This area of the website is my hobby blog, it contains articles about games that I have enjoyed playing together with paining and model making articles.
Last weekend Lewis and I got together to play a platoon level WW2 set in the Pacific campaign. The Japanese had dug in around a small farming settlement. The USMC Platoon was tasked to launch a deliberate attack with the aim of dislodging them from the position around the farm so that there Company could continue their advance inland. We played the game using Combat Patrol. These are our favourite rules for platoon level 'skirmish' actions. The rules deliver realistic results, are fun to play and very easy to use. What makes the rules unique is that all of the detail that often slows a game down with referencing tables and data in rulebooks are incorporated into a multi-use action deck. These cards are used for resolving small arms, anti-vehicle and HE fire, melee and morale.
We based our game on the excellent scenarios that feature in the 'Disposable Heroes' set of rules. I find that the right scenario is as important as a good set of rules. I like to either play a historical scenario or one of the two scenarios from Disposable Heroes. The premise for their scenarios is that for a Platoon Commander there are really only two different types of battle that you would be involved in, attack/defence or meeting engagement. We played the attack/defence scenario. A platoon in defence would typically have a frontage of 100-200 metres, while an attacking platoon would assault on a frontage of 50-100 metres. In both cases the platoon would typically deploy two sections forward with one in reserve. This means that the defending platoon has two section plus platoon HQ available but one section must be held in reserve. The attacking platoon has a full platoon but one section is held in reserve. Defenders deploy up to 12" in, attackers up to 6" in. Both attackers and defenders place 5 potential deployment zone markers on the table ensuring that they at least 12" apart. A note is made of which deployment zone each unit is to be deployed to. When the unit is actually deployed on to the table it is placed within 6" of the marker.
The USMC plan to attack the position by encirclement going left and right flanking. Here we see No 2 section deploying onto the table at deployment zone '5' and making best use of available cover.
No 1 section has sprinted in an attempt to make it to the relative safety of the tree line. Combat Patrol allows a unit to make a double 'sprint move'. Instead of drawing one card for movement, two are drawn but a 'stun' marker is placed on the unit, signifying that the next time they activate they need to recover from there exertions before they do anything else. Unfortunately they do not quiet make cover!
No 2 section came under effective mortar fire as they advance down the sunken road from a weapon sighted around the farm. Platoon HQ move forward to try to neutralise it.
Unfortunately for No 1 section, a Japanese section was deployed facing them and managed to move forward through the jungle before they could reach it. A fierce close range fire-fight developed with the Japanese taking casualties and a lot of 'morale markers'
When a unit is activated that has taken 'morale markers' because it has come under fire, the first thing it has to do is to resolve the morale tests. This is done by turning an action card for each morale marker and applying the morale statements from the card. The morale statements are often dependent on the training/morale level of the troops and if they are in cover or not. Because the Japanese behave so differently to western troops they have a unique action deck which represents there distinct approach to life, death and honour. With the amount of morale cards they needed to apply, I expected them to withdraw to cover or become pinned, but being Japanese they responded by launching a 'Banzi Charge'.
Winning the melee, the Japanese Infanty fall back to regroup in cover.
On the USMC right flank, No 2 section take casualties from mortar fire, but continue to push forward, reaching one of the Japanese deployment zones. This triggers the release of reserve assets for both sides.
On the left flank the marines occupy one of the Japanese trenches, but the Japanese soon make an aggresive counter-attack to reclaim it.
The Marines reserve No 3 section deploy on the left flank and move forward to clear the jungle.
The Japanese wipe out the Marines who occupied there trench and retake the associated deployment zone.
However, the Marines clear the farm house and nearby plantation and by turn 6 have occupied three of the defenders deployment zones which were the criteria for an attacker win.
This was another very enjoyable Combat Patrol game and has encouraged Lewis and I to paint up a few more units for our next game.
Links for further information
Rules - Combat Patrol
Scenario - Disposable Heroes
Terrain - Terra-Former Terrain Tiles
Additional Combat Patrol battle reports
Doug and I were keen to put a scenario together and give the game a go.
The scenario featured an Imperial Base which the rebels needed to infiltrate. Once inside they had three possible mission objectives, rescue the prisoners, destroy the mainframe, assasinate the base commander. The imperial player did not know what the rebels objective was.
