The Black Jackals with Combat Patrol (pt. 2)

This is the second installment of Brian Ivers’ Black Jackals battle report using Combat Patrol(TM): WWII.  The Jackals prepare to retreat toward Battalion.

The Boys ATR and another section offsite them hold the line while the rest of the platoon “hops it.” The 2-inch mortar prepares a fire mission to screen the withdrawal.
“Jerry” is not sympathetic and moves Panzer Grenadiers into the houses. They push forward a Panzer III.
The Boys ATR will only scratch the paint on the Pz. III, and the mortar won’t do much better. Things are looking grim!
(Pardon the anachronistic skirts on the Pz. III.) The two-inch mortar gets to incredibly lucky hits on the halftracks. Even using the grenade template the mortar has a huge effect.
Unteroffizer Schreck Lodges a formal complaint about the mortar into the building occupied by Lance Corporal Jones and the Boys ATR team. This is the second hit on the building, which is tracked using a green die. Since the gun on the Pz. III is small and the first round was AP, Brian decided that the building could take three hits before it was destroyed.  All the occupants are stunned (as denoted by the red rubber bands).

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.

To add injury to insult [sic], a rather motivated squad of Panzer Grenadiers course small arms and machine-gun fire into the house occupied by no. 3 section. All inside are stunned, and one is incapacitated.
German mortars fall like leaves in Autumn. No. 3 section suffers two wounded. All are stunned. Lt. Lamb has needs to get it sorted “before we have a bloody disaster on our hands.”
Meanwhile the rest of the lads have almost reached relative comfort of the forest when the sound of a Stuka’s siren interrupts their quiet walk in the sun. It misses again. God favors the Jackals. But the sound of armored treads can be heard from the forest…
It’s Lt. Tiffan-Smyte from the Lancastershire Yeomanry. “I heard you were in trouble, old boy, and thought you’d like a lift.” Lamb reaches out a hand in greeting. “Bloody Hell! Where did you come from?”

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.”

To be continued…


Play Test of Combat Patrol for Pre-Flintlock Era

Not quite a bastle house, but it was okay for a play test.

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.

The initial setup for the game.

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.

The green “gang” in their initial positions.

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.

The purple gang.
The red gang.
A group of mounted Rievers riding to the fray.
The purple gang and the red gang lock horns.

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.

The green gang’s archers do a lot of damage to the farmers, as can be seen by all the rubber bands on them. Also, the leader was killed, so their command die was replaced by a black one to show that the unit is pinned.

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.

When he skirmish began, the sheep and cows were grazing.

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.

The mounted Rivers took a archery fire from the gray gang which unhorsed one of the riders.

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.

The farmers begin to drop from carbine and archery fire.

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.

The sheep and cows being herded away from the attackers.

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.

The blue gang and brown gang mix it up.
The green gang’s archers do a lot of damage to the farmers, as can be seen by all the rubber bands on them. Also, the leader was killed, so their command die was replaced by a black one to show that the unit is pinned.
The purple gang gets the upper hand on the red gang.
A scrum involving three of the gray Rievers and one of the mounted Rievers.

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.