Sunday, 1 January 2017

Platoon Patrol

I played a game of Chain of Command. This was my fist stab at the rules and I found them quite enjoyable. I had to do some homework on fire and maneuver tactics for WW2 infantry platoons. TooFatLardies provide a nice tutorial here: 

This is a series of 6 or 7 blog posts discussing tactics and how to use them in you Coc game. Fun and inspiational reading. 

I recently rebased some of my 15mm Flames of War stuff to allow playing CoC and Bolt Action in 15mm.



The scenario I played was called Patrol. To start the game there is a pre game sequence called the patrol phase in which counters are moved on the table to determine where the two sides have made contact. These counters are then converted into Jump Off Points (JOPs). JOPs are then used to deploy your troops. 

In the photo below, a German LMG section is in a building facing a full Soviet squad behind a rock wall. The Germans were getting the worst of it so they threw a smoke grenade to cover their withdrawal. I had several model train buildings that have served me well in 15mm for years. I had to pop the lids off to allow for troop occupation of buildings.

On your turn you roll 5 dice. On 1-4 you can activate a team, squad or leader depending on the roll. 5s are accumulated until you get 6. You can cash these in for a variety of tactical advantages. In my game I mostly used them to avoid morale checks. 

You start the game with no figures on the table and deploy them within 6" of your JOP as needed. The Soviets deployed early and gave up some flexibility for the advantage in firepower. The Germans were able to keep a squad in reserve and this gave the advantage of denying the Soviets a target and forcing them to be prepared for a sudden arrival of reinforcements. The rules are highly tactical with the option to break your units into fire teams and scout teams. Leaders are valuable as they allow units to do special actions like rally, throw grenades, go on overwatch or provide covering fire. There is lots of choices on what  unit can do but turns go quickly because one can only activate units that get rolled. Also, while rolling dice for your turn, if you get 2 or more 6s you get to have another turn. In my game both sides had the opportunity to go 2 or 3 times in a row several times.

This photo shows an overview of the table. The Germans started in the woods on the right and the Soviets in the far town and woods on the left.

Now I want to get some books that give soldiers acounts of these small actions for scenario ideas.

The demand for figures is small for this game. In my game both sides started with 3x10 man squads and an HQ section. Platoon support can be added to this. The level of support is randomized with a die roll at the start of the game. You pick your support from a menu. In my game the Germans took an Adjutant (bonus to deployment). The Soviets got a sniper and a light mortar.

I like that the focus is on infantry and that there is limited opportunity for big tanks. I think that historically, tanks were rarely assigned piecemeal to infantry platoons. This gives value to lower powered vehicles like hanomags, light tanks and recce vehicles. All of which I am looking to add to my collections!

This photo shows a German Squad led by the platoon commander in the back. They provided fire support while another section advanced to flank the Soviet position.

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