Be careful what you wish for, I wanted a Chain of Command game this week and we decided it would be American paratroops vs Volksgrenadiers somewhere in the Ardennes perhaps. Lists, you either like them or hate them, I like them with the caveat that they have to produce realistic forces or as near as possible even if it forces players to take troops they would rather leave in the fields.
Anyway, I knew the grenadiers would be up against it so I decided I needed firepower more than anything, so I went for the Assault platoon, two squads of assault rifles and one with two MG42's. It was now I agonised over what supports to take, I got 11 points worth and worked out several combinations before choosing, I went with firepower so took an extra squad (rifles and MG42 this time) and a Wirblewind Quad 2cm flak, I was tempted with the slightly cheaper Quad halftrack but wasn't sure how to handle it under the rules and why buy an AA tank if you don't use it. It was a risk as the armour is only slightly better than a mattress and I was sure there would be some bazookas around, but why not.
I got to the club early and set up the terrain, basically some houses around a crossroads with clumps of woods, crops and small rises, Rob won the toss and chose the side nearest the crossroads, we were fighting a delaying action so I had to get a unit into the American end zone. I know nothing about Paratrooper lists but Rob had two squads of Paras, two mortars, scouts and of course a bazooka team along with two Senior leaders if I remember correctly, he told me later that if he had taken the three squad list it would have handed me loads more support points so his force was a trade off.
I was not allowed free moves so Rob managed to push forward and keep me well back, but I managed well enough and only one Jump Off Point was no good to me. I started by getting a double phase and pushed a squad forward on my left flank through some woods (not that keen as they only went one inch on their second move) and one into a large building facing the crossroads. Rob wasted no time in putting his squads into the two houses at the crossroads, with his mortars behind them, then the rain of fire started and despite being in hard cover I began to lose men and gather shock while the Yanks seemed impervious to my return fire. I also had a shock when Rob threw six command dice and other things elite troops were good for expanded my knowledge of the rules, drat. Within an hour I felt like phoning the missus and telling her to put the kettle on things looked that bad, so drastic times called for drastic action and I brought the panzer on, I tried to keep it away from any American deployment points but forgot about Ambush, I had also wanted to use my troops to protect it but could never quite manage it. Anyway, for now it opened up with a roar and at last the enemy began to hit the dust, things began to look slightly better, as I managed to get a squad within shooting distance of the building on my left and fired with the assault rifles, a whopping 24 dice at that range, but I never managed more than six hits with all that firepower. I threw everything at that house but the pendulum swung again and I lost the squad in my house along with their leader, my morale fell, I brought on my remaining squads, one to re-man the house and the other to also advance on my left with the first squad. To make matters worse I now lost the Wirblewind to a sneaky ambush, the tank didn't even make an effort and up it went in smoke, I was down to four command dice.
But all was not lost, at last my fire on the white house began to tell as I now had three squads firing at it, leaders went down and teams were wiped out, American morale fell to two shortly to be joined by mine falling to two, Rob needed to end the phase as I had two broken teams at the rear of my lines but the elusive die which would enable this did not turn up, thankfully neither did mine as I eyed a nearby JOP, take that and win the game I thought, forgetting that if I did end the turn it would also ruin my own chances of winning. No matter as the clock ticked down my rifle grenadiers eventually turned up having sat out the whole battle off table, there, just at the back of the American lines on a hill, was a Senior leader running from my victorious boys on the left as they took the white house, get him! The poor man was blown apart as the grenades were on target and this broke American morale.
A good game and a few times each side looked like winning, I was very disappointed in my die rolling especially as I had put so much effort into getting as much firepower onto the enemy as I could, I should also have pushed my guys on the left up further as that would have left Rob no room for his ambush, but a lesson learned. I was also left thinking elite troops are way overpowered, at one point Rob was throwing six command dice to my four, if fighting against three elite squads you would have to up the force morale or the game could end pretty quick before the normal troops could dent the elites. I must look into this on the forum and see how others feel about it.
Nothing much else happening, I built and did a bit of weathering on my new bridge, I have not decided yet whether to leave the surface of the road grey or texture it.
Stuart has run off a couple of sets of markers on his 3D printers for Chain of Command and 'O' Group, I was very impressed with the ones he had painted, yellow on green, and ordered up a few sets for CoC. He also offered club members to print patrol markers of our own design, I set too and did some divisional signs for my forces, I could not find anything suitable for the French so just used an armoured tactical sign for them. It might take me a little time to paint them up as I have civilians/refugees and another squad of French to paint as well. I am also very busy with maps.
|Cold War gets hot.|