Wednesday 19 June 2013

Following on from yesterday

While Monday's game of Chain of Command was great fun, I'm still a little frustrated on two counts.

One is easily fixed - next week, we're having another game, and I'm reasonably happy that the folks who play regularly can manage without me solely umpiring, so I'll finally get to play a game!

The other really demonstrates why I like Chain of Command, paradoxically. If you apply proper period tactics, i.e. fire and movement, then you will do well. If you follow man's natural tendency, which is to take cover and blaze away at the enemy till one of you is driven away or killed, then the rules portray this pretty well, too! So far, our battles have been a bit 'line up and blaze away', sadly. To quote Rich Clarke:
"Becoming pinned down is not something your enemy does to you, it is something you allow to happen. You take fire, you respond with fire, you fail to move because you are "too busy" firing. This is not an enforced morale effect, this is you convincing yourself you should just keep firing."
So, for the keen/wannabe Chain of Command player, I present a couple of handy links:

The 1944 British army Infantry Training manual.

Particularly worth a good read and absorb from about page 53 (in the original page numbering) onwards, as it starts to cover the use of a section as two fire teams to take on an objective, and goes on from there.
Then we have the US equivalent - FM 7-5. Part two, chapter one, section III is probably a good place to start!

There's a whole bunch of US manuals here, too.

My German isn't up to finding the Wehrmacht equivalent, but if you want a combined look at all three armies' approaches, I recommended a book a few months ago - Stephen Bull's "Second World War Infantry Tactics", which includes facsimile pages from several training manuals, and is well worth a read. If you're feeling poor, it's possible someone may have scanned the Osprey he wrote on line, but I'm not providing a link to that!

To quote several folks on the TFL group (predominantly Rich) -  Chain of Command is a wargame, not a game. It is designed to reward period tactics, so get out there and learn them!


  1. Great points. I am a lousy table top tactician but I do enjoy reading through the manuals. Thank you for posting the links. Any ideas on where to find Italian manuals?

  2. Thanks for these materials Mike. Excellent findings


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