The imperial player had a couple of squads of Stormtroopers 'dug in' outside the entrance as a first line of defence, prison guards, armed tech support and a couple of squads of reserve Stormtroopers.
The sneaky rebels included a squad infiltrating the base through the network of tunnels in disguise as 'Snowtroopers' led by 'Chewy' who they were pretending was there prisoner.
The alarm is raised and the perimeter defence Stormtroopers redeploy back into the base. Combat Patrol uses a great little unit activation mechanism. At the start of each turn each leader has a D6 rolled and assigned to them for the turn. The activation deck contains cards with Black 1-6, Red 1-6 and some special cards like end of turn and 'Heroes'. When an activation card is turned, all leaders that have a dice assigned that matches the number on the card can activate there squads. If a squad has become pinned, they only activate on the black number (reducing there combat effectiveness by 50% until they are rallied)
So in any given turn a squad could activate zero, one or two times, however a leader can influence this. In Combat Patrol (like in real life) there is a chain of command and any commander can swap his (or her) activation dice with a subordinate (so long as neither has acted yet), to get that part of there command in to action first.
The rebels move through the first cave of the system pretty much unopposed as the Imperial player frantically redeploys to meet the threat.
The first Stormtroopers appear on the scene and a fierce firefight gets under way.
Doug considers his deployments and objectives. The terrain is all built fromTerra-Former kits. These are precision, laser cut frames that make 12" terrain tiles with embedded rare earth magnets that align the boards and hold them tightly together. The game board we have put together for this game includes bunker tiles, cave tiles and cliff tiles together with some plain tiles for the outside of the base, some of which have had Sally 4th Trench Formers set inside them.
Rebels mass outside the control room bunker. The 'techs' are aware of this through survailance images and have gone onto 'Overwatch' mode to allow them to react without taking an activation test once the rebels break through the door.
Stormtroopers assigned to guard the rebel prisoners redeploy to take a more active part in defence of the base.
Out in the caverns the rebels become outnumbered.
Princess Leia defeats the Stormtroopers facing her in melee, breaks off and uses an activation to sprint for cover. Running allows you to move double normal movement rate but at the end of the move you take a 'pinned' token to show that you can not act again until you have taken an action to rest and remove the status.
Casualties mount up on the rebel forces. The red 'splat' tokens represent morale tests. Each time a unit comes under effective enemy fire (i.e. takes casualties or would have if cover had not saved them) the leader collects a morale token. When the unit next activates, the first thing it must do is resolve these tests by drawing one card for each token it has collected and apply the results. The results are dependent on morale type of the unit and if they are in cover or in the open.
The rebels break into the HQ / Comms room. The 'Techs' are making good use of the pillars for cover. In Combat Patrol you draw a card to see if you have hit a target, your odds are modified by tactical factors like range to target, have you moved? has target moved? etc, then you identify which figure in the target group has been hit by drawing another card. Now you know who has been hit you can see if the figure is behind cover. If they are and the card turned had the appropriate cover icon on it the round hit the cover rather than the target. The target then takes a stunned marker rather than taking a wound.
The rebels have collected a sizable pile of morale tokens for resolving next time thay activate.
Hans Solo and his hand picked team of freedom fighters have gained control of the prison corridors and are ready to bust the prisoners out.
Stormtroopers have moved forwards to reinforce the 'Techs' in the control room, and have caused some serious damage to the rebels.
Meanwhile back at the prison the rebels demolition charges went of sucessfully and the prisoners join them to fight there way out of the base.
However, things are not looking so good back in the entrance caverns. Princess Leia has been overwhelmed in hand to hand combat and has been taken hostage by Imperial forces.
The same thing has happened to the Rebel General. Maybe not such a bad things seeing the pile of morale tokens he would have needed to resolve on his next activation!
The Rebels objective had been to rescue the prisoners, so technicaly they had won, however the price they paid was heavy with Leia and the Rebel general now prisoners and needing rescuing in some later game.
Doug and I had a great couple of evenings gaming Star Wars Combat Patrol, which provides an excelent set of rules for sci-fi gaming.
If you're interested, click on any of the links below for further details of:
At Partizan 2017 Sally 4th put on a Combat Patrol Participation game based on the 1978 action movie 'The Wild Geese' to coincide with the launch of the Mike Bravo 28mm Wild Geese Miniature line and Sally 4ths Wild Geese terrain / building range.
