Monday, 13 September 2021

Chain of Command: Arrêter les Boche!

One last game down 'old' Bristol Independent Gaming before it moved to its new premises (even closer to me now, literally five minutes down the road!), and Andy offered to run me through Chain of Command which a few of us had been looking at for some World War One games when we get properly organised, With that in mind Andy suggested an Early War game with him taking command of the French.

The 'Patrol Phase' went well for the Germans giving them several decent locations for their Jumping Off Points. Their mission was to get one unit off the opposite table edge.


Leutnant Gruber entered the table first in his 'little tank', sorry Sd.Kfz.221 armoured car, and moved up the tree lined road towards the French village of Nouvion.


Whilst Unterfeldwebel Bigstern with a rifle squad deployed on the German right flank moving up towards a big barn.


Meanwhile Sous-Lieutenant Carte-Blanche arrived putting his Renault R-35 into Overwatch and sat back reading a copy of Le Figaro awaiting the enemy...


More Germans then arrived, another rifle squad commanded by Feldwebel Geerhart who ordered his troops to hunker down behind the hedge and go into Overwatch.


With no French in sight, Unterfeldwebel Bigstern ordered his men to rush across the ploughed field to try and seize the French Jumping Off Point by the barn.


Leutnant Gruber pootled up the road in his armoured car to the edge of the village.


Unteroffizier Geering then deployed with his mortar team setting up next to one of the German Jumping Off Points.


Bigstern's men moved swiftly across the ploughed field. Still no sign of the French. No doubt they were still asleep...


Gott in Himmel! A squad of French infantry commanded by Serjent Alfonse popped up from behind the hedge and opened fire on the advancing Germans!


One German fell dead and the rifle squad took Shock.


Acthung! More French arrived, a rifle squad commanded by Caporal-Chef Leclerc who went into Tactical mode (I can't remember what that meant but I don't think it mattered...)


In a precarious position with no cover Unterfeldwebel Bigstern ordered his MG34 team to spray the French to their front...


Before charging the French infantry throwing grenades as they went in!


The German attack had a devastating impact on the French killing six and knocking Serjent Alfonse to the ground, stunned by a German bullet!


Unfortunately the melee inflicted saw six more Germans die and Bigstern pushed back with the MG34 team...


Leutnant Gruber, seeing the action on his flank opened fire with his 20mm cannon on the remnants of Serjent Alfonse's squad...


Killing another Frenchman, wounding the prone Serjent and piling more Shock on the remaining French.


On the French right Caporal-Chef Leclerc moved his men into one of the farm buildings...


Verdamnt! More French appeared at the Jump Off Point next to Serjent Alphonse. A third squad of French rifles commanded by Caporal-Chef Dubois...


Who immediately opened fire on Unterfeldwebel Bigstern and the MG34 team.


The lmg crew fell dead and Bigstern was wounded!


Remembering he had some casualty figures Andy decided to put them on the table to mark Unterfeldwebel Bigstern's failed attempt to take the French Jump Off Point...


With a third German rifle squad arriving commanded by Unterfeldwebel von Strohm, Feldwebel Geerhart pushed his men forward into the village...


Whilst the wounded Unterfeldwebel Bigstern ran for cover...


Caporal-Chef Leclerc's men opened fire on the advancing Germans...


But they managed to reach safety of some dead ground having just picked up some Shock.


Having finished reading his copy of Le Figaro Sous-Lieutenant Carte-Blanche opened fire at the German armoured car...


A good shot saw Leutnant Gruber's armoured car damaged and unable to move, with the driver Clarence killed...


With the Germans having got around his flank Caporal-Chef Leclerc ordered his men to vacate the building and retire to the orchard behind it...


With Caporal-Chef Dubois also ordering his men to fall back.


Sous-Lieutenant Carte-Blanche's R35 opened fire on Feldwebel Geerhart's men but missed.


Whilst Leutnant Gruber bravely remained with his armoured car and opened fire on Dubois's squad inflicting Shock on them.


Caporal-Chef Leclerc's men came under fire from Feldwebel Geerhart's MG34 team who inflcited Shock on the French Rifle Squad and wounded its commander.


Having finished his petit déjeuner the French force commander Lieutenant Artois arrived to sort things out but before he could start issuing ordered I deployed one of my support options - the Shabby Nazi Trick! A Fifth Columnist disguised as a British Officer (no doubt called Crabtree) engaged the French officer in conversation... "Good Moaning..."


Feldwebel Geerhart's squad moved up and fired into Caporal-Chef Leclerc's men as they tried to fall back killing four and piling more Shock on them!


As the French reeled from that attack, Unterfeldwebel von Strohm's men charged around the building and caught them in the rear...


The Gods of War(gaming) favoured the German boldness when it came to the dice rolls...


And Caporal-Chef Leclerc's squad was wiped out!


This saw the French Force Morale fall to 1 and with their right flank exposed to the advancing Germans, Andy conceded defeat...

A mix of good tactics and good fortune there. My plan was for Unterfeldwebel Bigstern on the right flank to be a diversion with Feldwebel Geerhart leading the main attack with mortar support on the left. Getting Bigstern's squad wiped out was not part of the plan, but their sacrifice was not in vain as Andy had to use two of his squads to deal with them leaving the German left defended by just one French squad. Whilst the aim was for Gruber's 'little tank' to smash its way up the centre and pulverise any defenders in the village (I was not expecting the R35 to fire like it was armed with an 88mm!), the overload of two squads on the German left secured victory. Vorwärts to Paris!

2 comments:

  1. Nice game..feel a bit sorry for the French though :0(

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  2. Nice report, and you clearly got taught a good lesson that charging into melee is to be avoided until you've suppressed them first, but congratulations on your victory.

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