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Chain of Command: Battle Report II

Welcome to my second Chain of Command battle report.

The Forces

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.

Skirmish Wargaming Chain of Command

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.

Patrol phase

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:

Skirmish Wargaming Chain of Command

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, 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.
Skirmish Wargaming Chain of Command

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.

Skirmish Wargaming Chain of Command

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.2 section came storming over the dune, taking care of the German fire team. The German attack had been thwarted.

Skirmish Wargaming Chain of Command

Review

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.
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.

Good stuff.

Sigur Squirl

Sigur is the painter behind "Battlebrush Studios" and a familiar face in many wargaming circles online. Plays a metric ton of skirmish wargames and shares his experiences here on the blog.

4 Comments

  1. Thank you for the very nice Chain of Command articles. When I tried this scenario I was defending and my friend, almost too easily, made it to my edge of the table after playing for about an hour. What happens in the patrol phase can have so much of an impact with this game, I think it is great. Did you make the markers that you were using during the game or can they be downloaded from somewhere?

  2. There’s a note on the bottom of page 73 of the rules that may be of interest. The defender gets to choose which table edge, long or short, is their “friendly edge” (toss a coin to determine the chooser in the patrol scenario) with only scenario 4 stipulating a specific table orientation.

    Thus, despite how the table is oriented in the picture in the rule book for the Probe scenario, the defender can force the attacker to fight down the length of the table tightening up the flanks and giving more opportunity for defence in depth. You might find this makes a bit of a difference.

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