I ran a fun Combat Patrol(tm) game at Historicon using the Napoleonic supplement rules. It featured a ragtag group of starving Frenchmen trying to reach the safety of a small Russian village while the pursuing Russians worked to stop them.
The Russians came from all sides of the table. Most of the Frenchmen were in a small column in the center of the table. The French were aided by some early card draws and unusually fast movement.
When the game ended, the French had the better part of four teams (five figures each) into the town’s buildings. The Russians have four teams of infantry and some remnants of other units. We had to call the game, because the hotel was going to kick us out of the hall, and it was clear that the French would be able to hold out against attacks by the remaining infantry.
I think all the players had a good time. I made a few tweaks to the scenario after the play test at a HAWKs night, and it seemed to really make the scenario work well.
Greg and I ran two instances of the Battle of Hoth with Combat Patrol(tm) at Historicon 2019. The first was Friday night, and the second was Saturday morning. Both instances went well. On Friday night the Imperials got half way to the cave / hangar. On Saturday they blew up the shield generator. At that point, the heroes tried to escape in the Millennium Falcon. When it emerged from the cave entrance an Imperial AT-AT took a reaction shot and blew up the Falcon!
The Rebels received 9.7 points for every turn the Millennium Falcon was on the table. As soon as the shield generator was blown up, the heroes had to board the Falcon and fly away, ending the game. The Imperials received 1 point for each Rebel they killed and 5 points for heavy weapons. At the end of the first day, the score was 58.2 to 57 in favor of the Rebels. In the second to last turn of the second day, the score was tied up, but with a lot of last turn casualties and the death of the Falcon, it was a convincing Imperial victory.
I ran a Combat Patrol(tm) game set in the Philippines in 1941 Thursday evening at Historicon 2019. The game involved and advancing Japanese infantry platoon supported by light tanks and defending American infantry with an anti-tank gun.
The Japanese were very cautions with their tanks, moving them through the difficult terrain instead of up the road. They guessed that the Americans would have the road covered, and they were correct. The Japanese weighted their right flank. Initially it was slow going (at half speed through the jungle) but when they hit the thick grass they picked up the pace a bit.
The Americans chose a very linear defense. When they detected the Japanese movement through the jungle, they quickly repositioned their machine-guns. A lot of hidden movement can really slow down a convention game, so I had the Americans deploy their infantry on the table, but I let them do hidden placement for their two machine-guns and the anti-tank gun.
The American player on their right flank recognized that the Japanese had weighted their right and that their left was weak. To make the game interesting, he chose to advance to try to disrupt the Japanese attack. Unfortunately, luck was not with him, and the Japanese spotted them first and opened fire. by the end of the game, this American squad was all but wiped out.
Toward the end of the Japanese finally mustered the courage to advance across the bridge with their tanks. The anti-tank gun took a reaction fire, which brewed up the light tank. Though the Americans lost the battle, this provided a moment of victory.
The Americans were defending the creek on their left. The Japanese advanced to the creek. The Americans reacted first, mauling the first Japanese squad that showed itself. After a couple of turns, however, the Japanese recovered somewhat and began to gain the upper hand in the protracted firefight. When the smoke cleared, the Americans were withdrawing, and the Japanese easily advanced across the creek to the hut along the road.
I think all the players had a good time. They were all engaged throughout the battle.
I used the rules from the South Pacific supplement, including the Banzai! charge rules. For some of the players, this was their first exposure to Combat Patrol, but they grasped the rules quickly and were soon playing the game with only minimal involvement by me.
At Historicon 2019, the Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielsers hosted another Armies for Kids game. This year’s GM was Chris Johnson.
I think this is the eighth or ninth year we have done this. We paint six sets of armies, one for each “side.” We package those along with rules (Milk and Cookies Rules from Big Battles for Little Hands), rulers, dice, paper terrain, and other goodies. The game is a participation game for kids under ten years old. When the game is over, each of the kids gets to take home a full set of painted figures and all the accessories.
The idea is that hopefully these kids go home and start playing games with their buddies. The kids at the convention come with their parents, so in many ways we are preaching to the converted; however, we hope that these kids go home and introduce their little buddies to wargaming.
We only had five kids this year, but we were prepared for six. Do these kids look happy to you? A couple of recent years we’ve had trouble getting enough kids for this project. Maybe we’ll need to put it away for a while.