Sunday, September 21, 2014

Chain of Command Campaign: Normandy Game 1

Martin and I played the first game of our projected 4-game campaign this afternoon.

I set the campaign against Operation Bluecoat, but we did not use historical units or maps for our narrative. The opening game is set a few days before the launch of the operation, when the British are probing for weakness in the German defences.

The first game of the campaign was a Probe scenario, where the British need to get at least one team to the German baseline. Martin rolled a 6 on his Force Support, which gave me 3 points to spend. I decided to spend them all on obstacles: a minefield to cover the road junction to deny his quick access to my baseline, and two barbed wire entanglements to further restrict his movements.

The battlefield viewed from the eastern end. The Germans (entering left) have mined the road junction and set up barbed wire obstacles.
I did poorly in the Patrol Phase, leaving me with one Jump-Off point on the western side of the table and on the edge at that. Martin rolled a '6' on his deployment roll, quickly advancing to behind the barn and the hill on dominating the open area between my table edge and the barn.

Martin sends all three squads onto the table while I could only deploy one.

One British squad advances to the bocage.
I attempted to push the British squad on the hill off with an MG team, but this was shot up by the accurate fire from them. It took a few lucky rolls by the squad in the broken area before Martin was persuaded to withdraw. This gave me an opportunity to dash the squad across the open ground to seek shelter behind the barn.

The depleted German squad, now without its LMG, runs towards cover, but also closer to the enemy!
Meanwhile I pushed one squad on my left to the edge of the bocage, where they traded grenades with the British - my guys came off the worse. With the situation seemingly deadlocked, Martin revealed his Force Support choice: a Sherman!

I rushed my Platoon Commander forward with the Panzerschreck team, and he managed to land a shot on the tank - two Shocks and Commander wounded, but the tank is still operational!

Decisive moment of the game - if the Germans fail to take the tank out, they will have to fall back.
Martin returned fire with the Sherman, but the shot only managed to cause a Shock. He then ordered the mortar to screen the tank with smoke rounds... 

Smoke screen!
but I spent a Chain of Command die to remove it, and ordered my Panzerschreck team to fire a second shot. Martin rolled poorly on his armour save, and the tank was blown up!

With his trump card taken out, Martin decided to cut his losses and withdraw his platoon. Having lost 4 men against my 6, he managed a Losing Draw, which earned him the displeasure of his CO, but the men were less critical of his performance. Conversely, my CO was happy with my performance, but the same could not be said of my men.

At the end of Game 1, the score was:

British
COs Opinion -1, Men's Opinion +1
Casualty: 2 Lost, 1 Miss Next Battle

German
CO's Opinion +2. Men's Opinion -2
Casualty: 3 Lost, 2 Miss Next Battle

The next game in the campaign should be in 4 weeks, and may see a higher number of Force Support. I certainly hope to be able to field a gun or maybe even some armour of my own... Let's hope Martin rolls high again.

1 comment:

Stephen Holmes said...

I think the Germans should be satisfied with that result.

Consider the tough initial setup, your guys did all that was asked of them. Drove off the most aggressive infantry, and blew up a tank.

It's in keeping with the spirit of '44. Germans usually outnumbered and outgunned. Relying on hasty defence.

You can inflict a brief rebuff to the enemy, but don't have the resources to retake lost land. And tomorrow will bring another bunch of Tommies.