Combat Patrol Sea Lion Play Test for Barrage and Fall In

This Saturday we held an organizational meeting for Barrage with the HAWKs who usually participate in running the convention.  After lunch we played a fun game of Combat Patrol.  Greg and I will be running this Sea Lion game at both Barrage (28-29 September) and Fall In.  The terrain will look similar to that of our Sea Lion games at Historicon 2018.  Little Basely by the Sea is once again the scene of a German attempt to gain a foothold on British soil.

Just as the game began, the Germans are coming over the sea wall while a 35(t) comes up the narrow ramp. We placed many trucks near the waterfront to give the Germans and opportunity to steal them to help them get to the airfield.

The Germans landed in force on the beach.  This landing craft and these Germans in rubber rafts were somewhat separated from he main body.  Their goal was to disrupt the nearby airfield so that the RAF could would be hampered in its attempts to support the beaches.  The German objective was to get across the table and into the corner of the airfield represented on the table to blow up a Spitfire.  That is a long distance to cover in a four-hour game, so we placed a lot of trucks and cars near the sea wall to enable the Germans to steal them and move more rapidly.

Early in the game, the Women’s Land Army hears the alarm and runs from the fields to “fight them on the beaches.”

The British forces consisted of two squads (sections) of Home Guardsman with Boys ATRs, a 6-lb. Smith Gun, one squad of regular army British soldiers.  The locals got into the action in the form of Land Girls from the Women’s Land Army, church ladies, and some women’s auxiliary with improvised weapons.

The German forces consisted of a full platoon of German infantry, two 35(t) tanks, and a Panzer III.

I had a squad (section) of sailors who were — of course — in the Frog and Firkin pub when the shooting started.

The British thought that they also had a squad (section) of sailors, but it turns out they were Fifth Columnists.  They were actually German sailors in disguise.  I decided that their best use would be to run over to where the Home Guard had set up some AT weapons kill the crews and make it easier for the German tanks to get off the beaches.

German tanks coming up from the beach, Germans disguised as British sailors, and a civilian truck full of Germans.
The Sailors (who are really Germans in disguise) attack the Home Guard’s Boys AT Rifle to pave the way fro the German tanks.

The German players didn’t realize I was on their side and almost began to fire on my sailors.

The fight between the Fifth Columnists and the Home Guard gets ugly.

The entire squad (section) of sailors was killed by the end of the game, but I had successfully kept the ATR out of the action and even began to threaten the Smith Gun with my single survivor.

The Smith Gun takes aim — and misses bot the civilian truck full of Germans and the 35(t).

In the meantime, Duncan had advanced his 35(t)s up the ramp from the beach and was “racing” toward their objective.  One of them kept getting really poor movement distances and the other bogged down in the woods for a couple of turns.  The Smith Gun took a shot at the advancing truck full of German infantry, but it missed horribly.  Then the 35(t) rolled into sight.

The Smith Gun fires!
A scene in the middle of the game from the beach. One 35(t) is burning, but the Germans are advancing on the left. The ladies’ auxiliary is harassing the Germans on the right.
The Home Guard getting organized to fight the advancing Germans coming up from the shore.

The game was set up so that the Germans were supposed to have an easy advance until the British reinforcements were released.  Geoff’s Home Guard and Eric’s particularly aggressive Women’s Auxiliaries slowed them more than anticipated.  When Greg’s truck full of Germans got to the third table (between the town and the airfield), that was the trigger to release the troops from the airfield.  The reinforcements consisted of four Bren carriers.  While none were equipped with ATRs, this gave the British six Brens and a .30 cal. water cooled machine-gun.  The .30 cal. could disable the lightly-armored early war tanks but failed to do so.  In the last turn, the Pz. III got close enough to shell the airfield, the British machine-gun got two shots the tank but failed to cause any damage (it was a long shot anyway).  So, I called the game a German victory.

Late in the game, the advance of the Germans has triggered the release of some reinforcements from the airfield: four Bren carriers.
Eric turns his Women’s Land Army girls toward the center of the bagel, while Greg ponders his position.

It was a very fun scenario.  With one or two small tweaks, I think it will go well at Barrage and Fall In.