I was putting this game on and we were inducting Philip into the joys of Chain of Command unfortunately I spent a lot of the game dealing with rules queries so only managed to take 2 photos all night! I’d like to thank Dan at this point – he didn’t have a game on but hearing that we were playing Chain of Command and having just bought the rules he sat in as he wanted to see them in action, he was invaluable all night as he helped me out by checking things in the rulebook when needed – hat doffed with many thanks sir!
The scenario was the flank attack one out of the rulebook with the Germans attacking with 2 platoons of infantry and the Brits were defending with one platoon. As I was supplying the Germans and I just hadn’t managed to paint up enough figures the German platoons were each made up of 2 x ‘normal’ Heer sections and 1 section with 2 3-man LMG teams (I figured the unit was suffering a bit so had reorganised with scrounged weapons), they also had a ‘shreck team each and 1 Senior Leader. I had also offered Mike (the British player) the choice of either a ‘free’ 6 pdr or a Vickers to bolster his standard platoon.
As both German commanders were newer players (Daren only had a few games under his belt and Philip was completely new) I let them each take control of one ‘set’ of patrol markers so that they got an idea of how to do it. Mike was very aggressive with his markers deciding to get things pinned down early, however having to deal with the markers coming from two directions was quite tricky and he ended up with his JoP’s in a sort of line from the middle of the board and 2 of them outside of the village, he did have the extra one to add as per the scenario as well which helped a lot as it was a free deployment.
To help get the game finished in time I had not made the table larger for the extra platoon as I felt that as it was really a training game for Philip it would help with getting the ‘action’ started quicker and might mean that we finish the game.
For supports the German’s went with a PzIV, a 81mm FOO, an adjutant, a pre-game barrage and a Demolition Pionier team. Mike decided on taking the free Vickers and chose a Churchill, a sniper medic and an extra PIAT team, he also started with a CoC dice. Both sides didn’t do too well in the morale rolls though Mike and Philip both getting 8 and Daren a whopping 9! The Germans allocated the PzIV to Philip who was entering on the flank and Daren took the FOO and the Pioniere.
The smaller table worked a treat as firing commenced straight from the off! Daren’s first section that deployed into the field in front of the village took fire from Mike’s Vickers in the bombed house upper storey and suffered some shock. Mike also deployed a section into the bombed out terrace on the edge of the square to counter Philip’s move through and round the wood over there and started dishing out a few casualties and some shock. The Germans fired back and started putting the shock and casualties back on the Brits.
While this was going on Daren had the FOO get on the blower and called in a barrage on the house where the Vickers was firing from and true to his Royal Artillery past called it in bang on the nose. The barrage did its job well, taking out the Vickers in short order but just being short of the section on the flank keeping Philips lads in check – they had gutted one section so much that they had been withdrawn into the wood and did nowt else for the rest of the game. This section had been reinforced with the sniper but he must have got his sights from a fairground as he was pretty rubbish all night and didn’t do hardly any damage.
The tanks had also showed up, the PzIV creeping down the flank road looking for targets and the Churchill just managing to squeeze past the barrage to move to the flank of the village to help against Philips lads, who were going for a wide outflanking move to get round the back of the village. Some tank on tank action duly started but only resulted in some shock and the Churchill being forced back into the village – although I think the Germans lost their driver (I can’t remember, I’ll check tonight at the club!).
With the Vickers taken care of Daren then shifted the barrage to the left a bit so that it was covering the section that was causing Philip grief and it started to whittle away at them adding shock and causing casualties which unfortunately for Mike included hits on both Junior and Senior Leaders causing wounds but also hits on his morale. Mike did manage to end the turn to stop the barrage but Daren was successful in getting the barrage back and started walking over to the flank again.
Whilst Mike and Philip had been having their ding-dong over on the flank Daren had been advancing on Mike’s furthest JoP. Mike duly deployed a section there when Daren was just across the road from it and caused quite a few casualties with his initial volley taking out a MG42 team in one go, unfortunately Daren then brought up his section with the 2 LMG’s and started to tear chunks out of Mike’s section and soon had wiped them out with Mike rolling pretty badly for the morale hit.
There was some PIAT and Panzershreck action going on over on the flank and again I can’t remember what happened with them – really sorry! – and I think that the Churchill finally copped it from the PzIV. Mike’s brave lads in the ruined terrace finally succumbed to the barrage and with his morale hitting one due to having to roll for leader casualties too, he decided to bug out and the game was over.
All in all I think it was an enjoyable game, the action got going quickly and even though the Brits were on a sticky wicket from the off I think they put up a good show – they certainly made the Jerries pay for their victory. Most importantly Philip got his first game under his belt and really enjoyed it and thought the rules were great, Dan did too and he wasn’t even playing! Daren reckons he has got the hang of them well now so all good with ‘the spreading of the lard’. Again the barrage was a great weapon to use, although if Daren had failed to call it in the second time the game would have definitely been different. I’m actually hoping to do this scenario again to see what a different choice of support options for the Brits does, I reckon mortar support would be a great help….