Over the weekend Mike and I have had a couple of games of Chain of Command to try the rules out and I have to say we both had a great time and really liked the rules. I didn’t take any photos as we were busy scrolling through laptops checking up on things.
We tried the first scenario from the Operation Martlet campaign both times. As the first game was the initial run through of the rules we both decided to have another bash once we had genned up a bit on where we might have been going wrong, so yesterday I went round and we did it again!
I must say once you get into the swing of them they are a really nice set of rules, with some great mechanics and inspired new concepts – patrol phase and jump off points, why hadn’t anyone else come up with that before! The game had a nice flow to it and the inbuilt friction keeps the tension, joy and frustration all bubbling away nicely. Great example of this was in the second game.
Fortunately for me Mike was having a devil of a time actually getting his guys on the table due to my pre-game barrage and for a while I only faced a MG42 team in MMG mode which he was trying desperately to move into a barn that was reinforced to ‘bunker’ status, however he kept rolling low for movement so it was taking a while. Meanwhile I had managed to push a rifle section a long way up the table, I had thrown some hefty movement dice, until they were just in front of the same barn. I had laid smoke in front of the barn but it only obscured one of the firing positions, and it wasn’t the one that was in front of my section so as Mike had just set up his MMG things were looking a bit ‘sticky’. Fortunately it was my phase next and I luckily rolled the dice I needed to split the section into 2 teams, so they could go either side of the barn and thus out of the danger zone. The other reason for doing so was to take control of two of his Jump Off Points that were close by, so the Bren team and Cpl. Hoskins went left to occupy a building and the rifle section went right to advance over the road to a hedgeline. Both didn’t reach in this phase but both were very close.
Mike still hadn’t managed to get any more troops on the table in the next phase and I was confident my plan was about to be successful and would probably win me the game (I had another section just about to capture another Jump Off Point elsewhere). Again I rolled the activation dice I needed, rolled for the Bren team and they easily moved the 2 or 3 inches they required to move into the house, the Rifle team had about 8 inches to go and I elected to only use 2 dice – got 3 and so the section was left 5 inches short of the hedge. Of course Mike then managed to get one of his sections on the table next phase and they set up right in front of the Rifle team. We then discovered that 2 LMG teams firing at close range is a bad thing if you are on the receiving end, most of the men were dead and the rest, quite rightly, legging it. From this point on the balance of the game swung to the Germans as after the turn finished Mike no longer suffered from the barrage so brought the rest of his chaps on table and his superior firepower started to tell – I had also managed to lose a third of my force in the fog! – and I was soon whittled down to 1 Morale point so conceded. If only I had got to that bleeding hedge………
So we will be definitely doing more of this, now I need to decide what platoons to get!