Sunday, 12 January 2014

Chain of Command Eastern Front at Devon Wargames Club, Exeter.

Eastern Front - Chain of Command

First club meeting in 2014 at the Devon Wargames Club in Exeter, saw us getting started with two games of Chain of Command staged by Jason and myself, as we were involved in the play testing and development of these rules and semi veterans of the rules we were running the games to introduce the other club members into the rules. For most of them, it was their first go at them and were at the bottom of the learning curve, all be it , that they had all seen the marvellous video demonstrations staged by the Lardies on their You Tube presentations.

So the game I ran was set on the Eastern Front 1941 with a German Infantry platoon vs a Soviet Rifle equivalent. Jason ran a 44' Normandy game with US infantry force facing a German infantry platoon.
The German platoon was beefed up with an extra Rifle section and an MMG section, but no specific anti-armour capability.
The Russians had a couple of T26 tanks, a MMG and a Flamethrower team.
I wanted the players to experience a number of different support elements, so hence the support options, I had intended the Russians to be Green troops, but I was distracted on the set up and allowed them to be Regular, which probably swung it for them in the end...
The East Front table looking from the German edge
So our first game had a meeting engagement with both sides patrolling forward towards a small village. When the markers were finally locked the German Jump Off Positions allowed them to occupy most of the village with the Soviets in the hills and woodland beyond.
All quiet on the Eastern Front
The German force had first phase and decided to deploy two rifle sections into the village with a MMG team on their left flank at the crossroads. The Soviets deployed two rifle sections, one on each flank and a T26 tank on their right, German left flank.
This caused a certain amount of consternation in German ranks with nothing better to take on a tank than grenades and determination. Achtung Panzer!!!
Oh well it's early East Front, how sad never mind.
Germans set up in the Village
The Soviet forces on the German left were ensconced on a small wooded hill and proceeded to open up a barrage of small arms fire into the village aimed at neutralising the MMG team, killing one and causing a shock. The MMG team fired back killing two Soviets.
Then the T26 edged onto the road looking right along the German position in the village.
Soviet Flank Attack
With their flank turned the German infantry were forced to clear off the road, and start to move troops out to the left to deal with the threat posed, but having to keep troops available to watch the other Soviet force on their right. More small arms fire was directed towards the MMG team and they were knocked out in a hail of fire from two squads of Russians, with 10 riflemen and a LMG, the were throwing out 14 dice of small arms fire each!!!
The Russian commander Lt. "Mad Dog" Karteroski had thrown 4x6's getting him a CoC dice in hand, a special event and the next go, the Special Event being that his troops had found a hidden cache of Vodka in the woods, and their force morale had gone up one level due to the troops "good spirits".
Soviet Pinning force
The German response to the T26 on their flank was to use their "Handgranaten" characteristics and launch a close assault from a wheat field close by, under cover from smoke from their 50mm mortar. The attack wounded the commander and shocked the vehicle into shut down for a turn as they tried to recover their composure, with one net hit.
With the threat of the MMG disposed of the Soviets brought up a second Rifle section  on to the hill and started to lay down a fusillade of fire onto the next German section in the village causing a few casualties but more shock.
Command Dice allocated
Meanwhile on the other flank the Soviets advanced their rifles to the edge of the village taking care to keep out of sight as a threat in being, and bringing on a second T26 which advanced down the road towards the crossroads.
Hellfire Corner on the German left
Next phase saw the German commander try to finish off the first Soviet Tank but only succeeded to cause more shock and kill the gunner, with two grenades hitting the vehicle with two net hits...
 Meanwhile more German infantry were killed by Soviet small arms fire, although the German return fire killed the section leader and half his squad on the hill top. In the Soviet phase the pressure continued with a maxim MMG being brought up on the hill to add further fire support and a surprise ambush attack from a Soviet flamethrower team from the opposite wheat field to where their tank was being attacked, the Russian command using one of their 2 CoC dice they had accrued.
Smoke and close assault armour
The flamethrower killed a couple of German troops, wounded the Junior leader, and caused two more shocks before being wiped out in a hail of return fire, not that effectual, I thought the german squad was toast, excuse the pun.
Oh no more tanks!

Flame thrower attack
With all the incoming small arms the German force was becoming pinned down and unable to remove shocks, which with the drip drip of mounting casualties was starting to impact on unit and force morale.
The pressure grows on the German position as casualties mount

With the Russians seeing the Germans were struggling with their command and morale suffering, decided to launch an infantry charge out of the woods, Uhraaah!!! and closed with the German squad in the wheat-field to close quarter fighting, although the Russian suffered 8 men dead and the German 5 this was the final nail in the coffin s the remainder of the squad and the Senior Leader broke and ran...
This pressure finally took its inevitable toll and with two German sections collapsing under the fire the platoon fell back from the village a broken force.

