Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Battle Report - 30-Jun-2014 - Chain of Command

View from the British end
As I've commented a couple of times in the past, the problem with playing different sets of TFL rules that are in some cases only subtly different is that bits of the rules specific to one set have an alarming tendency to drop out of one's head with disuse. Either that or I'm getting.. um... what's the word.... in my old age.

So, yesterday's game of Chain of Command did require quite a bit of flicking through the rulebook :D I was umpiring, Carl taking a platoon of British against AndyM with a couple of sections of Germans defending a small Normandy hamlet. After the patrol phase, Andy had two jump-off points in the village, and a third out wide on the left in a small wood. Carl had two centrally in a larger wood, and the third out wide on the same flank.

And then the madness started :D

Carl rolled command dice. 1, 3, 5, 6, 6. One pip on the CoC dice, a couple of activations and his phases again...

He rolled 1, 3, 5, 6, 6.

He then proceeded to roll ANOTHER THREE sets of dice with two sixes in, for a total of six consecutive phases (and enough 5s that he has a Chain of Command dice).

For those who weren't paying attention a while ago, the odds on rolling exactly two 6s on five dice is 16.1%. The odds on doing that five times in a row is that to the power 5, which works out as 0.011%, or one chance in a bit over nine thousand.

By then, Carl had a Bren team not quite on Andy's jump point, but close enough to deny him it, and a rifle team within 4" of one of the other two (also denying him the use of it), just outside the right hand building in the village, six rounds of mortar smoke covering his potential advance up the centre, and Andy hadn't deployed a thing. Fine initiative from the British.

Andy finally got to roll some dice. 1, 3, 6, 6, 6.

Pause for slightly hysterical laughter. These are my dice, a set from a Battlefront Open Fire box I reserve for command dice rolls in CoC when I'm umpiring so players don't confuse them with their own. My dice are legendarily bad.

Andy deployed a section in the village square, moved them so they could see the British outside the building....

...and Carl, perhaps wisely, used his Chain of Command dice to have them duck inside.

No problem. Some desultory fire rattled off the woodwork. The turn ends, as Andy rolled three sixes, so all the mortar smoke dissipated. Andy's roll.

Three MORE sixes, a four and a one.

After the laughter had died down again (just over one chance in a thousand, before you ask!) Andy brought his second MG34 team on with the one, to cover the village and the Bren team out on the flank. With the four, he deployed his senior Big Man, ordered two grenades thrown into the building and then ordered the section to close assault.

The British lost, got badly shocked, the rather paltry remnants fled, and the Germans followed up into the building to get out of the Bren's line of fire.

Which was probably about where we might have been after about this number of phases. Just, perhaps, not in that order!

From there on, things proceeded a little more sanely, thank heavens. The Bren on the right flank got taken out by the MG34 before it could actually capture the German jump-off point, and the British mortar likewise, eventually, by some naggingly accurate rifle fire. There was a firefight on the hedge line on the right flank, till the German section decided discretion was the better part of valour and pulled back into the village from whence it had come. The British gave chase, and the final action was a very bloody close fight in the square, which the Germans won, despite being down to four men, mostly due to having an MG34 and being on the defensive.

Another great game. Man, my dice are weird.

1 comment:

  1. Firstly - thank you for a very enjoyable game.


    Yet again I find myself getting caught out by the fine detail of a rule set - and it is this area that leaves open what I would call gamey-ness.

    So in this case - line of sight, I am used to other rule sets - where models in the same unit do not cause a line of sight issue - so I was not careful enough in placing individual models - and found on a couple of occasions that firing was more limited than I had expected, this was especially true with the Bren team, having to do a shuffle - because as I placed them in the wood I placed the support rifleman in the way!!!

    Now there are games where this problem is far worse - and explains why I prefer TFL games, I must just remember when I play not to repeat mistakes!!!

    That and perhaps re-reading a rule set before I play a game.

    There is the issue that I like to play a variety of games - and as Mike says age does take its toll on the memory.

    Now with TFL - and CoC, what I really need to remember is the principles behind the rules and play at that level - at least they tend to be consistent - these are team based rules not skirmish rules, or section rules.

    Though I still think the LoS rules break that principle.

    Other rule sets are far worse!

    And in all honesty on Monday there were times I played like a complete muppet, my only justification is that I do like to try things - to see how the rules work in practice, rather than just on paper.


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