Monday, 23 April 2018

Chain of Command - First Game

Chain of Command game
11th Armoured Division vs 9th SS-Panzer Division 'Hohenstaufen'

My local wargames club hosted an open gaming day on Sunday and I managed to finally get my first game of Chain of Command with Simon.  As some of you might have seen in previous posts, I have been slowly painting up a British Infantry Force plus some support choices for Chain of Command and I was chuffed to be finally getting them on the table.

Simon organised the table and the scenario (Patrol) Simon was using his Panzer Grenadier Platoon with an attached StuG Assault gun. So with the difference in Platoon ratings I took my British Infantry Platoon with a Sherman Tank, Universal Carrier and an extra PIAT team. This was going to be a teaching me the rules/training game etc so the way the Platoon ratings worked wasn't technically 100%

So onto the game.

Lt Tommykins leading 2nd Platoon, C Company, 4th KSLI on a roving patrol has come across a walled farmstead just outside Le Valtru, thinking this will make an ideal lay up area for further Brigade reconnaissance, he orders his sections to advance cautiously just in case old Jerry is about. unfortunately for ol' Tommykins, an element of Panzer Grenadier Regiment 20 from the Hohenstaufen Division is already in the area and looking at making the farm its billet.

We started the game by advancing our Patrol markers trying to gain decent advantage to deploy our Jump off Points. Once every Patrol marker was locked down we worked out the best places and deployed our Jump off Points. The Germans took advantage of a field covered in haystacks and directly behind the farm houses, whilst my British would advance through the cornfields and right flank of the farm.

With the Grenadiers already closer to the farm a section was spotted creeping along the hedgerow at the rear of the buildings, Lt Tommykins ordered Cpl Beckett and his section to counter them on the right flank. The Bren team and Beckett dashed towards a hedge and opened up on the creeping Krauts managing to kill the leading Grenadier.

As this was happening a StuG and more Grenadiers entered the haystack filled field and took up position.  Bugger thought Tommykins, a quick radio call saw a Sherman brought up in support, but its shot whistled over the top of the StuG.

Sgt Atkins moves up to the section near the farm and ordered the rifle team into the house just as a hail of MG42 fire guns down most of the Bren team. Seeing these troops fall he popped a smoke grenade hoping to cover the Bren team survivors.

The Germans MG42's let rip against the Bren team and Cpl Beckett falls riddled with bullets. Lt Tommykins deploys Cpl Smiths section and they advance through the cornfield.

The StuG hardly noticing the shot from the Sherman rumbles across the field and takes up a commanding position overwatching the crossroads. This would seriously hinder the KSLI sections.

MG42's chatter away and finally wipe out the last member of the Bren team just as a resounding roar comes from the StuG - fortunately the round pings off the front armour of the Sherman.

The Sherman fires in reply but again although the round hits it doesn't penetrate the thick frontal armour. Tommykins ordered his last section in and Cpl Jones ordered his men to open fire at the opposite Panzer Grenadiers managing to kill one and causing shock to the others.

Just then a Bren Carrierr comes whizzing onto the right flank and opens up on the Grenadiers who get caught in the open trying to sneak around the back of the buildings. Cpl Jones rapid fires through the hedges at the opposing Germans and the Grenadiers are seriously shocked.

Again the Sherman hits the StuG but fails to damage it. Sgt Atkins now upstairs with the rifle team fire on the MG 42 team behind the opposite walls and manage to wound the Panzer Grenadier Leutnant.

On the right the Bren Carrier continues to sweep the Grenadiers with fire, dropping a couple. Tommykins losing faith in the Sherman sends Pte Harrison with his PIAT up and he fires a round at the StuG, this sends the StuG reversing backwards over its own troops causing tank shock!

However more and more Panzer Grenadiers are in the hedges an their constant LMG fire wipe out Jones section, rout Harrison who scarpers sharpish like and a Panzerschreck ambushed the Sherman, shocking the crew.

With the loss of Jones, and Smiths section too far on the left flank to be effective, Lt Tommykins concentrates his orders on the right. Sgt Atkins and his riflemen cause a few more casualties and the Bren Carrier wipes out the rest of the Grenadiers but the sudden huge explosion ripping though the air and the burning smoke cloud over the remains of the Sherman forces the British to pull back with the Germans in possession of the farm.

Absolutely loved playing this game (don't mind losing) as I now know how my force can work and what I need to work on. I knew my infantry couldn't go head to head in a fire fight with all those MG42's - it even said that in the back of the rule book, but with some bad command dice rolls not allowing my to deploy what I wanted when I wanted enabled Simon to rush his StuG into a commanding overwatch position, which seriously hampered my deployment. I could have gone more heavy on the right as I had the advantage their but time was against us and I was more interested in getting the mechanics and rules understood.

Great game, cant wait to get more in.


  1. Nice that you finally got a game of C of C. As you said not an ideal force to face an mg 42 heavy platoon. But 2 things to remember the light mortar is your friend. Drop smoke at EVERY opportunity. Also do not forget Bren teams can target individual enemy teams (i.e Mg42 teams). But I am sure you will know all that.

    1. With my atrocious Command dice rolls the light mortar never saw play and I do know the Brens can target enemy teams - now ! :-0

  2. Good that you got to have a game of CoC - I need to arrange a learning game at the club some time (there is a small group that plays). It will be a good while before my Aussies are ready for the table though.

    1. Yeh was good. Can't wait for more games and tweak my Brits oooh er!

  3. A great battle report and some crackin photo's. I never mind loosing (well not much) if I have learned a new set of rules in the process. Hopefully this defeat won't put you off!

    1. Defeat hasn't deterred me. We are going to to do another game where I will counter attack the farm with a slightly deifferebt table layout.