Monthly Archives: March 2015

Chain of Command (22/03/2015 – Nick)

Houses overlooking the central field

Houses overlooking the central field

We had meant to play this game last August before Nick moved up north to a new job, but as usual my job intervened and stopped us and this was the first chance we had to get together since. Our game today saw another play of the CoC Patrol scenario, with the same support options of a Dingo for the British and a sniper for the Germans as last week’s games – we rolled for starting positions for our patrol markers and started on opposite corners. During the Patrol Phase the Germans managed to get one jump-off point (JoP from now on) within 15″ of British baseline with other on opposite flank and one behind large house in the centre. The British jump-off points were clustered around the terrace of houses.

British Bren covers the central field

British Bren covers the central field

It was to the flank JoP that the Germans deployed first, with British response being to deploy a full squad in the mid-terrace on overwatch to cover the central field. The Germans deployed their sniper in the large house and started taking potshots at the British in the house opposite, but after a series of misses, the Germans lost patience and deployed their remaining 2 squads (one in the house and one on their right flank) to set up a MG34 crossfire on the terrace of houses.

Sniper

Sniper

Though they managed to drive the British back from the windows, it was nearly at the cost of the flank MG34, with almost half the squad being put out of action by the Bren in the firefight. However, with the central Bren dealt with, the German deployed his Senior Leader to lead the flank attack on the leftmost British JoP.

German flank attack develops

German flank attack develops

The British had similar aims on the German advanced JoP, first deploying a squad which slowly advanced towards it.

British squad deploy to attack German flank JoP

British squad deploy to attack German flank JoP

Then they deployed their Dingo and opened fire on the German squad on overwatch behind the wall guarding the JoP.

Dingo deploys and open fire on Germans behind wall

Dingo deploys and open fire on Germans behind wall

The LMG portion of the squad wisely retreated back from the wall as the Dingo was just outside Panzerfaust range – the British 2″ mortar then targeted them but ran out of ammo in the process, so no more smoke for the British infantry to advance behind.

Under fire German LMG pulls back from wall

Under fire German LMG pulls back from wall

The cautious British squad finally reached the road and advanced in support of the Dingo.

British squad precedes Dingo

British squad precedes Dingo

The Germans couldn’t seem roll to roll 5’s to set up an ambush on a Chain of Command dice, so eventually deployed the Panzerschreck on a 1 in the open as far away from the Dingo as it could get whilst still maintaining line-of-sight.

Panzerschreck deploys

Panzerschreck deploys

The British interrupted the German turn with their CoC dice before the Panzerschreck could fire, but all 6 shots from the Dingo’s Bren went wide. The ensuing German shot from the Panzerschreck penetrated the Dingo, causing it to explode and kill 2 infantry within 4″.

Dingo explodes

Dingo explodes

The British squad’s Bren opened up on the exposed Panzerschreck team, but over a series of phases it couldn’t hit them nor could the German player activate them to pull them back to safety. Eventually they were pinned and routed, disappearing off the board, but caused no loss to German morale.

Panzerschreck pinned down (eventually!)

Panzerschreck pinned down (eventually!)

The German player then tried to sneak an MG34 from the field into the small house beside the burning Dingo. Wise to this, the British Platoon Sergeant led an assault on the house and wiped out the LMG team, but he suffered a wound in the process which further decreased the British morale.

MG34 team assaulted

MG34 team assaulted

With the German flank attack approaching one of the British jump-off points, the British deployed their last squad and pinned the German’s on the road.

Last British squad deploy to engage German flanking attack (all 2 of them!)

Last British squad deploy to engage German flanking attack (all 2 of them!)

Bren team open fire on flanking attack

Bren team open fire on flanking attack

The Germans eventually routed off the board, though the British rifle component of the squad also got pinned by the MG34 in the large house and routed after a few turns of taking fire. The British morale level was impacted by this exchange, but again not the German’s.

The British morale was down to 3 and they had no strength left to advance with, so I conceded as the rest of the game was going to degenerate into a firefight which I would not win, given that German morale remained high at 7, only 2 less than they started with despite losses being about equal.

A great game which could have gone either way, but was decided by my inability to chip away at the German morale with lousy Force Morale rolls – can’t believe it was better German tactics 🙂

Victorious Germans take the field

Victorious Germans take the field

After this game, a splendid Saturday was rounded off by Ireland winning the Rugby 6 Nations, though not before England had given me a few heart attacks against France!!!

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Chain of Command (15/03/2015 – David)

It’s been a while since we attempted any game over Facetime, but when I posted some photos of yesterday’s CoC game on Twitter I got a call from David back home in Northern Ireland asking if I fancied giving it another go – so 24 hours after the first game finished, we started the second. Given that there are usually 6-8 weeks between my games, this was nothing short of a miracle 🙂

With the terrain staying the same as yesterday’s game we didn’t play a Patrol Phase, but just used the same jump-off points (JoP) as yesterday (I thought this phase of the game might be difficult to do over Facetime). The British (me) probably got the slightly better position from this decision, but as we randomised the sides this was fair enough.

