Laur and I then headed off to Bali for a week long honeymoon. We stayed out of the busy Kuta area, in a villa with a private walled garden and plunge pool. It's an amazing place once you get out of the tourist trap, and we both had a really relaxing time. Even managed to get a bit of a tan!
So, now I know I said last post that I'd be posting more BTH2 planes, and they are photographed and just waiting for me to post them up. However, in the intervening weeks i've had the opportunity to get involved in the play-testing of the up and coming Too Fat Lardies ruleset, Chain of Command.
Chain of Command is a platoon 'plus' level rule-set for WWII. As always with the Lardies, the rules include some great innovations, and focus on the role of leaders on the battlefield.
Rich Clarke has placed some excellent taster videos over on the lard island blog, which explain the main rule mechanics and include a play-through. I do urge you to check them out, along with Neil Shuck's recent Meeples and Miniatures podcast on the rules.
|The bridge and Nez Corchu|
Without further ado...
Seize the Bridge at Nez Corchu, mid June 1944.
|British entry point|
The British patrol markers entered from a single point down the main road to the bridge. Being the attackers, they got a number of free moves. Then the Germans began to move out. Eventually the markers were all locked down in the vicinity of the small village straddling the road to the bridge. The patrol markers were removed, and three jump-off points placed for each side. The Jump off markers are placed in cover back from the patrol markers. Think of it as the patrol markers representing the furthest point of advance, and the jump-offs as 'safe' points on the battlefield from which the force commander can feed uncommitted sections or fire-teams into the battle.
|German and British patrols lock down|
|Jump-off points placed, and ready for action|
So, with deployment sorted, the game proper began. Chain of Command plays as a series of phases, each making up a turn. Each phase represents 10sec or so of action. At the beginning of each phase, the active player rolls a number of command dice which allow them to activate sections, fire-teams, leaders or support teams. Turns are more considerable periods of time, and represent the ebb and flow of battle. Additionally, any 5s rolled accumulate on the 'Chain of Command' dice (more on that later), and 6s can affect the turn sequence, granting the player multiple active phases.
|Cpl Robson's section set off towards Nez Corchu|
|British attack develops|
|Achilles II moves up. Slowly.|
The British plan was to send Robson's section down the main road into the village, clearing the way for the churchill. Duncan's section would advance through the bocage on the right, hopefully outflanking any defence of the village. Finally, Corporal Bill MacLaggan's section would go wide on the left, trying to bypass the village entirely and reach the bridge, cutting off the German
|Movement in the Boulangerie|
|Robson's section takes cover, as the 2" mortar moves up|
Literally the next German command dice was three 6s, which ended the turn immediately clearing the smoke just laid.
|End of Turn 1. The British attack develops, and meets resistance.|
|Robson heads for the house|
|Churchill moves up.|
Just as McLaggan and his section emerged from the hedgerow, the Germans deployed their last uncommited rifle gruppe, under Gefreiter Willi Reiniger. Reiniger's gruppe opened up immediately, killing one man and lightly wounding McLaggan, but only inflicting one shock.
|McLaggen's section emerges...|
|...Into the waiting muzzles of Reiniger's gruppe|
|Duncan's men attack with grenades|
Meanwhile, on the right, Baer's gruppe moved up to the hedgeline and went tactical, just as Duncan's section reached the other side. I was unsure of how to treat this encounter (Rich has since clarified that these troops should count as in close combat - which makes sense). In any case, both Duncan's and Baer's sections avoided firing through the hedgerow and resorted to throwing grenades. This saw Baer's troops coming off much worse, taking several casualties and a few points of shock.
|McLaggan's men turn the tables on their ambushers|
|Holzmann's MG42 team switches targets|
On the right, Duncan abandoned the grenade-throwing and led his rifle team through a gap in the hedgerow and into hand to hand with the remnants of Baer's men. In the brutal hand to hand, both sides took casualties and shock, but when the dust cleared it was the outnumbered Germans who held the hedgerow. Duncan and the survivors fled back through the gap, past the uncommitted Bren team and ran straight into Sgt Campbell, who berated Duncan and led the men back back towards the hedgerow.
|Hand-to-hand in the hedgerows|
|Baer's men hold the line|
|McLaggan's Bren team heads for the bridge|
Despite the British taking heavy casualties around the bakery and in the hedgerow fight, the game was almost up for the Germans. Their force morale had taken a hammering, and now the mighty Achilles II finally clanked its way into the battle. As the turret rotated to engage the tripod MG42, the Germans scurried back into cover. Baer ordered two of his men to take a panzerfaust and to stalk the iron beast, while he led the remainder of his section back to the new defensive line. The Panzerfaust hit but failed to penetrate, and the coaxial besa MG made short work of the two landser.
|Better late than never.|
McLaggan's men engaged Reinegger's small group, while the Cpl and his small team made for the bridge.
|Achilles II heads for the bridge|
I can't wait to have another crack at the rules, and as soon as i've finished the batch of commission stuff on my table, I'll be adding to my German forces, and then starting on some British paratroopers.