We’ve been playing through the 29, Lets Go! campaign for Chain of Command casually since the beginning of the year. We weren’t interested in fighting back and forth through the scenarios and replaying until the Americans won, so we just played each scenario once and moved on. Dan and I wrapped it up with scenario 5 last night. We’ve learned a bunch of lessons over the course of the campaign. One of the first was that this game tends to take longer than 2 hours to play. I’ve had a number of people tell me that they get through the average game in just about 2 hours, our experience is that with two players each game should take about 3 hours to fight to a conclusion. At the 2.5 hour mark we’re usually able to tell how its going to go, but we wouldn’t actually reach the objectives for at least another half an hour. Considering our time restraints (it’s an hour drive for me to get to the store) we generally call it right around 10-10:15 so I can make it home by midnight.
The building on the far left is the objective, the Americans have to either reduce my force morale to 0 or take the building and end the turn to win. Our Patrol Phase wound up with us deploying our jump off points about 3/4 of the way up the board, one either side of the second house and hedges there. Dan’s tank would, of course, have to deploy down one of the roads.
Dan chose his mandatory Sherman, plus a .50 cal and a .30 machine gun and the extra BAR for each squad. The .50 cal would go on to be the American VIP I believe, the reduction in cover being a major factor and one of the things that makes it almost mandatory for us now.
I chose a PAK38, an MG42, an adjutant and two pieces of barbed wire. With the Americans having TWO senior leaders and the Germans only having one I felt I needed to get mine on the board early. Rolling multiple 4’s would be an ongoing theme for BOTH sides during this game. I unfortunately left the barbed wire stands at home, so had to make do with a roadblock on the upper road. I think the barbed wire would have been a lot better, letting me deny the spot that the Americans used to great effect.
The game started off with a good American deployment at the house. .50 cal, one full squad and the platoon Sargent, I answered with two squads, one in the upper right of this photo and another just to the left with a clear line of sight down the wall in front of the house. I also deployed the MG42 in the second floor of the house. I fired on the .50 cal to no effect.
Dan opens up with his .50 cal dealing 4 kills to a German squad, it’s cover reduced to nothing do to the heavy weapon. My Germans respond with a double activation, deploying the Pak38 on the only road the Sherman can come down and firing on Dan’s mortar, doing only a single shock.
Dan responds with a double activation of his own, Firing the .50 cal on the same German squad up in the corner, causing them to break as the casualties and shock stack up. They will never recover from this and spend the rest of the game cowering behind several hedges.
Dan uses the Marching Fire ability to hop a wall and put some fire down on the squad I had deployed across from the house. The only thing that saved me was having gone tactical at the end of my last activation in fear of the .50 cal. Dan followed this up on his second activation with 2 kills and 3 shock! His mortar landed a round on the Pak38, adding one shock and a kill. I continued this throughout the game, using my senior leader on this squad to remove shock and have them go tactical, the only thing that saved them.
I used my activation to shoot on Dan’s advancing squad with both of my squads and throw some hand grenades to minimal effect, 1 kill and 1 shock.
Dan decided to bring on his Sherman at this point, unfortunately I didn’t have a full CoC die to fire on it with the Pak38! His main gun causes only shock on the anti-tank gun.
Thankfully I rolled another double activation! Firing with my squads and then following up with a Handgranaten attack I almost wipe out Dan’s squad at the stone wall, they break and Dan simply removes the 2 survivors from the table. I fall back behind the hedge I came from and go tactical again. There’s not much left of this squad but they would survive right up until the end of the game, falling back far enough that the senior leader could start commanding the MG42 to fire.
My Pak38 saw it’s short useless life ended as the Sherman hits it again, causing two kills and breaking the unit. The two survivors run for their lives with five shock on two men. (use I’m using a 105 howitzer as the PAK38)
I roll four 4’s, only activating my MG42 to fire at the .50 cal. Dan one ups me by rolling five 5’s and quickly ending his phase.
The MG42 FINALLY kills the .50 cal in the next turn, it had been hiding behind a stone wall for so long!
At this point Dan has not managed to cross the road. His men are concentrated around this house, with one squad inside, one advancing to take the position I had assaulted at then retreated from. That’s a .30 cal team behind the house taking shots at my squad after routing the Pak38 team. Outside of this photo is a mortar team and a Sherman right down the road on the left. It’s not looking good for the Germans, but the Americans haven’t taken the house yet. I’m down to one squad that you can barely see on the left of the photo above, one MG42 in the house and the remnants of a squad in front of my house. If I could hold them here I can win at this point.
Dan advances his Sherman down the road, FINALY having a full Chain of Command die I ambush with my Panzerschreck team. A long range shot immobilizes the tank and adds two pins! Dan pours fire into my last full squad for a second round as causes them to break, abandoning their position. I begin to run my leader over to try and remove the shock.
As I activate next to follow up Dan does the same to me, killing the Panzerschreck team before it gets off it’s shot. And of course I fail to get a photo of the tank at any point in the game! It’s a Sherman, you’ve seen tons of them.
At this point we call the game. It’s after 10 and I have one squad reduced to an LMG team, one squad breaking, whats left of the first squad I deployed never going to recover from it’s broken status and an MG42. Dan has a full chain of command die and I have a force morale of 5. Dan can easily use his CoC die to end the turn and remove the two broken squads. He has an immobilized tank that has a line of sight to the objective building with the MG42 in it and two full squads along with two senior leaders on this board. We forgo the 30 minutes of Americans mopping up at their leisure and call it an American win.
This is our fifth game of the year so far. We’ve both started using our nations abilities to good effect. Dan was using Marching Fire to pin down one squad while hoping between stone walls, I used Hangranaten to effectively wipe out a squad that was causing me problems. Dan’s gets his money’s worth out of the .50 cal, reducing my cover along with the mortar he took for the same reason. I’ve been using my leaders to have squads go tactical, and now I need to start using covering fire and overwatch more often. I think the Germans are hampered from not being able to take another squad in this campaign. They can take a squad of green conscripts once in the whole campaign, and I’m not convinced it would be worth it. I would have loved to have a fourth infantry squad, it would have allowed me to be much more flexible in my coverage of the approach to the house. All in all it was a great game.