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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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La Pâturage Vert, Saint-Lô, 1944

The Second World War, Chain of Command, 28mm

I asked Sean what he fancied playing this week, and he opted for a World War 2 game using Chain of Command. So, that’s what we did. He’d be running late, so we started without him, with Nick opting to be the Americans, in Sean’s stead. This was a standard encounter game (Scenario 1 in the rulebook), but we beefed it up a it by having a dozen support points a side. The Americans actually had 15, as my panzergrenadiers were well tooled up already. It began with the Patrol Phase, with both Nick and I edging forward, from our starting points at opposite ends of the long table edges. By the end of it, my Germans held the red-roofed farm buildings, Nick held the larger grey-roofed farm, and the front line ran along the tarmacked Saint-Lô road, which crossed the middle of the table. We had three ‘Jump off Points’ each, and began the game by bringing most of our force onto the table. We both blew our support points on a tank, an observer attached to a mortar battery and some other bits and pieces. then we got on with it, probing the enemy, moving troops up, and getting out machine guns into play. Sean arrived to join Nick at this point, while Aly helped me out. The Germans got off to a good start, spraying hedges with LMG fire in two places, causing a couple of casualties and forcing the Americans to pull back into better cover. That’s when the Americans brought on their Sherman, which began a cautious advance down a spur road. I countered by bringing on my PzIVH, and the duel began. Meanwhile, both of us were busily calling for a mortar barrage, but it was the Americans who got it in first, by missing out ranging shots, then getting lucky with where the barrage landed. this was a real doozy – landing on my panzergrenadiers lining the main road, on the German side of the table.those four little explosions above mark the four corners of the beaten zone where the shells landed. I was lucky though – I only took one dead and few shock markers, and my own barrage on the Americans in a small orchard – where their observer was too by the way, also managed to range in. Still, their barrage had pinned my troops, and it wasn’t good. So, I played a ‘CoC die’, and ended the turn – and with it both barrages. Better play safe…Meanwhile, back on the other side of the table the Germans didn’t really have anyone to shoot at. So, both sides bided their time, waiting for the enemy to show themselves. A wall and then an overgrown hedge kept the two sides apart form each other. I should have moved forward, but I needed my CoC activation points elsewhere on the table. Nick and Sean were smarted though, they peeled off a BAR team to reinforce their friends in the farmhouse.Both of us were trying to re-call our mortar support, but so far only the Germans made it, and zeroed it in on the Americans on the orchard at the side of the farmhouse. I’d seen their mortar observer team lurking there. Like an idiot I had one of my LMG teams spray the farmhouse. I didn’t hit anything, but a barrage of return fire and that reinforcing BAR team  killed two of the German LMG team, forcing the rest back,including my slightly dazed squad leader. That was when the American mortar barrage returned – hitting the same spot. The fire from the farmhouse actually saved the survivors, as they’d fled back towards the red-roofed farm buildings. Still, the American barrage didn’t really achieve much, and neither did mine, but we both planned to keep the shells coming for as long as we could. However, by then things had hotted up on the far side , as the two tanks had got into action. The Sherman started by firing its gun and top-mounted machine gun at some of my infantry facing the main road. I pulled back, but by then my PzIV had moved up, and fired off a shot – which missed. The Sherman fired back and scored a glancing blow on the German tank. The duel really heated up then, with both sides firing, but without achieving any telling hits. That though, was when I moved up my panzershreck team, which stalked – and fired. The result was a resounding hit – eight hits, no saves, and the Sherman was toast. \My own Panzer though, had suffered engine damage, and was only able to move by revving its engine, and using lots of movement dice to chug forward. Clearly it wasn’t going to achieve very much. That’s where we all decided to stoop the game. it was a stalemate, and for the Germans to use their tank would take more time than we had left. In terms of Force Morale, the Germans were at 10, and the Americans were at 5 – neither bad enough to force either side to concede. So, we deemed it an honourable draw, although the Germans had performed slightly better – largely thanks to the panzerschrek team. We hadn’t played Chain of Command for some time, but while we had to remind ourselves how things worked a few times, we all had great fun getting there. Next time we’ll remember better!


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