There were several Combat Patrol(TM) games run at Historicon 2017.
French vs. Italians 1940
The first was a Thursday game run by Eric Schlegel set in southern France in 1940. It involved the Italians attacking the French. I only managed to get one poor picture of this game. You can see that the Italians had to advance across open ground to get to the French positions or slog through the woods. Despite some success on the Italian right flank, the game was judge a French victory.
I then ran two bocage games on Friday. Don and I set up the bocage table and then ran three games on it. I ran Combat Patrol(TM) in the morning and evening. In the afternoon Don used to table to run a game using “brand X” rules (Battleground WWII). In both of my scenarios the Germans were allowed hidden setup, and the Americans were tasked to clear the road. Unfortunately I was busy running the game and didn’t remember to take very many pictures. The ones I have don’t tell a coherent narrative, but you can at least see some eye candy.
After the first scenario, every US vehicle had been knocked out, and the Germans had taken few casualties, so it was a decisive German victory.
The first running of this scenario was a decisive victory for the Germans. The Americans attacked across a wide front, weren’t very aggressive, and never were able to mass on a decisive point. The second instance was much closer. The Americans massed on the German right flank and enjoyed initial success. Then they got bogged down fighting for the farm house in the center of the table rather than bypassing it. The game was a marginal German victory.
Action around Pomme du Terre
We then set up a French village, called Pomme du Terre, and ran four games on it to amortize the effort of laying out all the buildings. We ran three Combat Patrol(TM) games on the terrain and one with “brand X.”
Duncan used the town for Germans vs. Americans in 1918. I was running one of the bocage games while this game was going on, so I only snapped two quick pictures. Apparently the American platoon was pretty badly shot up trying to take the town from the Germans.
In these pictures you can see that Duncan uses flat disks from Fantasy Flight Games to mark morale checks. You can also see that Duncan printed unit cards with colored circles on them. These circles corresponded to colors on the figures’ bases and made it easier for players to figure out which troops were theirs when the fighting got close.
Saturday morning I ran a German assault to capture Pomme du Terre from the French in 1940. The French were supported by an AT gun and three FT-17s, only one of which was equipped with a gun rather than a machine-gun. There Germans were supported by two Pz. II’s
The Germans advanced steadily through the town but then got bogged down trying to clear the town square. Had they advanced around either flank, rather than right up the middle, they might have gotten to the French AT gun and cleared the road. The result was a French victory. All the players seemed to really enjoy themselves.
My second game in Pomme du Terre was an American attack on the town. It was more of a meeting engagement as the Germans weren’t prepositioned in the town, but the onus remained with the attacker to clear the road. The Germans had a Panzergrenadier platoon with halftracks, two Pz. IV’s and a Marder. The Americans had an armored infantry platoon with halftracks, a Sherman, an M-10, and a Stuart. The Americans had a bazooka as well as several captured Panzerfausts. The forces were of roughly equal size.
The Germans lost a Pz IV early in the game from a shot from the M-10. The Marder was knocked out by a long-range bazooka shot. On the other side of the table, the Germans got THREE shots off at the Sherman but rolled very poorly and didn’t knock it out. They did damage the main gun, turning it into a mobile machine-gun platform. The Americans handled their vehicles aggressively. The combination of the Sherman, M-10, and Stuart kept the remaining German Pz. IV busy but didn’t knock it out by the time the game ended.
Both the American and German infantry advanced into the town and got into close quarters combat in and around the town square. Despite heavy casualties, neither side managed to get a clear upper hand.
A funny moment came when, after the left-flank Pz. IV was knocked out, an American halftrack dashed around the flank, dodging Panzerfaust shots, and circled behind the Germans. Big surprise for Herman as their infantry started taking fire from three directions.
Though the Germans didn’t knock out any US vehicles, they did knock out the 75mm gun not he Sherman. The objective was for the Americans to control the road through town. They didn’t manage to do this by the time the game ended, so we called it a marginal German victory.
We had one player who struggled to get his head around the card mechanics of Combat Patrol(TM) and another who wanted to argue the ratings of guns and armor for some of the vehicles, but otherwise the weekend was a big success. Many new players had a chance to try Combat Patrol(TM), and several went down and bought copies from the dealer hall — or at least said they did. I also had quite a few players who came back from either previous conventions or from previous games this weekend. Every one of my games was completely full, and I even added a couple of extra players who really wanted to try the rules.