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™: 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.

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The Black Jackals with Combat Patrol


The setup for the first scenario in Brian’s campaign based on the Black Jackals books by Ian Gales.

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 (  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.

Lamb’s platoon of three sections set up on either side of the canal. The Boys anti-tank rifle was located in a building next to the bridge. Each section had a Bren.

Refugees fleeing the German advance make life difficult for both sides. Brian used French civilians and a few trucks to represent them. Brian used a green deck to control their movements.

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.

As the Germans advance, they have a limited line of fire. The Boys ATR only has a penetration of 2, but it is enough to make the Germans cautious.

The Germans lead with their motorcycle reconnaissance element. The ATR scores a hit and incapacitates to Germans. “The Jerries know we’re here now, boys,” Lamb says.

The Germans unload their trucks and advance using the buildings as cover.

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.

German armor and halftracks advance. German infantry is infiltrating into the houses and firing on the British.

Lamb gets a radio message to withdraw.

Lamb blows the bridge. Only three civilians are killed. The Germans lose a motorcycle and a half track in the explosion.

The bridge needs repair. The Jackals begin their journey back to the regiment.

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Combat Patrol Games at Barrage


Geoff and Don staffed the registration table all weekend.

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.

Poland 1939

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.

Polish infantry and a machinegun-equipped tankette establish a blocking position.

This tankette slowed the German advance.

German infantry advance toward the farm house and are taken under fire from Polish infantry.

Star Wars

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.

Getting ready to start.

It looks like something important just happened…

Stormtroopers make use of improvised cover from some control panels.

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.

In the top left, you can see the remnants of the squad that was caught in the ope. Two Moro rifles were enough to stop them. In the center of the picture you can see part of a second American squad that moved up to rescue the first. In the foreground you see a third squad that was cautiously advancing toward the farm.

Moros making good use of cover to advance on the Americans.

Combat Patrol™ 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™: 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.

Bill running his Tekumel game with Combat Patrol™.

His scenario involved humans attacking into a tunnel system occupied by bug-like creatures.

A view from the point of view of the crashed spaceship with ancient technology worth fighting to own.

Chaos ensures as the bugs are able to use the narrow passages to good advantage.

By all accounts the new Combat Patrol™ 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.

Finland 1939

Zeb Cook ran a Finland 1939 game with the free Winter War supplement to Combat Patrol™: WWII.  The Russians were advancing against hidden Finnish opposition.

Russians attacking Finns.

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BARRAGE “Ghost Archipelago” Games

Chris Palmer    At our club’s 2-day regional gaming con, BARRAGE, this past weekend I GM’ed a game of Ghost Archipelago, and was Assistant-GM in one with fellow HAWK, Don Hogge, (in which I also got to play, to round out the player count).
   The first one, in which I was Assistant GM and a player, was Friday night.

The table set-up.  I was the center player on the right.

The Elf Heritor and his Archer scale the waterfall cliffs, as the Archer takes pot shots at the Human crew on the ground across the river.

A viscous game-long fight developed around the treasure on the ancient sacred pool, between the Halfling/Gnome crew and the Dwarven one.  Eventually the Dwarves won out. Though, the Gnome Heritor (seen standing on edge of the pool) did her share of damage. 

Meanwhile, the Gnome Warden dispatched my Heritor with a Projectile, as he was trying to leave with the temple’s Central Treasure. 

The Gnome Warden was then immediately swarmed by the surviving members of my crew, and did not make it out alive.

The Dwarves thought they had things well under control until a rogue Snapping Turtle wandered onto the scene behind their entry zone, and proceeded to chew it’s way through several of their crew, and claimed the central treasure for itself, since none of the other Dwarves dared go near it before the game came to an end.  

     The second game, in which I was GM, was run Saturday morning.

The Saturday morning game gets underway.

The view from the top of the waterfall cliffs.

Two crews battle over the river, as the Human’s Storm Warden creates a pool under the Central Treasure on the snakewoman alter. 

A highlight of the game was the indefatigable little Gnome Heritor, who bravely defended the Temple’s central treasure for several turns from an Elf crew.  The Elves’ Vine Warden cast Warp Weapon on her, and ended up destroying her sword.  She then spent several turns still winning combats despite the -2 unarmed penalty, and used her Fling ability to toss the losing opponents off the top of the temple. 

Eventually the poor Gnome’s luck ran out, as the numbers were stacked against her; but it was one heroic last stand.

Another highlight was this random Mountain Goat who entered behind the Human crew, and proceeded to munch it’s way through several of the crew, before being brought down. 

      All in all they were two extremely fun games, with a bunch of great players.  I’m already looking forward to running Ghost Archieplago again at the next BARRAGE in September!

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The Day After Barrage


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.

A full platoon of Pig Iron “serious” science fiction figures.

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.

The three rifle squads

I organized my platoon into three rifle squads a heavy weapon squad, and a couple of extra teams.

The left half of the rifle squad picture, showing the B teams.

The right half of the rifle squads showing the A teams.

An anti-tank section with a section leader.

The heavy weapons squad. One team has a light machine-gun and a flamer. The other team has a heavy machine-gun and a light machine-gun.

The sniper team attached to the platoon headquarters.

The platoon headquarters with the platoon leader, platoon sergeant, and radio operator.