The rescue of President Limbani was going so well until a couple of trigger-happy Mercenaries decided to mow down the jail office staff and alert the whole camp.
This was where the game began, with the Merc player starting with a unit in the office, a unit helping the President out of his cell, two further cover groups lurking nearby and Colonel Faulkner overseeing things. Off-table a pair of Land Rovers were poised to lend assistance with transport and/or firepower.
For the first turn the Simba guards were subject to a morale test before activation to reflect their drowsiness as they awoke to the sound of gunfire. Only the guard towers sentries and the Ready section in the Guardroom were alert, although the way the turn played out it didn’t make much difference – the Mercs activated often and effectively, racing towards assorted Land Rovers and lorries scattered around the camp, and bursting down the approach road with Vickers machine gun and anti-tank rocket fire at the guard towers. One sentry was taken out easily but the other survived a close rocket burst. Those few Simbas that activated tended to be sluggish or wholly confused (slow movement allocation or a Pinned result) and the occasional keen soldier was picked off by a fusillade of fire from the office, whether the Mercenaries had established a fire base.
The next turn was almost as bad for the Simbas. The Landies crashed through the gate and exchanged shots with the surviving sentry. The Vickers jammed and one of the passengers was wounded but otherwise things were going well. The awake Simbas attempted to close upon the ‘muzungus’ but were chopped down by accurate fire. Sparse cover in the form of littered crates and oil drums didn’t help much and the sheer volume of fire caused a couple of squads to fragment as some rushed bravely forward while others cowered in the ablutions block! Limbani was helped into a Land Rover and – guns blazing – a small convoy raced for the gate, almost ploughing into panicking Simbas in the roadway. Return fire was general woeful, but the remaining sentry managed to wound the anti-tank operator and stun the rest of the crew. Fortunately the driver was none other than the Medic, so help was not fair away. The Motor Pool mechanics tried to stop the vehicle-jacking but were cut down and the Mercs pretty much cleared the camp of motor vehicles as they collected their wounded and raced off the table to safety. Round one to the Wild Geese!
The airport dash was less smooth. The Mercs poured onto the table, some Sprinting to gain cover, at the cost of winding themselves for an activation. A number of Simba units were foiled from entering play by the proximity of Mercenaries, whether because the latter were slow moving or had taken up defensive positions in the ruins. A couple of units did start to move across the scrub furthest away from the main Merc group.
The Vickers were hastily set up and started engaging the Simbas as they closed in, although Simba heavy weapon teams – RPGs and GPMGs – returned fire. The Mercs shredded one over-zealous Simba unit but a second raced to close range and killed the sole mercenary guarding the flank of one of the ruins.
This caused a bit of a re-think and more mercs started firing to cover their slower colleagues as they continued to head towards the cover of the terminal building en route to the Dakota. This is turn freed up another entry point for the Simbas and – as luck would have it – two elements arrived close behind the rearguard. Oops! The mercenary fortune with activations failed them and an RPG slammed into the anti-tank section. Rifle and LMG fire further whittled down the nearest merc unit until the final survivor – wounded, abandoned and doomed – decided to go out the old-fashioned way and charged with his bayonet against the two nearest Simbas. Sadly he failed by the narrowest of nine-pip margins and was easily dispatched!
The other Mercs were racing for the aircraft, dodging behind assorted airport litter including a pallet full of propane gas! Fortunately an RPG round failed to land near and the section carrying Limbani reached the door of the Dakota.
A huge amount of covering fire pinned Simba units and it was agreed that the Mercs had got away, albeit at the cost of a couple of elements plus more wounded who were dragged on board.
Many thanks to Doug Wright for running the game and doing the write up and to Dan from Mike Bravo Miniatures for commisioning the miniatures range and providing the Dak and the Bedfords.
For further information click here:
Combat Patrol - The rules that we used for playing 'The Wild Geese'
Mike Bravo 28mm Wild Geese Miniatures
28mm Modern African building range from Sally 4th
Yesterday, we had a great opportunity to host a game of Combat Patrol for their author, Buck Surdu and his son Tom who were visiting us while holidaying in the UK. As we are in the final stages of getting our show participation game based on the 1970'a action movie, 'The Wild Geese', it was a good opportunity to have a play test while Candy & Sam took in the sights of Ripon with Ann.
