A couple of weeks ago I managed to get the first game in since early March round Des’ shed o’war. Sadly it looks like it will also be the last game in this year as new Covid restrictions have hit London, with my health problems and the ban on households mixing it is a non-starter (and rightly so). Anyway, Des had decided to lay out one of his lovely Eastern front winter tables and that we’d have a game of Chain of Command which was a big thumbs up from me in both accounts. We spent the first 45 minutes or so having a good chat as it was only the second time we’d physically been in each others company since March also so had a lot to catch up on/moan about! So with that out of the way and Des’ birthday beer opened we got to it.
I was the glorious Red Army liberating a village from the fascist invaders and to do so I had a bog standard rifle platoon with a paltry number of support points that I blew on a lend-lease Churchill that I thought would come in handy against the flimsy structures in the village and might have more chance surviving a ‘fausting or ‘schrecking from the German infantry (it was also in honour of a Twitter chum DiceDad and his love of the brutes!). The patrol phase went ok, I ended up with my JoP’s spread out a bit but nearly encircling Des’ which were grouped quite tightly. I was planning on using typical Soviet subtlety by running the infantry forward on the left to make the enemy deploy then bring the tank up, stand off and blast the crap out of them – I was quite confident the Churchill would be safe in this as I figured Des wouldn’t be able to afford a PAK40 from his support points. (you can click on following pics to make them bigger)
The game was bags of fun, albeit one lacking in much finesse as I struggled to get forward with the first section I deployed due to the nasty attention of a MG42 and a lack of cover so decided to try and engage in a long range firefight whilst working another squad down the left. I did have some success chipping away at Des’ lads causing a MG42 team to break (this was due to us forgetting to count the shock across the section and not just the team!). I did manage to push the left hand squad up but Des deployed another one of his and a viscous close range firefight broke out with us slowly whittling each other down, lots of shock was going on and JL’s were getting hit which slowly brought our morale levels down. Eventually though my first squad stuck in the open had enough and broke whilst nearly all the remaining troops on both sides were pinned causing a stalemate.
On my right I had moved a section forward hoping to force Des’ hand to deploy his last section whilst supporting them with the Churchill. This sort of worked but Des sprung an ambush with his Panzerschreck which luckily for me missed, I was very confident that a touch of HE would put paid to the AT team but I completely missed! The next few bounds saw a frankly ridiculous set of misses from us both as we both tried to get the first telling hit in, although the ‘schreck did score a glancing blow on the Churchill that luckily just shocked the crew. My infantry joined in and managed to cause some shock whilst taking fire from a MG42 although the Churchill did finally knock out the ‘schreck team whilst they ran back to acquire some more rounds after using up all of their initial load of rockets.
With the threat of the tank and an infantry section closing in on them Des’ last infantry squad ran out of the building they were in and round the corner out of sight, and it looked like it might go all Benny Hill for a moment with us chasing each other round the house! However I decided to hold the infantry in place to take on the Landsers while I moved the Churchill up to take the JoP located nearby and hopefully catch the same Germans in a crossfire. Unfortunately I forgot that taking on a MG42 at close range even with light cover was a really bad idea and before I could get the tank in a position to brass the enemy up my infantry had taken a right mullering and broke.
With that my morale was down to 6, I had one section of infantry fit to fight and a train to catch we called the game as a German victory. To be fair I don’t think either of us was too bothered about the result it was just great to be sat round a table again, having a couple of beers and playing a game with a mate, it has been much missed. The only real down side was that I had to do it all with Des’ bog standard kit on his half-arsed table but we all have to make sacrifices in these troubled times!