Monday 30 September 2013

Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command

There have been quite a few posts on various forums asking if the Skirmish Campaigns series are suitable for use with the Chain of Command rules by toofatlardies ( from now on referred to as CoC ).

In my opinion they are just about perfect, so I am going to post an AAR or two, or three, of games played.

This first one is taken from the Normandy 44-Red Devils of the Orne book.

Mesnil First Contact is the first scenario of a three game mini campaign. All three scenarios use the same board, so maximum playability there. For those unfamiliar with the Skirmish Campaign series each force starts with a base force and dices for additional attachments. The dice can be adjusted using credits gained from the outcome of the previous game ( first game no adjustments ).

The date and time: 8th June 44, 0545 hours.

The German orders are to observe the British positions from at least two observation points ( these observation positions are marked on the map ).
The British orders are to prevent the German victory whilst losing less than eight KIA or WIA.

This first game is quite small for CoC, the Germans begin with a Lt. & Sgt. plus one section and two recon teams one of which is motorised with a Hortch Car. The recon teams are not the two man teams as in the basic CoC rule book but are in fact half sections. On dicing for the variable attachments we did not get any additional forces but Iron Cross Leadership, this I interpreted as ignore the first wound or kill on the Lt. or Sgt.

The German force less the Hortch Car.

The base force of British consisted of the Platoon HQ
Maj. Dyer plus Sgt.
2 inch mortar with two crew and Piat team with two crew.
plus one Section.
After dicing for the variable attachment we added a reenforced LMG team consisting of Bren gunner and assistant plus two riflemen and an SMG.
The Paras are not classed as elite in this scenario ( this is a possible upgrade in the various attachments )
But I did give them the elite bonus on the morale set up and they are aggressive in combat.

Para Force
Team leaders became ordinary men and I put in a junior leader for each full section. Senior leaders are already specified in the force lists.

The Battlefield.
Bottom left dense wood, Centre walled house, up from there we have a light orchard on the left and field on the right, up again to the farmhouse and barn and field above that. Hedges are all bocage type.
The field on the right is a hill, it doesn't show up well in the photo. Fields are of med height and provide cover for infantry but not vehicles.
For the patrol phase of CoC I started the Germans at the top table edge and the British at the walled house.

The Germans got the 1st phase and deployed a recon team and Sgt. into the field, they were to make for the farmhouse.
The British deployed the Sgt. plus LMG team forward just short of the barn ( one of the German observation positions ).
Phase  three was interesting, the Germans roll a two 6s a 4 a 1 and a 3. With the next initiative theirs they decide on a gamble. Rushing the motorised recon team down the road.
Not a great roll, with the Hortch moving only 18 inches. Phase four however is with the Germans still. Another double 6 is rolled the Germans have taken the Paras completely off guard. The driver floors the accelerator screaming past the the British Sgt.

This is a disaster for the Paras, the audacious Germans have secured the walled house, neutralised a jump off point and at the top of the table occupied the farm house.
The Paras are now on the back foot, having to switch from being the defender to the attacker to regain lost positions is going to be difficult with such a small force. The British are mindful that the outcome of this engagement will impact on the next two.
The Germans move a section upto the farmhouse wall. The bren gun in the barn fires into the section killing two Germans and inflicting one shock. Unluckily for the Germans the junior leader takes one of the bullets and is killed outright.
 The Lt. takes charge and moves the section up the road using the cover of the bocage hedge.
 Cpl Jenkins of the Paras sees an opportunity to catch Jerry in the rear ( double 6s rolled, giving the the Brits this phase and the next ). Galvanising his section into action they leave the cover of the orchard ready to open fire into the rear of the Germans in the next phase.
In the rush forward only half the section is in a position to fire and the Bosch avoid too many casualties.
 After  one or two phases the Germans get the local initiative. First the Jerry section pours fire into the wooden barn killing two and inflicting two shock,  the German Sgt. sees his chance yelling HANDGRENATTEN !! he leads his recon team in a charge on the barn.
The Para Sgt. is concussed in the blast ( he cant be activated for the rest of the turn ). Its too much for the small force in the barn and the retreat before the Germans dragging their Sgt with them.
The German recon team in the walled house used a chain of command dice to end a turn and  finally captured the British jump off point.

Shortly after this the game ended. The Germans had achieved their victory conditions, the British knowing there were two more games in the campaign would not risk their precious forces on risky attacks.
Total British losses 3 Dead  and one Sgt wounded.
Total German losses 4 Dead and one junior leader dead.
As I said this was a small game and a precursor to two more engagements as such each side was careful to conserve their small force whilst trying to achieve their objectives.

I didn't count the phases but a total of three turns were played in about an hour and a half. I have not done a phase by phase account but rather tried to give a flavour of the game and took pictures of the significant or potentially significant events ( pictures taken with the new IPhone 5S instead of my camera ).

What next? Well the Germans with a major victory have four credits with which to adjust the die roll for variable attachments in the coming game KAMPFGRUPPE HARTMAN. Any unused credits can be held for the game after that.