Sunday, 13 April 2014

Chain of Command - 16 Platoon Baptism of Fire AAR Pt 1

This was one of those games where the pre-game dice rolls and player choices had a dramatic effect on the outcome. Support choice was interesting – after some deliberation the British (Mark) took a 3” mortar FOO and a sniper, reasoning that the still burning wreck of the last Churchill to try the road was a fair indication of how dangerous to armour the German infantry anti-tank weapons could be. The Germans (Paul) took a Panzershrek team and an Adjutant, the first because he was still wary of what a tank can do if uncountered, and also recognising the weakness of the German platoon organisation in only having one senior leader which can lead to deployment problems. The off table adjutant would allow his Platoon Commander to be active on table from the start secure in the knowledge that the Adjutant would ensure the platoon deployed. Paul also had the advantage of a very good result on his replacement roll, in effect being pushed back up to full strength but with the additional bonus of a spare MG42.

The Germans rolled poorly for their Force Morale, the British better, but due to the German bonus of the men having confidence in their leader the overall result was tied. The British won the roll off to see who had first turn, and also rolled well enough for their Patrol Phase “head start”. With the advice from and experience of 12 Platoons failed assault they went fairly single-mindedly for the buildings in the centre of the table in the patrol phase, and managed to get their Jump Off Points close enough to make occupation a possibility –at the expense of a little width. Paul shuffled his patrol markers and managed to prevent any further encroachment.

With the advantage of first move and some good activation dice 16 Platoon was installed in the buildings before the Germans could react. This was further helped when German activation dice were not great, allowing only a single team to deploy peering nervously at the Tommies opposite.

The British started off well, getting the Platoon into position and putting some fire down in the general direction of the Germans. Paul’s dice improved and he deployed his units, mostly in cover facing the British. He also started to push down the edge of the cornfields in an attempt to flank Mark.

I think it is fair to say at this point Mark got a bit flustered. It was only his second game of CoC and he was still unsure of what he was doing. He also seems to have found the concept of WYSIWYG a problem as far as terrain and formations was concerned, so was finding it difficult to understand that he couldn’t fire through his own units. Paul is now something of a veteran at CoC and has got the German MG defence thing worked out.  It should be said that to this was added some fairly boisterous jibes and ribbing from both his opponent and the umpire directed at his otherwise beautifully painted 20mm Brits who were carrying shiny silver PIATs and 2” mortars. This coincided with a particularly vicious burst of MG42 fire which caused three casualties in one squad, and a kill on the 2” mortar loader.  This lead to a phase or two where the Brits had a bit of a command crisis and apart from some desultory fire and a call for mortar support did very little.   Mark is a fairly thoughtful player who likes to weigh up all the options, and his repeated “what will happen if I do this” type questions were getting stonewalled from the umpire (me) who was trying to be non-partisan and also mindful that the evening was passing rapidly and if we had no resolution it would be difficult to set up again in the same layout to continue another time. Mark was struggling with the ability of the German ability to pour MG fire downrange, and twice was heard to mutter something about all the dice rolling being like Warhammer (which it most assuredly is NOT).

1 comment:

  1. I was hanging at the edge of madness but it seemed in keeping given the context ;)