Rat Patrol
#1
Recently I've taken to watching the old 60s TV gem "The Rat Patrol".  If you're unfamiliar with it, it's about 4 guys in 2 jeeps zipping around the North African theatre hassling Rommel's forces in WWII.  It's awesome.  And cheesy.

So obviously I was thinking this would be great subject matter for a game.  And as usual, I don't want to spend any money, so doing a full table is out of the question.  Instead, I figure doing a desert tablecloth with bead styrene hills underneath will be an acceptable alternative.

I had some thin canvas or duck cloth stashed away for just such an occasion and yesterday I decided to paint it up.  Sponge job time!  I did a couple layers of Yellow Ochre and a 50/50 white/Burnt Umber mix and feel like I got a good representation of a scrubby desert like in the TV show.

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Then of course I had to get out some models to see what they'd look like on the new cloth:

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Looks pretty good.  I should also mention that I intend to do this Rat Patrol game in 1/285 scale (6mm) and not 1/72 as pictured here.  I don't have any 1/285 panzers in desert livery yet, so for photo (and fun) purposes I used the big tanks instead.
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#2
Ah man, I'd forgotten about Rat Patrol - Will have to go through it after I'm done with Tour of Duty Wink

Won't buying all the new models cost money though...especially after you said about not spending any?
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#3
(08-25-2016, 06:47 PM)djmothra Wrote: Won't buying all the new models cost money though...especially after you said about not spending any?

Well...hmmm...yeah, hyul,

I'll have to spend a bit.  Funny thing is, I don't quite have enough models in any scale for the game - the problem is the jeeps.  I got plenty of tanks, but almost nothing else.  I've been doing my research and can get the MINIMUM number of models for a little over $40 in 1/72.  However, for that same $40 I can get more than I need in 1/285 since most of the models come in multiples in a single package; example 5 jeeps for $4.50 from CinC.  So either way I have to spend the same amount of cash and I just need to decide if I want the bare minimum or more than I can use.  A wise man once told me "Too much is better than not enough" so I am leaning toward the 1/285 small stuff.

So, if anyone reading this might want a Rat Patrol set, contact me.  I'll sell you my extras at the per unit cost (2 jeeps for $1.80, etc) plus shipping.  This will be approx $25 total, or less.  Save us both a bunch of cash.  Can even get more discounts if more people want in.
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#4
Tob,

Had you thought of giving the game Germans the same (American) equipment they used in the show?

IIRC they had M8s, M7s, M3s, etc. but Lt. Troy and the Americans had Jeeps and Shermans.


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#5
(08-28-2016, 03:14 AM)pendrake Wrote: Had you thought of giving the game Germans the same (American) equipment they used in the show?

I've given this a great deal of consideration. The question becomes, "do I want to stay authentic to the show, or to history?"
And yes, they are mutually exclusive since the show did NOT stay authentic to history. Apparently they couldn't get real German stuff to use in the show, so they just used American stuff painted to look like Africa Corps gear.

In fact, a couple nights ago I was watching an episode in which the Rat Patrol had to raid a German repair depot. Among other vehicles parked at the depot was a SHERMAN TANK painted yellow to look German. Oh boy. I am no expert, but I can sure identify a Sherman when I see one. Very distinct.

So I have gone back and forth a few times, but have decided to go with the authentic vehicles. Instead of yellow Shermans I will get some Panzer iii AusF G or F and a couple of SdKfz 251s along with a kubelwagen or two. Otherwise, looking at the wrong tanks might drive me nuts.

I think I even saw a Chevy truck being driven by the Germans on the show.
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#6
I kinda thought that when the show was being made US surplus gear was to be had for the asking and they just divided up the gear so that the two sides didn't share models.

For trucks I thought that WW2 army trucks were available in several cab models. So if they gave the TV Germans Chevy cabs they used the Ford or Chrysler cabs for the Americans.

Never spotted a Sherman switching sides.


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#7
(08-28-2016, 10:58 PM)pendrake Wrote: Never spotted a Sherman switching sides.

I've been doing a little research on the show and this might have been in episode 58, "The Kill At Koorlea Raid".

In the episode I watched last night I got a good look at a "German" halftrack and it is assuredly an American M3.
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#8
OK,

Now for the big question: what are you going to do ruleswise so that a pair of .50cal Browning MGs can match and outshoot a whole German convoy, typically: 2x half-tracks, 2x SturmgeM7s, 2x Trucks, and 2x Kampfenotwagens?


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#9
(08-30-2016, 02:33 AM)pendrake Wrote: Now for the big question: what are you going to do ruleswise so that a pair of .50cal Browning MGs...

Yes, that is the BIG question, and my one word answer is: Agility.

In the show, all engagements are always at extremely close range just due to the logisitics of television. This makes things a little easier for a game. Also in the show, the Rat Patrol uses a lot of weapons other than the 50s; tommy guns, grenades, bazooka, and small arms. The Rat Patrol player will have options for the driver and the gunner, and just like in the show, a grenade will take out a truck, and the 50s will at least M-kill an armored car. Still thinking about tanks.

So in my game, I think jeeps will be the fastest vehicles. As such, there will be a certain close range radius in which a jeep will be able to drive faster than a tank can traverse its gun. Therefore, the jeeps will be able to get more shots off than the Germans. At least up to a point. Once a German troop truck disembarks its troops it's a different story. This will help the Rat Patrol player stick to raiding type tactics; get in and get out. If they hang around too long, the advantage swings to the German player.

Generally speaking then, the strategy for the Rat Patrol player will be to hit and run while the German player must spot and deploy as soon as possible. A lot of this might end up being scenario-based; the balancing act being dictated by victory conditions.
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#10
You may want to look into the "Chain of Command" rule set. It's a great system that could probably be used for your scenarios pretty much straight out of the box. And yes a 0.50 cal HMG round can definitely punch through a half-track or armored car, especially if you're hitting the less sloped side armor. Against soft-sided vehicles, it's gonna tear some stuff up.

But you're in an open-topped, soft-sided vehicle yourself, so as soon as that Deutches Afrika Korps squad bails out of its truck and starts looking to lay down fire with a pair of MG-34s, you'd better find someplace else to be in a hurry.
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