I hope you and Dad are well. What a palaver we are having here. Our new officer, Mr St Clair (that’s pronounced Sinclair mother) is a madman. We had a terrible experience today and it wasn’t very nice!
Mr St Clair ordered the platoon forward to take on Jerry once again. We’d done this before and pushed him out, but he had, in his turn, pushed us back all the way to the start line. So yesterday we had knocked his patrols back out of No-Mans-Land, and today we were meant to be clearing out his outposts.
Well, I was lucky enough that Corporal Davis and the lads in our section we held back to put down fire on Jerry in his trenches. Corporal Stone and Corporal Capstan’s sections were sent forward to try to find a way through Jerry’s positions. That’s normal Ma, some of us shoot, some of us move to try to persuade Jerry that we can get round behind him and, like as not, he’ll clear off as he has no wish to be captured. But this time it was different.
We were by the 2” mortar and Sergeant McKie was getting it to put down smoke in front of some Jerry trenches. We were generally taking a few pot-shots to try to persuade them to keep their heads down. In fact it all looked like it was going swimmingly. Then a shout went up. I’m not sure who it was , but Corporal Capstan ran up the hill and started piling into Jerry through the smoke. On their left Corporal Stones men started walking up the hill. We couldn’t believe our eyes! You don’t attack Jerry in his trenches until you’ve got him well and truly rattled. And we hadn’t.
Of course it was over in moments. Corporal Capstan and a couple of men were running back down the hill, the rest we thought must be dead. Then the Jerries came out of the smoke and shot up Corporal Stones section. We saw Stoney go down and his lads putting their hands up. Before we could do anything the Jerries were in among our lads taking them prisoner. Sergeant McKie told us not to fire for fear of hitting our mates. It was bleeding terrible to see. Our muckers going into the bag and nothing we could do! We saw a Jerry medico helping Stoney, so he ain’t dead. That’s a blessing.
Sergeant McKie ordered us to fall back to where we had jumped off and there, you won’t believe this Ma, was Mr St Clair with a Wasp flamethrower. He cried out, laughing, “Look at this lads” and he got the flamethrower to send out a jet of flame, off which he lit a cigarette he was holding with a long stick! It seems he’d been practicing this party piece while our mates were getting killed. It sickened us, I can tell you.
A few lads made their way back to our lines in the evening, but all in all its been a black day. I heard Davies speaking with Sergeant McKie. The Sarge said he’d be speaking to the Colonel. Too right and all. The lads are calling him “Dangerous” St Clair, ‘cos he’s a dangerous man to have as your commander, and that’s no lie.
Hope all is well with you, Dad and little Elsie. We hear much about the buzz bombs.
Your loving son,
Well, what an interesting game! If somewhat odd. The Germans achieved their initial objectives in the Patrol Phase, securing three jump-off points on a broad front across the table. This scenario is unusual in that the British objective is not to defeat the Germans, but to find a route past them, at which point we assume that any German forces will withdraw to their main line of defence and abandon their outposts. So, the initial patrol phase sees the defender trying to make sure there are no gaps in his defences.
That said, the British did achieve something of a coup, placing one of their jump-off points half way up the table near the left hand edge; tantalisingly close to their objective of the German base line. This was to play a huge part in the ensuing game.
The game began very normally. The British were able to deploy their 2″ mortar under the watchful eye of their platoon sergeant. The Germans, very aware of the threat on their right, deployed a squad in a trench close to that flank and placed them on overwatch to cover that potential avenue of approach. In their initial set up they had been able to choose between entrenchments for one squad or a full Chain of Command dice. Personally I’d have chosen the latter, but they went with the former. As it turned out it was a wise move.
The key moment came early on in Phase Three of Turn one when the British rolled two 6′s, giving them the current phase and the next one. It was an opportunity that was too tantalising to pass up. Two sections were deployed to the aforementioned jump-off point and they crossed a hedge and advanced onto the open slope leading up to the German base line. Being on overwatch the Germans could have fired at this point, but they elected to wait as they were hoping that the British would move closer so that the squad leader could add his SMG fire to the mix.