The scenario is 'Prison Break Out', the first of three linked scenarios in our Wild Geese mini campaign. The Mercenaries, led by Col Faulkner have already busted President Julius Limbani from his jail cell, but unfortunately the camp has been roused by resistance in the admin block. To win the Mercenaries need to exit through the south gate with Limbani, for a convincing win in motor transport with 50% of their force surviving. Buck chooses to play as Faulkner and the Mercenaries while Tom takes control of General Ndofa's Simbas who are guarding the camp. We will be running this game at 'The Other Partizan' on Sunday 20th August, so if you feel like having a go, come and see us then. The terrain is about 80% finished in these photos; the most obvious proxy is the iron railings standing in for chain-link perimeter fence.
Faulkner has at his disposal 4 squads of 5 Mercenaries rated as Elite for Morale and Regular for shooting mainly armed with FN Rifles with a Bren gun as the Squad Automatic Weapon, together with a support section containing a Vickers MMG team and a Blinder Anti-Tank weapon. One squad is deployed outside the cell block, another in the prison admin block; the other 2 squads are set up as cover party in the vicinity of the prison. The heavy weapon's teams have already requisitioned a couple of Ndofa's Landrovers and are heading towards the main gate. The Simbas have five squads of 8 infantry rated as green for firing and morale but with regular NCO's, so counting as regulars as long as NCO is still in action. One section is on guard, manning the gate and the guardroom, a half section is working in the MT shed. The towers by the gate are manned; the guards on the other towers have been eliminated before the scenario begins. The other three sections are responding to the alarm, so start the game with a morale marker that needs to be resolved when they are first activated to represent their variable state of readiness. They start off in the rest room, barrack block and at the edge of the table by the MT pool.
Combat Patrol uses a variable activation system. At the start of the game a command dice (D6) is rolled for each leader (NCO or Officer). An activation deck, containing numbered cards 1-6 (twice), an end of turn card and a number of special cards is used to determine the activation sequence. When a number card is turned all of the units whose command dice matches the card get to act. The first few activations go to Tom's units and he quickly turns out the guard to reinforce the gate, and gets his 'off table' troops moving.
Combat Patrol uses a variable activation system. At the start of the game a command dice (D6) is rolled for each leader (NCO or Officer). An activation deck, containing numbered cards 1-6 (twice), an end of turn card and a number of special cards is used to determine the activation sequence. When a number card is turned all of the units whose command dice matches the card get to act. The first few activations go to Tom's units and he quickly turns out the guard to reinforce the gate, and In the top right corner, we can see a fire fight developing as Faulkner’s cover party is engaged by Simba's moving forward from the MT pool, making good use of every bit of available cover. Unlike many rules sets, Combat Patrol models the effect of cover explicitly. As in the real world, our model NCO's give a fire control order to their section to engage a target area. Any troops within that area are potential targets, as are other figures within 4". This prevents unrealistic targeting of 'special' figures, over and above the rank and file. Once a hit has been scored, it is randomised among the target group. If the particular figure hit is actually behind a piece of appropriate cover, the cover saves them from being wounded or incapacitated, if not they are hit. All of this is done by turning a couple of specially designed action deck cards that seamlessly implement small arms fire, anti-vehicle fire, HE fire, movement, melee and morale without resorting to charts and cross referencing, allowing the player to focus on tactics and manoeuvring their model troops.
Buck de-buses the Vickers section and Blinder from the Landrovers and at medium range starts to engage the guard force. The blinder shoulder launched Anti-Tank weapon proves to be particularly effective, placing a medium blast template that often causes casualties even if it has deviated from aiming point.
Looking for cover, a Mercenary section bursts into the barrack block; however the Simbas successfully react to this movement and cause casualties in both fire-fight and melee, pushing them back out of the building.
Simba's on the main gate and guard towers deliver effective fire-power but do take heavy casualties.
The covering force that was evicted from the barrack block is caught in the open and receives heavy incoming fire and eventually taking sufficient casualties to cease to be an effective unit.
Faulkner’s group make it into the relative safety of the prison admin block to await the covering forces return with a truck or Landrovers. Unfortunately after 3 or 4 turns it is obvious that despite a spirited engagement by the heavy weapons section, the covering force has ceased to exist and transport is not going to arrive. At this point Buck concedes and victory is awarded to Tom's Simba. It was a great afternoon's gaming and a good time was had by all.
