Chain of Command First Play AAR

At the weekend, Ninjasaurus Rex and I met up to try out Chain of Command for the first time. I picked up the rules at Salute and have been desperate to try them out since so I set up a mid -war Eastern Front game centred around a small village:

Eastern front game board for Chain of Command
The Germans (me) had a platoon of three sections and a commander with a Sdkfz 250 and a four man section in support. The Soviets (him) had a platoon of three sections with a T-34/76 in support. We played the patrol phase and set up the Jumping Off Points. The Soviet JOPs were gathered around the central village whilst the German JOPs were a little further back in the woods. 

A German section moves towards the village

The Soviets units began filtering onto the table, moving towards the farm buildings.

Soviets begin their advance

Meanwhile a German section had moved into the woods and exchanged fire with one of the Soviet sections. 

Firing at each other the Germans and Soviets try to gain ground

I was then able to deploy my support in the form of the Sdkfz 250. 

The German halftrack arrives in support

Meanwhile, the Soviets started to outflank the German positions using their senior commander to direct the movement. 

The Soviets start to outflank the German positions

Soviet support arrived and began moving down the road to try to engage the Germans. 

A Soviet T34 tank arrives in support

The Germans were slowly gaining ground with help from the supporting halftrack, 

Germans press home their attack

As the German section rounded the corner of the village they faced off with one of the Soviet sections whose advance had stalled slightly. 

Soviets and Germans exchange fire at the village edge

With combined fire from the 250 and the section the Soviet section was destroyed. 

The Germans surround the village

Unfortunately, the German gains were quickly neutralised when the T-34 destroyed the halftrack with accurate fire.

The Soviet tank knocks out the halftrack

Meanwhile. a German section stormed the barn where one of the Soviet sections was holed up. The fight was intense and the Soviets were almost wiped out to a man. The last remaining soldier fled!

The Soviets in the barn are destroyed by a German assault

A second assault took place against the final Soviet section, with similar results!

The Soviets in the second barn are assaulted

The game ended with half of the final Soviet section fleeing after their morale collapsed and the Germans in control of the village. 

The Soviets flee, ending the game

It was a German victory, but only just. All the German sections had taken some kind of damage and there was still the T-34 on the board. But the Soviet morale collapsed and they surrendered or fled. Overall, we both really enjoyed the game and it flowed very easily once we got going. There was some checking back and forth with the rules and I now need to re-read them just to clarify a few points here and there. But overall, we both said it felt far less clunky than other WW2 games we play, such as Rapid Fire. We both enjoyed the patrol phase and jumping off points part the game. Instead of slowly creeping your way across the board this allows for the players to get into the action almost immediately. It's a good modern rule set well worth checking out!

Also worth checking out is the latest Storm of Steel Wargaming Youtube video on the Battle of Bazentin Ridge, July 1916. Have a watch here (and please subscribe to the channel!):

Comments

  1. Replies
    1. It was a lorra lorra fun! when you coming over for a game?

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  2. Replies
    1. Thank you very much! It's several decades of collecting...

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  3. Looks great. It is a game I'm getting more into- it has lots of subtlties that I'm liking getting to grips with. Just wish there were a few more aplatoon lists available for my Eastern Front collection of figures.

    Grgeat video btw- it needs to be shown, as you did, that WW1 saw great deal of progression and tactical innovation in terms of combat on the western front.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

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    1. Cheers Pete! Yes, this is definitely less clunky than a lot of other rules we've played and I really enjoyed it. I think my main issue (and it's not really an issue) is that I prefer higher scale games, Battalion and above, but for it's scale it works really well. Have you seen the 1941 lists on the TFL website? I got the Soviet, German and Romanian ones from there and will be using them soon. Thanks for the comments on the video, there is a lot of people out there who think the Great War was just a bloody stalemate. I'm doing my bit to change minds!

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    2. I can enjoy a game at any level as long as it feels like your are playing at that level. I like CoC as it feels like you are a platoon commander, I dislike Rapid Fire as it doesn't feel anything like a brigade level game...

      As for WW1 anything that takes "ownership" of the narrative away from the English department I'll support.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

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    3. I hear that. If you think of RF as a lower level game it works better, IMO.

      Good to hear that, I'm the same, take the war back from the poets...

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  4. At last! Glad you enjoyed the rules, although I had a feeling you might. One thing I decided on very early after playing a few games was only get involved in a close combat if you've either: shot up the oppo so they have lost a few people or they are shock heavy (pinned is better) or it is a last resort as it usually ends up with nearly everyone ko'd. Also don't leave home without a MG42 or Panzerfaust/Panzerschreck.

    Pete (from comment above): Have a look here, https://tinyhordes.com/official-coculator-and-chain-of-command-army-lists/ also gives a link to the CoCulator which will enable you to work out your own if you need to.

    Actually anyone who plays CoC could learn a bit from this site!


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    1. Ha ha, I'm sorry to have kept you waiting Iain! Yes, we really enjoyed the game. There's a lot of nuances in there that make it very enjoyable. You're right about the close combat, it was very bloody in both cases, but as this was a tester, I wanted to try out a range of the rules in the game. Thankfully the T-34 didn't do a great deal of damage, but it could have been far worse! Thanks for that link, I have bookmarked it for future reference!

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    2. Thanks for that Iain- very useful. I'll work up some lists for my collection- I can use my Hungarian collection then.

      Cheers,

      Pete.

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  5. Nice AAR, interested to see how you played CoC with infantry stands as opposed to individually based figures, nice work
    cheers John .

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