The British Dingo steamed on up the road out to the right, the intention being to cover German deployment from their JoPs with overwatch Bren fire.

Panzerschreck ambush

Panzerschreck ambush

However, multiple German rolls of 5 and back-to-back phases allowed a quick build up of German CoC dice so they were able to ambush the Dingo with Panzerschreck and easily destroyed it, though the Junior Leader commanding it escaped. The Panzerschreck then vanished back into the hedgerows.

Junior leader killed

Junior leader killed

The LMG component of the nearest German squad assaulted the escaping Junior Leader – he died a hero’s death, taking the LMG squad with him (along with 2 points of British morale). 😦

Hedge gets suppressed

Hedge gets suppressed

With the help of an LMG in the small detached house, the remainder of the same German squad suppressed the British squad lining the hedgerow, then moved to flank them and attempt to overrun their JoP.

Officer wounded

Meanwhile, the German sniper deployed in the middle house in the terrace and managed to roll well enough to wound the British officer, causing a further fall in British morale. Down to 3 command dice, the British started to struggle.

Jump off point overrun

Jump off point overrun

The Germans pressed home their flank attack against a paralysed Bren team (a combination of lack of command dice and me not being able to roll the right number to activate them), overrunning the British JoP in a fierce melee, then causing them to lose another JoP as British morale fell to 2.

Pinned down in front of the house

Pinned down in front of the house

A further fire team loss took the British morale to 1 – then I kept rolling 6 on the single activation dice, so it was game over and the British withdrew.

Chain of Command works really well over Facetime, or at least the bulk of the game after the Patrol phase does. We were helped by the fact that yesterday’s patrol phase started in the central zone for each side, so the game was played in a fairly narrow strip of the 6’x4′ table – this meant there were a couple of places where I could put the IPad and cover most of the action from them. As ever, Chain of Command gave a fast-moving and eventful game – can’t wait for the Modern one to be launched at Salute.

We plan to do Battlegroup Overlord in 28mm at Platoon level over Facetime at some point. I’m not convinced that 15mm wouldn’t be a better scale for this, but I’ve worked up some lists and I have the troops to fill them so we might as well give it a try. Watch this space.

Chain of Command (14/03/2015 – Tom)

For our first game of Chain of Command in a while, we chose the Patrol scenario, with 3 points of support options each – the British got a Dingo while a sniper was the choice for the Germans. We rolled for starting positions for our patrol markers and both started in the central portion of the board – the British probably came out best in this phase, getting one jump-off point (JoP from now on) behind the woods on their left flank – from here they hoped to approach the village unseen.

Centre of the village - British JoP in woods to left

Centre of the village – British JoP in woods to left

British deploy on flank covered by woods

British deploy on flank covered by woods

As the first British squad went down, the Germans had to deploy a squad to defend their exposed JoP.

Germans deploy to cover woods

Germans deploy to cover woods

The 2nd British squad deployed in the centre, then moved towards the village, trying to stay shielded from the inevitable MG34 fire.

British central thrust

British central thrust

It soon came, but was surprisingly ineffective, and the British got to the stone wall relatively unscathed. From there and with the help of their Bren gunner (and a LOT of 6’s) they were able to eliminate the MG34 in short order.

LMG takes on central thrust

LMG takes on central thrust

British seek cover

British seek cover

The British deployed their last squad along with their 2″ mortar between the wood and the terrace of houses, covering their advance with smoke from the mortar.

Mortar lays down smoke

Mortar lays down smoke

British advance under cover of smoke

British advance under cover of smoke

With no Chain of Command dice for the Germans to ambush it with, the Dingo raced up the road (staying out of Panzerfaust range) to add to the weight of fire being directed at the single German squad in the terrace – soon (again due to a lot of 6’s being rolled) they were wiped out and German morale plummeted.

Dingo covers road

Dingo covers road

British firepower drives Germans back

British firepower drives Germans back

Without the numbers left to take on the British, or a dice roll of 1 to deploy the Panzerschreck, the Germans skulked away.

Outnumbered Germans concede the field

Outnumbered Germans concede the field

This was a very quick game, mainly due to the British causing a lot of casualties and not much shock. The concentration of 2 squads and the Dingo around the triangular field proved impossible to deal with for the Germans so rather than suffer a death of a thousand cuts, I conceded. It was good to get Chain of Command on the table again, especially against an opponent, and it’s good preparation for my solo campaign of the Paras at Ranville (the “Kampfgruppe von Luck” pint-sized campaign from Two Fat Lardies).