Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Normandy Mini-Campaign (Operation Martlet Part 1): Chain of Command

With my 20mm German Panzer Grenadier figures now painted and burning hot in my hand, it was time to get them "on table" ASAP and at the same time, rekindle my love affair with the Chain of Command skirmish rule-set. The scenario was a Normandy 1944 infantry probe towards Caen, called Operation Martlet. Before you could say "Jack Robinson Jam" I was in amongst it in the "patrol phase" with markers pushing forwards over what I considered very "open" aka dangerous) ground. I opted to go "Tommy" so my newly painted figures could shoot at me. The alternative was to play SS which left a tangled knot in the consciousness of my stomach. Silly really, but as I had played British before so I should be better able to pick things up from where I left off. I was against a very experienced foe, Mr K, the instigator of the Chain of Command's popularity in my local club. Anyway I rolled well and was pleased that got up table pretty fast. I opted to move three patrol markers instead of the possible four in order to move faster by shortening "the chain" [markers have to maintain a contiguous string, with no marker more than 12" from another ] (see below):

Fritz was, through a 'scenario specific rule' was waiting in stasis on the road, straining to be let free to pin my markets. After my 'five free moves' (1d6 worth according to the scenario) Mr K. was free and set about pinning me in place, but I had shifted over half-way up the right hand side although a measly third up the left (see below, Fritz's patrol marker line):

I converted to 'jump off markers' and was reasonably happy to get near some 'hard cover' to my right but was dismayed by the openness of the left that offered great scope for the devastating MG42 fire (see below, Q: Was I creating a rod for my own back thinking in such terms? Am I giving the German player Mr K, an advantage with the equivalent of a "psyche" Tommy own goal? ):

The SS were nicely placed in hard cover, but that was to be expected from the set-up. It was going to be no meant feat of arms to plod through the "open" if the Germans got defensively set, as expected (see below): 

After all the paper chasing in the Payrpl Phase it was a relief to get "Toys on the table!" Huzzah! Gaining the initiative an Infantry Squad, [Support] 2" Mortar Team and a Senior Officer occupy the "Grey House" on the right. It offers a good field of fire the left but is "blind" looking up the table, so not as good as I wanted. Still, I was lucky, as there was another 'scenario specific rule' regarding the Scotch Mist and a chance for troops to get lost and NOT even finding the battlefield. My turn over I settled back to hear the comforting sound of a British Artillery barrage landing behind German lines, another [beneficial for the Brits] 'scenario specific rule' (see below, my mini Hougoumont):   

Next: The German SS Panzer Grenadiers deploy

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