This year has been a busy year on Lard Island, not least because of the mileage we did taking Chain of Command on its tour of the UK. The four capitals tour took us to London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff and then we hit all points of the compass with club visits and wargames shows across the country. It was, therefore, fitting to end the year with one final trip to the epicentre of wargaming: Nottingham.
Long famous for interesting characters such as Robin Hood, Little John, Guy of Gisbourne and the Sheriff of said manor, the City still has its fair share of celebrities, none more famous that Alan and Michael Perry. I had been invited to Michael’s house to run a game of Chain of Command in his inspiring games room and on his recently completed North African terrain, built for their fantastic collection of their own 28mm collection.
We fought a double handed battle, with the Axis represented by one platoon of Afrika Korps under Paul Thompson from Early War Miniatures and 20mmZone and a platoon of Italians under Adrian Shepherd. The Germans had three Panzer IIIs supporting them, the Italians a brace of L3/33. On the Allied side Michael Perry had a platoon of British ensconced in a small Libyan town and Alan was moving up with a second platoon and a troop of Crusaders coming up to support him.
This was a truly stunning table of epic proportions but the Patrol Phase soon got the action started. The Germans had advanced enthusiastically but found themselves somewhat over-extended with their Jump-off points in a dried up wadi off to the right of the village. The Italians were more pragmatic and were using a rise in the ground as their jump-off point. Alan’s relief force was just making its way up to cover the open flank when the action began.
We played with each player having their own set of Command Dice as suggested for large games in the back of the rules. The action was a hard fought affair, with the Germans fighting hard to pin down the British reinforcements and keep their tanks busy while the Italians moved up to storm the town. The German tanks provided an excellent base of fire, driving the British off the walls with H.E. fire and allowing Sergente Moretti to storm forward in heroic style to drive the British in further. An Italian tank in the gateway saw British morale fall further and Lieutenant Moscato rushed forwards at the head of his men, crying “Savoia!”, hurling grenades, kicking in doors and clearing the British out of the bazaar at the point of the bayonet.
Yet despite his heroics it was too big a task. With a deft touch Michael sent his officer forward to rally his men and restore the British position. It was an incredibly tense game with the Italians coming so close to victory but falling at the final heroic hurdle. The following photos are a bit random as we were so wrapped up in the game play I forgot to take snaps at the key moments. Mind you, I guess that is the sign of a fun game!
My thanks must go to Alan and Michael for hosting such a great day of gaming and being the most generous of hosts. A smashing evening out in Nottingham was very convivial and continued on in the spirit of the day’s play.
Readers of the latest copy of Miniature Wargamers may have noticed a small piece neatly secreted on page 44 where much of the following information can be found. Apologies if you think you’re seeing double! My first contact with wargaming as a hobby came on my first week at senior school when I accidentally picked