Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Friday, 30 January 2015

Enter Rommel!


Yesterday evening Quinton, Steve and myself played a 1941 Western Desert Game of Chain of Command.

We rolled up a random scenario and would be playing the Flank Attack scenario, in all the time that I've played Chain of Command I have never used this one. Rolling for the roles, I would be the attacker.

Quinton was assisted by Steve and used a Schutzen Platoon while I used a Rifle Platoon. There was a 3pt discrepancy in the force ratings, but like a doofus I forgot to fill that!

After the patrol phase the Jump-off points were laid out as per the image, Germans in Black and British in Red. As we used a cloth laid over hills, I have marked the contours on this one as they are not that obvious.

Quinton rolled 9 points of force support and took a Panzer IIIG and a battery of 8cm Mortars. With my 4 points I purchased another anti-tank rifle and a pre-game barrage. The 3pts I had forgotten to spend earlier would have come in very handy.

The Germans started the game with a double phase and were soon moving towards me from the northern edge of the board with two section of infantry and his Panzer, although my pre-game barrage did cause some delays. The observer for the mortar battery also joined this attack.

I deployed one of my anti-tank rifles to face off against the tank, but deployed the other infantry section facing west. Leaving the Bren team in cover I rushed towards the exposed German jump-off point with the Rifle team. If Quinton decided to put his last section on this point it would break up the attack, while if he concentrated on the northern front then the disruption from my barrage may allow me to capture the Jump off.

The northern attack was now beginning to form, so I committed the other anti-tank rifle and a supporting infantry section to counter that. However, the MG34 were now well sited and Steve threw his first eleven dice needing 5+ to hit, EIGHT HITS!! Although only one of my men was killed it happened to be the Junior Leader of that section.

I moved one of the Boyes teams towards an outcrop on my right and set up an ambush for the Panzer, however the German fire was withering and my anti-tank team was soon broken and running to the rear.

Things went from bad to worse, the German observer called in fire on my northern section, but it overshot slightly, also hitting my section on the west. I was now all pinned apart from the rifle team sneaking up on the German jump-off point. Realising things were going well for the two sections and the Panzer in the north Quinton committed his last section to the objective in the west. Against two MG34 there was no way my rifle team would make any headway so they sheered off and took cover in the broken ground.

Pinned by the mortar barrage and taking constant fire from the two Schutzen sections there was not much I could do to stop the advance of the Germans. Pretty soon the defenders in the north were reduced to a single rifle team and my Platoon Sergeant had all on keeping the shock off of them.

I could use a Chain of Command dice to end the turn and hence the mortar barrage, but the Germans also had a Chain of Command dice to continue the barrage, plus I would have lost my tactical and overwatch markers.

Eventually, it was the closeness of the German advance that stopped the barrage, but by this time I had nought left in the North. The Panzer tried to capture my objective, but I used a Chain of Command dice to move it out of the way.

One Section of Scutzen swept over the final hill and engaged my Platoon Sergeant and the Boyes survivor in hand to hand, hilling both but having a section of their own broken in the process. I then deployed my final section to subject them to some deadly fire.

The map on the right should give you an idea of how the battle panned out.

However, it was now all over, my Force Morale had collapsed and the game was over. I could have done better if I had remembered to spend the three points from the force disparity from the outset, I think a MkVIB would have been a great asset especially in the Western sector. I also deployed troops that I had no need to, so the superior German fire-power was able to be brought to bear against them.

Apart from the Panzer III which is Quintons work all the figures were painted by myself.