21 September 2014

Chain Of Command: Scenario 4

Myself and Mike had our 3rd game in 4 weeks of CoC. Like our last game, we set up the terrain and then diced for the scenario. Scenario 4 came up this time: A Delaying Action. We then diced for sides, I won and picked a British Infantry Platoon, Mike took the German Grenadiers. Diced again for Attacker/Defender, I won and chose to be the attacker. We then diced for Morale, I ended up with 9 and Mike 10. Finally we diced for supports, I rolled a 7, Mike as the defender got half a 3. Our supports were blinded, but I picked a Paratroop section (6) and 1 entrenchment (1). I know Mike picked a 5cm mortar (2), I am not sure what his choice was from list 1.

So the game started with the patrol phase, I think Mike got the better of me here. I was hoping to advance my markers on my left flank. The scenario runs the long edge of the terrain. My set up was in the far ground of the below photo and Mikes was in the foreground. Mike had 3 patrol markers all placed outside of 6" of his short edge of the table, and placed with 6" of each other as his starting position. I placed 4 patrol markers on one spot on my short edge ( I selected the dead centre). My objective in the game was to capture the German JOP marked with the red x in the photo and hold it until turn end. I will now let the photos do the talking.

German JOP's in yellow and British in blue. The crops to the right are broken ground but do not block LOS, they do not provide cover. The cornfield on the left of the road in the foreground is broken ground, provides light cover and blocks LOS. The road is lined by bocage with some gaps. It is a major obstacle.The stone wall around the house is hard cover but is low and does not block LOS. It is a medium obstacle. The trees are heavy going and block LOS and provide light cover. The house is two story with at least 2 windows on each side. I have ordered some roads which I hope will so arrive, I am hoping they will improve the look of my terrain.

Mike very quickly set a squad in the upper story of the stone house.

I started off well by laying down smoke.

Mike rapidly moves his second squad to the bocage as a defense on his right flank.

I rapidly advance my first section along the bocage to provide cover, the German line up their LMG in the cornfield edge.

Mike throws four D6 and a mortar barrage fall right on the section where my main advance is taking place, few loses are suffered but both the German and British units are pinned.

I aggressively advance my second section up the road along the edge of the bocage and my 3rd infantry section through the crop fields, the advance seems to be going well.

Meanwhile Mike has placed his 3rd squad along the stone wall. It is not obvious in the photo, but I elected to advance my airborne section along my right flank. This ended in disaster. Mike through 2D6 and was able to hammer the unit with his well fortified squad. They broke and the JL was wounded and they were thrown back. I was able to rally them with the SL Master Sergeant but thew very poorly on the morale table and dropped to a morale of 5. I really misplaced my entrenchment at the start of the game, it should have been placed in the tree line so my advance was blocked by the trees.

As usual when the action got heated I forgot to take any photos. Suffice to say despite rallying the paratroopers, they were weakened significantly, they advanced with their sergeant and were able to engage in combat and defeat a German squad but their JL got killed and they lost 2 more morale points ( every time I had to dice the morale table I threw a 6)! I was down to a morale of 4 and now had only 4 Command Dice. I was able to advance my first section across the road and combat the German squad, I again was able to win but at significant cost . Again my dice on the Morale table failed me and I dropped to a Morale of 1.......Game over, a German victory. Mike played well he was careful with his troops, I burned off troops rapidly and it cost me. Really played the British incorrectly. Next time I have to remember lay down smoke, advance carefully, use the Bren team to lay down fire. Only combat when the enemy is weakened.

14 September 2014

Chain of Command Scenario 3

Myself and Mike had a quick game of CoC at the Hobby Bunker today. I got Mike to set up the terrain and we then diced for the scenario. Scenario #3 came up. We then subsequently diced for choice of platoon, Attacker/Defender choice, Morale and finally support. Mike won the first two and selected a Canadian Infantry platoon, I picked the Germans, he also selected to be the defender. We then dice for morale, I ended up with 8 and Mike ended up with 11! Finally since I was the Attacker, I threw 2D6 for support and got a six. So I ended up with 6 supports and Mike 3.

Basically I had to push the Canadians into a retreat, or defeat them by morale. I could not drop below a morale of 4 or I was done. On to the patrol phase.
The Canadian jump off points. As you can see there was a variety some trees, bocage, low crops, a hill and a two story house. The crops and hills were broken ground, while the trees were heavy going.

The German jump off points. The hills and trees blocked LOS, as of course did the bocage. We actually played the crops as blocking LOS, a mistake. The trees offered light cover at 4".

Mike uses his 3 supports on barbed wire to block my left flank approach, my supports were an adjutant and a squad of Panzergrenadiers. I think I did a little better out of my choices.

