Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Belgium Day #2 11th May 1940

It has only taken us 4 months but Keith and I have finally managed to arrange game no. 2 in our Chain of Command campaign set in the German invasion of Belgium....sadly work and real life seemed to keep getting in the way for both of us.

In game #1 the Belgian and German forces clashed on the border and the Germans were eventually driven back, largely thanks to a plucky Belgian Lieutenant calling in a mortar barrage on his own position which caused heavy casualties to the Germans surrounding him.

Game #2 saw another clash of patrols near the border...clearly the Germans haven't managed to get very far into Belgium.  Our patrols clashed around the village in the table centre and the Germans were able to occupy some of the buildings with my Belgian infantry hunkered down on the far side of the fields, hoping the crops would give enough cover. 

In CoC you begin with a basic platoon and then, depending on the scenario, choose some additional support elements.  We made an initial error here as we should have made a single dice roll for this but we rolled separately which gave me more support choices than the Germans.  I chose a Forward Observer as the mortars had been really effective in the last game.  Keith had an off-table officer which meant it would give him more flexibility with his commanders.  If the Germans had been able to choose from the same values as me then they might have been able to bring on some armour which would have made a big difference.

My second bit of luck was being able to deploy my FO quickly and for his mortar barrage to come in pretty much straight away and on target, pinning a couple of German units although not inflicting too many casualties.  This continued to pound them for the duration of the game, being guided in by the FO who remained active most turns.

I then managed to roll 2 6's in my command dice which meant I activated twice before the Germans could (very flukey as I actually managed this a couple of times in the game), allowing me to occupy the terraced buildings.  This didn't work out so well though as the Germans were able to concentrate on the section in the building and eventually launched a charge backed up with a hail of grenades.  This resulted in heavy casualties on both sides but pretty much finished off the Belgian section who retreated back to the fields.

The village comes under mortar fire

I now decided to bring on the remaining sections who decided that going near the village was just going to result in getting shot.  The new sections sensibly decided to shelter by the fields and let the mortar barrage do it's job.  The Belgians can also field a Rifle Grenade section which added to the indirect fire, lobbing rifle grenades onto anything that moved.

After a couple of turns of mortar fire combined with long range exchanges of fire from the infantry sections the Germans concluded that they weren't going to get any further without taking even more casualties and began to pull back off table.  Round 2 to the Belgians although I suspect that the overall invasion is probably going a bit better for the Germans!

The Belgians deploy behind the fields

The Rifle Grenade Section

The Germans caught in the barrage

So an error with the rules and some lucky dice throws gave another Belgian win.  Mortars do seem very powerful in CoC although I think that reflects the impact the actually had on the battlefield.  It doesn't make for a very exciting game though and I think I'll need to try a different set of options for the next game...I've yet to unleash my motorcycle section or the armoured fury of the powerful Belgian T13....


  1. Hi Alastair, Happy to see some Belgians in a game. Some info for your nest gam: Much of the material of the Belgian army was worn out or poorly maintained. Mortars when tested only firing a few meters far. WWI maxim machine guns worn out, blocking after the first shot...So testing if the mortars work well could be something extra. The T13 was a modfied British artillery tractor. With the extra armor and guns, the lot was to heavy for the motor, giving regular motor breackdowns. You could test each turn for that. On the picture, you have the type that could only fire backwards... This was because it could that way not be considered as an offensive weapon, to underline the neutrality of the country.
    In general also many of the soldiers were badly trained and had low moral.

    I made an Artical years ago for Miniature Wargames on Eben-Emael . If you have questions, just let me know.

    1. Thanks Dirk...this is really helpful although I'm hoping my opponent Keith doesn't spot it as I think I'll need every edge I can get!