The next phase saw a near perfect roll for the British. Three 3′s allowed them to activate all three sections, and a 1 allowed the 2″ mortar to activate. They elected to first put down some harassing long range fire from the covering section (Bert’s section, as we read about above), then dropped smoke right in front of the German squad, rendering their overwatch useless as line of sight was broken.
What should have happened next was that the British moved their first section to screen off the German trench whilst moving the other section up past them to seize the baseline. Textbook stuff which would have seen the Germans withdraw and the British win without loss. In truth the British would need a few phases to achieve their objective, but with the Germans screened off and the jump-off point shut down they would have needed to launch an all-out counter-attack to restore the situation; something likely to have been very costly and, in a campaign setting, probably not worth doing.
That’s what SHOULD have happened. What DID happen was that the British first section stormed forward to assault the German trench through the smoke. Now, you really, really do not want to assault entrenched Germans unless you have softened them up first. Softened them up quite a bit, like pinned down and unhappy. As it was the British charge was met with withering fire. As they emerged from the smoke EIGHT British were put out of action, the remaining men routing back down the hill. The Germans lost Obergefreiter Lehrmann in the combat, a freak result which shook them somewhat, but their victory was complete.
On the left the second British section was making heavy work of the hill, leaving them exposed when in the next phase the Germans advanced through the smoke, pinned them down with fire, knocking out the British Corporal, and then advancing to accept the surrender of the survivors. It was, in truth, a disaster. One compounded by the fact that Lieutenant St Clair had not even deployed onto the table and the Wasp they had to support them was also unused.
Now, this sounds like a harsh condemnation of the British tactics. In truth that is unfair. WHat we saw was a classic example of “The curse of the Double 6″. It is extremely seductive to roll two 6′s on the command dice, giving you two phases on the bounce. It promises so much, and in this situation a speedy advance would have led to a stunning coup de main, yet in truth such an opportunity will generally be illusory. As indeed this proved to be. What Chain of Command does is reward the gamer who develops a plan and works through the phases to achieve that goal. Occasionally an opportunity will present itself which promises much to a player who seizes the moment and takes a risk. What we have seen is that opportunity is a hard one to ignore, and yet it brings forth fruit only in cases of extreme luck. For the most part it is the player who sticks to his plan who will win. And this is what happened here. In spades!
At the end of the game we consulted the campaign results to see what had happened. For the British player the key result was losing so many men dead or captured. The troops opinion of their officer went through the floor, to the extent that their sergeant has spoken to the RSM who has in turn spoken to the Colonel. This has seen the Colonel’s opinion of St Clair drop and the Lieutenant obliged to attend an “interview without coffee”. His reaction to this is key to how the platoon goes forward. From being pretty affable and confident in his own abilities, Lieutenant St Clair left his interview a very angry man. For the next game this, combined with the mens’ unease about their leader, will see the force morale pretty low and the Lieutenant’s personal influence on the battlefield reduced somewhat. How St Clair recovers from this will be interesting. He certainly needs a couple of solid victories under his belt to placate the C.O. and to get his self-confidence back, but getting his men back on-side will be a harder job. Earning the soubriquet “Dangerous” is not a compliment. His men would rather be led by someone in whom they have confidence. If St Clair continues like this he will find a hand-grenade rolling into his tent.
On the German side Kellermann is feeling pretty relaxed about his position. In truth neither his men nor his C.O. are overly impressed with his performance, but they are neutral rather than hostile. He was unfortunate that a much liked NCO was killed, his only casualty of the engagement as it happened, as it was only this that stopped his men feeling more positive about him as a leader. Such are the vagaries of war.
Our next game will see both the Germans and the British with one new NCO each. We shall see how they fare over the coming actions.
As part of the on-going process of spreading the word of the Lard we are now rolling out our Lard Ambassador programme to bring a bit of gaming fun to the parts of the globe that were previously unaccessible. Very soon we hope you’ll be seeing Lard Ambassadors at games near you. At the head of the queue was our very first Ambassadorial assignment for the Lardy Diplomatic Corps, Australian Ben Fiene representing us at Mother of All Battles 2013, a three day convention run by the Southern Battle Gamers just outside Sydney in New South Wales, Australia.
