excluding any base, are;
Irregular - 25mm
S&S - 26mm [plus some bulk]
OG - 28mm
BTD - 32mm
GW - 30mm
Foundry - 28mm
Bulk is hard to measure. Biggest is BTD then GW, OG, Foundry, S&S, and Irregular last.

Blurry close-up of the BTD City Guard and Bretonnian archer. Below the same in focus:


Well, what if you want to mix up the figs you've acquired in various places?

Archer comparison: BTD, Foundry, Wargames Inc, GW. Below same figs.

Moving around the ruler here for you.



Now to horse! The mounted knights are the centerpiece of any medieval army, even if the country is fictitious. Cavalry are always tough to compare since you have to compare BOTH the horse and the rider. Horses are often down-sized due to cost. There's also the issue of breeding big horses for various ers - some horses really were much larger than others! How you mix and match is up to you, but here's some data to help you decide:

New Fireforge Teutonic Knight horse on left, old GW Bretonnian horse on right. The GW sculpt is noticeably 3-4mm taller, and much bulkier. A horse expert will have to tell you if it is accurate or not!

Help! I'm being chased by a monster knight from the abyss! GW v. Old Glory 25s.

OK, even setting aside the funny hat, the GW sculpt is a good 3-5mm highter and much bulkier. They Might Be Giants...


Old Glory 25s v. Fireforge 28mm figs. Horse is larger, bulkier.


No ruler - just visual impact.


Finally, comparison of horses heads. 

So, to each his own, but the bulk and style have almost as much to do with how things look together as anything else. Yes, there is definitely a size issue as one goes up the ladder from Irregular 25s to BTD. But the eye sees bulk and other sculpting style issues as quickly as mere height. Yes, people ARE different heights - and different bulks - but sculptors work to a series and keep the comparable realism within the sculpting project.

My veridict:

  • I can definitely use Bretonnian knights with the BTD figures - in fact, I can't find anything else that compares. These are good for a medieval / fantasy skirmish project.
  • I'd keep Old Glory 25s together in units. To me, they are the new 15mm! They look great together, are dynamic, easy to paint and inexpensive. Why go 15 if you can go 25 for almost the same price for a unit?
  • I'd mix Foundry and Wargames Inc together without any hesitation, they're all 25s.
Hope this is useful for you and your decision making, and Happy Gaming!


Thursday, October 5, 2017

One-Hour Wargames Medievals, #4 "Take the High Ground"

Another Bitter Battle is Brewing!

Having spent some time working on as faithful a set of "One-Hour Wargames" Medieval Rules with minimal changes / mechanics added [posted Oct 3], I figured I should play, just in case I overlooked some things. And of course I did! And I also overlooked posting this AAR - just got lost in the shuffle and the sudden drive to finish up my version and well, there was some Army in there along the way, also. Anyway, on with the story...I decided to go with Scenario #4 "Take the High Ground" because it is not only a classic military mission, but because it is not too complicated and will let the rules and Units shine forward with military honors [or not...]. 

Above is my take on the table - pretty faithful - but I have a hill that is twice as wide as needed [12" instead of 6"]. I ended up putting the crest in the same place as the book - 15 inches in - as the crest is the single most important feature of the hill. Altho the model hill is a plateau, I didn't use it as such today. If I had, the plateau around the edge would've been a crest line that would limit line of sight across it to 3".


Red Defenders and their cunning plan. They start with a won game, and just need to keep the hill to close the deal. I'm planning to push 2 Knights at the hill, run the Levy up the road at 9" a turn, supported by 1 Knight. On the hill, I've Men-at-Arms on the left to hold the open flank - in melee, they Hits against them are halved due to their Armor. The Archers will use their range to hit targets in the road. Both Units are at the Crest [marked by the white branch] so are "uphill" of everyone attacking them. They are angled back to protect their vulnerable open flanks until the Knights arrive. Let's hope it all works out!


Blue attackers and THEIR cunning plan. Blue is in a tougher spot. With only one move of an advantage, they need to seize a hill held by one very tough Men-at-Arms Unit on the left, and a dangerous [at range] Archers Unit on right. The plan here is to push hard up the left onto the open flank of the MaA Unit, and push hard with their own MaA up the road protected by 1 Knight. The Archers will trail behind and shoot up anything on the hill they can spot. Hopefully, the combination of missiles and charges will take the hill!