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The Jetsons and Other Science Fiction Civilians, mostly


Judy, George, Jane, and Elroy

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.

More civilians, mostly.  The girl on the right is holding an Alf doll.

A few more civilians.

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.  🙂

Steam Punk George Stephenson

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.

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Barrage 2017 was a great success


See pictures here:

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Photo Report of HAWKs BARRAGE 2-Day Convention for 2017

Chris Palmer      This past Friday and Saturday, the HAWKs ran their annual BARRAGE gaming convention.  Because of a scheduling snafu, our usual late September/early October date was double booked in 2017, so we ended up having our 2017 convention in January of this year.  Despite the change of dates, we had a great crowd, a lot of wonderful games, and a wide variety of vendors.

Here are some highlight photos from Friday…


Brett Kite’s “Byzantines, Lombards, and Norman, Oh, My!” game, using Burn & Loot rules.
Dave Wood’s “Battle of Duivelskloof” Colonial era game, using the Colonial supplment to Combat Patrol rules.


Sam Fuson’s “Battle on Siapan” game, using Look Sarge, No Charts rules


Our friendly registration desk was busy both days, welcoming first timers and old grognards alike.


Kevin Fischer’s “Retreat from Jaburo” game using Mobile Suit Gundam rules.


Good eats, including homemade chili and salad,  were provided all weekend by the friendly staff of the Barrage Cantina.


Greg Priebe’s “Star Wars: Combat Patrol” game using the Star Wars supplement to Combat Patrol rules.


Zeb Cook’s “Mars Attacks, 1880’s Edition” game using modified GASLIGHT rules.


Bill Acheson’s “Panic in Pan Chaka, Part 2″  Tekumel game, using the Dark Ages and Fantasy Supplement to Combat Patrol rules.


Brian Cantwell’s “First Man into Rome” game, using modified Salamis ad Actium rules


Joe McGrath’s “Sangin Snafu” game, using Skirmish Sangin rules.


Steve Braun’s “Sea Kings of Mars” game using Savage Tales-Homebrew rules.

And here are some Saturday highlights…

A view of some of the vendors who ringed the outer wall of the community center.


Bill Molyneaux’s “The Battle of St Foy, April 1760”, using Muskets and Tomahawks rules


Rich Heffner’s Aerodrome game is a perennial favorite at the con with both kids and adults!


Daniel Erdman’s “Crisis at the Crossroads” game, using Brother Against Brother rules.


Rob Dean’s “Not Quite the Seen Year’s War” Imagi-nation game, using beautifully painted 40mm homcast figures, and using Charge! rules


Brian Lipscomb’s “Operation Brevity, May 1941” game using Battlegroup rules.


A view of the midday crowd
Both Friday and Saturday we had a busy Flames of War Tournament.
Norman Dean’s “Encounter at Jerboa” Ancients game using N.U.R.D. rules


Michael Byrne’s “Highway 10” game using Force on Force rules.

After the convention is over, it has become tradition for the club to hold a Pirate LARP, using Blood and Swash miniatures rules modified for LARPing.  This year, club member, Bill Molyneaux, was declared the winner, and Pirate King of the Club, for successfully getting the Treasure Chest out of the “Tavern” despite stiff competition from his fellow dastardly scallywags.

The HAWKs Pirate Crew!


A long sword duel between Pirate Buck and Pirate Geoff.

I plan to post a report in the next day or two on the pair of Ghost Archipelago games that I and Don Hogge GM’d Friday and Saturday, so be sure to come back to check those out.

The club would like to thank everyone who came out this year; GM’s, Players, and Vendors, who all helped make this a great convention.  See you all in September for Barrage 2018!

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Spikeshell Warrior Converted to Snapping Turtle

Chris Palmer

    I needed a snapping turtle for the Ghost Archipelago Bestiary, and the easiest way I could think of to get one was to simply convert one of the Bones 2 Spikeshell Warrior figures (from the Swamp Things set) that I still had lying around.

The one on the left is the one I used.

      I prepped the figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.  I then carefully cut off his arms, legs, and head.  I also cut away his shield and club.

     Next, I trimmed the underside of his shell so it would sit flatter on a base.  After that I trimmed his head and his limbs so they would fit the shell better in what would be it’s new horizontal orientation.  I then glued all the parts back together.   I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washer-mounted figure to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of the Elmer’s glue.

    I began by painting the whole figure with a 50/50 mix of Americana “Avocado”, and Apple Barrel “Apple Black Green”.   When they were dry, I gave the entire turtle a wash with Citadel Agrax Earthshade" wash.

      When the wash was dry, I drybrushed the turtle with Folk Art “Grey Green”.  After that I painted his eys with Reaper MSP “Holly Berry”, and then painted the inside of his mouth with Apple Barrel “Flesh”.  Then, when the flesh was dry, I agve his mouth a wash again with the “Agrax Earthshade”.  When the wash was dry, I  added some quick highlights to his tongue with the base “Flesh”.
     Lastly, I painted the base with Americana “Raw Umber”.
     I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".

     I’m pleased with how this little fellow came out.  It was just a quick conversion, but I think he makes a snappy little snapping turtle! 🙂

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One Day to Barrage


Barrage is tomorrow in Havre de Grace, Maryland.  See 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.

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