I played a pretty aggressive game, and brought two squads of grenadiers on immediately as well as my Panzerschreck. Mike brought on a couple of sections of Canadians as well as a 2" Mortar. The barbed wire on my left flank limited my advance to up the centre or to my right.

As usual I forgot to take photos, but here we can see a squad of grenadiers advancing, I really focused on splitting my squads in sections with my LMG teams covering the rifle team advance.

I could not resist using Handgranaten, as I had wanted to for sometime but I usually play the British. Here we see my rifle team with their JL, throwing their grenades (scored two shock) and engaging a full Candian section. I think the Canadians had twice the dice as I, but I did manage to kill the Bren team and their JL, as well as taking down most of the rifle team and causing them to be pinned. I lost my whole team and JL. This almost caused me to almost lose the game as very poor throws on the Morale table caused my Morale to drop to 4 thus losing a Command Dice.

I bounced back though when I brought on my PanzerGrenadiers. Their massive firepower wiped out the other Canadian section. Mike then had a very bad throw of the Command dice and was really unable to mount any effective moves. I then threw three 3's with my 4D6, and finished off the game. It was very quick maybe just around 2 hours and we finished in the first turn. Certainly the game flowed well. Looking forward to my next game already!

10 September 2014

Allied Armour

With the publication of Big Chain of Command, I thought I would get my allied armour in order. This update allows the addition of extra infantry and armoured platoons while using the same basic mechanic as the platoon based game. It is pretty simple and really just delineates some changes in the terrain size, how the patrol phase and order of play is modified. There is also some modification to the morale table. With my 20mm army I, think I will be fine with the addition of an armoured platoon or infantry platoon in respect to my 6x4' playing surface.

For my initial forces, I bought several boxes of PSC AFV's but generally painted just one vehicle or tank from each box. The update for CoC also gives an outline of basic platoon structure for several nations, so I thought I would start going through what I had and get the glue out. The recent addition of an Iwata airbrush that actually works made things easy.

First up I thought I would do the British/Canadian platoons. These were my weakest forces in respect to armour, and were far out done by the Soviets and the Germans. I had a box of 76mm Shermans as well as some Universal Carriers and had just bought a box of Churchills.

Here we have some Canadian troops in a Universal Carrier Section. This is post 1943 organization, with a sergeant in command of 11 troops. They have 3 Carriers, 3 Bren guns, a Piat and are all armed with rifles. There is 2 Mk2 versions and one Mk1 version ( the lighter shade). Main difference is front fender and headlights.
Vehicle marking indicate that they are in the 1st Canadian Division who saw service in the Netherlands late in the war. I am sure my chaps will see service in Normandy as well. Slight colour variation, I had previously used BF Late War British Armour, the newer vehicles have been initially airbrushed with Vallejo Russian Green. They are a List 8 support. 
They of course are from one of the most famous Canadian regiments the Royal 22nd colloquially known as Vandoos and officially now known as Royal 22é Régiment. They are third in order of precedence in the Canadian Army. 
Next up we have a couple of Churchills. I have gone with the MkVII version, as these tanks are for Normandy. They have thicker armour then previous versions but have the the same 75mm gun. 
A close up of my latest method for doing rust, it is a little too thick here. Essentially I paint on some diluted PVA. I then apply a liberal coating of Secret Weapon Dark Earth pigment, followed by a dash of their Terracotta pigment. This is followed by Citadel Necron Metal Dry paint applied carefully on the tracks.
These two monsters belong to the 4th Royal Tank Regiment, in the 34th Independent Tank Brigade. They have a support rating of -1 in the Big CoC lists with just 2 tanks.
Lots of extra stowage from Value Gear. I am hoping all the markings are correct. Generally the British had 3 tanks in each Heavy Tank Platoon, so this is slightly understrength, I suspect I will be adding a tank.
Last up is a platoon of Shermans, again they are understrength, I will be adding a Firefly. They are presently +1 Supports. The markings are for the Trois Rivieres, 12é ATR They landed in Normandy as part of the 2nd Canadian Armoured Brigade and fought through out Northwest Europe until the end of the war.
Again some variation in colour. I suspect the individual tank names are wrong for a Quebec regiment!  
Again more stowage added. These are very nice tanks. The decals are from Aleran.
Slightly better effect here
These three units all served in the 1st Canadian Army, with the R22éR and the 12é ATR in the II Canadian Corps with the 4th RTR under the XXX Corps. The 1st Canadian Army was the largest army ever commanded by a Canadian General with around 450,000 soldiers, a little more the half Canadian with the rest being British, Belgic and Polish troops.

So it is going to be very tempting to bring these 2 platoons up to strength. I think PSC sells sprues which would be good as I need only one Churchill and one Firefly. I suspect I will add a platoon of anti-tank vehicles, those Achilles from Armourfast look very nice. But next up I hope to post my Soviet armour, of which I have quite a lot.