If you'd like further information,
Combat Patrol is fast becoming a generic set of skirmish wargames rules for any period from around 1800 to the far future. The core rules cover WW2 combat and ‘free to download supplements’ add period specific rules for Falklands Campaign, Winter of '79, Napoleonic and now the Old West. Last Saturday, Lewis and I dusted off our western gunfighters and American West terrain and game Combat Patrol Western a try.
We used a scenario from the 'Dead Mans Hand' main rulebook. I played the bad guys and Lewis played the Sheriff and his posse. We both had a mix of different quality characters, our leaders were rated as elite and the rest of the characters a mixture of regular and green. The gangs were divided into groups and set up around the town as laid down in the 'Dead Mans Hand' scenario. My leader had to set up in a building; he was drowning his sorrows.
My leader dashes across the street and takes cover behind the corner of a building. The dice in the picture are 'activation dice'. Each leader (and every group has a leader, even if it is an informal one) rolls a dice at the start of the turn to determine their activation number. Activation is then determined by drawing a card from an activation deck. This contains numbers 1:6 twice, a re-roll and reshuffle card and some other special cards that allow certain classes of unit to activate more (or less) times. So, for example, my leader is the figure with the white shirt. He gets to activate whenever the No 6 card is drawn from the deck.
The action hots up on the edge of town by the corral, Lewis's deputy (in the brown coat) and a member of the posse, close the range before opening up with their pistols. My cowboy in the corral has a '!' token next to him, this indicates that he is stunned, so will need to spend the next turn removing this status. He is stunned because he attempted to 'react' when the lawmen headed down the side street. Any model can attempt to react to enemy movement by turning a card from their action deck and consulting the 'D5' part of the card. If the number is less than their reaction attribute they can react and after reacting become 'stunned' to show they have acted early and taken their action out of sequence., If the number on the card is equal or higher they can not react, and if the card is a '5' they do not react but become stunned anyway.
Two of the lawmen's posse take a shot at the outlaw leader. Shooting is very fast and intuitive. The top of the cards is the shooting resolution table. All of the data about probabilities are built into the cards, rather than having to reference other charts and quick reference sheets. Figures are classed as elite, regular of green for accuracy. This tells you were to look on the top of the card. Underneath the white dots you will see corresponding letters 'E', 'R', 'G'. This is where you start on the card. You then add modifiers for the tactical situation. This are summarised by the icons on the next row of the card. Shift one to the right if target moved, out of command, wounded or at medium range and shift two to the right if at long range or if moving and firing. The posse are 'Green' and are moving and firing so they would have needed a white circle in position five to have scored a hit.
On their next activation they move up to close range and shoot again. This time they are successful, so draw another card and look at the target and cover part of the card. Unfortunately for me it was a 'headshot' with no cover save, so my leader is dead.
Against all the odds the next bout of gunfire to be resolved leaves Lewis' leader, the Sheriff dead from a headshot with no cover save as well!
The action hots up in the side street as well. The figure top left has an 'out of ammo' marker. When you fire there is always the chance of running out of ammo or getting a stoppage that needs clearing. This is indicated on firing part of card. If you are out of ammo you then need to spend a turn reloading before you can fire again.
Another two lawmen 'Go down in a blaze of glory'. At this point Lewis calls it a day. Victory for the Outlaws.
The red markers are for morale checks. Each time a unit is hit, even if round is saved by cover, the unit takes a morale marker which needs to be resolved next time the unit activates.
Combat Patrol worked really well for a western game. The supplement also covers mounted troops, dynamite and all of the other elements and troop types you would expect in a game set in the Old West and best off all it is available as a free download.
Following on from last week’s Operation Sea Lion game where Jerry raided with Brandenburg commandos but failed to destroy the British HQ, this week they have returned with a conventional infantry platoon, same beach, same mission.
Doug commands the Germans and decides to deploy all of his forces on his left flank intending to neutralise the pill box and then quickly advance to the 'George and Dragon' for a quick half... I mean to secure his primary objective.
British defenders consist of three sections of Homeguard, a Regular Army Vickers MMG team and a section of 'Old Soldiers'.
