02 November 2014

29, Let's Go! Probe at La Cambe

We finally got to start our first Chain of Command campaign using the CoC At the Sharp Edge campaign system and the first pint sized package campaign 29, Let's Go! Scenario One, the Probe at La Cambe was played yesterday at the Hobby Bunker in Malden, MA. This is an historically based campaign following the action of the 176th American Infantry Battalion as it has been ordered forward to secure the Bridge at Isigny, as a part of the day after D-Day actions, June 1944.

The real good news was that Mike, with whom I have been playing CoC, has started to paint up some Americans, they are still in the painting process, but he was able to field a full platoon with some supports and a couple of tanks for our game. I understand his Soviets are well underway as well. So any way on to the action. As usual, I forgot to take a lot of photos, but there is enough to tell the story.

We had a platoon each of infantry. The Germans had 12 support points with which I took a Pak 38, a Roadblock, one entrenchment and an 8cm mortar. Mike had 19 support points with which he had two Shermans and 2 snipers. I diced up a morale of 8 and Mike had a starting morale of 11.

Here is the view looking west, the American starting point is in the foreground and the German are in the far ground, to win the scenario the Americans have to fight there way down this road or worse the Germans to withdrawn voluntarily or by a failure of morale. The ground is all hard and the hedges are hedges not bocage (using my bocage though). The houses are all stone, and they and the stone wall are hard cover. With the hedges being light cover.
The German right flank, the fields slow movement but provide no cover. I got my roads finished, they came brown from the Wargamer's Terrain but I wanted tarmac, so I airbrushed them dark grey then added successive coats of lighter grey with the airbrush. the edges were then painted with the same shades of green as my terrain mat and bocage bases. I think everything is starting to come together. I put in a central grass verge, but I think I will it in a bit more though.
The German JOP's. I screwed this but as I did not put one in  the house. I think I got a little too offensive when I should have been thinking defense.  I did want to get forward on my left flank, but there was little cover there.
The Americans JOP's, there is one also in the stone house to the right where I was hoping to place one/
This is abut half way through the game, I had a tough time with my dice throwing several 4 and 5's early on, which is not really a lot of help. I have already lost half of the squad on the right and they have had to get back to cover. On the left is a LMG team with my FO. There really was a dearth of 1's early on in the game.
Here an American squad, that have advanced from their right flank in an attempt to take cover, I was able to destroy this unit without too much problem, but I was suffering quite a bit of attrition. 
I had 10 points of support available to me, I knew that the Americans had at least two Shermans in their force so I thought an entrenched Pak 38 would be useful, but it was of little help as once Mike saw the road block I placed half way up the road he went to his left flank with his first Sherman. I did have an off table 88 on his right flank but really there was poor LOS to his left and I did not get to fire it. Mike also had two snipers that slowly eroded the AT Gun team and by the time the game was over the gun had been abandoned.

Mike's 2nd squad advancing on his left flank. He was very successful with this, I had expected him to advance his tanks first, but he advanced his infantry for which I was a little unprepared.

Using casualty markers from Warbases UK, very handy. I use a red square for shock and the dial, change over to yellow when they are pinned. I also use a black rectangle to measure casualties on a multi figure support base. It worked well.
An American squad just before their demise. I used a Chain of Command dice, to bring on my 3rd squad to ambush them. 
I only got to fire my medium mortar once in the game, and by the time I got it done there was only a single American sniper in the 18" square barrage area before the turn ended. In the second turn when I called up the barrage it failed and was out for the rest of the game! Those 4 support points went down the train quickly.
I did get to take out one of the Shermans with a Panzerschreck which appeared on the road in ambush with another Chain of Command dice. These can be quite useful.
My troops scrambling backward as the German morale was failing.
Although I lost by a morale failure it was a great game. I lost 10 men and a JL, while Mike lost 16 men. Unfortunately for me, the Americans have plenty of reinforcements so start each scenario with a fresh platoon. By applying post battle attrition rules from At a Sharp End, I have lost 5 men from my platoon permanently and 3 for the next battle. Leutnant Fuch's men faith in him has dropped and his platoon is going to suffer a -1 on their next Force Morale throw. It is going to be a tough campaign!

Here is my campaign tracker, I am hoping it is pretty straight forward.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks I am almost there, I hope to get some hedges done by our next game, and not use the bocage.


  2. Superb table. I really like how you did the road.

    I have a CoC gaming going as the Germans at Arnhem. I crushed the Red Devils in the opening game, leading to a restart (Brits have to win to advance the campaign). In the 2nd go, I took a beating and I'm way down in the next round. Good luck in your 2nd game!

    1. Thanks Monty, those Red Devils can be pretty tricky, especially being able to activate JL's on a 3 or 4.


  3. Nice looking game with a splendid terrain!

  4. How good is CoC? A friend of mine who served in Afghanistan told me its the closest ruleset to what actually happens in reality that he'd ever played. A really good-looking table there too John.

    1. CoC is the best game I have played. I understand that a Napoleonic battalion level with a similar command activation system is in the works. Very exciting.


  5. Great AAR, very interesting. I also think this game is very difficult for the German player.