Saturday 23 September 2023

Chain of Command: Strike From Above!

Next weekend I'm participating in a Blitzkrieg themed Chain of Command weekend down BIG, which is a tad daunting as I haven't played a lot of CoC. Not having a suitable platoon for the event, for reasons unbeknownst (though I suspect it is my love of stroopwafels) I decided to raise a Dutch platoon, comprising mainly May 40 Miniatures The core of which is now painted with the support current sat in the conservatory drying before the next painting stage... Posts about all this to follow when everything is done, but those models that had been finished were rolled out earlier this week to face Phil's (also brand new) Fallschirmjäger, both of us keen to see how our armies (both with their unique 'issues') would fare.

We played the Strike From Above scenario from the Blitzkrieg 1940 handbook, the rather bare table representing the local Dutch terrain. Phil had to roll for the arrival of his Fallschirmjäger forces and luckily saw his first...

And second sections arrive having equipped themselves with weapons from the supply canisters.

The news of German paratroops having landed nearby saw the Dutch deploy a Carden-Loyd carrier...

And an M36 Pantserwagen (Swedish Landsverk 181). I was hoping these support choices would run riot against the Fallschirmjäger and that they had no anti-tank rifles or similar.

Two Dutch Mitrailleurgroepen (sections) the arrived one inside the farm courtyard, one to the rear. Without a lot of cover I was wary that each Fallschirmjäger section had two MG34's! The second (below) was short of three men as they had been detached to man a Kazemat (bunker) with the section's Lewis gun.

The M36 moved up and started firing at the first Fallschirmjäger section...

To the rear Phil deployed a 'Shabby Nazi Trick' in the form of a Fifth Columnist who started (ineffectually) sniping at the Dutch Mitrailleurgroepen behind the farm.

Inside the courtyard the first Mitrailleurgroepen moved into the main building (the NCO politely ringing the doorbell!)

Meanwhile the first Fallschirmjäger section inched forward towards the Pantserwagen...

In a "should have gone to Specsavers" moment I hadn't realised this section had a flamethrower team attached (a cursory glance had left me thinking it had an additional MG34). Getting within range it opened fire on the M36...

The crew of the Pantserwagen abandoning their vehicle and running for safety (hopefully I won't make this mistake again!)

Meanwhile the Carden-Loyd carrier was popping away against the second Para section causing the odd casualty and Shock.

Getting within close range of the MG34's the carrier was driven back as the German machine-gun fire hammered the AFV!

The Fifth Columnist kept up sniping at the Dutch Infantry...

Eventually managing to inflict a point of Shock (which was Doubled) on the Mitrailleurgroepen.

With the third German paratroop section having belatedly arrived and equipped itself from the supply canisters, the final Dutch Mitrailleurgroepen deployed in the courtyard ready to engage any enemy who broke in.

However they were not to be needed as the Forward Observer (who had been hidden in a forward position since early in the game) called down an off-table 80mm Mortar barrage! It deviated slightly, but caught the third Fallschirmjäger section in its fire zone, inflicting Shock but most importantly Pinning them.

Keeping out of close range the Carden-Loyd Carrier continued its firing at the second Fallschirmjäger  section...

Slowly but surely attriting them.

Similarly the first Fallschirmjäger section was being slowly reduced by the first Mitrailleurgroepen Lewis gun firing out the top window of the farmhouse. Return fire had proven ineffective.

Phil tried to move the flamethrower team forward but they came under fire from the Lewis team in the Kazemat who inflicted excess Shock on the team, pinning them. At this point Phil concluded the day was not going to be his and conceded the field of battle to the Dutch.

Something of an unusual game of Chain of Command, the lack of terrain hampered the infantry only Fallschirmjäger but as Phil said, it is the type of place you'd parachute into, not a wood! From a Dutch point of view I didn't really use the core platoon (apart from two of its three Lewis guns), again the lack of cover meant I was very wary deploying the infantry in the open to get mown down by the six MG34's the Germans had.

We're going to give it another go next week, possibly with a couple of terrain tweaks, be interesting to see if the Fallschirmjäger adopt different tactics and succeed in their nefarious scheme to seize all the Dutch bicycles!

1 comment:

  1. Great looking game, report, and a pleasure to see early Dutch troops.