Due to the various demands of the Holiday season, and a housing emergency, Dave Wilson and I found ourselves as the only members of the Williamsburg Legati meeting a couple of weeks ago. We took the opportunity to play a game of Chain of Command.
I set up a table imagining that the battle was somewhere around the area of British Paratrooper activity at Normandy. Mostly because I am preparing to run the Von Luck Pint Sized Campaign by Too Fat Lardies. We rolled randomly for scenario and got Scenario Number Five: the Flank Attack.
Dave was attacking with the Paratroopers and I was holding the farm at the upper right corner. This scenario give the attacker the ability to bring his patrol markers from two different sides at the same time. Very disconcerting if you are the defender. I tried to do too much with mine, trying to defend both fronts and soon found that I could hardly maneuver them. I have often said that Chain of Command can be won or lost in the patrol pase. In this game I lost that very way. In fact Dave could have wrapped around me even, so badly had I played my patrols, but he elected that in light have having an enjoyable game he would not. Thanks Dave.
Dave’s Paras started advancing on the farmhouse just down the road from mine and was first to notice that the layout of the buildings left most of their windows facing away form the action. Only the house in the middle of the board really had a useful vantage point, and it was right alongside of one of Dave’s jump off markers. The Section shown above made little progress up the table.
The Germans had the same problem however so most of my deployments were into the cover of the hedges. My jump off markers were also all cramped together, all three being in the area of this one photo! Also visible in this shot just under the tree is my poorly chosen support option. The PAK 38 is aimed at the only useful house on the board, which was the center of much of the Para Activity. I chose the PAK 38 because I like the model and don’t usually even remember to bring it, but in this case I knew I wasn’t going to be opposed by any armor. If I knew the German equipment better I would have brought the ie IG 38 infantry gun. This model doesn’t get used much either, costs less support points and would have been far more useful in taking out troops concealed in stone houses.
Surprisingly, I took few pics of the British forces. Dave started to bring forces on to my right, trying to flank me so I ordered a section to secure the stone barn across the street from my position. This was a good idea, but I did it too late. Further more, when they started to receive fire from the enemy I pulled them back. This was a fatal error. I did have to go into the open to get around to the entrance of the barn, and do so under fire. I don’t doubt that I would have received some fire, but had I laid down covering fire with the MG42 and taken the risk I suspect I would have survived most of it. Instead I got shot down in the street. Punished for my indecision and lack of aggressiveness.
Meanwhile my first section and ATG were taking so0me serious cross fire, and doing very little damage in return. I eventually had to pull the ATG back while the crew recovered their bottle.
Part of why I had to withdraw the PAK 38 were the two snipers the Para had deployed. We haven’t used snipers much, due to some disappointment with them early on, but the PARA platoon fields two normally. In this occasion they were very useful.
In the end we had to call the game because it had got quite late. My force was still in pretty good shape but I had squandered so many opportunities early on and by not being more aggressive when I should have I allowed myself to get boxed into my corner. I hope I have learned my lesson.
Until next time, cheers,