1944 Eastern Front - Chain of Command

This last Saturday, a friend of mine showed up at the store with some time to kill. So I decided on a pick up game of Chain of Command.

Even though Tim had never played CoC, let alone any type of WW2 skirmish game and I had only played once several years ago, I was keen on throwing together a game. Mainly because I had recently reread the rules and had moderated over a half dozen games in the last couple of months as CoC is getting very popular at the store these days.

I pulled out my Russians (Tim) and Germans (John) and made up a simple force for both sides, both being Regular Rifle Platoons with a tank as support (Sherman 76mm for the Russians and Pz IV H for the Germans).

We rolled up our force morale (Germans 10 and Russians 9) and the scenario (Attack & Defend), then started the Patrol phase with the Germans attacking and making several free patrol moves (four in this case).

I essentially only had two usable deployment points, one located in the woods (center) and the other in a field (far left). My tank would arrive at the road.

Tim would have one in the ruined building, one in a field on his left and a final one at the board edge on his right (covered by the woods). Of course his tank would also arrive at the road as well.

For the Germans I had also brought a preliminary bombardment to start off the battle. I was hoping to deploy a squad or two in the woods and field, so as to get a jump on moving forward before the Russians could. As it happened, the Russians always have a heavy preliminary bombardment and between the two bombardments, neither one of us were able to successfully deploy any troops on the first turn!

Over the next few turns I was able to get a squad into the woods in the center and the tall crop field on my left. Tim was able to get a squad Russians upto the fence next to the ruined building, which pretty much covered the whole center area.

Once my squad moved to the edge of the woods, we began to exchange fire with the Russians behind the fence. And for pretty much for the rest of the battle, both squads exchange fire, though at one point tried to assault the Russian position and succeeded in only moving out into the open! After the M4 Sherman tank arrived, Tim brought on his senior leader to bolster this squad and this kept them in the fire fight. I also was able to bring my Pz IV tank on the phase after the Russian tank arrived. We both moved up the road, then both tanks stopped to exchange gunfire.

Well that was what we thought was going to happen, in fact I had the first shot, scored a hit, five hits got through and rolled a six for the effect ... blew the Sherman to smithereens! Not very enjoyable for either side, so I just told him to put a couple of points of shock on it and then moved the Pz IV towards a large field on my right.

On my left I had deployed a squad, that was able to move its rifle section to the edge of a small woods before any Russians were deployed in the area. I decided to leave the LMG team behind so as to provide covering fire. It was looking like I was going to easily get my riflemen into the woods before any Russians showed up... Then Tim rolled a double phase, a single phase for me, and another double phase for Tim. Needless to say Tim rushed a squad all the way into the edge of the woods and blasted my riflemen still located in the open. What was left of my rifle team (and the Panzerschreck team that unwisely showed up in the middle of this) fled back to the tall crop field!

I too deployed my senior leader into firefight going on in the center. He was able to stabilize the situation (and my hot dice). So we then turned to Tim's left flank, where he had finally deployed his last Russian squad to deal with my Pz IV ... of course we soon realized that infantry cannot attack tanks with regular grenades, they need to have a special AT "grenade", such as the satchel charge that I talked Tim out of taking! I was going to let him have one, but events elsewhere took up our attention.

I had finally looked up the stats of the Panzerschreck and found out it has a max range of 48"! So even though the team (single guy actually) had a point of shock, I moved him out in the open to take an obstructed pop shot at the Sherman 32" away ... and proceeded to roll an 11 which is what I needed to get a hit. I then rolled the impressive thirteen armour penetration dice, which turned into six hits to the front. Of course Tim rolled no saves for this tank and it once again was brewed up :)

We called the game at this point (it was getting late), the Russians had seen their morale drop to five while the German morale was at eight. So a minor German victory, though reading the rules again that night, I of course found several rule mistakes made, most of which advantaged the German side.

I really like CoC, enough so that I am thinking about painting up a new platoon for the game (perhaps British Para's). I'll still play Battlegroup as it lets you play with larger forces, but pretty sure wont be playing Bolt Action anymore.


  1. I feel the same about Bolt Action, just pales in comparison to CoC, its like BA is CoC less educated cousin or something. Thanks for the AAR.


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