Wednesday, 25 September 2013

First Play: Chain of Command

Given that both Lenin and I have decent sized collections of 28mm World War 2 figures it was only a question as to which of us would put on the first Chain of Command game.  In the end it was Lenin with his Panzer grenadiers and US infantry in a scenario set in Italy.

As normal I played the Germans and we selected our platoons and support.  Selecting support was tricky given that neither of us had played before but I can see it presenting some interesting challenges once we really understand how best to use the various options available.

We set up the terrain and decided on the standard patrol scenario from the rulebook.  Then we began the first novelty of the rules - the patrol phase.  This certainly made both of us think and I can see that with more games under our belt it will be a very interesting part of the game.  We had both diced for the initial starting points for our patrol markers and I ended up in the centre (which proved somewhat fortuitous for me) with Lenin over on his right flank. With the farm complex having been set out in the centre of the table this meant I could move my markers into it more quickly and easily than Lenin which with my preponderance of MG teams would prove to be a significant game influence.

Having completed the patrol phase (rather quicker than I had wanted - leaving one of my markers further back than I was hoping) we placed our jump off markers (I hadn't had a chance to paint the resin ones I got with the rules - although I wouldn't have had enough as we needed 3 each) so I used some oil drums I had handy.

We both ended up deploying our forces relatively early on in the game and I suspect this might not be the best approach in quite a few circumstances.  It suited me as I could get two of my MG teams into defensive positions in the farm house and my other sections ready to move up to take positions in the farm yard.  As it was the windows in the farmhouse didn't give me the coverage I would have liked and Lenin managed to deploy his men in my blind spots.  He then began to advance on my position.

I began to move my men up but we ended up exposing one team to one of the US squads and they didn't enjoy the experience!  Lenin moved up into what he though would be a good position but exposed himself to my MGs and came under a hail of fire.

Lenin tried to advance another two squads under cover of some mortar fire (he was desperately trying to justify having smoke but apparently the Americans didn't issue those rounds at this time).

Meanwhile I moved one of my sections around the farmyard in order to flank his retreating first squad.

Whilst Lenin managed to do some serious damage to one of my MG teams which was trying to redeploy, I managed to catch two of his sections in crossfire and as a result won the game.

We both enjoyed playing the rules and they are certainly worth trying again although I think we both need to learn from this experience and also do a bit more reading just to make sure we're getting everything right!


  1. Looks good, Al - it will take a bit to sway me from Nuts! though, as I think I've mentioned before... ;)

    1. Thanks Monty. I'm not seeing these as a replacement for Nuts! but rather for Platoon level scenarios as Nuts! starts to have a few issues at that level unless you simplify.

  2. Brilliant game set up
    Lovely figures as ever
    Looked like a really great game
    I am on the same learning curve as you regarding the Patrol Phase and "late deployments" to swing the game
    Damn those MG42's
    Smoke for the British 50mm mortars is very, very useful
    I do feel sorry for the British PBI, so late in the war and still relying on a Bren section, you would have thought they could have borrowed a 30 cal from the US

    1. Thanks Geordie. In this case the terrain was all mine but the figures were Lenin's. I love it when a set of rules forces you to think about using the right tactics - how many make you think you need smoke for example?