Out flanked and time to leave
Thanks to Comrade Chas & Vince and Herr JJ & Ian for a very entertaining afternoon.
Thanks to JJ for the initial report and lovely photos which I have copied and edited, please have a look at JJ's lovely blog, and also the Devon Wargames Blog, and of course Jason's Blog.

 Just started putting together more Russians, and a Japanese force today for CoC, with the US Marines on the board as well... pics to follow...

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

First CoC game of the New Year

As promised another blog to follow a game that Jason and I played on Sunday gone, Too fat Lardies Chain of Command rules covered the 1940's France game that took place between, my Wermacht forces and Jason's newly painted Highlanders (surely doomed as it was their first outing!!!)

Again this has been plagiarised from Jason's Welsh Wargamer in Devon blog, as he took all the pictures and was up of most the night, insomnia has its benefits...

My German platoon of 4 squads, commanded by 2 senior leaders, supporting them I had a 50mm mortar, a medic and a Stug III.  Jason had a British platoon with 3 smaller squads, again lead by 2 senior leaders.  Support was a Boys AT rifle team, a 2" mortar, a Matilda II and a FOO with a 3" mortar battery on call.

The table looks mostly open, but the fields all blocked line of sight and made for limited long range fire opportunities.  The German jump off points are marked in red, the British are in blue.  The terrain was made by our late friend Gus Murchie and it was nice to see it being put to use again.
 Turn 1 came and went in the initial German phase. I rolled four 6's and a 3 on 5 dice, giving me the next phase, a Chain of Command Dice and a random event. I brought on my first squad with the 3, then rolled for the event.  A random mortar stonk came down on my right flank, restricting my deployment and advance options, but luckily missing my deployed troops, Herr Mulligan!!!!      

 Then my next roll was three 6's as well, ending turn 2 before the British even got on the table. 
I slowly (5" on 3d6) advanced the squad, while also bringing on my sergeant.  The next move was more normal, allowing 2 more squads to come on while I pushed the initial squad forward to within 3" of one of the British jump off points.  Things were looking pretty bad for the British.
Jason finally got a phase and managed to bring on 2 squads and the platoon sergeant.  He couldn't deploy on the threatened jump off point as I had men too close to the jump off point, within 4". 
He did manage to get two 5's though, so his CoC dice was filling up.
Next turn I rolled again and declared a normal move to seize the jump off point.  2d6 were rolled, giving a move of 3" which looked like enough for the squad to get there, except they had run flat out the turn before and had a point of shock, which reduced the move to 2"!  God damn it..........   
My other dice allowed me to push forward one squad and also move over towards his left flank with the 3rd, while also bringing on the Stug.  The Brits were getting decidedly outnumbered.
 J's phase again and he got two 6's, giving him the next phase.  He pushed both squads forward, with the 1st going 5" on 3d6 and the other going 16" on the same number of dice.  The Sergeant moved up and rallied the shock off his troops.
 This time J got several 5's, giving him a CoC dice in his hand.  This was used to move the threatened jump off point away from the Germans, saving him from a nasty force morale loss.  At the same time the 1st squad went on overwatch and the 2nd moved around to flank the Germans.
A couple of quick phases resulted in the Germans advancing 3 squads, taking fire from the British infantry as they came on and then the German left got threatened by the high speed (17" on 3d6!!!) move of the Matilda II. Feel the speed....
 Sustained and effective Bren Gun fire caused 5 shock to the German leftmost squad, while the rest of the British troops fired at the advancing Germans.  The FOO was also on, and made contact with his mortars.
 Some effective fire by the advancing Germans saw the British leftmost squad get pinned down.  Those damn MG34s lay down a lot of fire, while the small 8 man squads of the British make them very fragile.  On the other flank the Matilda revved its mighty engine and ground forward, crushing several Germans and breaking the squad.  Achtung Panzer!
 However, C squad was looking ropey and, if they broke then the British left was wide open.
 Luckily the FOO stepped up and saved the day.  Two 6's gave J the next phase and the mortars came in with a whoosh BANG.  Unfortunately for me, all his squads were within the 18" blast area, along with my sergeant and the Stug.  All the infantry were pinned and the Stugs CO decided that he didn't like being shelled.  Losses were few from the mortars, with the noteable exception of one of the MG34 teams, which was wiped out to a man by a single, lucky mortar shell.

