Chain of Command Trial

 Having tried CoC a few weeks ago at Jon's I have determined to give it a fair shake.  Thus, with my faithful dice roller in tow, I set up confrontation between the Wehrmacht and some US Airborne.  I randomly rolled up the "Probe" scenario with the Paratroopers on the offensive.  The forces were:

US Airborne
Platoon Leader
Platoon Sergeant
Bazooka Team (2 guys)
2 Airborne Sections with SL, BAR, 10 Riflemen

60mm Mortar Team
Forward Observer with 81mm Mortars

Platoon Leader
50mm Mortar Team
3 Sections with SL, MG 42 and 8 riflemen
1x Entrenchment

US FO sets up in a ruined Farmhouse as Section 1 advances with the PSG, A German team is set to receive them.

The US was outnumbered, but the addition of 6 command dice, versus the German 5 would have a telling affect.   The US side managed two concurrent activations early on that made the game hard on the Germans from the outset.  The US would need to get one team to the German Baseline to win the game.  I opted to have them push on both farm houses to establish a base of fire, figure out where the German main body was focused, pin them with Mortars and then have the other team push on for the win.

For the Germans the plan was to establish a strong blocking position with the MG42s in order to prevent anyone from pushing past the centerline.  One section would act as a reserve to reinforce whichever side was in the weakest position.

US Artillery manages a devastating time on target.

The US managed to get most of its forces on the table in the first activation, while the Germans managed only 1 section, plus the Mortars.  The MG 42 team set up in the entrenchments with the other team supporting and the Mortars in the woods to their right.  This would have worked wonderfully had not the US Barrage landed smack on target on the first effort.  The 18" square template is a sizable portion of the board, and managed to disrupt all three teams.  The Mortar team lost one member a picked up 2 shock, while the MG42 lost an AG and picked up some shock.  On top of that the mortar barrage 'pins' those units until lifted.  The mortar barrage blocks LOS, which I assume means that I cannot engage into or out of the impact area.  I might need to look a the FAQ for that one.  

Over on the German left things were looking a little more promising.  That is until my assist starting rolling those affect dice.

Here is a good summary of German performance for this game.

Eventually the German luck would turn and the American Second Section was forced to pull back to try and reduce their shock.

The game was a little odd in that neither side managed to roll an end of turn.  The German side finally managed to build up enough Chain of Command points to end the turn, but the American side had a CoC die to keep the barrage going.  The Germans reinforced their left to deal with Para Section #2, and started getting some success.  The American FO realized this and started shifting his barrage accordingly.  

German troops advance to close with the Americans, and avoid the creeping barrage.  

oops, too late.....
The German right calls it quits, and the US Airborn has a clear path to the German Baseline.

In my first game of Chain of Command, we just used the basic platoons with no special equipment or rules.  I felt like there was something missing, and this game made it clear it was artillery.  Between the US Battalion Mortars and the small mortar section, the Paratroopers were able to lock down and out maneuver the German force.  A well timed grenade assault almost turned things around for the Germans, but the constant steel rain was a deciding factor.

I am interested by this ruleset, but want to try a few more games.  The overall mechanic is good, but  the point system mechanic leads to more gamesmanship than history.  On the TFL forum a player was asking about fielding his Panzer Grenadiers with Half Tracks and a response was essentially 'That would be crazy because your opponent could use those extra points to get some fearsome support, and just tear them apart'  

..Wait, what?


  1. Very good to see that you are pursuing CoC in solo play. I need to do so too. Seems like artillery really caused the Germans great trouble in this game.

    1. At least that is the game mirroring reality. Mortars and Field Artillery are essential if you reflect combined arms warfare. 105 and 155 guns are an outstanding antidote to AT, Sniper and LMG fire.

  2. As a long-time Lardie and playtester of CoC I am glad you enjoyed the game. As for promoting gamesmanship, the system was designed to give interesting pick-up games, not to be min-maxed, but of course it can be manipulated. The thing is, you opponent won't know what you are fielding and thus what he needs to invest in to counter you.
    If you have not joined the Toofatlardies yahoo group, please do, it is a jolly collection of gamers.

    1. Min-maxing is just one of those constant dangers you run into when playing pick-up games. There is a much different feel from playing with friends versus playing at a game store (or club for those lucky enough to have them) Overall I am liking the rules.

    2. Good to hear. In my opinion the best games come from prepared scenarios where you have objectivea to achieve that may or may no be related to your losses.
      TFL has a bunch of free ones and a lot of very good scenario books at a very reasonable price.

  3. That is an odd comment from the TFL bunch...

    And, I second Mr Nissvik's call to join the Yahoo group - I lurk there and the members are an active and knowledgeable bunch.

    1. I will take a look at the Yahoo group. I joined the TFL group years ago when it was on "" but rarely go there anymore.

  4. I've heard a lot of good things from these rules.

    1. As have I, and I am liking what I am seeing. Skirmish is a hard scale to get right, but these seem to strike a good balance.


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