Copyright © 2018, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2018, Paul Scrivens-Smith

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Saturday, 4 April 2015

More Mud and Blood with Chain of Command

On Thursday evening it was time for some Chain of Command WWI action again at the White Hart. I would use the Germans assisted by James W and James M would use his French assisted by Matt M. For a change the French would attack and the Germans would be the defenders.

We decided on the 'Attack on an Objective' scenario with the French fielding a 'Reduced Strength Platoon' rated as Regular while the Germans would field an 'Infantry Zug; also rated as regular.

Rolling for supports, James added an Adjutant and two off-table machine-guns to the French while I added a MG/08 on-table machine-gun and a sniper to the Germans, really to use the new figures I had painted.

We set out the table as shown in the photo and the jump-off points are as marked, The stars show the aiming points for the French off-table machine-gun teams.

The objective was the 'Bois' atop the low hill near the German base-line.

We both rolled very poorly for Force Morale, each force would start on an eight!

As you can see, it would be difficult for the Germans to grab the trenches as one had no jump-off near it at all, and the other two with suitable jump-off points were both covered by the supporting machine-guns,

The French started well with a 'triple six' in the first phase, two Grenadier-Voltigeur sections were deployed and in the next phase were running to the trench lines in my centre and on my left.

The French capture the first German trench unopposed

The first German phase was also a 'triple six' three phases into the game and we were on Turn 3! The MG08 deployed in the Bois on the hill and started firing into the central Grenadier-Voltigeur section to great effect while a Light machine-gun Gruppe made it's way towards the central bunker under intense fire from the off-table machine-gun. Eventually six men made it into the redoubt beating the French to that position.

The Germans make the central redoubt just before the French but under intense fire
Unfortunately, the French captured the position on our right and were directing rifle fire up onto the MG/08 in the bois on the hill. More French support squads deployed, one on a hill to the rear and one in a small bois on our right. The concentrated fire from these was taking a toll on the Light machine-gun Gruppe in the bunker so the Leutnant rushed forwards to rally the troops, unfortunately, just in time to join the Gruppe as it broke and ran back through the beaten zone of the off-table machine gun. The Leutnant and Gefreiter fell dead along with the remainder of the section.

The German CO falls victim to the off-table machine-guns
Unable to make it into their prepared positions the Germans deployed on the hill to defend the objective and their concentrated fire eventually began to tell, although the French did re-site one of the off-table machine-guns to concentrate on the objective.

Scrivs and James W wonder if their tactics are right?
With both sides fast running out of Force Morale the Germans took a gambit, the trench line on our right was only held by the French Lieutenant,, Sergeant and two Voltigeur, Turning our, by now pinned, machine-gun on the trench we then launched an assault with one of our Rifle Gruppe killing all the remaining Frenchmen in the trench and breaking their Morale, a close run game, but victory to the Germans again.

The Germans clear out the last of the French

This was probably the closest game we have ran so far and  think if it had not been for the poor Force Support roll by the French it could have easily gone the other way.

More images from the game.