Patrol! Man-to-Man Combat in the 20th Century

Patrol! was released in 1974 and expanded on the man-to-man combat themes introduced the year before by Sniper! The scale of the game was altered so that each hex spanned five metres, and each game turn five seconds instead of two metres and two seconds as in the original.

The rules were considerably more complex, being issued in a proper 8.5" x 11" rules booklet of 32 pages. While the 6 map sections contained a relatively sparse environment and few rules for terrain, the game included new elements such as horses and pillboxes. In some ways the game was simpler, having no facing requirements as in the earlier game, but still employed a Simultaneous Movement system.

From the online review at boardgamegeek.com by Francois Charton:

As in Sniper!, each player controls the equivalent of a squad of 5 to 15 men depending on the period, the scenario, and whether you attack or defend. One scenario corresponds to a few (one to five) minutes of real time action. The scale is a little larger than in Sniper! (5 meters/hex, 5 seconds/turn vs 3 and 3 in Sniper!), and there is no facing. The game system (though rated 7.1, ie pretty high, on SPI' complexity scale), is quite straightforward and easy to learn. In the beginning of each turn, players secretly "buy" actions for all of their men. A normal man has 10 Movement Points to expend per turn. Fire, direct or opportunity, consumes all MP, as reloading one's weapon, or rearming (ie readying to use it after throwing a grenade or shooting a rifle grenade). Standing up, preparing a grenade, throwing it, cost 5MP. And movement costs MP depending on terrain...

After all actions have been plotted, players check for panic: a certain percentage of all your men, depending on their hex number, have their actions cancelled, or move randomly. (although very annoying, this rule does wonders at simulating low level control problems). Then, all remaining actions are performed: combat, movement, and finally grenade and artillery impacts. Rules cover a large variety of equipment: weapons like rifles, machine pistols, machine guns, rocket launchers, grenade launchers and flamethrowers, but also barbed wire, pillboxes, artillery, mines, and up to one vehicle (APC or tank) per side. Five kinds of combat situations are covered: patrol, reconnaissance, ambush, raid and assault. Some lend themselves quite well to solitaire play. A large number of scenarios (from WWI to modern) are provided, and you can easily design your own. A standard scenario plays in a couple of hours. Altogether, I think the system is pretty good for such a man to man combat situation. However, be warned that this very detailed scale has a peculiar feeling, which not all "tactical" game players (ie players used to ASL or Gamers Tactical Combat System, which focus on company/battalion level units) will like.

When the updated 2nd edition of Sniper! was released, elements of Patrol were merged into it.

MOVES Magazine

No.19 Feb-Mar 1975 ►Additional Weapons and Vehicles for Patrol!  (Variant by Mike Markowitz)
No.22 Aug-Sep 1975 ►Opportunity Fields of Fire (Variant by Robert D. Zabik)
No.27 Jun-Jul 1976 ►Scenarios for Modern Games  (Scenarios by Phil Kosnett)
►Special Forces Weapons for Patrol: (Variant by Thomas Hawkins)
No.28 Aug-Sep 1976 ►Patrol!: Tactics in the Raw: (Analysis by Jon-Dane Lukas)
No.30 Dec-Jan 76-77 ►Focusing in on Sniper!  (Variant by Ray Thorne)
►New Terrain Features on Sniper! (Variant by Lloyd Eric Costen)
►Notes from the Polish Underground: (Critique by John Siscoe)
No.34 Aug-Sep 1977 ►The Long Patrol: A Campaign Structure for Patrol (Variant by Steven M. Dickes)

STRATEGY & TACTICS Magazine 

No. 45 Jul-Aug 1974 Simove Observations: (Critique by Gordon P. Cavis)
No. 46 Sep-Oct 1974 Patrol!: Modern Infantry Tactics, 1914-74 (Article by David C. Isby)
No. 47 Nov-Dec 1974

Combination Play System (Variant)

 FIRE & MOVEMENT Magazine  

No. 18

 

Panorama: Sympathy for the Devil, Viet Nam Wars,1965-1975:  (Review of Viet Nam Games by Rodger MacGowan with John Hill andJohn Prados)

 WARGAMER Magazine  

Vol.2 No. 23

Nov 1990

The Grandfather of Modern War: The Great War, 1914-1918: World War One Games Anthology: Part 2 - Land Games   (Review by Eric Lawson)

JAGDPANTHER Magazine 

No. 8   Chaplain! (Variant by Rev John K. Dalton )
No. 13   Sniper-Patrol (Variant by Michael Forbes )

PHOENIX Magazine

No. 6   Modifying Sniper! (SPI) and Patrol! (SPI) (Variant by Martin Thorne)
No. 21   World War II Tactical Games Review (Review by Geoff Barnard)

 


 

Patrol! Man-to-Man Combat in the 20th Century

Developer: James F. Dunnigan, Irad B. Hardy, Edward Curran
Publisher: Simulations Publications, Inc.
Date of Release: 1974
Scale: Man-to-Man
Players: 2
Campaign Type: None
Components: ► 6 map sections
► charts/tables
► 2 die-cut sheets of 1/2" counters
► 30 page plotting book


All photos from the webmaster's collection

 

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