Well, the diplomatic bag is just in, and here’s the full report from Ben on what sounds like a cracking show.
We here in upside-downland might have fantastic beaches, lovely weather, even some half-decent beers. What we don’t have is the variety and number of wargames shows of the UK or the States. That being said, we do have a couple of great little events, and last weekend, I packed up all of my Chain of Command goods and chattels and headed south from the Central Coast of NSW to the MOAB show, located in the lovely Sylvania Heights south of Sydney, to fly the Lard flag.
MOAB is the largest show in the Greater Sydney area, and despite it coinciding with Sydney’s international fleet review, it was a bustling hive of activity. The show is put on by the very friendly guys at Southern Battle Gamers, and runs over the three days of the October long weekend. Traders were well represented, although I must say I was sorry that Nic from Eureka couldn’t make it, I was very keen to pick up some of the excellent War of French Revolution figures. Tournaments were well represented with SAGA, Bolt Action, Impetus and X-Wing joining a raft of GW events.
I was given a lovely spot on the main floor, surrounded by some really good looking demo and participation games (shout out to the superb little Muskets and Tomahawks game and the very interesting looking Gladiator game). There was quite a bit of buzz about the rules, and before I had even done setting up the first players, Sven and Mike, were rearing to go.
I’d set up the table representing an area to the east of the Orne river, with a main road across the board, bocage at one end, and a large walled chateau dominating the other. Detritus from the D-Day airborne landings in the form of a crashed Horsa glider, shellholes and a wooded area provided some cover, but the centre of the board was largely open.
We kicked off with Mike taking a German panzergrenadier platoon and choosing and Adjudant and a 5cm mortar for support. Sven took regular British infantry, with a forward observation officer as his support. The patrol phase generated a lot of interest, with quite a few ‘off-duty’ Bolt Action tourney players dropping by to check it out. With the jump off markers deployed, the battle developed quickly. Mike’s squads struggled to get moving, instead bogging down in the hedgeline and trying to overwhelm Sven’s defenders with their substantial weight of fire alone. Some good shooting by the British Bren team in the Chateau took a heavy toll on the right hand Jerry section, and Mike’s efforts to outflank the defence by moving through the woodland to the south was ha;ted by a barrage of 3” mortar fire, and then annihilated by defensive fire from a British section. Both players seemed to really enjoyed the way in which the rules bring historical plausibility but in the form of a fun and fast moving game.
With little rest for the wicked, we were straight into another game. This time Doug from Cincinnati took command of a regular German infantry platoon with a sniper, adjudant, and an additional panzerschreck team in support. He faced off against Chris, who took a British infantry platoon with a Staghound armoured car in support.
The terrain, scenario and starting positions remained the same, but the patrol phase saw this time the Germans grabbing the chateau and the British firmly ensconced in the woodland to the south of the road. As with the previous one, this game was fast and furious. A lack of 1s in the command dice hampered Chris’ plans to get the 2” mortar deployed and so slowed down his attack. A tentative advance by the Staghound turned into a hasty retreat after the Jerry sniper took a shot at the commander.
The turning point of this game was a close assault by a British section supported by the platoon sergeant. The Brits burst through the bocage, where they were subjected to a deluge of spandau fire. Next activation they charged into close combat, but Doug used the Chain of Command dice to interrupt and fire another lethal MG barrage into the Brits. The somewhat decimated British section closed, and in the ensuing melée it was wiped out to a man. However, in the confused fight the Brits took down with them a German team, along with one of the German junior leaders AND the German senior leader. German morale plummeted, and although the forces were relatively equal Doug’s lack of command dice really hampered any efforts to react to British attacks. Chris soon had his Staghound, 2” mortar and the remaining two sections firing-and-manoeuvring towards the chateau. Eventually the German force morale crumbled and they retreated from the table.
Both players seemed very impressed in the way that the game modelled the loss of leadership in the loss of command dice. Doug’s still potent force was left helpless to react to the British after the loss of vital commanders.
