HAWK Zeb Cooke ran a cowboy game at last Friday’s club meeting using Combat Patrol(TM). Players controlled posses, gangs, units, etc. vying for control of the town and possession of gold, cattle, and a saucy bar wench. (I may have made up that last bit.)
By all accounts the rules worked just fine for the cowboy period without modification. All Zeb had to do was build unit records with different weapons on them to reflect the technology of the day.
The little cards in the foreground represent cattle. Zeb had printed cows on the tent-folded cards.
There was a rules misunderstanding regarding shotguns that made them overly powerful in the game. They were doubling the rate of fire on double barreled shotguns, but the base rules, written for WWII, assumed the rate of fire for pump-action shotguns. Doubling the rate of fire from the base rules made them nuclear weapons.
In the post-game kibitzing on the drive home, Duncan and I talked about whether the normal command radius should apply to cowboy games. As I think on it, I think for units, like cavalry and infantry, they should still use the command radius. For groups that would be essentially main characters in a movie, you could suspect the command radius or make it very, very generous. I think in a cowboy game you want guys running all over the table causing mischief.
We had a couple of new gamers who had not played Combat Patrol(TM). I was playing in another game at the time, but I heard that they both enjoyed the game and picked it up quickly.