Real life has been interfering with miniature progress over the last week, but I’ve gradually been reducing down my “to build” pile of figures and increasing my “to paint” pile. I now have all my germans built for the core platoon of Chain of Command, as well as the new additions of a panzerschreck team, a 5cm mortar and some metal NCOs and riflemen.
Last night saw our second Chain of Command game and the mechanics were starting to click into place for us. We played an attack & defence scenario with my germans attacking, with a support roll of 8 I took an elite force of panzergrenadiers along with an Sdkfz 222 (from the early war list) and a 8cm Mortar Battery. Andy took along a British motor platoon supported by a Vickers MMG, a Grant Medium Tank and a Bren Carrier.
I got to place my patrol markers first, but andy closed the gap pretty quickly and locked me down behind the barn. My first go saw me getting 2 junior leaders activations and putting two sections on the table with them, setting one to tactical and the other covering the barn with overwatch. Andy took the next phase and deployed his vickers on the corner of the crossroads and fired what might as well have been feathers at my grenadiers behind the barn.
Skip along a few phases and andy had lined up more troops along the hedgerow of the crossroads, so it was time to call in the artillery, I decided on a ranging shot initially as I didn’t want to destroy my own guys if it deviated, but it ended up being dead on the vickers and gave the unit a few shock. Annoyingly andy played his chain of command dice to end the turn and thus end my barrage, knowing full well if it hit on the next phase he was going to take some serious damage on most of his units.
While this was going on, my Sdkfz 222 had come on the table and made some pop shots at the vickers also, this prompted andy to bring on his Grant (imperial guard sherman proxy!) and fire all his guns at the 222 Amazingly the 222 survived the onslaught taking one shock and being forced to attack the grant in the next phase. An attack by andy’s PIAT team also didn’t do much damage, causing it to get stuck in fast if it moved.
I had activated my barrage at the beginning of the turn, and this time I wasn’t playing so coy, I went for a full barrage which deviated 8″ towards my lines, blast! It came down over my 222 and panzerschreck team but thankfully landed on most of the units andy had behind the hedge, causing more shock and a few kills. At this point we completely forgot to put any smoke down (not being used to the mechanic), so andy may have had an advantage escaping the area, but instead I laid down more LMG fire on his positions which eventually caused the units to break. After 3 units were running for the table edge I forced a turn end causing andy to loose the units. At a morale of 4 he conceeded victory to the germans.
Overall it was an extremely enjoyable game, theres so much more depth here than bolt action and even simple activations require some thinking. It did feel a little biase towards me in this scenario as there was no real advantage to andy defending and in actuality it felt more like I was defending the farmhouse and due to my superior force, it was pretty easy.