Saturday, 17 July 2021

Setback at Champ-de-Deuil.. a 1940 Chain of Command Game

This morning Tom and I had another 'warm up' game of Chain of Command before we start off our 'Fighting Withdrawal' campaign.

Having set up the table last night to save a little time, we both used forces from that campaign (TFL Summer Special 2016) and opted for the 'Patrol' scenario from the main rulebook. A roll of 1 meant that I would get 1 point of support for my Germans, I picked a medical orderly as I sighed and looked over my newly painted PzII sitting in the box... Tom would get a few more support points and a Vickers was to prove a very effective choice.

Unlike our last outing, the Germans got off to a better start.. random starting positions put me in the village (Champs-de-Deuil) whilst Tom would have a bit of a slog across the fields (or so I thought). Force morale rolls were not so great.. I started on 8 against the BEF  on 10.

Although I had a notion to play an aggressive game on this outing, the temptation to sit in the village was just too great and for a little while that was okay, as a sole BEF section limped forward, taking sporadic fire in between covering smoke. However, as this was happening, a senior leader had established a strong firing line in the woods and was steadily chipping away at the German section in the orchard.. a couple of junior officer hits and poor 'bad things happen' rolls, meant that my wobbly force morale was waning.

Too late I decided to get some more troops on the table to see if I could remove the advanced British infantry and get some fire into the woods.

We'd  decided ahead of time to try to wrap up after 3 hours (before it got too hot!) and the loss of an LMG team and another force morale point decided it for me.. it was unlikely that I was going to take 10 morale points off Tom and hang on to what I had.. so a retreat was called, much to the relief of the unenthusiastic Germans.

Interesting in that the Germans had a lot of manpower on the table, and some really solid positions too.. but morale was the decider.

We've put some effort over recent months into building up the terrain for these games and it was pleasing to see it coming together

The Patrol phase ended with the Germans holding good positions in the village

The BEF should have to cross some fairly open ground to reach the village

One section pushed forward, taking fire from the Germans in the windows of the 'Long House'

One German section took up positions in the Orchard

The British firing line in the woods kept up effective fire all morning

A medical orderly rushes to tend to a wounded junior officer

smoke from the 2" mortar screened the infantry advance

The German 50mm mortar poured ineffective HE fire into the British in the woods

An overview of the table

Too little too late, a German section pushes out of the edge of the village

Jean-Claude's wheelbarrow takes another smoke round from the BEF mortars

The overwhelming British fire starts to tell..

Another late dash as the fourth section reluctantly enters the village

But as lunch time approached, it was a little too much for the Germans, who fell back to their start line