Combat Patrol (TM) – A second look

Matt and I played through a goodly number of turns tonight of a test game, set in Vietnam pitching a regular rated American platoon against a number of Green rated VC Cells. Table was mainly jungle with paddies and a village in one corner but the action was firmly within the bounds of the jungle.

We started at around 8.30pm, and by around 10pm had played 5 turns, including explaining the rules, reading through to find specific answers and so on. Pretty good going and to be honest it felt like we were motoring compared to other sets. Resolving movement distances, activation sequences, shooting were all done in a very slick fashion so CP gets a firm thumb up for speed. Matt had picked up the sequence and mechanics easily within a turn.

We only had a few exchanges of fire, which being at short range in the woods were extremely bloody affairs, with only a few shots being saved by the terrain. I wonder if this is because the rules were developed for discrete “areas” of woods, rather than 5/6ths of the table being wood. I shall ask. It could also be down to the cards, we definitely need to play through a few more games to get a feel for the distributions of damage/cover etc.

I still think that there could be work done on the physical rule book to lay out concepts in both their basic and advanced forms in a more logical and flowing manner, and that some clearer pictures/graphics would be beneficial. However, one of my previous criticisms turned out to be wrong, there is a pictorial explanation of the cover icons, it’s just not where you’d expect it! (Kudos to Buck for not pointing out my mistake either!)

As ever when you play a new ruleset on your own, you end up with questions. However this time, we had only a few and I will post them on the Yahoo site in the next day or so in the full expectation that a swift response will be given, Buck’s support is extremely good from what I have seen. As you’d expect, some of our queries are more in line with using a WW2 set for Vietnam, “how should we treat RPG’s, M79’s”, “should we treat jungle like woods”, etc and not direct rules misunderstandings although one has just been asked and answered in the past couple of days!

All in all, we are very impressed with the rules and look forward to using them again. I suspect that the rules will not receive the praise and interest they deserve (there’s precious little out there on the blog-o-sphere and on TMP), and will be doing what I can to rectify this.

And now a few pictures of the table and figures.

US

US

VC

VC

Table