Turn 1 Below. Red holds their ground [note that they go first, bringing on their rein-forcements at the TOP of Turn 2] but reaches the Blue Knights with poor bow shots, rolling a '1' and getting 3 Hits. Blue pushes max 9" up the road with MaA followed by the line of Archers. Knights lead their front right side. To left, Knights maneuver to flank the hill.


Turn 1 left flank: a classic Pin and Outflank maneuver. Knight 1 will work around the flank but isn't there yet. The MaA on the hill can hit THEIR flank as they pass them, so Knight 2 is covering it. It would be sort of suicidal for them to charge down to be counter-charged on their flank. They are tough on the defense, but they would still go down in 3 Turns as the halving of Hits due to their Armor would be cancelled by the doubling for the Flank Attack. This also shows the benefit of support Units covering your advance Unit's flanks.


Turn 2. Red reinforcements enter per cunning Red plan, their Archers have lots of choices, but shoot advancing Knights 3. Blue continues advance up road. In retaliation, Blue Archers almost wipe out Red Archers rolling two 5s for 5+2=7x2 Hits! With 1 Hit left, the future doesn't look good...You can see Knight 1 has worked around the MaA's flank at left.


Turn 3 left flank. Red Knight 1 advances against Blue Knight 1, and I turned and moved the damaged Archers to support them. The trap of both melee and firepower was too much to face so Blue Knights 1 did a 180, zipped back, and did another 180 to face the enemy - all faster than a Tiger Tank - they will survive but what about the attack against the hill?


Turn 3 center-right. With the Red Archers swung around, there's room for Red Knight 2 to take their place. Red Knights 3 charges in, inflicting the max of 6+2=8 Hits, bringing Knights 3 to 11/15 and almost done! The Levy advance up the road to protect flanks. The MaA on the road forgot to charge [fixed later]. Knights 2 advance up the hill, protected by Archers to right. The last Archer is covering the gap soon to come when Knights 3 are wiped out.

Turn 4. Red Knight 1 and Archers advance again to threaten Blue Knight 1, who retreats farther away to bottom center. Red Knights 2 charge Blue Knights 2 for 7 Hits, but take 7 from the Archers and 3 from the pathetic Blue Knights. In the Center, the Levy are losing against the MaA Armor and their own dice. Blue Knight 3 is blasted with over 20 Hits, and Blue Archer 2 shoots for 4+2=6 Hits, hoping it will be enough!


Top of Turn 5 Left-Center. I reposition the Red line to face the hill and Blue force. Red Knight 2 does the max - breaking opposing Blue Knight 2 in 2 Turns! [The +2 is a bigger deal than you'd think, rolling a 6 gives you 8 hits, then a 5 or 6 will make it 15 Hits].


Bottom of Turn 5. Blue Archers wipe out the Glorious Red Knight 2, inflicting 7 hits! Blue Knight 1 charges Red MaA for 3 Hits [marked wrong], but this was a bad idea - I should've charged Red Knights 1. Red Knights 3 covered themselves in shame by rolling a '1' and inflicting 3 Hits on Blue Archers 2, who retaliate for 6-2 Hits! Life is bad when you're beat up by peasants...The Blue MaA on the road remember they're "not charge" on Turn 3, so I roll twice for them, and it makes no difference - they get the Levy to 14 Hits, so will lose another turn with the peasants in the road.


Turn 6. Red Knights 1 charges in for 6x2=12 Hits on the flank of Blue Knight 1, and the MaA add another 2, putting them at 14/15 Hits and the "soon to die" roster for next turn. Red Archers roll 8 Hits on the Blue MaA, halved due to Armor, putting them at 10 total. Still the MaA rout the Levy and their Knights 3 follow them routed by the Welsh Archers who are apparently even fiercer than they look [must be the long moustaches]. Blue Archer 1 rotates to provide support fire anywhere needed on the line, most likely against Red Knight 1.


Turn 7. Unsurprisingly, Blue Knights 1 are wiped out. Blue Archer 1 rolls a '1' for 3 total Hits - this is a bad time to lose your mojo, is all I'm sayin'. Red Archers turn and fall back off the hill to avoid a shot from Blue Archers - keeping them alive really matters at this point! Overall, Red has three Units with 22 Hits, Blue 3 with 18 Hits, not much advantage for a side that still needs to take a hill!


Turn 8. Red Archers move back up as their Knights charge into the only Archers that can shoot them. Blue Archers 2 turn to shoot in support of their pals, Blue MaA fall back. The Melee is uninspiring, with few Hits coming into play.


Turn 9. Red MaA and Archers advance to threaten Blue Units. Blue Archers roll up some Hits, but should've switched Dice! Shooting they're d6+2, in melee d6-2...



