Tally Ho!

Saturday 16 April 2016

Chain of Command - Second Game

Due to various absences we've decided to delay the start of the Montrose campaign and see if we can cement our understanding of Chain of Command. So the rest of the month will be dedicated to learning and assessing the rules.

The Scenario

Patrol phase
This week we tried-out The Probe scenario, which featured the Soviets trying to penetrate German patrols in search of the MLR. The Soviets win if  a single team reaches the German base-edge. 
The patrol phase ended with the
Germans positioned in soft cover along the base-edge. The Soviets had two jump-off points in a central position and one on the left flank of the German position in a wood.

The Germans had 3xFallschirmjäger squads, an MG42 MMG, and a 50mm mortar. As the attackers the Soviets had a 3xRifle squads, a maxim MMG, a 50mm mortar, a sniper squad, and an elite scout squad.

The Deployment

The Fallschirmjäger's plan was simplicity itself - they deployed early with one squad covering each jump-off point and the MG42 in the centre. With seven of Hilter's buzz-saws in the line they intended to rely on firepower to see off the Soviets.

The Russians had an equally simple plan - they hoped to use the scouts to force an early deployment, establish a flanking position, and then attack through the heaviest cover in the centre, using the orchard as an attacking platform.

Soviets deploy in the centre

Germans deploy on the right flank

The Battle

The battle opened reasonably well for the Soviets with the scouts pressing forward and the maxim deploying to the flank to begin wearing-down the Germans
Soviet scouts move forward

Maxim and Snipers on the flank
The Soviets then pushed forward with two of their rifle squads, hoping to move though the centre and into an attacking position. As we entered the middle part of the battle the weakness in the Soviet plan became evident.   The scouts and the flanking maxim were able to be defeated in detail and did limited damage to the Germans. It was clear that attacking in column through the middle would simply lead to the Soviet squads being faced with a wall of fire one-by-one.  

Rifle squad follows the scouts
So the Soviets attempted to refocus the attack, moving two squads to their left flank under cover of the farm and trying to establish a base of fire in the centre with a third squad supported by an LMG. 
Two rifle squads move to the flank

Soviets try to establish a base of fire
With Soviet casualties mounting we concluded that they would be unable to make any serious headway against the entrenched Fallschirmjäger. So the game ended with a clear German victory.

The view from the German right

 The Verdict 

This scenario really suited the Germans - their superior firepower meant they could mow-down the Russians with minimal damage to themselves.

In hindsight the Soviets made a few mistakes that contributed to their downfall:
1. The flanking base of fire proved ineffectual and isolated. It should either have been placed later so it was nt isolated or placed further back on the hill so it was at long-range for the German LMGs.
2. Attacking in waves did nt really get the best from the Soviet numerical superiority, they were defeated in detail and did nt damage the Germans much.
3. The sniper's focus switched too late to the MG42

The general agreement was that we're enjoying the rules - it really feels like you are a platoon commander and tactics are critical to a good performance.

We have noticed that the terrain placement is critical though. There is a difference between what looks neat and what gives a good set of options for jump-off points. More scattered "lumps" of terrain will likely give a better game than a few large areas.



  1. Stuart. I watch with interest as to how my 'recruits' are getting on with CoC. Your second game was a challenge - particularly for that scenario as the Soviets can't break down into teams. Also, there is a bit of the rules we didn't cover in detail when I was there as it wasn't an issue, but which will certainly affect you if you are using Russians. The basic Fallschirmjager platoon has a rating of +4, the basic Russian platoon has a rating of -3. The Rules - in Appendix A which is why it is difficult to find - then allow the weaker side to add the difference in additional support points. In this case the Soviets would have an additional 7 support points - imagine what a difference having a T34 as a mobile pillbox would have made! As I said at our first game; the Penarth club has weekend games Fri night to Sunday four times a year. The next is May 20-22 and I will be laying on a small CoC mini campaign if any of you are interested.

  2. Thanks for the thoughts - we spotted the support points and following your advice did nt go for tanks in the second game, instead we went for the scouts. I think the issue was a failure to properly lay-down covering fire as the attack was a too piece-meal. Next game will feature soviets defending with a few vehicles

    I will let the chaps know about the May event and see if any would like to attend