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Author Topic: ‘SOUTH OF THE BORDER – 1916’ US cavalry skirmish  (Read 3693 times)

Offline scottblance

  • Schoolboy
  • Posts: 6
‘SOUTH OF THE BORDER – 1916’ US cavalry skirmish
« on: July 30, 2020, 12:51:36 PM »

In 1916 the US sent an expedition force under Pershing into Mexico to capture Pancho Villa and his men who had raided into New Mexico.   The Mexican Government was very hostile to the Americans and while some may not consider this to be WWI  incidents like this very nearly brought the US and Mexico to war several times.  Fascinating to think how it might have affected  Americas entry into WWI as they certainly wouldn’t have been able to send as many troops to the Western front.

One of the features of the Pershing Expedition to bring Pancho Villa and his Villistas to justice was the cavalry’s difficulty to find any Villistas. Acting on little more than rumours the cavalry would ride to a village or town to find any Villistas gone sometimes by a matter of just a few hours. This was a cause of great frustration to Pershing and his troops. A scenario where a Villista Band actually decided to stand and fight would provide not only a great skirmish but a good tryout of Buck Surdu’s Combat Patrol rules (Warning – its Card Driven: NO Dice! Well a couple.).

Combat Patrol is a set of WWII Skirmish rules that is pretty flexible and can be used for many other periods – there are several free supplements such as the Wild West, Napoleonics, Philippines, Falklands Conflict and even Star Wars! Little work was required to use it for WWI/The Pershing Expedition theatre. At £28 its not cheap but along with the 44 page rulebook you do get 2 sets of the 50 Card Action Deck and the 24 card Activation Deck – all critical to play the game.

The heart of the game is the Action card which holds all the information you need to play the game. If you activate a unit to move you draw a card and it tells you how far you can go. When a figure shoots you draw a card (some weapons like machine guns draw several cards) and look for a bullet hole corresponding to the firer’s Accuracy. This may be modified by a small list of easy to recognise icons. If you hit you draw another card which tells you who got hit (in the opposing Squad), how badly & where (if you want to go into more detail), and finally if any cover negates the hit. The effects of Grenades, Indirect fire and Vehicle hits are also included on the cards. There is a d10 result for Melee (I suppose you could roll a d10 if you really wanted to) and finally the result of any Morale checks. There is a lot of info on the cards but they are so well designed that within 5 minutes of play you’ll have it sussed and resolving combats quicker than you could by rolling dice.

So how did the game play? Well fast and exciting is the simple answer. There are no charts, tables to even a QRS to have to constantly refer to and no number crunching to fry your brain. You are making decisions and drawing cards to resolve your actions in a quick and smooth manner. Even with 30 figures or so a side this solo game never slowed or bogged down. I particularly liked the ammo rules – men constantly had to reload, usually at the worst of time, all without any headache to keep track off. My machine gun section was very effective in keeping the Mexicans pinned down even though I rarely seemed to have both guns firing in the same activation – one was always either reloading or clearing a stoppage. This was a nice little touch which really added period flavour to the game.

A great, fun game using an excellent and innovative set of rules which just flows so quickly and smoothly. Highly recommended.

The figures are 28mm Old Glory and the buildings by sarrissa.

Offline Driscoles

  • The Dude
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  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 4327
Re: ‘SOUTH OF THE BORDER – 1916’ US cavalry skirmish
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2020, 10:47:23 AM »
It happened  ;)
This looks nice. Thank you for a great battlereport with cool pics.
, ,

Offline Rogerc

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2109
Re: ‘SOUTH OF THE BORDER – 1916’ US cavalry skirmish
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2020, 11:02:10 AM »
Brilliant, very much reminds me of the Gary Cooper film
My blog gapagnw.blogspot.co.uk

Offline juergen c. olk

  • Supporting Adventurer
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Re: ‘SOUTH OF THE BORDER – 1916’ US cavalry skirmish
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2020, 12:48:32 PM »
They came to Cordura!!  reminds of that Movie..great job with the game.

Offline commissarmoody

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 8669
    • Moodys Adventures
Re: ‘SOUTH OF THE BORDER – 1916’ US cavalry skirmish
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2020, 12:50:59 PM »
Great game! My great grandpa was a LT in that expedition. And if family legend is to be believed was involved in one of the few actually mounted attacks in that operation. Not sure which unit he was in.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2020, 01:13:03 PM by commissarmoody »
"Peace" is that brief, glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading.

- Anonymous

Offline surdu

  • Librarian
  • Posts: 135
Re: ‘SOUTH OF THE BORDER – 1916’ US cavalry skirmish
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2020, 11:59:47 AM »
Thanks for posting the excellent battle report.  I really enjoyed it.  I am glad you are enjoying the rules.  We have also used them for Moros in the Philippines, which can be very fun games.

Once I played a somewhat fictionalized Punitive Expedition game with Mexican government forces, Villistas, and Americans involved in the same fight.  The three sided battle was something a little different and the Americans got no points for killing government forces.

Buck Surdu

Offline scottblance

  • Schoolboy
  • Posts: 6
Re: ‘SOUTH OF THE BORDER – 1916’ US cavalry skirmish
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2020, 06:44:56 PM »
Thank you everyone for your kind comments regarding the game especially to Buck Surdu, the author of Combat Patrol.   
I got my Old Glory Federales just the other day after taking a few months to travel over the pond and  look forward to getting them onto the table for a three sided game as Buck mentioned - all I need is  couple of vehicles and a Lt Patton figure.
I have placed my order for Feudal Patrol and look to getting my Vikings, Saxons & Normans on the go - maybe even my Aztecs and Spanish.

Offline JBaumal

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 747
Re: ‘SOUTH OF THE BORDER – 1916’ US cavalry skirmish
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2020, 12:13:31 AM »
@scottblance, excellent report, great execution, I love this style! What program or app did you use for the template? The rules sound very interesting. I’ve played in Buck’s games before and always had a good time. The game looks like big fun.

Offline Easy E

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1949
  • Just some guy who does stuff
    • Blood and Spectacles
Re: ‘SOUTH OF THE BORDER – 1916’ US cavalry skirmish
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2020, 04:34:37 PM »
Very cool. 

This is a period you don't see too much of, so thanks for this.  It was fun to read and see!
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