Sadly my wargaming weekend was brought to a halt by a virus, not Covid thankfully but a very nasty cold/flu doing the rounds in the south-west so mate Matt had to call off, being all dressed up and nowhere to go so to speak I advertised on the club Facebook page for any volunteers for a Chain of Command game as I had the table built up and the time to spare. Stuart rose to the challenge and we chose forces and a scenario from the Blitzkrieg book.
I was the French again fresh from repulsing Rob's Germans a week or so ago, this time I took a Chasseur platoon which allowed me an extra COC dice, my choice of supports was rather basic however I opted for a tank (R35) over the anti-tank gun as my main support, this was backed up by a team of motorcyclists and AA machine guns in case of a Stuka attack, none of my supports were allowed to enter the table until turn 2, which in CoC could be a long time. Stuart came with a Motorised Infantry platoon so the only armour he could get was armoured cars, he took one of these, an extra infantry squad and forward observer for a mortar barrage.
For the first time we used the patrol phase app (sorry I have no idea who the author is) on my iPad, you only need a photograph of the battlefield and off you go, I was very impressed, an excellent aid and one I will use again.
Once again I was defending the village and I managed to get a good position on my left in a ruined house while holding a wood on my right, I was hoping for a quick COC dice in order to end the turn and get my supports on before I was overwhelmed. Stewart put a squad in the centre and then started his attack through the wood to hit my left flank, the first squad up took heavy casualties and was forced to withdraw while another squad was brought up to help, his little mortar continually sniped at the men in the house but did no damage. Over on my right the Germans brought on the little 222 armoured car and advanced to take my guys in the wood under fire, at the same time a mortar barrage was dropped on the wood but although pinning my men it caused comparatively little damage, but it stopped the armoured car from coming any further forward. The artillery fire stopped and the 222 advanced, I was forced to pull back further into the woods as I had nothing at that time to tackle the 'little tank'. I brought on my VB grenadiers with the idea of bombarding the thing but just as I did I managed to end the turn and on came my armour which gave the armoured car pause to rethink where he was going.
|Leutnant Gruber's 'little tank'.|
It was going to take me a little time to get the Renault into a firing position but as Stuart now had two squads shooting at the ruined house I turned all my attention on to them, the motorcyclists with their LMG had arrived and joined in, German casualties climbed at a faster rate than French casualties. Once again the German attack faltered and withdrew, this allowed me to now turn on the squad in the centre of the table and this too suffered badly. The armour of both sides could not land a damaging hit until right at the end when the 222 was taken out of action, with the German infantry fought to a standstill and the French still in a strong position with a reserve squad still to enter the fray Stuart conceded.
|Grenadiers turn up.|
|Pierre's little tank.|
A couple of observations, we both had the extra Chain of Command die and I thought this really helped the flow of the game, it was not a cure for cock ups though and at one point I could not order my tank forward as even with six dice I could not get a three. The Germans I thought lacked some oomph, with no decent armour to choose from I think they would have benefited from bringing the infantry gun along with the armoured car, the mortar barrage did not deliver the goods and as the Jerries were coming forward and with the rather large footprint of the mortars it became to dangerous to drop them a second time. I know they covered a large area in real life but it is a game and the huge 3 foot square to me just ruins the game on a 6x4 foot table so I never use them, I am tempted for home games to reduce this footprint quite a bit so that they can be used for flushing out defenders without being overly powerful, we will see. Anyway, an excellent afternoon was had and Stuart brought me a printed tank as a gift, an FT-17 already painted, it will join my other one for the future.
I am going to set up my St. Nazaire table this week to see what it looks like and then work out some dates to play the game.
All historical gamers look away now. I have got my Blood Bowl bundle, the main game, an extra team as one of those in the box are a bit too poncy for me, can I say that. I have built five figures from my first team and cocked up two of them by cutting off bits which I should not have cut off. Although these are fine figures I would still not go plastic for anything historical. I doubt you will see these guys finished for quite a few weeks yet.