This is the second installment of Brian Ivers’ Black Jackals battle report using Combat Patrol(TM): WWII. The Jackals prepare to retreat toward Battalion.
I use red rubber bands for wounds, black for stunts, and white for out of ammunition, but any mechanism that works for you is fine. Sally 4th also makes some nice markers from MDF.
The platoon retreats into the forest to link up with another battalion. Theirs has retreated and is miles away. Lamb has lost four men, with three wounded. 2nd section disappeared completely, as they continued moving into another part of the forest and were scooped up by another retreating company. Lamb has his mortar, but no ammunition. The ATR is damaged and is now even less useful. His little command is not just one officer and 21 men. Jerry outflanked the canal, and the Belgians and French are retreating. The British are now trying to avoid being “put in the bag.”
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.
This morning I received an Email from Brian Ivers, a Combat Patrol player in Colorado about the first game in a campaign he is running based on the books The Black Jackals by Ian Gales (https://youtu.be/LONqUKlrC2U). He kindly gave me permission to repost his battle report on my blog. The campaign begins at the Driel Canal in Belgium in June 1940. Lieutenant Lamg’s platoon from the 51st Highlanders is ordered to defend this bridge and blow it up if the Germans try to cross.
Brian mixed in some random events, like a Stuka attack, reinforcements, communications breakdowns, etc. When a random event occurred, he rolled on a special table he made to determine what happened. The Combat Patrol Activation Deck includes optional cards to trigger Game Master and Random events.
A Stuka attack misses the men on the British side of the bridge. Refugees race across to the British side of the bridge. Lamb wants to blow the bridge, but he doesn’t want to kill innocent civilians.
This past weekend, the Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielers hosted our annual, two-day, gaming convention, Barrage. The event was a big success. There were a number of Combat Patrol: WWII games on offer.
I ran a game set in Poland in 1939. The Poles were conducting reconnaissance and ran into a German force moving to capture a farmhouse to establish a battle position.
Star Wars (Rebels Era)
Greg ran a Rebels era Star Wars game using Combat Patrol. The Rebels had attacked the cargo hold of an Imperial ship to steal supplies, but it was a trap. Stormtroopers and Darth Vader attacked from both ends of the hold, turning the scenario into an escape and evasion mission for the Rebels.
Star Wars (Clone Wars Era)
Greg ran a second Star Wars game using the free Star Wars supplement to Combat Patrol. This one was a battle between droids and clones on a jungle planet.
Moros in the Philippines
Moros advanced to a small farm house to seize cattle for food. An American patrol was sent to stop them. The Moros had very few firearms but made use of the ones they had. One American squad was caught in the open and was badly mauled until reinforcements could arrive to bail them out. In the end, the Moros escaped with the cattle.
Combat Patrol(TM) works very well for the Philippines. Typically I use the Japanese decks for the Moros, but I forgot to bring them this time, so they had “normal” morale. If the Moros make good use of cover and concealment they can mitigate the American firepower advantage. When the Moros hit the Americans in hand-to-hand combat, the Americans feel suitable overwhelmed. The Moros are difficult to defeat in hand-to-hand combat, but not impossible.
Bill Acheson ran a Tekumel game using the under-development Combat Patrol(TM): Dark Ages and Fantasy (working title) rules. Tekumel is the world in the fantasy role playing game Empires of the Petal Throne by M.A.R. Barker. The races, flora, and fauna are not based on Earth mythology, so the feel of the game is quite different.
His scenario involved humans attacking into a tunnel system occupied by bug-like creatures.
By all accounts the new Combat Patrol(TM) rules that focus on melee more than shooting worked very well. There were some quibbles about the magic that Bill is bolting on and some scenario tweaks before he runs it at another convention, but in general, I think the players felt the rules worked for a melee-heavy period.
Zeb Cook ran a Finland 1939 game with the free Winter War supplement to Combat Patrol(TM): WWII. The Russians were advancing against hidden Finnish opposition.
Barrage was a great success, but on Sunday I was pretty tired and couldn’t really get motivated to do any of the other stuff I needed to get done, so like any good war gamer, I painted.
I have already painted one platoon of Pig Iron figures. I really like them. I bought an enemy platoon. They have been assembled, filed, primed, based, and awaiting paint for some months. I figured they would be quick and easy to paint, since I didn’t plan to paint them in any elaborate camouflage patterns, just territorial beige.
I organized my platoon into three rifle squads a heavy weapon squad, and a couple of extra teams.
In addition to final prep for Barrage, I also managed to get a few figures painted. The first were some science fiction civilians I ordered a month or so ago. These were kind of fun to paint, since I really used mostly block painting to give them a cartoon look.
In addition, I finally painted the Steampunk George Stephenson figure that I received at Partizan last year. Partizan is held in the George Stephenson exhibit hall. I don’t think he really had a mechanical arm. 🙂
Finally, I had this little elephant pendant (about an inch long) that my buddy Ma’k gave me to see what I might do with it. I made it a heavy weapon platform for my space ducks.
Barrage is tomorrow in Havre de Grace, Maryland. See http://www.hawks-barrage.org for more information, directions, etc.
Tomorrow and Saturday will be great days for gaming. The weather will be too cold to be outside working on your honey-do list. It has snowed recently, but the roads are clear and dry. We have food available on site for a reasonable price, so once you get hear you won’t have to go out in the cold.
We have a terrific slate of games on offer. Why not sped the day doing what you love with a great bunch of fellow gamers? Come for both days. Can’t take off Friday, come after work. But don’t miss all the fun.
I purchased a number of Pulp Figures packs at Historicon, and I finally got around to painting them. My unpaired lead collection is getting dangerously low. I like these figures. They have the stereotypical Bob Murch style and animation, which I love. My only complaint is that there aren’t enough poses to make a nice unit for skirmish gaming.
I also purchased a pack of the masked avengers figures. It turns out that I already had this set, but I painted it anyway, this time in different colors than the first set.
I have been slowly painting the Star Wars buildings I got from Imperial Terrain. My daughter painted the first one (see previous post). I knocked this one out this weekend.
These are staged with Matchbox scout troopers on speeder bikes. These can be found on Ebay for a couple of dollars, while the Collectable Miniatures figures are $10 or more — if you can even find them.
Finally, I knocked out these Crooked Dice female cultists that I picked up some time ago.