Sunday, July 01, 2018

Combat Zone... Dusting off a classic

Whilst having a clear out of old rule sets I came across these from the early 90's.
Back then I had quite a collection of Bikers, Gangers and SWAT teams, most of which went off to e-bay many years ago, but I kept the rules just in case...

Combat Zone, a game of near-future combat, complete with rules, dice, terrain, miniatures and everything needed to play.

Combat Zone was designed as a 25mm skirmish game of large corporations vs low level gangs, very much in the style of Robocop, Escape from New York and the like.
Time to dig out the VHS video player :-)

Flicking through the rules it all came back to me. Units of 5 upto 15 figures. Each fighter comes with a number of action points, these you spend on various activities shooting, moving, take cover or aiming. Bigger Weapons take more actions to fire.
Poor troops have 5 Actions whilst Elite troops have 7.

You carry out one figure at a time, but watch out for those figures who spent their turn getting into over watch crossing roads can be deadly.

I forgot how much fun the rules were, firing was simple, make a roll to hit, take a wound roll where you are either dead, panicked, or routed. Simple. Then it struck me - Why not try them for the modern/near future Russian project and see how they played out in 15mm.

So filling the table with buildings and battlefield clutter, I pulled together a poor quality human force vs some high quality Alien killing machines and set about giving them a try.

The humans had the numbers but without radio comms all troops had to stay within the commanders leadership zone or lose a further action. The invaders did not suffer that penalty.

The battle was soon raging with the Humans if spotted and hit pretty much killed on the spot, the robots took a little more damage before they were taken down, however RPG's made for a great robot killer. The dead ground in the centre of the table made it impossible for either side to strike the killer blow but the mechanism worked really well in 15mm and humans vs Terminator type robots had a good feel to it.
I perhaps need to tweak a few ranges here and there but definately worth exploring further.

Checking the web it's great to see the Combat Zone Chronicles website is still up and running which comes with a load of scenarios which can easily be adapted for low level modern encounters.


  1. Looks like you had an absolute blast.

  2. I think we equate old rules as not being as good as new ones these days. However I still think Mordheim is still one of my all time favourite skirmish games, despite being around 20 years old.

  3. Looks interesting - I would like to see the result of a trial of these rules as modern skirmish (Chechnya, Iraq or Afghanistan) without "the machines"

  4. Brill. I never got chance to try these. I tend to use 7TV for most things these days.