Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Chain of Command: Barbarossa
Our latest Chain of Command game pitched an early German force against a Soviet platoon... I guess we're somewhere in 1941...
As Russ hadn't played before [but was ably assisted by Keith] we played out a straightforward Patrol scenario with a small village in the centre of the table and a scattering of trees and wheatfields covering the table.
As is normal for CoC each side comprised a platoon with some additional support.... the Germans had a PzKpfw 38t and a Sdkfz 221 [which never actually made it onto the table] and the Soviets had a T26, a Maxim and crew and an anti-tank team.
CoC uses a pre-game Patrol phase in which Jump Off points are moved across the table until the contact each other and lock in place. In our game this resulted on 2 opposing lines with both sides making a drive towards the village in the centre.
The Germans were able to deploy first in one of the buildings, quickly opposed by a Soviet squad. A close range firefight ensued which was eventually won when the Soviet Maxim also deployed and added it's fire. The Germans abandoned the house and pulled back but in turn the Soviet squad was forced back by fresh German squad that had appeared in nearby woods.
The game then settled down with a bit of a lull as the Germans consistently failed to roll suitable dice to allow them to order Leaders or units [but picked up loads of Chain of Command points!]. Both of us did, however bring on our tanks.... the T26 and the 38 may lack the power of late war amour but they have a certain charm! They arrived at the table edge and had several rounds of long range gunfire, with the T26 ignoring the nearer infantry in favour of trying to win the tank duel [possibly a mistake but there was a bit of tanky prestige at stake by this point]. Both tanks managed to damage each others gunsights before a lucky shot from the T26 knocked out the German main gun [but left the tank otherwise undamaged]...I count that as a major victory!
The Soviets had deployed most of their squads by this point but the Germans still held the village. A flurry of successful dice allowed Russ and Keith to bring on the remainder of the Germans and they were able to concentrate fire on the Soviets, badly damaging most squads and, crucially, forcing the Maxim to run away.
It was looking pretty grim at this point when a few lucky shots from the handful of Soviet riflemen left suddenly inflicted heavy losses on the Germans and forced the Fascist Vipers to flee! By this point both sides had been reduced to 3 Morale points each, meaning we had few command dice left and we decided that both patrols would report back to their respective HQs... informing them that they'd encountered at least a division but held them off with heavy losses!
Another successful outing for CoC... we got a few things wrong [activating tanks on a roll of 2 rather than 3, and failing to remember to check for casualties on Leaders] but otherwise we did ok. We did find in this game, and in previous ones, that the game has a tendency to settle down into static lines if you aren't careful with little manoeuvre happening. The presence of off-table Mortars or Artillery would possibly help force squads out of their positions... something to remember for the next game I think.