One of the things that I love about Chain of Command is that it makes you think. Hard. Games can be tense affairs, as they should be when you are up the sharp end of a conflict. That’s why one small slip in concentration or a stupid move can completely banjax your whole day. Last night’s game was an excellent example of this happening and sadly it happened to me. Arse.
Mike and I decided to roll for what type of scenario we were going to play after the terrain had been laid out and we got the ‘Outflanked’ one which we hadn’t done before. The table did lend itself to the scenario very well with the building tucked away in one quarter it was obvious where the defender was going to be. We rolled for attacker/defender with Mike’s Brits doing the defending. The patrol phase was over quite quickly with Mike aggressively pushing forwards towards the road to get all his markers pinned early to prevent me being able to take advantage of my extra patrol markers. Nicely done Mr Evans! Placing the JOP’s was a bit of a trial as there were some tight angles going on and we also ended up with the crazy event of us both having JOP’s in the same wood very close to each other!
We both rolled 9 for force morale and then I rolled a paltry 5 for support points. Mike gained an extra point due to his ‘Rupert’ only having a pistol so he had a whopping 3 points. I decided to go with something a bit different for the Jerries and went for a Pre-Game Barrage and a Sniper – I had wanted to go for the Recon Team in Sdkfz250 but had forgotten it! Mike went for a surprise too and took a Dingo.
I kicked things off by getting a squad on table to take the JOP near to my own in the wood. The plan was to then deploy the other two and the sniper to engage and pin the Brits around the house whilst this section made its way round the flank. I managed to get to the JOP with no problem and as the Pre-Game Barrage was doing its thing well and Mike was having trouble getting anything on I stuck the second section on in the field and moved up towards the road hoping to maybe take advantage of the incoming artillery to sneak across the road and take either the JOP in the wood, or at least get it under overwatch before Mike could get much of his force on the table. This could also threaten his JOP by the hedge in front of the house.
Mike managed to get one section on and put them at the junction to thwart that idea he also had rolled a double 6 (this would become a theme of the evening) and managed with his next roll to unleash the Dingo. This promptly took advantage of the other double 6 that he rolled and advanced on my lads in the wood and took them under fire killing their JL and hence preventing me from having a go with their Panzerfaust. I decided that I’d best get the last of my sections on so that I could try and outnumber his lads by the junction and duly deployed them on the table. This is where I lost the battle. For some idiotic reason I place the rifle team outside of the field and the other side of the hedge IN THE OPEN.
Mike duly managed to get another section on to the table and deploying along the road unleashed on the team fannying about in the open piling on the hits, causing a wound to their JL a casualty and piling on the shock. Things weren’t helped by his 2″ mortars chipping in with some well placed HE rounds and chuck in the double 6’s that he was rolling the hurt just kept coming. Meanwhile I had deployed the ‘schreck team to tackle the Dingo and they worked their way through the wood whilst the SL also deployed to help out over there too.
I managed to roll a triple 6 ending the turn and knocked 2 off of Mike’s FM from capturing the JOP I held, the other bonus to the turn ending was to get my JL with the section that was takin a mullering back in working order so he could now start to try and rally off some shock. However Mike wasn’t finished with the double 6’s and he piled even more hurt on ramping up the shock until the section was pinned whilst chipping away at their strength with the odd casualty. I also about this time played a CoC dice and moved my JOP on the road forwards so that my sniper could deploy on the humpback to take the British section giving my lads hell under fire – unfortunately he had picked his rifle up at a fair and he was more danger to passing birds that the great target rich environment he had in front of him and failed to hit anything all game!
Over in the wood an attempt to take out the Dingo with a ‘faust failed and when the arriving ‘schreck team survived an attempt to take them out (just about as the loader copped it) Mike decided it was time to move on and went for the JOP that I had moved forwards on the road to deploy my sniper. Unfortunately for him his demonic dice rolling luck ran out and he only managed to move forwards a few inches and revenge was meted out by the surviving member of the ‘schreck team.
This was about it though as the poor lads out in the open finally became pinned and Mike decided to get stuck in, advancing with both the section at the junction and the section on the road. Mike’s advance with one of his sections left them tantalisingly close to my section in the field but they just couldn’t do anything (I was hamstrung at this point by rolling some quite awful command dice – 4’s, 2’s and 5’s predominating which just wasn’t helping at all). They instead won the day by charging the by now broken section that had been suffering all game and the completely one-sided close combat saw the remainder wiped out and to add insult to injury he managed to take a JOP to boot.
I decided to call it a day then and there as there was no point continuing with what I had left and my FM had fallen like a stone – down to 4. I was angry about this game if I’m honest, by stupidly deploying that team in the open I was asking for trouble and Mike responded well – he was helped by a fantastic run of double 6’s as well – but if they had been in cover it would have been a completely different story. My fault completely but a valuable lesson learnt. Thanks go to Mike for the game, his aggressive patrol phase was blindingly played and the Dingo was an inspired choice so hats off to him. Next time things will have to be different…..