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Author Topic: Chain of Command 1940 AAR - A bloody nose for the Blitzkrieg  (Read 568 times)

Offline agentbalzac

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Chain of Command 1940 AAR - A bloody nose for the Blitzkrieg
« on: October 11, 2018, 07:49:42 AM »
News from the Front: France gives the Boche a bloody nose with Chain of Command in Belgium WW2.

My Perth Miniatures Gaming Group gaming chum Neil and I played the new Blitzkrieg mission from the spiffing new Blitzkrieg 1940 book: a French Active Infantry Peloton defending against a German 1st Wave Infantry Zug. The mission can be won by the attacker (in our case Germans) getting two units along the long axis and off the enemy table edge, while the defender (French) must try to accumulate two full Chain of Command dice to call up abstracted 'reinforcements'. The attacker can use a CoC dice to erase three pips off the defender's dice so it could in theory devolve into a dice off but fortunately our game didn't go that way.

2d6+6 support is available to the attacker, with half that for the defender. Neil ended up with 14 points and I therefore had 10 (7+3 force rating differential). My support went into a Renault R35, an adjutant, a minefield and the rest into the powerful 47mm AT gun (I decided it was time to get out my Neucraft resin piece for the first time, gambling the good odds that Neil would take armour.)

The German infantry was supported by a 7.5cm leIG18 infantry gun, a Pre-game Barrage (PGB), a short 75mm Panzer IVC, and a shabby Nazi trick (more on that later). There were not enough points left to try out the new Red Dice option.

The battlefield was a series of flat fields, with a picturesque Maison Bourgeoisie (Chateau) on the French right. A cobbled road bisected the board, down which the German thrust was coming. Germans pushed forward in the patrol phase, establishing a line of JOPs nearly halfway along the table. The French secured a JOP in the Chateau, and others in a broad front across their defensive line, one on their left overlooking a large field, a third a little back in the centre.

********

The Germans started by pushing a squad on their right, tactically moving off through a large open field. The French responded, despite the PGB, getting a section on overlooking the field, and laying down accurate small arms fire from their position behind a wall. This piled on shock and killed the squad JL. A series of exchanges followed, the Germans sending their 2iC SL forward to get the attack moving again, supported by a light mortar and later the 7.5cm leIG.18. The French were hampered by the barrage which slowed their response in feeding more troops forward, but the deployed section more than made up for this with terrifyingly accurate shooting (11 hits from 14 dice in one volley), which killed the SL and pinned the advancing German section.

With the CoC dice slowly building up, but nowhere near enough to summon reinforements, the French finally managed to get a second squad on table, in the upper levels of the Chateau, to establish a crossfire on the badly mauled Germans. The German response was to call up their armoured support to lay down fire into the Chateau, its HE fire smashing mirrors, splintering wood panelled walls and knocking down the section JL.

The French CiC was roused out from his appreciation of the Belgian landowner's champagne cellar, and deployed to the Chateau, but along with him was a mysterious Lieutenant of Cavalry, a Sous-Lt Cinquième Colonne, claiming to represent Corps HQ and offering a series of supposedly official but incoherent orders. The SL paused to consider these important sounding warnings.

Unaware of these goings-on, the French poilou upstairs continued to rain down fire on the Germans in the field, who were now down to a few men and hugging the dirt and clinging on to their coal-scuttle helmets.

At this stage a 47mm anti-tank gun was wheeled into position in the garden of the Chateau, with a good view through the trees and across the meadow at the Panzer IV. With practiced efficiency rarely seen among the French, a round was slammed into the breech, and fired, smashing into the Panzer with an almighty clang like the ringing of Notre-Dame bells, and causing it to pause. The tank crew appeared stunned at the effrontery of the enemy to stand in the way of the mighty Blitzkrieg.

Shortly thereafter the gunners sent another round flashing down range, this one striking the turret ring and causing the grey hull to erupt into a massive fireball, killing all on board.

While the gunners were cheering their success, a German squad deployed from a nearby Jump-off Point, emerging like grey ghosts through the dust kicked up by the muzzle, and surged forward in vengeance. Their potato masher grenades fell short or harmlessly away, but the troops plunged in to avenge the tank crew. They did not reckon with the hyped up French gunners, who hurled shell crates and shovels at the emerging feldgrau figures, killing two in exchange for one of their own, and sending them reeling back.

Back in the Chateau, the French leader's eyes narrowed, and with sudden suspicion, barked out the acclamation for the German leader. Before he could stop himself, the strange Lieutenant responded with the infamous salute, betraying his real loyalties. A nearby French corporal strode forward, grabbed this treacherous fellow by the lapels, and hurled him through the upper floor windows to his death.  The French lieutenant turned and ordered his men to concentrate on breaking up the advancing enemy.

In yet another hail of accurate fire, the final indignity followed when the German right flank platoon finally fell back screaming, leaping a wall and running through their own troops with ludicrous tales of mad giant Frenchmen wielding hand cannons. The German Oberleutnant grimaced and flipped through his radio book for the callsign of the nearest Luftwaffe liaison officer....

*******

Good game. Interesting to try some of the new rules. The Blitzkrieg mission is a bit of a mixed bag challenge - it will be quite hard for the defender to win by acquiring the to CoC dice to call in the reinforcements, but both sides will likely end up with a lot of support to throw in, so it might just end up with a Force Morale victory as in our game. (Germans collapsed from 11-1, French barely dropped from 10-9). As it happened, the German PGB prevented my deploying armoured support Renault R35 and delayed the arrival of the second squad, but fortunately I was blessed with some good shooting dice, and that close combat was a miraculous result for the French. I didn't need to use my VB team or third squad.

The fifth columnist is a pesky distraction, who can foil the activation of the Allied Senior Leader. Something tells me the Germans will recover from their bloody nose and continue to advance.

A great evening's entertainment.  We are going to have a lot of fun with these new rules.

Only a single photograph was captured:  this one, from the top of the Chateau as the French 47mm gun is brought into action...

« Last Edit: October 11, 2018, 01:48:54 PM by agentbalzac »

Offline Arlequín

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Re: Chain of Command 1940 AAR - A bloody nose for the Blitzkrieg
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 10:20:06 AM »
Thanks for sharing that, it does sound like an excellent game was had.  :)

Offline has.been

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Re: Chain of Command 1940 AAR - A bloody nose for the Blitzkrieg
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 01:14:19 PM »
Nice to see le French win for a change, despite a typically
shabby Nazi trick.

Offline Captain Darling

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Re: Chain of Command 1940 AAR - A bloody nose for the Blitzkrieg
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2018, 07:42:09 AM »
Great stuff, nice AAR. Good to see the Frenchies coming good!
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