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Monday, March 2, 2015

Chain of Command AAR: US vs Germans

Many moons ago, I got a bit hot and bothered on Chain of Command as I really wanted a game that "zoomed in" on the platoon level and had a strong campaign element. I also really wanted a game that felt laid back that lent itself to narrative play. I enjoyed my games of Chain of Command, but after moving back to the states, I found it difficult to get a game together using the FOW basing. Finally, I reached out to WWPD's Paint Slave good friend Sonbae to knock out a German Grenadier platoon and a US Rifle platoon for me!
I marked the bases for easy identification. Here you see a US Platoon with 2 senior leaders (Platoon LT and the Platoon Sergeant). There are also 3 squads, each comprised of an NCO, a BAR team (4 men), and a Rifle team (8 men). The platoon also has a Bazooka team. US Rifles get to re-roll 1s, which is a HUGE help for my dice luck!
Wanna learn to play? Check out Too Fat Lardies' Videos Here!

The Germans are similar, but lack the second Senior leader which is a pretty big disadvantage! The 3 squads are a bit smaller, but their MGs put out a heck of a lot more fire than the BAR!
To wrap my head around the game rules before showing it to anyone, I decided to just play a solo game! CoC actually works pretty well solo since the turn by turn activations are fairly random.

The board setup.

The Patrol phase is one of my absolute favorite aspects of the game! Here are the patrol markers at the end of the patrol phase. The US went for the town, while the Germans are fairly well spread out but posess the church.

The US are up first, scoring several 5s, a 4 and a 1. The first BAR team comes on the board. note: This is the first rule I messed up! While a die roll of 1 allows individual teams to be activated (whether or not they are part of a squad), it does NOT allow a team within a section to be DEPLOYED.

Directly opposite the BAR, a German MG team shows up. Pretty slow first few phases!

US Forces then move into the village!

On the left flank, US forces enact a tactical advance.

A German squad sets up in overwatch from a tree-lined road.

Another German squad sets up in overwatch from the church wall! The Americans are now facing all of the German teams, who are well entrenched and ready to lay down some heavy fire!

The third German squad opens up on the US BAR team on the hill..

Wrecking them pretty good with 2 kills and a shock!

The board. The US are now fully committed with a squad on the left, center, and right flanks. The BAR team on the right is the only team to suffer casualties. The Bazooka and a Senior leader take up position in the town as the central squad figures out what to do. The squad on the hill on the right lays down covering fire on the woods across the road.

"Lay down covering fire!"

The German squad is suppressed by the US laying down covering fire.

The central Squad is scared to poke their heads out as the Germans are all in overwatch!

The squad on the left continues advancing along with the LT.

They take a few activations to climb over the wall, but take up decent positions.

A German squad on overwatch spots the BAR team moving into the house and opens up! This results in one kill and 1 shock, which the LT should be able to get rid of!

The German squad along with their Leutnant.

Finally the center squad moves up, hugging the wall before mustering the courage to advance!

American forces in the town are shot up by the German squad in the treeline, but the stone wall is giving them hardcover.

The US return fire is quite strong, spreading out a good deal of shock to the German defenders!

2nd Squad! Get Ready!

The US Squad on the hill stops providing covering fire and tears into the German defenders of the tree-line.

2nd Squad is activated by their NCO and ordered to perform marching fire- a US special rule allowing them to move and fire at Full ROF.

The US squad moving into the open is hit from 2 MG42s, and while casualties are light- they take a good bit of shock!

The German squad in the church-yard open up on the US infantry moving in the open!

But the US keep pouring fire on the German squad in the tree-line! They wound the NCO and pin the squad! The team on the right has total shock greater than twice the number of survivors so should've routed, but I missed that rule!

The Platoon Sergeant orders some grenades loosed and then a furious assault is launched!

The combat is bloody and decisive. The German squad has been defeated!

The US moves into the tree-line.

The one surviving German troop has a ridiculous amount of shock and is completely broken.

The German Force morale has taken a beating now as they've lost an entire squad and a Junior leader KIA.

At this point, the Germans defending the church probably should've used their national special rule allowing them to assault after a hail of grenades, but I wasn't aggressive enough!

The US infantry is successful, but the shock is mounting.

The board. The US have pushed deep into the enemy position in the bottom right. The Germans hold the church and the tree-line. The US have a squad way in the back on the hill, and another squad in the north-side of the central village.

The US squad is urged on by the Platoon Sergeant, removing shock and keeping them moving! I switched to dice for shock- much less messy!

The German squad shifts back into the church, taking up firing positions. I purposely ignored a rule here- normally troops within 4" are automatically engaged in close combat. I decided the rock wall was enough of a barrier to assume that didn't make much sense.

The rifles in the village continue to have a shootout with the German troops in the tree-line.
The Germans in the tree-line are not faring well. They suffer as much shock as remaining troops and so are pinned.

The squad that's been providing fire from the backside of the hill is ordered forward.

The US pour fire into the German position and visa versa. In hindsight, they probably didn't actually have LOS to each other- I got caught up and forgot the Germans are actually meant to be down in the windows! Oh well, they tore into each other with the US slightly giving the better of it.

The rear squad keeps rushing forward.

The tree-line squad has been entirely chopped up under the weight of automatic rifles.

The German NCO takes a wound. German force morale is at a breaking point, while the US are holding strong.

The Germans are hanging by a thread, and concede the field.

Conclusions: This was an interesting game. I think I was far too timid with the Germans- I should've moved the tree-line platoon out to assault the US in the town. I should've assaulted the US on the left. BUT as a game to get familiar with the rules, I think it fit the bill! Sean and I played a much closer game the following night, so make sure to check back!

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