The game starts with a Homeguard section parading outside the George and Dragon, another deployed in the Pillbox on the beach and the Vickers team deployed in the MG Bunker. The remaining two squads will hopefully arrive on a latter turn. We decided that we would work out when reinforcements arrived by turning a Combat Patrol card and if it depicted a hit for the type of unit we wanted to activate, that unit would be placed on the table. The 'Old Soldiers' were rated as Regular so they needed two white bursts on the card, the Homeguard were rated as Green so they needed three bursts on the card to arrive.
The Vickers MMG team are deployed in the Vickers MMG Bunker on the extreme left flank of the British position with a good field of fire across the beach.
The first wave of invaders hit the beach and starts suppressing the defenders in the pillbox.
Combat Patrol uses so pretty innovative game mechanics. Instead of having lengthily tables and modifiers to implement combat and manoeuvre rules, all of the complexities and probabilities are distilled into a clever set of cards that have sections to resolve movement, morale checks, small arms, anti-vehicle and HE fire, cover saves and melee. Here Doug turns a card to check how far his unit will move this activation.
Homeguard reinforcements have arrived and are moving up to take a good defensive position behind the stone walls. The dice that you can see in the photos are activation dice. At the start of the turn, each leader (Officer & NCO) gets a D6 rolled to give them an activation number. The activation deck has numbers 1-6 in both black and red together with some special cards such as reroll. When the card is turned that matches a unit’s activation dice that unit can be activated. I like the way that it models a commanders (limited) influence on their subordinates. When a leader is activated, they can swap their dice with one of their subordinates to get them acting first. On a number of occasions in this game my Home Guard officer swapped his activation dice with the Vickers MMG to get them into action faster.
Here we see the 'Old Soldiers' moving into position in the back yard of the Pub. As these were reinforcements and their arrival was delayed a couple of turns, I decided to make them 'sprint' into position. Normally an infantry unit turns one card for movement, and the distance moved depend on if they are rated Green, Regular or Elite. However, you can turn two cards for movement and add them together to simulate 'sprinting' into position, but after moving you become stunned and have to use your next activation to remove the 'stunned' status.
More Jerries stream ashore!
In text book fashion, after suppressing the pillbox with small arms fire, the German Infantry rush up to the apertures and 'post' some grenades.
This kills all of the occupants apart from the LMG gunner. However he is stunned and out of ammo!
With the pillbox neutralised the Germans move forward in preparation for crossing the obstacle belt.
The machine gun teams set up in the surf, taking advantage of the rocks that offer some protection from incoming rounds and start to suppress the Vickers bunker.
German infantry are slowed down by the coiled barbed wire obstacles.
The two Home Guard defending the trench leading into the Pillbox are assaulted by German Infantry, put up a brave fight but are eventually overwhelmed.
Against all odds, a lucky shot makes it through the aperture in the Vickers MG bunker and wounds (and stuns) the Vickers gunner, temporarily silencing the gun.
However, the Germans have taken such high casualties neutralising the Pillbox and seeing that the British Defenders are now all in place behind stone walls they decide to retire and hope that they are doing better on another beach!
The terrain boards have all been constructed using the Sally 4th Terra-Former terrain system. 12" frames with a wide range of profiles such as rivers, streams, canals and beaches together with rare earth magnets to hold them together. Click here for further information.
The buildings and defences are from our Operation Sea Lion range,
The game was played using Combat Patrol rules, an innovative set of platoon level rules written by Buck Surdu. (a free set is available to try)
The scenario was taken from the Bolt Action Campaign Sea Lion book.
Last night Doug and I had a great game of Combat Patrol.
The scenario was Brandenburger Coastal Raid, the first scenario in the Bolt Action Campaign Sea Lion book. This scenario sees a small raiding party of Brandenburg commandos landing by Sturmboat on a section of the South East coast with the aim of destroying a British HQ in preparation for the main Operation Sea Lion landings.
We played the scenario using Buck Surdu's Combat Patrol rules. These are a set of skirmish level rules that use a great activation system and innovative card based combat mechanics that avoid the use of lengthily charts and look ups. We simply selected 500pts each of troops (and fortifications) using the Bolt Action campaign book and then translated them to Combat Patrol units.
The British HQ was based in 'The George and Dragon', a quaint English sea side public house next to the river estuary. Before the war it had been a popular tourist destination with well appointed guest rooms and a finely stocked cellar. Trade has dropped off recently, but the local LDV platoon have been using the down stairs snug as their command post as it is conveniently situated between the two pill boxes that provide the strength of this areas defences.
