Christening the new Wargames table – Chain of Command AAR

It’s amazing just how quickly time goes by isn’t it?

As you are aware if you’ve been following this blog, my regular gaming opponent – Dave Luff – and I have spent our usual Thursday night gaming slots making scenery after Dave decided to turn one of his downstairs rooms into a gaming room. Dave had recently started making comments that he was ‘flagging’ and that we’d never play a game again, just keep making scenery. He had a point – after checking up it seems that we started this scenery project back in November last year! So, after finishing the dirt roads last week, we decided that the ‘scenery only’ phase of the project was over and it was time to play a game.

Also, Dave had recently been on holiday for two weeks and had finished painting his British Paras (see previous post) and he was itching to get them on the table.

Perhaps rather unsurprisingly, I haven’t started painting mine yet. However, my recent visit to Spartan Games had yielded a separate prize, as Mike Hobbs had very generously lent me some of his 15mm German army, “just until mine were finished”. A game was most definitely on!

Although both of us have played Chain of Command several times before, it’s been a while since we played (and Dave very quickly forgets rules!) so we decided to play a few re-learning games to get ourselves back ‘in the groove'; playing through the scenarios in the rulebook.

Game 1 was the patrol scenario – we started off by throwing scenery at the table, and this what we ended up with:
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I’ve been promising some photos of what we’ve been working on for a while, but hadn’t had chance up until now – hopefully this gives you some idea of what we’ve been doing…

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Two things became apparent as we built the table:

The first was that we didn’t have enough ‘rough’ hedges! Although we’d made over 20′ of hedge and bocage, creating hedge-lined roads and other fields soon uses it all up, so we need at least another 10’!

The second came from a comment from Dave – “This table really needs a farmhouse” – I have the farmhouse, but just haven’t built it yet. Buildings have immediately leapt to the top of the modelling agenda.

Onto the game.

As I said, we were playing the ‘Patrol’ scenario from the CoC rulebook, with Dave playing British Paras against my force of German Panzergrenadiers (I decided to take PGs rather than regular Heer as I felt I needed the extra firepower when facing Paras – and Mike had rather thoughtfully put six LMG teams in the troops he had leant me!) Support meant that Dave had Sticky Bombs, whilst I ended up with two 251 half-tracks and a 50mm mortar (I’d have preferred 250 h/ts, but mine aren’t painted yet)

The patrol phase was quite strange – Dave started deploying his Patrol markers from his right flank, whilst I deployed from the middle of the board. During this phase we managed to ‘turn’ the board somewhat, as I advanced rapidly on my right flank. However, this phase was brought to a rather abrupt halt when I made a schoolboy error and managed to get two patrol markers locked down by one of Dave’s. The position looked like this:

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End of the Patrol Phase

Which gave us the following Jump-Off points

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Dave surveys his deployment position

Dave was ‘stuck’ in the wheat field in one corner of the board, whilst I ended up with a jump-off point deep on his left flank, looking rather exposed.

Dave started the game, and immediately rolled consecutive phases – deploying two of his sections onto the road.

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First Para section deploys…
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…quickly followed by the second

I was immediately somewhat paranoid about my exposed jump-off point, and deployed a squad to defend it

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The Germans deploy and immediately commence intensive fire into the Paras

These troops had a great position to engage the Paras – and throwing 22 dice in combat is somewhat intimidating! (I later discovered that I should only have been throwing 20, btw)

An intense firefight ensued. Whilst the Panzer Grenadiers gave out some punishment, they were under a lot of fire – with the Para’s sniper proving very effective. At the point when Dave committed his Support section into the fray, I was in real trouble

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Sensing a turning point, the Paras support Section (right) advances and adds it weight of fire

The trouble was, I couldn’t roll a ‘3’ on the command dice to save my life, so I couldn’t rally shock, and I couldn’t deploy any other troops onto the table (with the exception of my 50cm mortar) to relieve the pressure on this squad. The end was inevitable

Having already seen one team break and run, the death of Obergefreiter Klaus seals the fate of the German Squad
Having already seen one team break and run, the death of Obergefreiter Klaus seals the fate of the German Squad

Then I FINALLY managed to roll some Junior Leader activations, and the two remaining squads entered the board, mounted in their 251 half-tracks.

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The 251s enter the battle

The Paras Support Squad had started to advance towards my vacated jump-off point. the 251’s came on too late to catch them in the open, but accelerated to engage with their forward MMGs as the Paras entered the copse in the corner of the field

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Rounding the corner, The 251s engage the Paras at close range

Unfortunately, I hadn’t noticed the Brits deploy their PIAT team. Although it inflicted a couple of kills, the returning hail of fire from Bren guns, and a PIAT round bouncing off the bonnet convinced the lead 251 driver that he needed to be elsewhere – he promptly reversed into the bank behind him, as some of his passengers bailed out over the side.

