Monday night saw the continuation of our Chain of Command campaign, "48 Hours in May". In the opening games of the campaign both Marco and myself as the Germans had broken through the French lines, commanded by Ian and Barry. These early games were fairly bloodless and we decided to press out advantage and attack the town of Baincthun.
Marco kicked off the assault along the main road against Allan's French, as Ian has a new job offshore and was going to be away for a while. He had a disastrous game and the German assault was soundly repulsed, with no French casualties, so there was a bit of pressure on my Platoon, who would be attacking along the dirt track that ran into the village.
|The view down the road into Baincthun|
Looking at the board I decided that the only real option I had was to push down my right, as the left hand side of the board was looking rather empty.
My initial probes involved deploying one squad and the light mortar on my right and seeing what Barry would do to counter this. He deployed two french squads against my right and put his anti tank gun in the centre. At this point he also deployed his platoon commander, all by himself with no support. I could not resist the temptation and in my phase deployed my sniper who managed to kill the unfortunate officer with his first shot of the game! Barry was none to pleased with this and en exchange of fire ensued on my left, with my Germans coming off slightly worse, with four sixes resulting in four casualties to one French salvo. Not good.
|Initial German probe.|
Emboldened by this success Barry started to advance on the German positions. He used one squad to give covering fire, while advancing with the other. I decided that I would sit tight for now and deal with the advancing French, which I started to do. I poured a lot of fire into them, and then deployed my Machine Gun and and additional squad into the centre. The additional squad was to provide suppressing fire onto the French that were in the ruined building, while the HMG team added their considerable firepower to those already firing at the advancing French. The German machine guns took their toll and I managed to Kill the junior officer, wipe out the machine gun section and then rout the remaining few rifle men. In addition to this I had managed to wound and then kill another of Barry's junior officers, leaving him with a command problem and a Force Morale of 1!
He decided to call it a night at this point, having suffered 9 casualties and three dead officers. Thanks to the difference in Force Morals scores I was able to recover all my casualties and came through the game relatively unscathed.
|French start to deploy onto the field.|
|Germans fall back under heavy fire.|
|The French retreat in disarray.|
Another interesting and entertaining game, but in truth Barry had some very bad luck with officers getting killed, and I think my dice rolling was about average. One thing to be said is never advance over open ground into the teeth of German Machine Gun fire, as it was surely Barry's undoing on the night. Also never deploy officers on their own. For myself this was my first time using the sniper and HMG team and one thing it did throw up was the additional strain on Command dice all these extra elements add. I had an additional two units that both required 1's to activate, and I think I only managed to get my sniper to fire three times in the whole evening. This can of course be mitigated by the canny use of senior officers but they are sometimes needed for other things. Snipers and HMG teams are useful, but can tie you down to quite a static style of play, although the psychological effect of snipers is going to interesting.
As we play more and more Chain of Command and each element of support is tried on the table there is a certain amount of paranoia about facing them. First was the off-table mortar barrage as they can be very devastating, then armoured cars became a bit of an issue but people are now adapting to them. Now we are onto exploring the snipers and additional firepower. I can't wait until I get to try a Flamethrower! This is a good way of exploring the game and keeping everyone on their toes, as we widen the rage of support elements that we can potentially use in a game, so you have to think careful about potential strategies to counter them. It all makes for a more interesting and balanced game, in my opinion.
As this was the first outing on the table of my own painted Germans I expected it to be a disaster, as the first outing for newly painted toys usually is, but this could not have gone much better to be honest.