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...

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