Turn 10. Knights 1 rout Archers, Blue Archer 2 routs them in turn. Red MaA advance in threatening manner while their Archers put another 3 Hits on Blue MaA who have 13/15...


Turn 11. Blue MaA rout. Their Archers shoot but blow it rolling a '1' for 2 Hits.


Turn 12. Red MaA are angry...Welsh Archers are nervous and roll crappy again.


Turn 13. Pathetic melee rolls.


Turn 14. Astonishingly, the Welsh Archers rout the MaA - they must've been tired. I guess the Welsh problem was an arrow shortage, not a moxie shortage!


Turn 15. Battle ends with Red Archers repositioned to cover the road, and the Welsh advancing down said road in threatening manner. At 11 to 14 Hits, they can both wipe each other out in one shot. So something of a tie in terms of damage, but certainly the hill is in Blue possession, just like at the start of the battle. A hard-fought engagement!



A good battle and very interesting to play. As I am experienced with the rules, I shouldn't make too many errors with them, so the most important aspect should be mission focus and luck. I did make a couple of important errors, however, like charging Blue Knight 1 into the Red MaA instead of the Knights - must have been distracted taking pics. Die rolling was quite varied on both sides, with astonishing highs and lows all around. 

Aside from that, I thought the game went just fine, and with the "minimal changes and additions" plays pretty smoothly as-is. Note that I haven't changed anything, just "finished" making decisions about game mechanics that are really the responsibility of the game designer. With these - or similar - in place, the game achieves what NT clearly wants: a fast-play game that is scenario-focused and hits the big points without wasting a lot of time and energy on "feel".


A few things worth commenting upon:
- 2 free turns for Units, before and after the straight-line move. This allows a LOT of gamey play with the Units, almost like they are fighter planes as they swoop out of each other's Front Arc to avoid being shot at or charged. It's a bit unrealistic. The Fix? Allow one turn, save two turns for more highly trained troops or skirmishers.
- Shooting into Melee is for me a mechanic more than a reality. It makes the Bowmen a support unit and rids us of gamey maneuvers like avoiding being shot at by being in melee! Otherwise they feel like a sniper Unit, sort of the equivilent of an '88 in a WWII game. I think it they're toned down to shoot D6 instead of D6+2, it makes for a better balance. I'd use D6-1 for poor archers, and D6+1 for better units of mercenary crossbows and such.
- Bowmen are too powerful for the early period. They impact the game like English Longbows for both sides. In essence, they shoot as powerful as Knights charge.

- The 15 hits for all can be tinkered with...I've trouble with knight Units having the same Hits as peasants, but it is all about definition also, so this isn't a game mechanic. For a more "peasant-y" unit, I could make it 12 hits, while an elite Knight unit could have 18.

Note that as the attack inflicts "Hits" not casualties, it is really also taking into account the morale of the defender. So a low roll may not be the attackers attacking weakly, but the defenders defending stoutly. This is both a realistic and clean model, the only thing it doesn't have is the mechanics of allowing the defending player to roll some sort of "save" to show he is "resisting stoutly", which is purely a matter of "feel" and does lengthen the process.

Ultimately, "feel" is the culprit for a lot of mechanics that bog down games now. Usually, it is redundant, unnecessary, or double jeopardy, and adds a lot more dice rolling [compare weapon skills - roll to hit for the target number on the chart, roll weapon strength against defense for hits, roll savings rolls for wounds, blah blah blah] that eats up your precious time. Experimenting with a savings roll mechanic may not be too tedious, as long as it is kept simple - YMMV. If you did, I'd run with something like:
Archers - none usually, 6 for fierce resistance or being in woods perhaps?
Levy - '6' [for shielded formation]
Knights - '5-6' [for armor, shields, fierceness, but no armor on horses]
MaA - '4-6' [for armor, shields, fierceness and close protective formation]
Give it a shot?

I did play a second time, and managed my attack better given the same setup, and won a decisive victory for Blue, with five units left! I leveraged Blue firepower better, also.

Final Word.
"One-Hour Wargames: Medieval Rules" has a lot of energy and dynamics with a fast-paced movement and linear / attrition combat system. There's nuance along the way to 15 hits, more than you think at first. For me, this plays like a "large skirmish" game and is a wild ride, but the better player will win most battles - which is as it should be.

Highly recommended!

Oh, and in case you were wondering...



[Turn 16!?] Couldn't resist seeing what happened! Red goes first turn 16, rolls high, and Blue Archers flee - total Red Victory!