Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Battle Report - 15-Apr-2013 - Chain of Command

I ran a game of the Lardies' Chain of Command (the playtest rules) down the club last Monday - having finally got the pictures off the camera, I can now write a brief report of what went on.

The Germans deployed from the farmyard and mostly up
the left side of the road, the British up the right (you can
just make out their rather cramped jump-off points in
the right hand wood).
Rich from the Lardies had just posted a new set of the playtest rules, with some campaign ideas, and I toyed for a while with that, before deciding to go with a slightly smaller scale encounter inspired by the attack on Vertfeuilles Farm from Ken Macksey's "Battle!" (if you haven't figured out by now this is one of my favourite WW2 books, where have you been?). Gary took a platoon of German infantry and an extra tripod MG42, and Mark a Firefly. I failed to bring the printout of the rules, so had to burn credit with the wife (once it became apparent that an iPhone isn't good enough as a reference source) to get her to drop them in down the club.

Firefly commander's view of the German's advance patrol.
There's a Panzerschrek in there, too.
It was an interesting game - we're all still learning, and it would be nice to have more time, or alternatively less time between games, so we can get a bit more done. Mark chose to deploy with 3 rather than 4 patrol markers - it's an interesting choice, as while it means you can move them faster, you have to keep them closer together, so you don't get as wide a choice of deployments. With hindsight, given the Firefly was constrained to deploy at the end of the road, I'd have gone for either 4 markers or a much more aggressive patrol up the road rather than up the other flank.

The British drop smoke (I forgot the cotton wool as well!)
to cover their advance. The German section behind the
hedge is about to cop it big time.
I think the ultimate problem was that the Firefly was too far away from the rest of the British, and took forever to work its way around the right flank. The British managed to work their way up that flank, and move a jump-off point, but were a little constrained by the MG42 in the farmhouse's upper storey. They did, though, put some smoke to good use.

Rather disappointingly, from a result point of view, we had to call the game before the Firefly managed to come join the fun. We're still disagreeing over whether the forces were balanced enough: I still think the British could have taken the farm with the Firefly to help.

That aside? Great fun game - the system really does work, and I'm eager to run more as soon as I get a chance.

Oh, and for those wondering what the chain of command really is, here's a reminder from my favourite TV show.


  1. The system is great indeed. I've played 3 games already and the options are endless even with the same scenario

  2. Can't wait for these rules!!!

    Mike -- Would you know if Macksey's "Battle" and "Anatomy of a Battle" are the same book?



    1. I believe that both those and "Battle: Normandy 1944 - Life and Death in the Heat of Combat " are all the same book in different editions. :)

    2. Sorry for the necromancy - but I just wanted to say thank you for putting this comment as "Battle" over here in the States is going for $75 (used!) while "Battle: Normandy 1944" I found for $3. :-) Can't wait to read it and my copy of Chain of Command is on its way now!

  3. Thanks. They looked to be the same, but I couldn't find any reference online that would corroborate this.


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