Feature Battle Report by Graham.
We were recently lucky enough to have Rich Clarke from Too Fat Lardies come to the club to run a game of Chain of Command for us.
1944 somewhere in France. A British platoon, supported by a troop of three Shermans, is tasked with capturing a crossroads in a seemingly quiet hamlet.
The British started by bringing a Sherman on the road and the 2” mortar in the field next to it. The Germans initially deployed a section around a ruined building by the crossroads, with the lmg upstairs in the actual building and the rifle team in the garden. In a possible rash move, the British promptly bought a section on flanking the German position, whilst dropping smoke to screen the German lmg position. The first Sherman advanced and the troop commander arrived in a second Sherman. Being caught in the open, the German rifle team jumped over the garden wall,losing one man to rifle fire, then rushed into a nearby orchard.
A second German section arrived, with their lmg upstairs in a nearby house where they could open fire on the British section and, to the roar of a V12 Maybach engine a Panther appeared on the German table edge.
In response the British rifles and bren opened up on the lmg in the upstairs of the house while the mortar dropped more smoke by the ruined building, now completely obscuring the first mg team.
The Shermans started lobbing HE into the house with the lmg and the Firefly was brought on to the table. The second German lmg exchanged fire with the British section with little effect and the Panther advanced on the British infantry, spraying them with it’s coaxial mg.
With the Panther looming over them the British section doubled back around the garden and into the German rifle team. In the ensuing close combat the British wiped the German team out for the loss of one man. The 75mm Shermans kept throwing HE into the house, with little effect other than a bit of shock, and the Firefly moved off the road to try to get a LOS on the Panther.
The Panther was now on the verge of over-running a British Jump Off Point so in desperation the British brought on the piat as close to the Panther as possible. They fired and missed! In return the Panther’s mgs cut the piat team down.
At this point I got a bit carried away leading the Brits, realising that the German lmg in the ruined house were facing out the back of the building, but my chaps in the orchard could actually reach the front door! “Follow me” yelled the platoon sergeant and led the section in an assault. By the time we had worked out the dice, allowing for leaders present and their smgs , hard cover etc both sides were rolling almost identical numbers of dice. The Brits inflicted 5 kills on the Germans, leaving just one man alive. Then we looked at the German dice, nine 5s and 6s! End result: British platoon sergeant dead, corporal wounded and unconscious, the last two men of the section broken and running across the nearby field, British morale now down to 2.
We played on for a couple of phases until the Firefly attempted to take out the Panther. The Firefly missed it’s shot, the Panther didn’t, BOOM went the Firefly! British morale was now a big fat zero.
A fun game, with much hilarity, especially on the part of the German players. It was a great evening and we were all grateful to Rich for making the trip over to run the game. Chain of Command is a great set of rules and popular with many players at Tring, as can be seen from the 1940 League we are currently running.