Yesterday I held an impromptu play test of the version of Combat Patrol for pre-flintlock ear warfare. The initial impetus for this project was to game the border rievers period, but the guys in the club want to use it for various fantasy projects. I think it will also be good for dark ages, medieval, and ancient skirmishes.
This was meant to exercise the rules, so the scenario was sort of an afterthought. I had ten “teams” or “gangs.” Players drew record cards randomly to determine which forces they commanded. Then they drew a poker chip from their bag to determine which side they were on. It didn’t result in as convoluted a situation as I had hoped, as all the “good guys” ended up on one end of the table, making it easy for them to protect the herds of sheep and cows.
To make it easier for players to distinguish their figures on the table, the gangs are color coded, where the predominant color is easily discerned.
As expected, the game started with long range musketry and archery fire. The ranges are pretty short, so it wasn’t long before the melee began.
It looked like the blue gang was going to easily overwhelm the brown gang and capture the house, so the defenders began herding their livestock away from the house. They also ran the women out to where the herds were moving. Apparently the defenders did not trust the brown gang to defend their daughters.
The Action Deck was re-designed to include more melee information on the Action Cards. Also, melee is no longer a single simultaneous “flip,” as in WWII. Each weapon has a “reach” value, which determines who gets to attack first. Weapons with the same reach attack simultaneously. These changes worked quite well.
We used the mounted rules from the Napoleonic supplement to Combat Patrol(TM): WWII. They worked just fine. In the Napoleonic supplement, when firing on mounted figures, you flip an Action Card and look at the d10 icon to determine if you hit the man or the horse. I put an icon to help with that on the Action Cards for this version of the game.
There is now a new “cover” icon on the cards. It looks like a shield. If you see the shield icon, and the hit location indicates a body part with armor, the amount of damage is reduced. Metal armor reduces damage by 2. Non-metal armor reduces damage by 1. Shields also reduce damage by 1. For this scenario, most figures had not armor, but a few had metal helmets or breast plates.
Weapons also have a damage modifier. For instance, a two-handed axe is a +1 weapon, so it would add one point of damage after a successful attack.
In the end the defenders were able to retain most of their flocks (and women). The green gang captured a few pigs, but the sheep and cows (and women) were safe.
Again the object of this first play test wasn’t so much the scenario as the rules. As a result, I’ve made a few changes and am ready for another play test in the foreseeable future.