Welcome to my second Chain of Command battle report. Because the first one was lost in the sands of time, but this one’s better anyway. So let’s dive in.
This time with more terrain (and really pretty looking one at that!), full platoons this time, a new scenario and company HQ granted us both at least a bit of support this time. I chose a 3″ mortar battery (off-table of course) and forward observer team, the Germans brought a Medic.
The scenario: Rommel whipping his Afrikakorps through the desert, attempting to drive the British army back as far as possible and beyond that.
The mission objective for the attacker (Germans, played by my regular gaming nemesis/buddy) is to get any unit to the defender’s (British, played by yours truly) table edge, no turn limit. The defender’s job is to keep the attacker from achieving that, either through breaking their force morale or making them retreat voluntarily.
The scenario (Scenario Two from the CoC rulebook) has the defender (me) place four patrol markers up to 12″ from his table edge and up to 12″ from each other while the attacker gets a few moves with his patrol markers for free before the defender can react.
The patrol phase was mainly the Germans advancing to secure a forward Jump-off point, cleverly avoiding the village which was crawling with British recon. Their plan was just to buzz by and not get into too heavy engagements. My patrol phase was mainly trying to rush patrols in their direction to lock down their positions, otherwise it would be a short game.
Once the patrol phase was done, Jump-Off points (those are the points from which units are deployed) were placed and battle lines drawn the situation was as such:
German patrols had done a good job and one of their jump-off points was dangerously close to my table edge.
A few phases later, things didn’t look too bad for the British. Both sides had most of their platoon deployed. The Germans had two full sections and half a section deployed (way later we learned that you always have to deploy full sections. Oh well.), I had No.1, 2 and 3 section on the table, plus the platoon Sergeant and a forward observers team with a battery of 3″ mortars on hold.
After a sublime phase of firing from No.1 section in the ruined house (and a bit of help from No.2) the most forward team of Germans broke and was driven back.
The more cautiously positioned German base of fire gave covering fire for their comrades to retreat and rally while two German fire teams started running around the dunes to start a flanking attack against No.1 Section and the forward observers in the ruined house. Then the mortar barrage started coming in.
Most of the German platoon disappeared in a huge cloud of dust, shrapnel and bits of palm trees flying about, pinned and unable to move until the barrage would end. It didn’t even help that the Leutnant himself ran into the shelled area to drive his men on. The last German team entered the table via the forward-most Jump-Off point, leading a desperate assault against No.2 section (who had been taking quite a beating over the course of the game).
The old storm trooper tactics developed during the last war worked scarily well and No.2 section was badly mangled and almost driven off the table but the next phase No.3 section came storming over the dune, taking care of the German fire team. The German attack had been thwarted.
This could have been a very short game if things had gone a little differently. I rolled exceptionally well for the most part of the game I have to admit, especially in terms of activation dice. Over the course of the game I rolled double sixes three times, meaning that each time I pretty much got another turn to activate my units before my opponent got to do anything.
No.1 section in the ruined house rolled amazingly well throughout the game, the mortar fire didn’t deviate too far and it’s just plain nasty with the auto-pin on everybody in the square with 18″ sides. It didn’t cause too much damage but the pinning and denial of LOS is huge, especially if most of the platoon’s caught in it. Funny thing which was pointed out to me just now by Sebastian S. on Facebook is that the British just had two 3″ mortars per battalion and thus the barrage only covers a 10″ by 10″ square! Oops, my bad.
In the beginning we had planned for this to be the first game in our campaign but things were pretty one-sided (as they are most of the times when we play. It’s just usually one-sided in the other direction ? ) and one of the other historical wargamers had joined to have a look at Chain of Command.
He seemed to like the rules quite a bit, as do the rest of us. Credible results and tactics, credible forces, really fast and clever rules.