Tally Ho!

Tuesday 5 April 2016

Chain of Command - first game

Image result for chain of command rulesThe week started slightly oddly when one of the club members announced they "had met a man on the Internet". The man turned-out to be Dave from the Penarth Wargames club ( http://www.penarthwargames.co.uk/) who had kindly come along to teach us all Chain of Command.

For those who are interested the authors have a series of YouTube videos explaining the rules here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiT70m6CJO8

The Setup

As this was our first game we went for a very basic scenario - The Patrol. This involves both sides trying to push the other from the table. We had a dense table with a village in one half and fields in the other. 

Some of the jump-off points 
One of the features of CoC is the pre-game Patrol Phase where you manoeuvre a line of four markers that become locked once they come within 12" of the enemies patrol markers. Three of four patrol markers become Jump-off Points from which troops can later deploy. This is a unique idea and means you start the game with an empty battlefield with units joining as battle progresses.

This phase ended with the Germans in possession of the village and the British in the fields beyond.

The Game

The game began well for the Germans with them getting multiple phases of action before the British got a move. They used this to deploy all three of their squads; one in a house and one on each flank attempting to setup fire positions against two of the British Jump-off Points.

Germans advance
The British responded by deploying one of their squads and a light mortar into a wood in the centre of their position. The mortar proved especially useful as it could fairly reliably block the Germans line-of-sight a key moments.
British base of fire
The crucial move of the game was when the British deployed two squads and a senior leader right in front of a German squad trying to dominate a British Jump-off point. Their assault proved devastating as they wiped-out the Germans for the loss of only 2 men.
British reinforcements arrive

The assault goes in
This enabled them to flank the German position and threaten one of their Jump-off Points. This out the Germans in a tight  spot as they tried to redeploy to meet the threat
British flanking movement

Germans respond
We completed the game after about 3 hours of play. The Germans were in a precarious position and would have been forced to withdraw from the field.

The Verdict

By common agreement the rules were a step-up from the Bolt Action games we've tried recently - tactics felt more realistic and there was less coordinated fire possible between the units. The Patrol Phase is also a neat idea and adds an element of randomness to the set-up.

The use of sub-units also adds an element to the game where more realistic fire-and-manoeuvre becomes possible. Early days but we had the sense that real small-squad tactics would be rewarded
 more than the head-long approach for Bolt Action.

On the down-side its not a quick game, though we were assured you get faster as you play more. In hindsight we probably had too much terrain and so it often was nt possible to actually shoot the enemy. For future games we'd want to dial-back on that. 

Finally a big thanks to Dave for the 2-hour round-trip to teach us the game. It looks like the one we'll be adopting for a future Eastern Front game.


  1. Enjoyed learning the rules. Got the old brain working on possible games using my 20mm stuff.

  2. Time to dust off the ESCI and Airfix or do you have those new-fangled metal figures ;-)

  3. New fangled metals metals with some plastic tanks etc.