RogerBW's Blog

Chain of Command, Game 2 20 January 2014

Yesterday I played my second game of Chain of Command, and got reasonably thoroughly thrashed. But it was still a very enjoyable experience. (Always a sign of a good wargame, that.) Be warned, this is a fairly image-heavy post.

I took these pictures with a proper camera (Pentax K10D) rather than my phone, so I have even higher-resolution versions available if anyone wants them.

Table

This was the table layout. I'm arbitrarily going to refer to the far end, top right in this picture, as "north". A peaceful English village some time in the late 1930s, after civil war has broken out.

I was one of two players running a platoon from the British Union of Fascists, defending against a platoon from the Anglican League. Our objective was to prevent any of the Anglicans getting off the south edge of the table. In spite of the presence of the bridge, the stream was fordable with some care.

Our concern was of course not to be flanked: both east and west sides seemed to offer good opportunities for a fast-moving section or team to get round any possible defence.

Patrol 1

In the initial patrol phases, markers started getting locked down quite quickly in the middle of the table.

Patrol 2

Two of the three enemy patrol markers made it across the river before they could all be locked down.

Jump-off

What's worse, one of the enemy jump-off markers was also across the river (on the right, behind the hedge). Their others were on the north-western road, and in the northern building. We had one on the west flank, one behind the western woods, and one in the southern building area.

Irregulars

Our first deployment was a section of irregulars in the field on the left flank, who engaged the first enemy platoon (on the road). They did a pretty good job of it at first, in spite of having no machine guns.

House deployment

Meanwhile our second section went into the house, riflemen on the ground floor, Lewis gun team above. This turned out not to be the best of plans.

Casualty roll

Mostly because these were our first casualty rolls. Lewis team wiped out in a single volley from the enemy in their eastern jump-off point, in spite of the hard cover from the building.

Enemy advances

The enemy continued to exchange fire with our irregulars.

Eastern stalemate

The survivors from the eastern section continued to glare across the low hill towards the enemy, and they glared back.

At this point I switched to coaxial flash.

Our irregulars continued to come under fire, and started to accumulate serious shock and pinning.

Regular enemy

The third enemy section came on -- a regular Army section, with a proper Bren rather than a Lewis gun.

Third section

This was the cue for our third section, deployed behind woods to stop the regulars rushing the bridge. Which worked, I suppose.

Irregulars under fire

The irregulars continued to take the brunt of the enemy fire.

Irregulars break

Finally, they broke, fled from their positions, and sought cover.

Overwatch

Back in the centre of the village, the other two sections (or rather a section and a surviving rifle team) stayed in their defensive positions ready to tackle an enemy advance.

Western advance 1

The enemy sent a rifle team along on the west side to keep harrassing our irregulars.

Western advance 2

They managed to get into a tactical stance just inside close range and stay there for a while.

Road crossing

As the other two enemy sections approached the woods, our remaining forces moved in from the south.

Road crossing 2

The Lewis team got caught on the road (by an enemy Lewis team finally making it across the river), and wasn't able to respond effectively, which didn't help.

In the woods

With everyone either in or near the woods, and time getting on, and our force morale leaking away by bits and pieces, we decided to risk everything with a close combat. This went very well in terms of casualties, wiping out the enemy section on which we'd concentrated our attack, but our own casualties were heavy enough that our morale was severely impaired.

In the woods 2

And the enemy still had another section.

In the woods 3

In the end they managed to wound (repeatedly) and kill enough leaders, and wipe out enough teams, that the remaining Fascist forces broke and ran.

A very tough scenario, taking something like five hours of play time, and we didn't even see the attempts at side runs that I'd expected. The enemy team that chased and cut down our irregulars was close to running off our baseline on the west side, but in retrospect what I think I might have done as the enemy is send two individual rifle teams down the two sides at maximum speed (perhaps with a junior leader each to un-shock them), while the other forces (a full section plus the MG teams, under a senior leader) made a conventional assault in the centre. It's a hard setup to defend effectively.

There's another writeup of this game here.

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