Sunday, 6 June 2021

Boots on the table.. a 1940 game

Every wargamer in the western world seems to be posting 'first game back at the table' posts on social media these days.. here's another one!

Yesterday I took a short trip over to Toms wargames shed for a game of 'Chain of Command'.

About a year ago we agreed to have a go at a 1940 campaign and during lockdown we've been building up forces and terrain to play the 'Fighting Withdrawal' mini campaign from the TooFatLardies Summer 2016 magazine.. I'm playing Germans and Tom the BEF.

Neither of us have had lots of CoC experience (yes, yes..) so a 'practice game' was agreed. Tom set out the terrain before I arrived with a silly amount of boxes, adding a few bits to the table. We decided to play the Attack/Defence scenario from the main book, with Tom fielding a 1939 regular platoon, and me taking the 2nd Wave German platoon, both from the 1940 handbook.

As tempted as I was to take a StugIII for support, (because I have one), I settled on a pre-game barrage, the IG18 infantry gun and an armoured car (SDkfz221).. all of which proved to be pretty essential players on team Deutschland today. The BEF as I recall, brought a Vickers HMG, a Boyes AT.. and I think an adjutant.

I won't  go through the game blow by blow.. the patrol phase was a disaster for me.. rolling a 1 for initial moves and some questionable placement, meant I was starting on the table edge and going to have to work hard to push into cover and force some morale checks. The pre-game barrage really worked in my favour here, limiting Tom's ability to bring stuff on, and encouraging me to get as much on the table as soon as I could before that advantage was lost.

The infantry gun did solid work, I seemed to get a 1 on every turn, keeping heads down, and by the time the first turn was up, I was in a slightly better position to push.. actually taking one of the BEF jump offs and using a CoC dice to end the next turn. Not long before that I had actually said that I thought this was going to be a very quick game with the Germans coming off worse, as the initial force morale setbacks were all on me. Such a pessimist!

Tom used Ambush to spring an Boyes AT attack on my stationary Armoured car, but the shot missed, and although the team worked their way around the field for another shot, that one bounced.

We played until the BEF were down to 3 or 4 Force morale points.. the Germans weren't much better at 6, but we agreed that the outcome seemed pretty certain, with pressure on remaining jump offs and not much of the BEF remaining on the table.. Tom called a withdrawal, leaving the field to the Germans.

It was great to get back to 'proper' gaming and despite inevitable rules mistakes, we enjoyed the game. Might be another 'warm up' next.. or perhaps we'll just jump into the campaign.

Infantry sections advance under Bren fire

German senior officers were very useful
German senior officers proved very useful

Germans mass their fire 

A cautious approach

Sdkfz221 adding MG fire

Plucky BEF HMG team under heavy fire

The Germans try to sweep around the British held buildings

A horrible German patrol phase!


  1. The detail stuff will come with games played. The bit you can never teach is the strategic stuff you've already got a handle on.
    CoC is such an enjoyable game, even without the latter.
    Have fun back around the table

  2. There is quite a lot of interest in CoC down at the club if you are interested in popping down one night?