D-day +70+1/365

The Scarlet J and I had our first game of Chain of Command today. I was fielding a straight platoon of Panzergrenadiers, and TSJ had a US Rifle Platoon. We did the bog standard patrol scenario, but didn’t roll for support, because we figured we had plenty to handle learning the infantry rules. Much fun was had!

First, let’s get the bragging rights out of the way. I was the only one that knew the rules, but I still managed to lose the game, which tells you all you need to know about my tactical acumen! I think my main problem was that I did a poor job of managing squad cohesion. It’s very tempting to an overly aggressive player like me to spread those hard-hitting MG-42 teams around, and they can do a tremendous amount of damage, but without the rest of the squad there to support, the individual teams are pretty easy to pick off.

We still have a long way to go coming to grips with all of the moving parts in the game, but the only thing that has bugged me about the system so far is the tremendous amount of dice that you have to throw and count. A panzergrenadier squad can easily muster 21 dice for an attack, and even more at close range, when the squad leader’s MP-40 comes into action. Actually the throwing is quite fun, it’s The counting that’s can be a bit of a drag. Still, small price to pay for a game that creates a nice story, rewards real world tactics, and keeps you engaged for 4 or 5 hours.

We may get crazy and add in some mortars or a scout car, next time we play. I’m looking forward to exploring the rules further, and maybe getting a campaign going.

The Scarlet J's riflemen stack up for maneuvering.

The Scarlet J’s riflemen deploy and stack up for maneuvering.

Resorting to moss because you haven't built anywhere near enough bocage, yet.

Resorting to moss because you haven’t built anywhere near enough bocage, yet.

Festung Cottageopa

Festung Cottageopa

Panzergrenadiers take up position

Panzergrenadiers take up position

Amis maneuver around dense bocage

Amis maneuver around dense bocage. The mysterious Scarlet J looms over the battlefield.

The claustrophobic byways of Normandy

The claustrophobic byways of Normandy

An MG-42 team in big trouble

An MG-42 team in big trouble

My Germans are all Warmodelling. TSJ’s Americans are SHQ (I think).

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  • John Dillon  On 06/07/2014 at 10:46 pm

    Love it! Your bocage is just mouthwateringly good…I honestly want to do mine again after seeing it (so ta for that ;) )

    I love the way you painted your telegraph poles too. Are they commercially available or are they your own creation. I made some for 20mm but not for 28mm and so I might do some more later.

    Looking forward to seeing the rest and further AARs too. As a matter of interest do you enjoy the comic book AARs or would youprefer the regular narrative. Im wondering should I mix it up a bit.

    Anyway great job. Im looking forward to more

    • arkiegamer  On 06/08/2014 at 5:59 am

      Kind words, sir. Thank you. I am truly sorry for making you want to redo your bocage, though!

      The telegraph poles are just 1/8″ diameter wooden dowels with a couple of pieces of 3/16 balsa wood flat pieces glued on. The weathered wood color is from a recipe I found over at The Guild-raw umber, beige, and ‘linen’. I mount the poles on sewing needles by carefully drilling a hole into the base of the dowel. Very quick and easy to make. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a good source for the glass insulators, yet. You’d probably want to go to a 3/16″ dowel for 28mm, so they don’t look too skinny.

      I like the comic book style. It probably makes you choose your camera shots very carefully, in order to tell a good story. That said, ‘normal’ AARs are good, too. I’d say, do them in whatever manner most makes you want to keep doing them!

      There should be more AARs to come. My regular opponent is a very old school wargamer, and I was afraid he wouldn’t like Chain of Command, but thankfully he did.

      Maybe I’ll get my thoughts together enough to do a real AAR next time.

  • itineranthobbyist  On 06/09/2014 at 8:27 am

    You and your terrain – ‘curse you. And such good pics as well. Nice angles.

    • arkiegamer  On 06/09/2014 at 8:29 am

      Thanks! The key to getting 5 or 6 good pictures (for me at least) is to take 30 or 40 crappy ones. I would have never made it in the days of film. :)

  • chairborne  On 06/10/2014 at 3:38 pm

    Looks like a good first game. 20mm or 28mm? I was also surprised at the number of dice a PG section can generate. There’s definitely merit in mutually supporting teams and sections.

  • arkiegamer  On 06/10/2014 at 3:47 pm

    We’re doing Chain of Command in that noblest of scales, 20mm.

    I had a couple of situations where I’d set up one team to provide a base of fire while the other team advanced to try and gain some sort of advantageous position, which separated them far enough to keep the squad from sharing shock and kills.

    As I’m sure you know, if you take a casualty and a few points of shock, all of a sudden your team is heading for Hamburg. Which makes perfect sense. It’s particularly difficult to recover when your Corporal is the casualty. :)

    I notice you do some Cold War gaming (or modeling, at least). Have you heard they’re working on a moderns version of Chain of Command?

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