When the mortars fired again on the next phase, I had decided that the attack was over and pulled my men back. 

Victory went to the defenders of the realm, who held out despite being outgunned and outnumbered.  A great game, with the result swinging from a German victory to a crushing defeat, thanks largely to the mortars. I still feel these are very mighty gods of war for the 4pts you spend on the support options. 

Thanks for the game Jason, it was a blast, literally, Gus would have laughed his socks off at that game.             

Monday, 6 January 2014

A Blog at Last after several months absent...

Last Game of 2013
It has been several months since my last posting, apologies and I shall hang my head in shame, my New Years resolution to be prompt with my Blogs... I will try honest...

On the last Sunday of 2013, the Chuckadice gang got together at Zob's for our seasonal all-day gaming extravaganza. Chain of Command was the order of the day this year, followed by Zombicide for a light hearted evening game.
                                                       "The Ugly Bunch" (Chuckadice)

 The CoC game was a bit different, with 3 players a side and based on a hypothetical history.  What if France fell, then Britain lost the Battle of Britain and the Germans invaded.  We had two camps, with the nasty Hun/Italian types commanded by Colin and Zob, ably supported by the Fascist British commanded by Panjo/Pingu.  They had an understrength German platoon (2 squads of regulars), a British Fascist Platoon (1 regular squad and 2 green squads) an independent squad of Italian regulars, a mighty L6 light tank, a captured 18pdr gun and a tripod MG.  They were also awaiting the arrival of reinforcements in the shape of another 2 squad German platoon with an armoured truck and a Panzer 38 in support.
Nasty Germans (Zob, Colin and Panjo)

The gallant defenders of British sovereignty  had 2 mixed platoons each with 2 regular and 1 green squads.  There support consisted of 3 ex-Polish tankettes and a HMG armed steam tank (Andy and Myself). 
They were also awaiting reinforcement by a mixed platoon with 1 regular 1 green infantry squads, a mounted yeomanry squad, an armoured steam truck with an mg and a Rolls Royce armoured car (Jason).
Andy and Me, Defenders of the Realm
Another change was in the command dice used.  Each individual commander only had 2 command dice, but the CinC had an additional 4 to be split as he saw fit each turn.  No commander could have more than 5 dice though.  So ten dice between 3 commanders, which led to some mutterings about the division of spoils. cleverly implemented by Jason, running the game...

The game played well, with the British forcing their right flank in an attempt to circle around the town.  The fascist British seized the town, but were largely kept away from the main British attack by the attentions of a single squad of British Local Defence Volunteers behind a hedge, supported by the single cannon armed tankette.  This was exacerbated by the fact that the German reinforcements also came on on that side of the table.
British Regulars find Germans in the wood
That building is infested with Highlanders
Andy's flank guard of LDV types
This left Colin's 2 squads of Germans, supported by the Italians, the tank and the gun facing off against the remaining 5 British squads, supported by the steam tank.  A risky move by Colin left one of his German squads isolated and outflanked.  I am sure the German soldiers were inspired when their commander legged it and left them to the tender mercies of the advancing British.  The statement "They have too much shock, nothing I can do" was heard from Oberstleutnant Edgecombe as he left them.
The massed British advance, WW1 style
The fascist British look for the pub
The Germans "didn't like it up 'em!"
Armoured(ish) support for Andy's LDV
Italians leave the barracks, ready to be confused
As the game progressed, both reinforcement platoons began to arrive at the same time.  The Germans reinforced the out of position British fascists, while the British came on in position to prevent any easy reinforcement of the outnumbered Germans.
British reinforcements arrive
As do the Germans, under Unterofficer Zobski
Cavalry support the advance
After much ineffective fire the German CinC was last seen running towards Torquay harbour, while the Italian squad wondered what was going on and the British fascists celebrated holding the pub.  The British won the day, although Andy's platoon was close to breaking.  Everybody seemed to enjoy it and the special rules from the Spanish and Home Guard lists were a welcome innovation.
Many thanks to Jason for running the game, the pictures, and the blog entry which I have ashamedly pirated for this entry.

 The evening game was Zombicide, continuing our games of Prison Outbreak.  Things did not go well, with almost everybody getting munched and being zombified and horrible.  Damn and blast.
Looks ok, lets get going folks.
Where the hell did all those zombies come from?
All in all it was a great days gaming, which was what was needed before the sad day of Gus' funeral on New Years Eve.                                    
                                                                        RIP Gus Murchie...