TMP’r Ioannis and Kaptain Kobold have inspired me to tackle that which I don’t like about 1 Hour Wargames. The initial idea comes directly from a post by Kaptain Kobold on TMP. Let me explain.
What I don’t like
The rules as written have the following combat mechanics. Each unit will roll either a D6-2, a D6 or a D6+2 and the result are hits to the enemy. Each unit can take 15 hits. as this is a large number, you almost certainly have to resort to using a roster and I DON’T like rosters! Now for some quick analysis. First, we can determine how long a unit will stick around before being destroyed by various attack dice (unit types). A D6-2 (1.67) will take 9 turns to kill a unit. A D6 (3.5) will take 5 turns to kill a unit. A D6+2 (5.5) will take 3 turns to kill a unit. This assumes each unit has 15 hits of course.
Enter Kaptain Kobold
TMP’r Kaptain Kobold came up with a interesting solution. Instead of rolling a single die, he rolls 1, 2 or 3 dice which equate to the damage of D6-2, D6 and D6+2 respectively. Instead of 15 hits, the units can take 5 hits. Each die that comes up 4+ scored 1 hit on the target. All other rules for doubling and halving damage apply. 1D6 (.5) will take 10 turns to kill a unit. 2D6 (1) will take 5 turns to kill a unit. 3D6 (1.5) will take 4 turns to kill a unit. The low and high end units are off by a turn. You can fix the high end simply by adding a 4th die. Then you score 2 hits on the average and it will take 3 turns to kill off an enemy unit. The low end can;t be easily fixed in this system. The problem is that the NT system uses multiples of 3 instead of multiples of 2. With that in mind, read on!
Multiples of 3
We can have each die hit on a 3+ instead of a 4+. Each unit will take 6 hits. With this you can match more closely the hit rates of the original rules. Thus 1D6 (.67) will take 9 hits to kill a unit. 2D6 (1.33) will take 5 turns to kill a unit. 3D6 (2) will take 3 turns to kill a unit. You can simply double or halve damage as necessary. Round fractions up as per the rules. It occurred to me that instead of halving the damage you could simply change the hit number to 5+ for half damage. Double damage becomes more problematic though. You are still doubling numbers…which is fine but perhaps slightly cumbersome. If you like this system, you can simply use a single D6 per unit to track damage and still apply the rest of the rules as is.
What if, however, we use even smaller numbers we can make things pretty straight forward. If you halve the hits and the probability to hit, you can gain similar results. You will also gain a certain degree of chaos as the “grand slam” hits will be more likely. So, a normal chance to hit is now 5+. Each unit can take 3 hits. So, 1D6 (.33) still kills a unit in 9 turns. 2D6 (.67) still kills a unit in 5 turns. 3D6 (1) kills a unit in 3 turns. Now for the cleanup. If the rules call for half damage, simply halve the probability to hit. So half damage is the same amount of dice but hits are on a 6 only. If the rules call for double damage, hits will occur on a 3+. With this system, you only need two kinds of colored markers. Yellow, for example, represents 1 hit and red represents 2 hits. The third hit removes the unit of course. This system will provide the greatest degree of uncertainty.
Any of the three mods will work just fine. The original by Kaptain Kobold will do fine. The rates are slightly off for weak and strong units but not overly so. With the “Multiple of 3” system, you get all the rates the same but you end up with a slightly less straight forward system (some halving and doubling) for halving and doubling casualties. This system will produce about the same amount of chaos as Kaptain Kobolds system. Both are less deterministic than the original rules. The “More Chaos” system is like the “Multiples of 3” system but adds a larger degree of chaos. It also has the added benefit of less math as you just adjust the hit number based on the situation.