Buck's Blog

The Stream-of-Consciousness Journal of a Wargamer

Combat Patrol on New Years Eve

Early in the epic struggle in Granville, IL, between the American Army and space aliens.

Since 2009, we have been hosting a war-game on New Years Eve.  I don’t find New Years Eve a compelling holiday, and I don’t feel like sharing the road with a bunch of drunk people, so we start gaming around 1500 and end a little after midnight, which gives everyone time to get home before the craziness beings.  We usually make the games light, often Christmas themed.  The first game last night was a GASLIGHT game centered around the movie A Christmas Story in which two groups of characters from the movie competed to round up items from the movie, such as the Red Ryder BB gun and blue bowling ball, while the town was being invaded by zombies.  For this game, I set up my Granville, Illinois, town that I use for my pulp and gangster games.

The second game used the same terrain, since it takes a couple of hours to set up.  This time, American troops were defending the town against an attack by space aliens.  In the picture above, you see a crashed space ship in the foreground.  The aliens landed and advanced toward the ship.  The device in the foreground is the macguffin.  The aliens have to get to it and destroy it.  Why not nuke it from space?  The aliens had to make sure that the Americans hadn’t already found and exploited the device.

This doesn’t really follow any narrative, but it is meant to provide a bunch of eye candy.

The diner where not too much action took place.  You can also see the trailer park in the distance.

Two of my buildings.

Early in the game, the Americans advanced a bunch of cars from the drive-in theater to block the path of the alien tanks down two of the roads.

American infantry took up positions in two department stores. You can see where the Americans have parked cars in the road to block the path of the alien tanks.

An American tank gets brewed up by the aliens.

The aliens did a nice job maneuvering their tanks and infantry together up the roads agains the American opposition.

Early in the game: the aliens are just beginning to advance.

A long shot of the table before the game kicked off.

Another view of the table before the action.  It took several years to build up the town a few buildings at a time.

A swell GM helping to resolve indirect fire.

Early in the game. You can see the initial alien dispositions.

Giant-sized aliens and armored infantry advance up the road with tank support.

Another view of the table without troops.

Yet another view.

A space alien tank advances put he road toward the Americans. These tanks were made from cheap, soft plastic tanks in a bag of green army men from the dollar store.

An American anti-tank gun takes up position in the school yard. It had a limited field of view and was unable to penetrate the front of the alien tanks.

Another view of the table in the middle of the action.

Americans advance from the school yard and town hall to take up positions in the down town area.

Another view of the initial dispositions of the aliens.

After being hit by HE from an alien tank, the American anti-tank gun had to pull back deeper into the school yard to seek cover.

An American Sherman crashes through the fence of the drive-in theater to take up a firing position.

Alien armored infantry in the background and worm infantry in the foreground advance on the Americans.

A scrum taking shape between American in and on the building on the left and the advancing alien infantry.

The game went well.  The Americans had lots of opportunities to knock out the alien tanks, but they had bad luck, missing almost every shot.  While the Americans tore up the alien infantry on the American left flank and delayed the alien infantry on the American right, the aliens knocked out all but one American tank and drove relentlessly to the objective.  Combat Patrol worked fine for a science fiction game.  It was a nice way to spend New Years Eve.


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