Hold as Long as Possible at Cold Wars 2018

A long shot of the table

At Cold Wars 2018 I ran two Combat Patrol(TM): WWII games set in the Philippines in 1941.  The Japanese were advancing toward Bataan, and an understrength platoon of Americans had to try to stop them.  As you can see from the map, the Japanese had to advance across a stream and the Americans were scattered around a small village.  The stream could be crossed by infantry, but vehicles could only cross at the ford.  The map is all jungle except the clearing around the town (marked by lichen) and the peaches of felt.  Visibility in the jungle is only four inches, and movement is halved.  This made it slow going for the Japanese and hard to concentrate any firepower for the Americans.  To defend the town, the Americans had an M-3 stuart and an anti-tank gun.

The scenario just prior to the game starting

It is very difficult to find early war American infantry.  I used the Americans with tin helmets from Pulp Figures.

A lone team of Americans advances against two tanks and a squad of Japanese infantry

A forward deployed team of Americans advanced to engage two Japanese tanks and a squad of Japanese infantry.  The Americans didn’t fare well, but they slowed the Japanese advance for a couple of turns.

The American line of defense
Advancing Japanese

The Japanese advanced steadily on their left flan.  After destroying the American team in the center, the Japanese advanced into the village to engage the Americans.  The huts provided very little cover, but as the Japanese advanced into the clearing the Americans finally had enemy in their fields of fire.

The battle begins to heat up in the village
Americans taking up positions in the rocky outcropping

This rock was a deceptive piece of terrain.  It seemed like a good defensive position, but the jungle limited the field of fire, and it could be easily bypassed.

Japanese infantry and a tank advance through the village. Note the nurses hiding behind the hut

In Combat Patrol(TM): WWII when figures are wounded or incapacitated, the unit’s leader acquires a morale marker.  When a unit next activates, it must first make a morale check for each marker it had accrued.  A funny moment came during one of these morale checks.  The platoon headquarters had to make a morale check.  The four Army nurses were attached to the platoon headquarters.  One of the morale results had the platoon leader and two nurses charge into melee with the Japanese.  The Japanese had a better morale number, so this didn’t work well.  The Japanese killed both nurses and the platoon leader.  As a result of losing the platoon leader, all of the American units became pinned.

American infantry and anti-tank gun lined up on the road to stop the Japanese advance

Chris Palmer took over control of the Stuart tank midway through the game.  Chris got several shots at the Japanese tank, but he missed every shot.  Between the Americans being pinned and both Japanese tanks closing on the road, we called the game a Japanese victory.


A Lilly Pad Too Far

A long shot of the table

At Cold Wars 2018 in Lancaster, PA, last weekend, Chris Palmer and I ran a GASLIGHT game involving giant anthropomorphic frogs.  We haven’t had the frogs on the table in a couple of years.

Early in the game as the North Americans begin to deploy from their line of march

The game was pretty fun.  The scenario is from The GASLIGHT Compendium.  The North American frogs are part of the advance guard for a frog column.  The South American frogs are trying to cut off their line of march.

South American frogs advance to engage the North Americans

The North American frogs quickly deployed from their march formation to engage the South Americans.

South American light cavalry advancing

The South American frogs advanced on both flanks, enjoying success in both attacks.

Chaos in the center as various bands slug it out

The North American right flank held on and began to advance, but the dragon flies moved to a blocking position and determined to hold their portion of the road.

A view along the North American line of march. The North Americans needed to hold open this road
North American light cavalry defeat some of the South American dragon flies
South American frog heavy cavalry and dragonflies fight the North American light cavalry mounted on geckos

The South Americans were crushing the North American left flank, preparing to cut the road.  They also had the dragon flies across the road.  At that point, we called the game a South American victory.

Greg Priebe’s Star Wars Combat Patrol(TM) Games at Cold Wars 2018

A long shot of Greg’s Star Wars game using Combat Patrol(TM): WWII with the free Star Wars supplement

Greg Priebe ran two Star Wars games using Combat Patrol(TM) at Cold Wars 2018 last weekend.  He ran this scenario twice.  On several occasions the shouting from the table was deafening.  One time was when the rebels killed Darth Vader.

Stormtroopers advancing to attack the Rebels at the supply dump

The scenario involved a group of Rebels, including Kanan and Ezra, who had come to this planet to steal Imperial supplies.  Unfortunately for them, it was a trap set by the Empire.  Stormtroopers, including Darth Vader, attacked from the two narrow sides of the table, and the Rebels had to try to escape.

Rebels taking up hasty positions in the supply dump

If the terrain looks familiar, it is because we used this table for five games during the weekend.  Don used it for a WWII game between the Japanese and Americans on an island in the Pacific.  I used it for two games set in 1941 with the Japanese attacking Americans.  Greg used it twice for his Star Wars games.  We varied the terrain slightly from game to game, but using the same basic table for several scenarios really helps ease the transition times between games and takes some stress off the GMs.

Zeb Cook’s Finland 1939 Combat Patrol(TM) WWII Game at Cold Wars 2018

Advancing toward the frozen river, I ran into some hidden Finns.

Last weekend was Cold Wars 2018 in Lancaster, PA.  Zeb Cook ran at Finland 1939 game using Combat Patrol(TM): WWII.  He was short a couple of players, so I was able to play in this game.  I had a terrific time.  It was a hard scenario for the Russians.  We had to advance across the table.

The fighting heats up!

We (Russians) enjoyed some initial success on my (left) flank.  I was advancing toward the frozen river with my squad, and then I ran into a hidden squads of Finns who ambushed me.  I passed my morale checks, fired with some of my men, and then charged into hand-to-hand combat.  By the end of the game, this Finnish squad was down to two wounded figures who had gotten away and crossed the river at the bridge.

After a couple of turns, the Finns were down to four men in this squad.  Only two eventually made it across the bridge.
Another view
I eventually made it across the river and into this copse. It was a little too late. I was in a position to flank the main Finnish position on the ridge (to the left of the picture), but their reinforcements were arriving.

At this point, though I had crossed the stream and occupied the clump of trees, it was clear we were not going to get an intact squad off the far end of the table.   It was a very good game, and a tight scenario.  The special rules in the free Winter War supplement really added period flavor to the game.

Zeb’s Combat Patrol(tm) Wild West Game at Cold Wars 2018

Zeb Cook’s cowboy game using Combat Patrol(TM)

Zeb Cook ran a zany and exciting cowboy game using the Combat Patrol(TM) Wild West supplement.  There was a lot of hottin’ and hollerin’ from that table.  I was busying running another game, so I didn’t get to participate.  It looked like a great game.  I have played some of his other Combat Patrol(TM) wild west games, and they were all very fun!

The streets are strangely quiet
The action begins to heat up