As the adage goes, time flies when you’re having fun and by now it was almost 3pm. This left me just enough time to grab a bite and to have a look around at some of the goodies on display. I picked up a B-wing and a TIE interceptor for X-Wing, and some more SAGA goodies.
So on the whole, it was a really enjoyable day. Beside the players, there were a lot of people stopping for a chat, and asking where they could get hold of the rules. Unfortunately none of the traders had the rules in stock, although several did carry TooFatLardies products. For any Aussies reading this, I do know that War and Peace have a load of Chain of Command sets in stock now.
For those of you thinking of becoming a TFL ambassador and putting on a participation game, I’d highly recommend the experience. For me it was a great way to mix and meet a load of friendly and interesting people, while playing a superb set of rules.
So, many thanks to Ben for his report and great photos of the day, not to mention his sterling efforts in showing off the rules to the gaming public down under. It was a real shame that the slow boat to Oz with the rules on docked just days after the show, but great to know that gamers down-under can now get hold of the rules from War & Peace Games.
The Belgian Army list for 1940 has taken a bit of time, largely due to my odd mix of schoolboy languages proving inadequate as some of the technical expressions in the manuals were, to say the least, confusing. In the end I was very grateful to friends from Belgium and the Netherlands for their great help in the translation work. Thanks lads!
And What an interesting force the Belgians turned out to be! Large sections, somewhat undergunned, but with a great emphasis on marksmanship in the defence and speedy, remorseless fire and movement in the advance. Indeed their manual looks remarkably modern to the 21st century reader. As a result of a four section arrangement, and their own platoon battery of grenade launchers, the Belgians are a high value force, but with a couple of very nice quirks that make them very interesting to game with. You can check them out here:
Belgium 1940 Army List
Sergeant Donald McKie turned left into the small orchard. As Corporal Stone’s section silently moved past him he tried to peer through the trees towards a small copse of a nearby knoll. They must be here. Somewhere. He knew they would be coming, and coming soon.
Mister St Clair had enraged the Colonel by pulling back further than he should, but the men had not been in a fit state to resist. It was unfortunate, but the time bought had allowed the platoon to get themselves organised. So, the Germans had reoccupied their outpost positions, and Sergeant McKie knew that they would not stop there.
Corporal Stone waved his Bren team forward. As the rifle team moved up he indicated the area he wanted them to cover. Then, as his riflemen slipped across the stone wall the Bren began putting fire down into the small copse. It Jerry was there they’d at least put him off his aim.
Ulrich Lehrmann watched across the valley as the brown figures moves through the orchard in a fluid movement. So. The Tommies were not running any longer. Beside him Hansie Stich’s figure tightened slightly on the trigger of his MG42 as he waited for the word. The word that must come at any moment.
The tearing of linoleum they likened it to, and as soon as it began Corporal Stone and his riflemen dived for cover behind the low orchard wall. Stone chippings were thrown around them, and above their heads the bullets whipped the boughs of the apple trees. Stone could taste the leaf mould in his mouth as he pressed himself with ever more intensity into the ground, as though it would hold and protect him.
Sergeant McKie ran forward with the Bren team. The German machine gunner couldn’t see the right hand corner of the orchard and there the Glaswegian waved forward the LMG and shouted back for smoke. With some precision the first smoke round fell to the side of the copse, spoiling the view of the orchard and providing some relief to Corporal Stone and his men.
Corporal Joe Capstan’s section had been moving up through the orchard when the firing began. With some prescience he changed his route and slipped out into the field, advancing up the hedgeline towards the wooded knoll. The small copse actually lay on the other side of the hillock, and if he could work his way up the hedge he could slip into the wood and take the position which an earlier patrol had reported as being occupied by the German. From the higher ground to his rear the 2” mortar team provided small but effective smoke screen off to his right. Shame, he thought. His left would have been better. If there are Jerries in that wood then that is where they’d be firing from.
Michael Koenig swore. He had expected the British to come through the orchard and taken up positions to block their advance. The movement along the hedge was in danger of outflanking his position. He crawled forward with his MG team. If he left it any longer the target would be gone. “Feur!”.
