Sunday, 25 August 2013

First outing - Chain of Command

I got together today with my good buddy Nick B from SADWC for a first game of Chain of Command so thought I'd post a few piccies and thoughts here rather than the traditional Batrep.

The Patrol Phase really gets you thinking! Both players take it in turn to move their patrol markers traying to gain an advantage on the choicest bits of the battlefield from which to take the fight to the enemy.

Once Patrol Markers come within 12" of an enemy marker both markers are 'locked down' and may not move anymore.

Once one sides markers are locked down both players deploy Jump Off Markers. These markers represent where your own troops may be placed on the battlefield once deployed by a senior commander.

The attacking player takes first phase and rolls a number of Chain of Command dice. The scores on the dice allow him to command either a team, section, a junior commander or a senior commander.

All dice that show 5's go into a Chain of Command Pool which once you have a chain of six points give you a Chain of Command Dice which opens a host of new tactical options you can use to thwart your enemy's plans.

If two 6's are rolled in the same Command Dice Roll you can sneak in an additional active phase, throw. Three 6's end the turn, whilst four 6's ened the turn and result in a random event.

Senior Commanders deploy troops onto the battlefield and both they and Junior Commanders activate teams and sections to carry out fire and movement, rallying, overwatch etc.

Troops being deployed by a senior commander

Tommy and Jerry creeping around the Bocage
Players can use Tactical Movement to creep around making best use of available cover. They can move normally and can move 'at the double' - movement is randomised by multiples of D6.

Sections and weapons team can be put on overwatch and can give covering fire denying their enemy access to areas of the battlefield. Both tactics require successful orders from a commander. A very nice mechanic which prevents omnipotence and leaves you with proper command and control issues given the limited number of orders you might be able to make!

A Tommy fire and manouvre drill expertly executed!

Firing can cause Shock as well as Casualties, often doing both! Close Combat is far slicker than other WW2 Skirmish games and whilst still very bloody, feels a far more relaistic representation.

A Tommy Infantry section is decimated by fire from an MG42 before Jerry riflemen move in for the kill. Actually in the game the assualting Jerry rifle team was manhandled by the ubiquitous Tommies and wiped out to a man...

All in all CoC is a very well thought out set of rules with lots of unique mechanisms which make command and control pivotal and central to game play. You really begin to feel a bit of the pressure commanders on the ground must have felt about which decisions are going to be the right ones.

Jerries Senior Commander in a bit of a pickle

Very, very enjoyable indeed.

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