28 March 2021

VL5-Chain of Command

Last Saturday, I got to play in Virtual Lard 5. I was bit pressed to fit a game into my schedule as I was working at 1300h and the game started at 0930h. I took the gamble however and decided to play. There was a very interesting Early War game offered using the CoC ruleset involving a German attack on a Dutch position during the initial invasion of the Netherlands in May of 1940. The game was put on by Karl and his son Luke, I had heard their games were quite good so I was looking forward to it. I had played the Danes in a very similar campaign game recently, and was wondering about the similarities.

Leading up to the game, I had very little time to review the material so I was quite surprised when I signed on to see that I was playing against Rich Clarke of all people....the actual author of Chain of Command! A"chance" to beat someone at their own game....both literally and figuratively. Playing with Rich was Andrew, who I could also see was quite experienced. They were playing the Dutch defenders. Playing with me was Glen, who also had some experience.

Well the game was beautifully set up and very well run. Karl and Luke are clearly experts at running Virtual games. We all know what the Germans look like but I thought I would take the liberty of posting a photo of Luke's superbly painted Dutch.
Well how did the game go. Well let us say that I made it to work with plenty of time to spare! I am not sure what got into me in this game, I am in no way a superb tactician but I usually manage to win about half the game I play against experienced players and I can not say that I do not play often. I can say that I usually prefer playing defence over attack but I have played quite a few games as the attacker. Anyway no excuses, I made an absolute shambles of the game! In the blink of an eye our Force Morale was down to zero while the Germans were still at 11. I am not sure what I was thinking. A screen grab from the game clearly illustrates poor planning.
As you can see from the above the German attackers are coming from the foreground and essentially have to prevent the Dutch from blowing the bridge. The Patrol phase actually went quite well for us with our JOP's (light blue) well placed. 

But that was about it. The troops in the lower right of the photo are a le. IG18 with a mortar team, why I placed them there without absolutely no LOS to the bridge now escapes me. Also see a squad of Germans in the road in the open....why were they there? Oh dear! 

Anyway the Dutch made short work of us and I was off to work.

Not withstanding, it was as usual a lot of fun, I met 4 players, who I had not met before. I believe the game hosts' Karl and Luke were in Dublin, Glen was in the UK and Andrew somewhere south of me in the US. I suspect Rich was in Lard Island. Many thank to all and let me say "I will be back".

Finally thanks to Jeremy for setting up another great event.


  1. I played this one too. It was a superb game, but as the Germans we could not get a JOP forward in the patrol phases so other than one really far back we simply couldn't get troops on to the table other than in a diabolical spot. We did manage to run the A/C onto the bridge and kill his engineers but we kept losing leaders, and command dice, we were just hoping for a three sixes roll or a CoC dice to end the turn, for a German win, but it never came.

  2. Looks like an interesting table. It's great when people play with Dutch, Norwegians or some other "minor" nation. Having just finished a Canal myself, I might borrow this map for a game in the future.