It wasn’t a perfect shot, he had been rushed and most of his riflemen could not even see the British section on the hedge, but he had to do something. He saw at least one khaki clad man fall, but then from the orchard on his right the British opened fire. “Scheisse!” Now from the hedge the British also replied. Caught in a crossfire Koenig called his riflemen forward and returned fire.
In the orchard Sergeant McKie moved along the wall. The MG42 at close quarters was a bastard to deal with. Men naturally flinched at the sheer volume of fire, but the Sergeant kept them in the line. Listening out for a break in the tempo of German fire, McKie would raise himself and fire a burst with his Sten. How much damage he did was questionable, it was at the limit of the shoddy little weapon’s accuracy, but the rattle of the weapon seemed to give life to his men who knew he was among them. He was one of the youngest men in the platoon, but the unremarkable little Glaswegian had earned the reputation of his men several times over since they landed at Sword beach.
“Handgrannaten!”. The cry went up and a hail of stick grenades were launched. Unterfeldwebel Kellerman had arrived. Seeing Koenig’s men faltering in the crossfire he had brought forward Peterson’s squad at the run. Through the undergrowth they ran, the hedge their objective.
“Run like buggery!” It wasn’t a command to be found in any tactical manual, but Capstan’s men knew what he meant. They had lost three men from their already under-strength section as it was. They were not about to face this new threat with any enthusiasm. Surrendering the hedge to the Germans they fled back the way they had come, using the remnants of the smoke screen to cover their hasty withdrawal.
Now McKie could see the Germans bringing forward their fresh squad to face his men in the orchard. “Tom, for Goods sake concentrate your Bren on those crowd on the left, they’ve taken some pretty hard knocks a’ready, if we can drive them off we’ve half a chance”. The Yorkshireman nodded and focussed the Bren’s fire on the Germans already skulking in the undergrowth. A burst of particularly accurate fire saw the German LMG fall silent, and then men could be seen running back from the wood. The odds had just improved significantly.
Kellerman cursed. His men had been exchanging fire with the British in the orchard, but their opponent’s fire had not dropped off at all. Off to his left he could see another British section working its way round to his flank. He had sent two men out to scout that area, but they had not returned. He feared the worst. Lehrmann should have been over there with his squad, but he was nowhere to be seen. He cursed again. This was a fight that was not going his way. He signalled the retreat.
Lieutenant Sandy St Clair joined Sergeant McKie in time to see the last of the Germans slip from view. “I say Sergeant. The enemy have gone! It’s over!”.
“Aye sir. The ghosts of their Feldgrau and camouflaged smocks have vanished into the smoke again. But this time they are the ones running!”
“Ah, yes. Indeed. Jolly good. Carry on.”
This had been advertised as the fourth game in the campaign. In fact it was the fifth as Lieutenant St Clair had not felt able to make a stand in the old German outpost positions and had retired back to his starting line in order to reorganise his men. This rather upset his Colonel, but it did undoubtedly serve a purpose. Some of the men lost in the chaos after the ignominious defeat of the third game had pulled themselves together and returned to their sections. With a more coherent force Sergeant McKie had overcome all odds to hold his men together under fire and see off a superior German force. Unfortunately for him Lieutenant St Clair had not seen the action, and had arrived just as the Germans were quitting the field. His battle had entailed shooting a couple of German scouts and walking across a field.
As it was this action restored the C.O.’s opinion somewhat, and the British losses had been sufficiently light – just two men dead – for the men to feel happier about the way they are being looked after. Lieutenant St Clair has cheered up significantly and is handing round his cigarettes and generally being very affable.
On the other hand, Kellerman’s commanding officer, Major Rumpler, is livid. After the British had given ground he had been expecting a significant victory here, so is more than disappointed. That said, Kellerman is quite relaxed about developments. By pulling out when he did he kept casualties to an acceptable level. He’ll need every man he can get for the next phase of the campaign which is likely to be a British attack.
As we stand the Germans have now permanently lost five men from the platoon, the British four men, so both sides are having to think about how they configure their platoons for each battle.
