This Chain of Command game was set up for a 28mm battle in the Ardennes for four to five players, two German and three US, with Colin and Jack commanding the Germans, Steve M and Charlie the US...
The first US player would take the ad hoc troops thrown together to defend the bridge, with an HQ, aid post and supply point, infantry section, mg section, a 57mm AT gun, and a 105mm gun, these had limited ammo 1 x D6 rounds, and with an AT section thrown into the battle at the last minute, together with a minefield and other defences. The second US player coming on the board turn one would have an armoured infantry platoon slightly depleted, with the choice of entering the board in their half-tracks on foot or on the back of the third platoon tanks. The third US player had a US tank Platoon of five Sherman's, which would only enter the board and the game on the use of a CoC dice...
The German players had a platoon of infantry with a Panzer III, a Marder III, and a StugIII, the other
German platoon was a mixed platoon of infantry, engineers and assault troops with lots of smg's etc.,
and they had a Panther, they also had the use of the German Commando unit who had infiltrated
behind enemy lines, yes you guessed, disguised as an AT Section, to use this the German player had
to collect and use three CoC dice, however he could pinch his colleagues dice as he saw fit to meet
this target, the other thing was, the player did not know what he was going to get until he disclosed
the use of the dice!!
As the mist cleared and the light started to seep through the grey clouds the Grenadiers
accompanying the panzers crept forward to surprise the Amis who were snoozing in their beds. They
had heard that a high ranking officer had been caught at the front line HQ he had been inspecting
when our attacks had begun, our job now was to break the line and capture the forward command
The Germans carefully advanced their infantry forward whilst the US troops were deployed in a
perimeter around the cross roads covering the bridge and ford crossing of the river in front of them.
All seemed peaceful until they saw the German infantry creeping through the woods in front of them,
the 57mm swung before them and the infantry were put on overwatch and as the infantry came into
the clearing they opened fire, at that point they could hear the rumble of tank engines as well, now
they were in trouble...
As a Panther came down the road, coming through the small wood to the front, the AT crew took
aim and fired a well aimed shot managing to get five of seven hits on a side angle hit on the panther Colin picked up his eleven defence dice confident that a save would be made, and to his dismay he rolled one save, with that the Panther went Kaboom!!
Tanks and troops were appearing in all directions as the German player had to roll to see where his
troops would enter, with a roll of 1 to 5 seeing them appear on the top edge of the board, and a 6 they rolled again. thus a further 1 to 5 would bring them on down the side of the board and a 6 would cause them to randomly roll to see where they would arrive.
Jack ended up bringing on his Panzer III opposite the other ford, and his senior leader arrived in the rear area of the US town by rolling a 6, 6 and a 4!! taking cover and digging a nice hole for himself, later joined by his panzerschreck team...
There was lots of small arms flying back and forth, with the Germans getting the better of it,
managing to cross at the ford under heavy small arms fire and HE from the 105mm, but this went
quiet after a couple of rounds, unbeknownst to them the gun had run out of ammo, they then stormed
the 57mm position with handgranaten, and then started firing on the squad defending the bridge and
others in the town.
It was then that a jeep with a 30.cal started firing at them and they returned fire, during this the
US armoured platoon tried doubling down the muddy roads and across the snow fields, however they
were hampered by the deep snow, (anyone not on roads suffers -1 to each dice roll), with slow going in places... also the US had managed to get their tanks rolling in... trouble was brewing...
Meantime the fire continued on the outskirts of town with the Germans throwing another handgranaten assault and capturing the bridge dug out, with other platoons moving up to take
positions, it was at this time that Colin throws in his three CoC dice and the US were told that the three men stood with the CO were commandos, however he was fortunate to notice this and making his excuses ran back to the HQ to inform the general.
The troops at the jeeps signalled that they were also friendly, during which the M10 reversed back at the crossroads, turned its turret and slammed a shot into one of the leading Sherman's making it explode!!!
The looks on the US faces were shocked, just the reaction I wanted, on the other hand Colin and Jack were elated.
However this only refocused Steve's and Charlie's efforts and increased gunfire.
There was now a battle for the town centre with Charlie gathering his infantry forces and
reinforcements getting into position, things were getting sticky with the German assault troops
moral waning, there were two of Steve's Sherman's in a gunfight with a hull down Stug of Jack's on
the opposite hill, until one more Sherman was brewed up.
At this point the German high tide was met with the morale breaking after loosing the M10, some infantry and a leader, and with this being the last straw the lead units fell back into the woods, and the tanks slunk away with black smoke passing over them as they reversed...
The US players looked stressed, tired and drawn, as the infantry moved through the town back into
position to look out over the desolated ground, that had been a close thing. Thank God for the
armoured infantry and tanks arriving when they did, we will have to watch out for anymore dirty German tricks again...
My thanks to Colin and Jack as the bemused German players and to Charlie and Steve as the US
players who were thrown every curve ball I could and they came out smiling, I think all parties
enjoyed it as I know I did running the game?
For those interested in getting Nathan's Order of Battle for this game, then just follow the link below for a downloadable PDF
Chain of Command - Battle of the Bulge