Combat Patrol

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The universe of Warhammer 40,000 is famous for the almighty battles involving thousands of armoured warriors, huge tanks, gigantic weapons and hideous beasts. Names such as Macragge, Armageddon and Valedor are synonymous with epic conflict. But behind every cataclysmic conflict are the smaller skirmishes, where highly trained operatives sneak into enemy territory to disrupt supply chains, assassinate key opposition personnel, take out specific targets and capture key positions. These are the unsung heroes of every army whose achievements often go unnoticed; teams of Space Marine Scouts, Ork Kommandos, Eldar Rangers and Imperial Sentinels who are responsible for achieving missions which help go on to win the war.

It is their tale we tell at this event. You are tasked with recruiting your own Combat Patrol and heading into war, where you will do battle with other skirmish forces deep behind enemy lines. Have you got what it takes to survive?

A great chance for Your Dudes to have a turn in the limelight.

Combat Patrol is a Warhammer 40,000 Tabletop game mode. It's designed to have maximum accessibility for new players, and, as such, is actually pretty damned awesome. The idea is a version of the tabletop game that you can play in a lunch break or something, and it's rare for a game in this mode to take more than 45 minutes. Armies rarely get too much bigger than a squad or two of troops and maybe an errant vehicle or APC. It's not a "light" set of rules, but rather an interesting way to play with the rules that already exist in the game.

Like Kill Team (another game mode that originated in 3rd), the game mode became popular with the glory that was 3rd Edition, when Games Workshop actually cared about its playerbase and went out of its way to give them everything they needed in a single basic set (seriously, the original book had guides on how to create awesome-looking terrain and buildings from scratch and instant templates new players could use for gameplay), the sort of "give the players a stick and let them carve out their own fun" mindset that GeeDubs would never allow today.

Unlike Kill Team, however, the rules for the game, for the most part, still hold up to this day. Combat Patrol is thus definitely worth your time and a great way to introduce new players to the 41st Millenium with the miminum of expenses. A really nice advantage of this ruleset is that it gives a great opportunity to make use of some units that otherwise would see barely any or even no use whatsoever, because they really shine here with Combat Patrol's rules restrictions allowing a bit more freedom for underused choices. If you ever wanted an excuse to put something you'd otherwise never field on the table in a main game, now's your chance.

Because of the managable size, it's also great for narrative campaigns and setting up Your Dudes. Many of GW's own staff with in-house armies started them using this very game mode - which is pretty cool in and of itself.


Rules of EngagementEdit

Each player creates a patrol that conforms to the rules below:

  • Armies are no more than 400 points.
  • You must have at least one troops choice.
    • Combat Patrol's rules supercede existing ones in force creation. For example, in the earlier Imperial Guard codices, you could only take a Armored Fist Squad if you took an infantry platoon beforehand. For reasons obvious, Combat Patrol allows you to ignore mandatory force restrictions.
  • You can have an HQ choice, but you may not have more than one.
  • No models can have more than three wounds.
  • No flyers.
  • No models with better than a 3+ Armor Save and/or 5+ Invulnerable Save.
    • Models can have both a +3/5++ save, but not better than this.
  • No vehicles with a total armor value greater than 33. This is calculated by adding the Front, Side, and Rear armor values together.
  • No special characters.
  • No ordnance weapons.
  • Games are played using the Combat Patrol mission (see below).
  • The Combat Patrol Mission should ideally be played on a 4' x 4' space.

Beware OdditiesEdit

When playing Combat Patrol, it's important to remember that its ruleset approaches the 41st Millenium in ways that were not originally intended by the game's developer. As such, you'll occasionally run into odd stuff that you need to sort out "on the fly." The best way to resolve these issues is to ask yourself the following:

  • Is there any existing rule in Warhammer 40,000 that you can use as a precedent?
  • What is the most reasonable thing that should happen in this situation?
  • Agree on the two most likely outcomes and then roll a d6; on a 1-3, go with option one, and on a 4-6 go with option two.

Combat Patrol MissionEdit

Both sides have unexpectedly collided with an enemy force while patrolling a disputed area.


  • Both players roll a d6; the player that scores higher gets to choose his deployment zone (One of the four board corners) first, followed by the other player. Units must be deployed within 12" of the table edge. The player who won the first roll now deploys one unit in his deployment zone, followed by the other player deploying one in his. This continues, both players taking turns, until both armies are entirely on the table.
  • Roll for who gets the first turn. The player who gets the highest roll can choose to go first or second at their option.

Scenario Special RulesEdit

Infiltrate, Victory Points

Mission ObjectiveEdit

  • Both players must attempt to eliminate the enemy without losing too much of their own strength.
  • The player with the highest total victory points at the end of the battle wins the game.

Game LengthEdit

Six Turns.


Combat Patrol creates a number of interesting situations for almost every army to take advantage of. Armies with existing infiltrators can take advantage of the rules to get them into position, and the lack of heavier armor, flyers, and ordnance means a lot of units that otherwise would be too risky or lopsided to choose could be extremely handy in and of themselves. Units with higher mobility (bikes, jetbikes, cavalry, etc) can get a lot of mileage as well because of the game rules encouraging you to be aggressive and quick. Because of this, it's a game mode that's hard not to find at least some affection for. Play it a few times with friends and virtually all involved will come away with stories of their army's trials and trifles and stuff that you just wouldn't see in larger games.

Links and SuchEdit

Ways to Play Warhammer 40,000
Apocalypse - Cities of Death - Combat Patrol - Eternal War
Kill Team - Maelstrom of War - Planetstrike - Zone Mortalis