As part of developing the campaign rules for Chain of Command, we are currently ensconced in our own campaign set in July of 1944 and with British forces pushing south towards the Orne River. Sharp-eyed readers with a penchant for prose may already have immersed themselves in the deranged wanderings of the fevered mind that is La Roundwood, here:
Game 1: http://sidneyroundwood.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/chain-of-command-campaign-game-1-patrol.html
Game 2: http://sidneyroundwood.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/chain-of-command-campaign-game-2-probe.html
Game 3: http://sidneyroundwood.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/chain-of-command-campaign-game-3-attack.html
Three games in is a key point in the campaign. This is the moment where we discover what the platoon commanders think of their performance, where we test their outlook for the first time. As such this is an opportune moment to reflect before we play our next game this evening. But first let me introduce you to the gentlemen and players on both sides.
Our British force played by Sidney is lead by Lieutenant Sandy St Clair, a youthful 26 year old who went to a minor public school in the lowlands of Scotland and did “something in the city” before the joining up. At 5’4″ he has more of the look of an intellectual than a man of action, but looks can be deceptive.
His Platoon Sergeant, Donald McKie, 22, was an apprentice mechanic with the Glasgow City Corporation. He stands 5’7″ and is an average sort of cove. Corporal Malcolm Stone, 31, is a writer from Sheffield who in truth has had little work published and spent most of his pre-war life in menial jobs. He is 5’10″ with the looks of a matinee idol, but sadly not the bank balance.
Corporal Joe Capstan, 26, worked in a factory in Plymouth before being conscripted. He is a six footer and a fine soccer player, a fact which gets him much credit at HQ. Finally Corporal Tom Davies, 23, is a colonial from somewhere in East Africa where he drifted somewhat. He tall, well built chap and a good leader of men.
Facing Sidney is Panda’s Germans. They are led by Unterfeldwebel Jurgen Kellerman, 36 years old. A former gamekeeper from East Prussia with a penchant for sausages rather than politics. Obergefreiter Ulrich Lehrmann, 30 years old, leads the first squad. A former communist dock worker from Hamburg he keeps quiet about politics nowadays. He is tall and thin, gangly in fact, he has been waiting to fill-out for years now, but never seems to. Obergefreiter Michael Koenig is 25 years old and from Vienna. His father works in an armaments factory. Michael went straight from school and the Hitler Youth and joined the army. Finally, Obergefreiter Walther Peterson is a 24 years old farm boy from Schleswig Holstein. He is a real bantam, short, but full of fight and aggression.
As one could surmise from Sidney’s reports, we have played three games thus far. In the first action in no-mans-land Sidney was able to lead his force to complete victory, driving off a German patrol and inflicting heavy losses whilst keeping his losses very light. This impressed his C.O., as did the second encounter wit the enemy where he drove in the German outpost positions. However, heavy casualties at that stage saw his men less impressed. In the third game the British pushed on to attack the main German line of resistance. Intriguingly Sidney’s report draws a veil over the result with the innocuous words “The Enemy had gone. It was suddenly over. The ghosts of their feldgrau and camouflaged smocks vanishing in the smoke”. Yes, vanishing they indeed were, as Sandy St Clair was running hell for leather in the opposite direction! “He who writes the blog can claim the victory” I was told. Well, if naughty Sidney thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of his readers, he is not impressing his C.O.! The Colonel’s opinion of Lieutenant St Clair dropped somewhat, as did that of his men who again found themselves cursing the loss of more mates. Nevertheless Sandy is happy with his performance thus far and feels he is doing a good job.
On the German side Kellerman failed to impress either his C.O. or his men with a disastrous first game, but since then he has kept casualties relatively light. Whilst they are not toasting him with their ersatz Pilsner they are not critical of him in the letters he censors. Indeed they seem to be warming to him as time goes on. He can best be described as being quite relaxed about his performance thus far. There are other officers under more pressure than he.
Tonight we play the fourth game in the campaign as Panda’s forces counter-attack in the hope of pushing Sidney’s force back towards their start line. Both sides have plenty to prove and reputations to build.
