Friday, 16 March 2018

Chain of Command - US v Germans

Steve is away, so General Ballroom and I have decided to play some Chain of Command. We've both had the rules for ages, and I played some Spanish Civil War and WW1 games using the rules with James and Scrivs but this would be our first time flying solo.

I've had a bit of a chequered history with Too Fat Lardies rules, the games I played with people who knew the rules well and could explain  things to me (the above mentioned CoC plus the games of I Ain't Been Shot Mum for Keren) I have enjoyed. When I've bought the rules and had a go at learning myself (Dux Brit and Sharp Practice) I've found them a struggle and difficult to get my head around.
So this was going to be interesting.

We started off with the Patrol scenario and two basic platoons. The dice gave me an extra two points to spend, so I bought a medic and an adjutant ( I remembered the latter was useful in an earlier SCW game). The Germans ended up with an extra tripod mounted MG42. Ulp!

We played out the patrol phase which seemed quite easy to sort out, but turned out to be quite tense - a clever mechanic. Working out the actual jumping off points proved a bit harder but we got there and then we started.

 End of the patrol phase. US in blue,Germans in red.

The early dice proved quite favourable to me and I was able to get most of my force on quite quickly. Most squads grouped around the small house in the centre of my side of the board.
Fewer Germans appeared, but they had better jump off points and were able to occupy the small house in the centre of their board edge.

The Germans also occupied the wooded hill on my right flank. They'd need dealing with.

So I pushed a squad into the woods and a brisk firefight began

At about this point the MG42 on tripod (Ulp!) turned up and began enfilading the yanks in the wood.

I'd established a reasonably strong position toward the centre of the board, protected by walls and fences and was exchanging fire with the German squad in the small house. Including badly wounding the junior officer accompanying them.

At about this point the Germans used their first CoC dice to bring the turn to a close and we stopped playing - leaving the game set up to continue next week.

It all seemed quite straightforward and simple in it's core mechanics, leaving you to focus on the tactics. Which is fine if you're any god at tactics - it may be a subtler game than we're used to.

There are a few bits to go back and try to make sense of - what's the difference between a 2 and a 3 for activation for instance. By the end we think we'd worked out that a 2 meant the unit could activate, including the leader. But a 3 meant the leader activated and he could use his two activations to order the unit and rally off shock or whatever.
Likewise the rule says if an officer is badly wounded he can't activate. So does that mean on a 2 the unit can activate and he moves along with them, or his just stuck where he falls until turn end?

But these are minor quibbles. General B is already looking forward to including tanks and the like and I'm thinking I may add a few more Americans to my force.

Looking forward to the action continuing next week


  1. I’ve started reading the rules, but found them a little confusing. I think that they’re written in a reference/technical style and probably make the most sense being ordered the way they are in the book once you understand them. It does look like a good game though.

    High Marshall Helbrecht would soon run those Germans off.

  2. Welcome to CoC. To answer your questions. On a 2 a squad can activate but must all do the same thing (fire or move etc). If their leader is within 4” he will join automatically join in.

    On a 3 the JL activates and can use his 2CI to initiate actions in his squad, if they are within command range. He could use 1CI to have the whole squad do the same thing. Or say 1CI to have an LMG team fire and another CI to have a rifleteam move. He can use the CI to rally off shock instead, but note that if they are insight of an enemy unit he must be attached to do this (within 4”j. If no enemy in LOS he can do this within command range. Note the difference between attached vs command range for some other rules.

    We play a wounded officer that is attached is not left behind, the squad helps him along.

    Hope that helps.

    1. Thanks, very helpful. ThatspreThat' much what we decide but good to have it confirmed.

  3. Welcome to the light young Tom :)

    The Tactical Painter has already covered it, but yes a 2 allows you to activate the section while a 3 allows you to activate the Junior Leader so you can rally shock, throw grenades, etc. all things you cannot do on a 2.

    I like the narrative that comes around with the TFL games, as it's all about 'The Big Man' you start writing little stories in your head as you go along.