Sunday, 20 August 2017

Chain of Command - Russia '42

This week's 'game I haven't played for ages' entry is Chain of Command.

Andrew and I have an occasional game at his place and it has been a good excuse to dig out rules and figures that haven't seen the light of day for a while.  Digging through the blog it looks like I haven't played CoC for a couple of years (and annoyingly the photos have vanished from the posts...something to do with photo storage I think).

This weeks game pitted the brave Heroes of the Soviet Motherland against the Evil Fascist Vipers (can you guess which side I was on??) in a straightforward encounter game with both sides pretty evenly matched.  The objectives were 2 bridges which were conveniently nearer my side of the table but most of the fighting actually centred round a small cluster of houses in the centre of the table.

I've just spotted that the right hand bridge symbol doesn't make any sense (unless it's a viaduct!),
but I cant be bothered going back and changing it!!!  How did I ever pass A-Level Geography???

In Chain of Command troops initially patrol, using patrol markers which move around the table until contact is made.  These then become a number of 'Jump Off Points' which troops can deploy from, given the right dice roll

After the initial patrol phase I made an immediate error and deployed a section rather quickly...I'd forgotten that deploying troops only leaves them vulnerable to getting caught in the open.  I'd attempted to run from the woods on the left to the village and seize the terrace of (suspiciously Western European looking) houses but failed to reach them.  Up popped a German section which proceeded to hammer me with rifle and MG fire...

The brave Soviet soldiers nearly make it to cover...

A 2nd USSR section watches from a ruined house...

oops...the very depleted survivors barely hang on

The survivors of the Soviet charge did manage to get into the houses and their Leader removed some of the shock but they were almost immediately close assaulted by the German section that had shot at them.  Not surprisingly the Soviet section was wiped out in the assault but did manage to cause enough casualties to throw the attackers back.  This bought enough time for me to deploy and move a MMG and crew into the terrace.  In CoC one of the results of the Command Dice that players roll each turn (which determine who can be activated etc) can be to allow the active player to retain the initiative and have another turn.  This time the Germans were the ones caught in the open as the MMG opened up on a German section caught between the 2 ruined houses opposite...

The MMG in position...
...and the lucky Germans caught in the open

Much to Andrew's relief, my dice rolling skills failed at this point and the Germans took relatively light casualties.  Andrew had learned from the very brutal assault earlier and stayed safely in cover in the ruined buildings and whittled down the MMG crew with rifle and LMG fire, eventually forcing them to retreat.

It wasn't looking great for me at this point...I had been having a little more success with my mighty tank and armoured car assault on the Germans in the SE farmhouse who were threatening the 2nd bridge.  I say 'mighty'... I had a T26 and a BA64...hardly a Kursk-level assault... but it was doing the job.  Andrew's section were trying to drive the tank off with small arms fire but then he managed to get the required roll to deploy his Panzerbuschse Team who, after a few close misses, managed to knock out the MG on the armoured car leaving it completely ineffective and vulnerable. My T26 wasn't having much luck firing on the section holed up in the buildings and I was conscious that there was a Pz38 lurking on the other side of the table although to be fair it had turned up and then refused to do anything thanks to some unlucky dice rolling on Andrew's part.

T26 to the rescue...

The uncooperative Pz38

By this point I had a couple of sections still Soviet antitank team had been quickly seen off by Andrew and my tank was stationary guarding one of the bridges but not able to achieve much.  On my left flank I had 1 section remaining in a farmhouse but they were coming under increasing fire from the Germans in the village and a halftrack which had also put in an appearance.   The farm only counted as light cover and I forgot that I could have the unit take up a 'Tactical' stance which would have improved their cover.  At this point I decided that the Soviets would make a hasty withdrawal and conceded, but I suspect there was going to be an awkward conversation with the Commissar afterwards. 

The unit in the Farmhouse....I finally get to make use of my laser line pointer!!!

As we got to the end of the game we realised it was now well after 10 and time to call it a night anyway...I guess the sign of a good game is not noticing the time passing by.  It's definitely inspired me to make more use of Chain of Command.   Somewhere in the loft are my early war British and Belgians so some exploring is definitely required, as well as beefing up the options for the Germans and Russians.

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