Just a brief overview of what the campaign system is all about. Firstly, and probably most importantly, this system is being designed as a template for numerous campaigns which we will be publishing or including in the Specials or magazine articles in the hobby press. As such the system is being designed in such a way that you can bolt it on to any historical campaign rather than just being a one-off game. At the core of this is the concept of the ladder campaign, something we’ll tell you more of later, but in essence it is a simple ladder which you can move up or down as you win or lose a game. We want to make each and every game different, but in order to create a simple paper-free campaign (a la Dux Britanniarum) we need a robust structure to support it. And like all robust structures that needs to be simple. More on that at a later date.
The campaign is all about balancing a number of not necessarily mutually complementary objectives. These are the Commanding Officer’s opinion, the men’s opinion and the platoon leaders own outlook on the whole operation. If you get the C.O.’s support that will help with getting the support you need to do the job and reach the final objective. If you carry the men with you by not throwing away their lives needlessly then your life will be easier. The finally you need to keep the platoon leader performing well through all of the stresses of war. It’s a tough ask!
We’ll keep you informed as we progress.
To commemorate the passing of General Vo Nguyen Giap, we are offering our ground-breaking Vietnam rules Charlie Don’t Surf and the scenario supplement Surf’s Up with a 25% price reduction for this week.
Designed for company size actions, Charlie Don’t Surf are a fast paced and fun set of rules which bring all of the challenges of asymmetrical warfare to the tabletop. As the General himself said, there’s never been a better time to buy!
Check them out here: Charlie Don”t Surf
With the “Mother of All Battles” taking place this weekend in Sylvania, New South Wales, our very own swagman Ben Fiene will be camped by a billabong running a game of Chain of Command on Sunday from around 0900 to 1500.
Ben told Lard Island News “Our game will transport the players back to the claustrophobic hedgerows and fields of Normandy in the hot and dusty summer of 1944. Players will get the chance to command British Infantry or Parachute platoons, and German infantry or Panzergrenadiers in a variety of scenarios and with a large choice of support options.” Sounds like a great day of gaming lined up!
You can read all about MOAB here: http://www.southernbattlegamers.org/moabsite/
And Ben’s game is highlighted here: http://www.southernbattlegamers.org/moabsite/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=153:chain-of-command&catid=14:participation-and-demonstation-games&Itemid=11
Firstly we have the Patrol Markers. Frankly you can use anything as Patrol markers, I have resorted to using plain old ordinary dice when I left my nice pretty ones at home, but it’s nice to have the real deal. You’ll find generic Allied and German Patrol Markers on the download as well as some smaller markers which can be used as Jump-Off Points in the absence of anything prettier.
Secondly, you’ll find two Force Morale Tracker tiles which allow you to track your morale and also a place to put your Chain of Command dice. For this and the Patrol Markers I print them out on a thin card and then laminate them. I have said this before, but a cheap laminator is the wargamers best friend. I am still using the original deck of cards I made up thirteen years ago for IABSM and they are almost as good a new.
Finally, we’ve added a page of player aids which just list the Command Dice options. We find this really helps new players pick up the rules very quickly.
Anyway, without further ado, here’s the A4 size for the civilised world: Chain of Command Marker Set
And here’s Letter size for the other bits that have never heard of A4: Chain of Command Marker Set Letter
With a long-standing objection to mass conscription, Britain entered the war in 1939 almost as woefully prepared in terms of manpower as she had been in 1914. Yet, unlike in 1914, the British in 1939 understood what was needed to fight a European War and had gone a long way to creating a modern motorised force.
As if intentionally mirroring the strategic reality, the British Army’s platoons were small but well-equipped. Having been at the forefront of developing modern infantry tactics between 1916 and 1918, the British placed much emphasis on fire and movement and initiative at the lowest command levels. They will need to embrace this approach and combine it with a well-considered selection of support options to blunt the German advance. You can download the British Army list here: British 1940 Army List
Ready to invade Norway, France and the Low Countries, they German army of 1940 had learned the lessons of the campaign in Poland and restructured to be a more nimble and well controlled force. This is quite possibly the German infantry at the very top of their game.
You can download this list here: German 1940 Army List