Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Back off, Boches! - Chain of Command AAR

This past weekend I went over to Springfield for their monthly meetup. Luckily, for the first part of 2023, they're meeting on the third Saturday of the month, which means it doesn't overlap with the SJGA meeting on the second Saturday. 

While I had to be elsewhere in the afternoon, I got a chance to play a game of Chain of Command set during the 1940 invasion of France, run by Jeff. 

I was commanding a French platoon, while Hutch was my opponent and commanding the Germans. Hutch was later joined by Scott. Apparently this was the painted French's first outing, so I hoped I could do them proud. 

The German objective was to secure the stone house at the end of the road, while the French objective was to keep the Germans away. 

The Germans started with 10 morale, while the French had 8. 

I got lucky with the Patrol Phase and managed to lock down two of the German patrol markers with one of mine. I got one JOP in the ruins at the front of the buildings and the other two behind stone walls on the other side of the road. 

With not much in the way of cover approaching the village, Hutch had to place the German JOPs in the woods on either side of the table. You can see one on the far side of the table, and two on the close side.

Hutch's advance started with an aggressive double phase for the Germans, deploying two squads and a senior leader into the far side of the table (and catching me off guard. I had expected the German attack to push from the two JOPs on the other side). 

Needing to stem the German tide, I got the chance to deploy a VB-armed team in the stone house, and an infantry squad in the ruins. They caught some fire from the German LMG team that was on overwatch, but the Germans were worse off in the exchange. 

Hutch brought on a light mortar to target the infantry in the ruined building, which I managed to chase off with a Hotchkiss HMG. 

The firefight between the Germans in the forest and the French in the ruins continued, with both sides accruing casualties and shock markers. 

To bring more fire on the French defenders, the Germans drive their armored car into range. The 222's armor was enough that nothing on the French side could handle it, apart from the Panhard that was in reserve. 

So I brought the Panhard on, and the French armored car immediately missed its shot at its smaller German counterpart.

Feeling pressed on the far side of the table, I decided to deploy a second squad of infantry on the opposite flank. Two of the German JOPs were relatively undefended, and it would be a huge hit to their morale to lose them. 

While I had given the Germans a bloody nose, the overall fight wasn't going my way. Hutch and Scott had pinned the Panhard and wounded the commander, reducing his Command value. The French infantry in the ruins, while staying put, were rapidly dwindling. 

My flanking squad was moving quickly, hoping that the 222 would be too occupied by the Panhard to notice them. 

Scott did deploy an infantry squad to cover the JOPs, but they were met with fire from the Hotchkiss team and the last of the VB squad's ammo, resulting in several casualties. 

Unfortunately, the end came all too soon as a few critical events went badly for the defenders.

With only the LMG team left of the infantry squad deployed to the ruins, they finally accrued enough shock to force them to retreat, pulling the platoon's sergeant with them. The Panhard's crew ended up abandoning the armored car after suffering more fire from the 222. 

This confluence of Bad Things was enough to reduce my Force Morale from 5 to 0 in one turn, and my platoon routed. 

I hadn't done too badly, all things considered. The Germans were pretty chewed up (having been reduced from a starting Force Morale of 10 down to 5), and the only casualties I had lost were from the infantry squad that took the brunt of the fighting.

I thought this would work as a great introductory scenario for Chain of Command (all thank to Jeff for running it), and Hutch and Scott were fantastic to game with. 


  1. Looks good. Chain of Command is a fun game, but once it starts going wrong for you, it really is hard to pull it back.

    1. Very true! I do like that feeling, however, of struggling to either keep your morale up or to try and find one or two places to try and cause morale loss on the enemy.