British reinforcements (Old Soldiers) move up into position, through the pub car park, (which is empty, due to rationing...there is a war on, after all).
Doug's Sturmboat's eventually all 'hit the beach'. A couple of them seemed to have developed engine problems and experienced a delay, enabling the Vickers MMG in the pill box to 'brass them up'.
The LDV volunteers in the pill box put up a plucky resistance but suffered a number of stoppages before being over ran. The Brandenburgers concentrated their efforts on neutralising this pill box; First suppressing it with weight of small arms fire before placing two satchel charges to blow a hole in the concrete. The first one was a dud; the second blew a spectacular hole in the wall, allowing the dastardly Hun to assault its bespectacled defenders.
The conclusion was a winning draw to the British LDV. The Germans had been successful in neutralising the Pillbox which was their secondary objective, but had not destroyed the HQ building which had been their primary objective. After suffering heavy casualties on the beach and seeing the British reinforcements taking up position behind the stone walls, the German commander decided to withdraw and return with stronger conventional forces.
The terrain was built using Sally 4th Terra-Former terrain boards - 12" tiles with rare eath magnets to hold them together and a wide range of profiles for beaches, hill, rivers etc. Click here for details.
The pill box's, dragons teeth and other fortifications are from Sally 4th Operation Sea Lion range.
The May 2017 issue of Wargames Illustrated includes a Falklands War sceanrio using Combat Patrol WW2 Skirmish rules plus the free downloadable Falklands War supplement.
Here, Buck Surdu, author of Combat Patrol gives as an introduction to Combat Patrol.
Combat Patrol™: World War II is a set of World War Two skirmish rules featuring unique mechanics that provide a streamlined, intuitive experience. Cards are used for unit activation as well as combat resolution and morale, eliminating the need for consulting numerous charts and tables.
Players typically play the role of a platoon commander. At the beginning of each turn players roll a six-sided die for each officer and NCO. This is their activation number for the turn. Cards are drawn from the Activation Deck to determine the order in which teams activate. Under certain conditions, leaders may swap command dice with their subordinates to give players a little more control over their forces. The use of the command dice and the Activation Deck usually allows several players to be acting at the same time. When a team activates, the figures within the team may move, shoot, reload, un-stun, or perform other actions. While a figure can only perform one action per activation, the figures within a team can perform different actions, in the order desired by the player.
The heart of the game is the Action Deck. Each Action Deck contains fifty cards that look like those in diagram below.. These are multi-functional and are used to resolve small arms, anti-tank and indirect fire, melee, and morale tests. It looks like there is a lot of information on the cards, but after you have played a couple of turns of a game you focus on the appropriate part of the card, and they provide a fast and streamlined mechanism. Small arms fire, for example is a two-stage process; first we identify if we have hit a target then we identify the results of that hit. Like in real life, fire is directed against a target area rather than a particular unit. All of the usual tactical modifiers are incorporated in the system, such as training, range, and whether the target or shooter are moving.
To resolve a shot, the player draws a card and consults the hit indicator section of the card., looking at the symbol that corresponds with the accuracy of the firing figure. Shifts to the right are applied for tactical modifiers such as range to target. If the resultant symbol looks like a bullet hole, the shot was a hit; if the resultant symbol is a dark circle, the shot was a miss. When a hit is indicated, the shooter draws another card and consults the middle section of the card to determine which figure in the target area was hit, whether he was wounded or incapacitated, and whether the figure that was hit is protected by cover. Cover is represented explicitly. If the figure hit by the shot is behind a tree or in woods and the tree icon is on the card, the cover protected the target figure and instead of being wounded or incapacitated, it is stunned, or ducks back behind the cover. Fire is conducted into an area, not at a specific figure. In this way, players may not snipe at key figures. Firing into an area in other systems sometimes creates ambiguous situations in which some of the target figures are in cover and some are not, so what modifier is applied? In Combat Patrol™, if the randomly selected figure is behind cover and that cover icon appears on the card, the figure is protected. Once players get used to the unique method of conducting fire in Combat Patrol™, shooting is resolved very quickly.
