Chain of Command battle report – 21st & 28th May

We recently played scenario 4 from the Chain of Command rules. I once again played German Panzer Grenadiers, whilst Dave played with British Paras. I was the attacked, and this this time decided to try an Elite force of German troops.

Given my support options, I chose a regular squad of infantry, an adjutant and an extra Senior Leader. Almost as soon as I’d chosen, I got the distinct impression that I’d brought a knife to a gun fight.

We took advantage of the fact that I’d just painted a church, and immediately deployed it on the table

Table set-up from the 'German' side

Table set-up from the ‘German’ side

Table set-up from the British side

Table set-up from the British side

Of course, the sheep now have to be deployed on the table...

Of course, the sheep now have to be deployed on the table…

End of the Patrol phase

End of the Patrol phase

British Jump-Off Points - my objective is the one behind the barn...

British Jump-Off Points – my objective is the one behind the barn…

At the end of the Patrol phase, the British were fairly concentrated, whilst the Germans had been pinned before they could get onto their left flank.

The Panzerschreck team deploy as scouts...

The Panzerschreck team deploy as scouts…

...quickly followed by a couple of squads in the churchyard

…quickly followed by a couple of squads in the churchyard

The Germans continue to deploy and move towards the left flank

The Germans continue to deploy and move towards the left flank

A squad sets up on the corner of what quickly became known as 'sniper lane'

A squad sets up on the corner of what quickly became known as ‘sniper lane’

Looking at my objective, I could take one of two routes. Moving around to the right put any squads into immediate fire from anyone occupying the farmhouse, whilst the left flank offered some cover and limited opportunities to fire.
The only problem with moving to the left was crossing the road. Unsurprisingly, Dave had put a sniper in the attic of the farmhouse, and started taking shots as soon as the squads started crossing the road – it was a race to see how quickly I could get across his line of fire.

German squads queue up, as MG42's go into ' sniper watch'

German squads queue up, as MG42’s go into ‘ sniper watch’

The Brits deploy their 2

The Brits deploy their 2″ Mortar…

...and start dropping smoke on the German position

…and start dropping smoke on the German position

A Squad crosses the road...

A Squad crosses the road…

...The British Mortar gets the smoke on target, blinding the MG42...

…The British Mortar gets the smoke on target, blinding the MG42…

...and the sniper makes an immediate kill

…and the sniper makes an immediate kill

...the German squad rushes across the field...

…the German squad rushes across the field…

...whilst the German squads in 'Church Lane' look to move through the woods in the centre of the table

…whilst the German squads in ‘Church Lane’ look to move through the woods in the centre of the table

A British PIAT Team deploy on the right, threatening to move and capture the German Jump-Off points

A British PIAT Team deploy on the right, threatening to move and capture the German Jump-Off points

Whilst the German squads continue to move on the left flank

Whilst the German squads continue to move on the left flank

The Germans continued to move on the left, although I made a mistake with movement through the wheatfields, and was moving too slowly. I also completely failed to take any advantage of ‘Fire and Manoeuvre’, always moving the entire squad. As a result, the British Paras in the barn constantly leant out of the upper windows to fire Bren guns without fear of return fire.

The snipers open fire again...

The snipers open fire again…

...whilst a second German squad crosses the field

…whilst a second German squad crosses the field

...in the centre the Germans recklessly break the cover of the woods...

…in the centre the Germans recklessly break the cover of the woods…

...and instantly regret it...

…and instantly regret it…

The MG42 squad in the field goes into overwatch...

The MG42 squad in the field goes into overwatch…

The Germans continue to advance around the barn

The Germans continue to advance around the barn

Everything was going pear-shaped for the Germans. The Squad in the centre were broken and ran, the two squads attempting to move around the barn towards the objective were under a constant stream of fire, and were being whittled down…

Dave plays a Chain of Command dice and move the Objective marker out of harms way (right to the extreme of the deployment zone)

Dave plays a Chain of Command dice and move the Objective marker out of harms way (right to the extreme of the deployment zone)

A Senior Leader is shot as he attempts to cross the field to support his squads...

A Senior Leader is shot as he attempts to cross the field to support his squads…

Intense fighting around the barn

Intense fighting around the barn

The German NCO is killed in the fighting...

The German NCO is killed in the fighting…

The Germans struggled to move around the British Paras in the barn, but were getting close…right up until the point where Dave moved the Jump-Off point. Any realistic chance of victory was taken away at this point, and the firefight around the barn lasted another couple of rounds before the Germans called it a day and withdrew.

What went wrong?

From a German point of view, almost everything. I knew I might be getting up-close and personal with the Paras, so decided to take Elite Panzergrenadiers. These troops are great in defence, but not so much in attack. My choice of support was woeful, and the extra squad did nothing all game (except defend the jump-off points from an almost non-existent threat)

The assault on the farmhouse was ill advised – I’d actually accidentally moved the unit too far, and so it became visible at the edge of the wood, and was torn apart by close range fire before it could react.

I was meant to try and co-ordinate a pincer attack on the farmhouse and barn, but the timing was off due to the infantry moving slowly through the wheatfield. I seemed to never be able to active junior leaders, only squads, so the squads in the field only went into overwatch once, and that fire proved ineffective. Trying to get around the barn simply didn’t work – although the squads attempted to use the cover of the wall, they were simply pinned down by weight of fire.

So, what should I have done? The attack should have been carried out with Heer, rather than Panzer Grenadiers, which would have given me much more support. Then I should of taken a couple of Mortar batteries and perhaps a 251 or two. Artillery support would have made a huge difference in this game.

As it was, my troop choice was poor and my attack plan almost non-existent – Dave simply has to wait for me to walk onto his guns and not screw up any dice rolls.

Probably one of my worst games ever…

8 Comments on Chain of Command battle report – 21st & 28th May

  1. Worst game ever? – Perhaps, but you played a game with a mate which I suspect given your schedule is still a rarity. 😉

    • I am actually now getting to play every week (makes a change from making scenery) – funnily enough, my next MWwB column is likely to include some musings on worst ‘good’ games (those games you keep playing despite not being able to win) and kryptonite opponents

  2. Heer may have worked better but the PZGs would work if you used covering fire. Mostly you wanted something to lay smoke and a flamethrower team. The worst thing about British paras is the number of snipers, much underated.

    • Covering fire – yup, we always forget about this 🙂
      Agreed – a flamethrower team against troops in buildings is a must. I’m limited in my troop selection as I’m playing with a borrowed army. Should get all my 15mm Germans painted over the summer. Perhaps the additional troop/support availability will make a difference?

  3. Nice battle report,Najewitz buildings ?

    • Thanks

      Yes, mostly – the barn and farmhouse from their Normandy Farmstead. I have the other Normandy cottages on my painting table atm
      The church is from Landmark

      Neil

  4. mcdouglas2015 // June 26, 2015 at 08:47 // Reply

    Chain of Command always gives a challenging game doesnt it!
    Way back in M&M 79 I think it was, you did a quick summary of Victory Decision. Did you ever get to do a full review of that, and would you say it has been replaced by CoC, or would you still play it because it is a different beast? After playing CoC though I’d always want something that rewards “proper” tactics, or perhaps more tellingly, punishes poor or no tactics!

    • I do like Victory Decision but I haven’t played it for a long time, must dust it off again and remind myself how it works. but I agree with you about CoC, it really makes you think about tactics and the commanders role on the battlefield

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