This week we are going to start a series of Combat Patrol games, in a narrative style campaign. The first game is a refresher of the rules and mechanisms since Combat Patrol works somewhat differently to every other ruleset we play, but the casualties will have a bearing on the games to come so hopefully the players will be careful with their tin soldiers lives….
The briefing for the two sides is simple. The Germans have 3 x 5 men teams (with 1 LMG amongst them) and a 3 man MMG team. They are the outpost line and may have dug themselves in. The British troops have 2 full sections (4 teams) and a Platoon command team. They are to probe the enemy and find their positions. If they can they should attempt to manoeuvre a team to the enemy base edge which will induce a withdrawal.
Apologies for the poor photo’s, they’re from my phone.
Figures a mix of FAA, Britannia and Lancer, farm from Commission Figurines, Hedges from Last Valley and trees a mix of Last Valley, home made and some new additions to my collection from Woodland Scenics, based and finished last week.
I’ve had a surge of enthusiasm recently since switching off the Flight Sim server for a little while and having a break/wind down from all the stress that was causing. As a result I’ve had a number of real productive sessions doing one thing or another for wargaming.
We have been trying to sort out a calendar of games for the near future, as too many weeks end up being “what are we doing next week” and as a result we either end up with Dominion, Carcassonne (Both great games in their own right) or something completely new. What we aren’t doing is playing a ruleset for a few weeks to get back into the groove, and therefore nights are spent more looking at the rulebook and trying to remember what the hell is going on, rather than enjoying the game. Anyway, this prompted me to look at what I wanted to do for a few weeks and I decided I wanted to play Combat Patrol with Matt, Richard and Peter, first in it’s WW2 setting, and then possibly moving into Vietnam again.
My 20mm terrain is looking pretty tired, and to be honest desperately needs revamping. So I bought the farm below from Commission Figurines. (www.commission-figurines.co.uk)
I’ve got some of his other ruined terrain and like it so thought I’d splash out on something a bit bigger. A couple of days later I had a box of MDF in front of me. The kit itself is very straight forward to put together, to be honest I think it slotted together without glue for the most part in about 5 minutes. However, once built I wasn’t entirely happy with it. MDF is fantastic for some things, but representing slate and stone I don’t rate it up there.
So I set about customising the kit a little
First I glued some window cills and lintels cut from thin card. Using the same thin card, I cut some individual stones to put on the corners of the main farmhouse, as if that had been standing first, then the yard walls had been joined onto the building. Then I got some mounting board and made some shutters, scoring the front to represent planking. Then I remembered some laser cut shingles from Warbases which were left over from the 28mm Barn. So I used them on one of the 3 roofs. Of course, this just made the other two look even worse, so I took an old cereal box and cut some strips of tiles myself. They’re too big really for 20mm, and I did each strip freehand without reference to the one before, so some of the tiles don’t overlap quite right. But, the general impression is reasonably good. Last thing to do was to coat the entire surface in a mix of PVA, water and some ready mixed filler I had knocking around. This tip from Richard Clarke is very good, and it really does a lot to give a textured surface without going to extremes. It also is very useful for disguising the corner tabs of the MDF.
An overall spray of Matt Brown, then a heavy dry brush of “cashmere” and a lighter dry brush of “Ivory” (both Homebase tester pots) and the main walls were done. Dark green paintwork for the wooden fixtures, and black roofs dry brushed with Vallejo Black Grey and then very light GW Space Wolves Grey and we’re done, with the usual ground texturing and paintwork to match my figure bases.
I’m quite pleased with the overall effect. And it’s proved a useful test bed for painting buildings which will come in handy as I have 6 new scratchbuilds coming from Stephan at HACME Construction (Rapier Mini’s). Only problem is that I’m now even less satisfied with my old scratchbuild terraces, I think they’ll be getting a repaint and some shutters/new roofs shortly.
We’ve been playing quite a bit of Chain of Command by Too Fat Lardies recently using my 20mm figures. One of the key aspects to these rules is the use of Jump Off Points from where your troops deploy onto the table. Up till now we’ve been using some laminated markers as the sets of resin ones sold by TFL are for 28mm rather than 20mm. Today however I finished the first half of the replacement markers. Made from 40mm steel bases from Precision Wargames Supplies (and a couple of cardboard ersatz bases as I ran out) and using resin pieces sold by Value Gear and a couple of silfor tufts. I’m pretty pleased with these ones, which are for the Allies to use, and I have 4 more for the Germans on the workbench.