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“Smithers! Quick! Get that Kraut with your PIAT!”
It's at times like these that you are thankful that the Brits didn't have a 3-inch mortar handy...
It’s at times like these that you are thankful that the Brits didn’t have a 3-inch mortar handy…

With the Germans in some confusion, the Support section took advantage and seized my exposed Jump-Off point

Paras seize the Jump-Off point
Paras seize the Jump-Off point

We called it a night there. My Force Morale was teetering on the edge (3) whilst the Paras had barely broken a sweat (10)

It was a great game. Yes, we made a fair few mistakes (both rules related, and tactical) but I learnt a lot about just how effective Paras can be – plans for future games will be changed accordingly!

But the evening achieved three things:

  1. We finally played a game!
  2. We remembered just how much we liked playing Chain of Command
  3. We had a huge amount of satisfaction seeing the fruits of our labours from the past few months finally put to good use.

Roll on next week – in the mean time, I need to construct and paint a farmhouse!

Dave’s British Airborne

This week saw Dave Luff and I play our first game of Chain of Command against each other. We’ve both recently bought some new 15mm figures from Forged in Battle – typically Dave has already painted his. He’s a big fan of British Airborne, and whilst he was dreading having to paint Denison Smocks I think he’s done a great job with them, so I wanted to show off a couple of pics of them here that I managed to take during our game

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40mm Models on eBay

I’m selling a lot more of my 40mm model collection on eBay this week.

There are a few more Napoleonic models (a few I missed putting up from last time) However, the vast majority of what I’m selling is my HLBS Modern Troops collection. I’ve got most of the range – all bar a few packs.  These are no longer available primarily due to issues with casting the weapons.

I’m selling British, Russian, US, Taliban, African, French and Central European troops, plus Law Enforcement, Terrorists and even Zombies.

You can check them out here.

Auctions finish between Sunday andWednesday

Deadzone: Infestation launches on Kickstarter…funds in 13 minutes

deadzone infestaionMantic Games have launched a Kickstarter campaign for Deadzone: Infestation.

Described as “Deadzone 1.5″, this Kickstarter will launch a new, smaller starter box for this skirmish game, which will include a new faction – the Veer-Myn.

Other addition include a hardback rulebook, and new playmat and a new ‘industrial’ battlezone.

It’s perhaps something of a mixed bag for those of us who backed the original Deadzone Kickstarter, with some nice looking models, some average and some “interesting” models (The D.O.G. Drone – REALLY??)

It’s a shorter campaign than normal for Mantic, although it’s already amassed almost 1300 backers and is over 250% of it’s funding target – having hit it’s $50,000 goal in 13 minutes.

Deadzone is a good game, and if you missed it first time around, it’s an opportunity to get a discount starter set (though it’s worth noting that delivery is not until January 2016). Worth keeping an eye on – even if only for a nice rulebook and some new terrain.

Open Combat Kickstarter – approaching final day

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The Open Combat Kickstarter – featured in episode 141 of the podcast – is about to enter into it’s final day.

Currently the campaign has gone really well, with a high-quality hard-backed rulebook being funded.

The campaign has even funded some specialist etched dice, and is less than £500 funding 2 extra scenarios for the book.

This is a great game, and a really good opportunity to pick up the rules in print  for the bargain price of £15 (at least a £10 saving on final retail price)

Why not check it out?

New Chain of Command Pint-Sized campaign book out

old hickoryToo Fat Lardies have just released their third ‘Pint-Sized’ campaign book for their Chain of Command World War II Platoon Level rules, following on from their previous titles: “29, Let’s go!” and “Kampfgruppe Von Luck

Titled ‘Old Hickory’, this book once again focuses on the war in Normandy, but now moves the action to near the end of the campaign, concentrating of the some of the action in Operation Luttuich – the German counter attack at the end of the campaign.

It pits elements of the US 30th Division (with very restricted resources) against the might of the 2nd SS Panzer Division, as they attack L’Abbaye Blanche.

During the campaign, the German player get access to a full company of Panzer Grenadiers, whilst the US player has a single platoon, albeit one that has been substantially beefed up in firepower by the presence of multiple MMGs, HMG and an Anti-Tank Platoon.

The campaign has a slightly different structure, with three different ‘ladders’ leading to a final objective, meaning that the US player has to spread assets to cover various different avenues of advance.

This looks like a really interesting campaign – really looking forward to playing this.

This is another campaign supplement priced at a very reasonable £3.60, and is available in PDF format from the Too Fat Lardies website.

On the downside, just when I thought I’d bought everything I needed for my US forces, I find myself requiring some 76mm Anti-Tank guns – just added them to the shopping list for Salute!

A Podcast & Blog about Miniature Wargames & Strategy Boardgames

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