Any time a figure is hit, even if cover saved the figure, the unit accrues a morale pip to represent the effects of coming under effective enemy fire. When a unit activates, it must make one morale check for each morale pip accrued. Players do this by drawing a card from the Action Deck for each morale pip and reading the bottom portion of the card. Once all morale pips have been removed, any figures in the team that did not move or fire as a result of the morale check may then perform actions as normal.
One of the attributes for each figure is Reaction. This is used to interrupt enemy movement and is a simpler mechanic than the opportunity fire rules in many other systems. When enemy figures move through a figure’s arc of fire, it may make a reaction test. This is done by drawing a card from the Action Deck and consulting the “hit randomizer.” If the result is less than the figure’s Reaction attribute, it may fire at the moving enemy; otherwise, it may not. Since there should be some risk, a “roll” of 5 not only means the figure was unable to react, but it is also pinned. The figure fumbled or froze.
Over the last couple of months I have been collecting, painting and basing a 28mm scale WW2 Dutch Army for wargaming with Bolt Action, Combat Patrol and Chain of Command.
The miniatures that I have used are the highly accurate figures produced by May 1940 Miniatures. May 1940 Miniatures is run by Sander, a keen WW2 Dutch Army Re-enactor, so we can be sure that the uniform and personal equipment is 100% historically accurate.
Here's an overall shot of the complete platoon (plus attachments). All miniatures have been painted using Vallejo acrylic paint, dipped using Army Painter Quick Tone and then mounted on Sally 4th clear perspex bases. Click here to take a look at our quick and easy painting guide or click here to take a look at Sally 4th clear bases.
Platoon HQ contains a 2nd Lt and Sgt together with stretcher bearers and medic.
No 1 Section: Rifle Section containing, Section NCO and 2I/C, Lewis Gun team and 8 rifles.
No 2 Section: Rifle Section containing, Section NCO and 2I/C, Lewis Gun team and 8 rifles.
No 3 Section: Rifle Section containing, Section NCO and 2I/C, Lewis Gun team and 8 rifles.
Attached 81mm Mortar
Combat Patrol: Op Torch
Last night (30th November 2016), Doug and I dusted off our US and German Infantry for a Combat Patrol game set in Morrocco, November 1942.
Over the last few months we have been working on Terra-Blocks: Exotic Location Sets for representing North African terrain in a flexible, modular way. The idea is that your building is made up of 100mm cubes that can be re-arranged to make different types of buildings. We have played lots of games recently on the terrain including Pulp Alley and 7TV. Last week Doug suggested that the terrain would be perfect for skirmish wargaming Morrocco during the second world war.
Our scenario is set during Op Torch. Both US & Germans have fighting patrols out probing the forward line enemy troops. Nightime is fast approaching, in November temperatures at night are going to drop way below freezing. In the distance both patrol commanders identify a riad, a set of buildings around a central courtyard and decide it would provide a warmer base for the night.
As we were playing on a 3' square table, both patrols start off table. Activation dice are assigned to each squad and as their card is turned from the activation deck, they deploy onto the table from opposite corners. Running along the back of the Rhiad is a convinient wadi that the US troops deploy into for cover.
The Germans take a bold (rash) approcah and as no enemy are in sight send platoon HQ and two squads to check out the courtyard and main entrance to the buildings. The other two squads are dispatched to cover their rear.
US troops send their MG section with two .30 calibres to move along the wadi, into position.
A fierce fire-fight develops around the front corner of the Rhiad. The German platoon HQ is first unit engaged, and although behind cover the Platoon Commander becomes the first casulaty of the engagment.
The US section endeavour to get all available rifles into a firing position, even although some are rather exposed.
The US troops have just entered the rear of the building and the Germans have one section in the bottom right building and a second section in the courtyard, about to enter the large area center left.
At the front of the building the US troops are winning the firefight. The German Platoon Sgt joins his officer on the casualty list. At this point, a single wounded runner remains, who soon breaks and flees.
After a couple more turns of fierce fighting, with all sections pinned due to command casualties, the Germans decide to retreat and the US forces occupy the building complex.
This was a really exciting and very different game to the WW2 Normandy games that we have played in the past with Combat Patrol.
The Terra-Block: Exotic Location terrain was very effective. At the moment Exotic Location Terrain is available to pre-order at a discount via our Indigogo campaign. Click here to take a closer look at what is available.
We always get lots of questions about the clear bases that we use on our miniatures, so click here for further details!