Late war- 1945. Elements of Panzerjägerabteilung 512 push through the countryside planning to take up an elevated position to counter attack the invading American forces, where they find British infantry and support units waiting in ambush…
Battlefield recon from the sky…
With a cost of 11 (!) support points, my Jadatiger tank is going to be the focus of tonight’s tabletop battle. At this point in the war, I can’t be conservative with my forces, while the British and Americans have the numbers and equipment, the Germans still have some superior tech- even if it is in very short supply.
With the Chain of Command rules, tanks have to deploy on the road edge- so I will be coming in on the right side. I’ve put my jump off points for my infantry to the left and right. The plan is to deploy my infantry in the orchard behind the farm house, and in the forest to the left. Advance with the tank, flush the British out, and use the crazy firepower dice of the Jadatiger to pound them. If an allied tank shows up- maybe a Churchill or Sherman- I’ll smoke it with the AT shells- this isn’t FURY, my Germans actually hit stuff.
What I am a bit worried about is the very real possibility of an M1 or equal anti-tank gun hidden in one of the forests or hedge rows- given how heavy and slow the Jadatiger is, I’m going to be confined to the roads if I don’t want to get stuck.
Jadatiger deploys and starts advancing up the road, first squad deploys in the orchard. That lone German in the lat pic is not taking French leave- he got hidden in the tree when I was putting my toys down.
British infantry appear behind one of the walls across from the orchard supported by a machine gun team, while a mortar team somewhere in the far hedge-rows starts dropping smoke rounds to block the sights of my Jadatiger. My infantry in the forest start taking some losses and shock as the trees only give light cover.
Jadatiger starts putting high explosive shells into the wall blasting the British- tank is a monster, but they hold despite losing their junior leader. Return machine gun fire stalls my own infantry advance in the orchard as they get pinned and hold in place.
My advance is stuck for now.
Spending my command dice to keep the tank firing and shock off one the men in the orchard gives the British some momentum- they advance a second group up the side and into the forest taking one of my jump off points, as I deploy a second squad along the fence line to keep them in check.
Time to start pushing that tank- get it to the center of the table so it can at least support from a few different angles if needed.
A third British group jumps off and starts advancing…
Get that Jadatiger in position and start laying down some heat…
…as a British AT gun starts returning fire from it’s hidden position.
With such a slow moving and big tank- it hard to miss- the first round bounces off it. Second hits it square on front causing a moment of panic as my tank crew takes some shock and reverses into the building behind it trying to put some distance and cover.
Bring in my last infantry unit with my senior commander- push past the farm house, and advance!
The Jadatiger goes over the hedge row and gets stuck for two turns- the heavy treads tearing and sinking into the mud. The British AT gun continues to pound it, but it becomes apparent it doesn’t have the power to punch through he heavy armor, but will it get lucky?
Despite the hitting power of my tank, even with the HE round and machine gun, it feels like the AT gun has a better advantage in terms of being concealed and dug in. I’m worried if my tank get immobilized and the crew bails.
It’s a close game, and now both German and British are locked in firing away at each other- AT gun loading and firing as fast as they can, Jadatiger loading and firing as fast as they can, ignoring the British squad in front who stops my advance on the farm, driving that German squad back into the forest.
The British in position to the forest in the south start to move a machine gun team up- hidden in the woods I can’t “see” them, but I know they are there. We need to break this advance now, secure this side, and sweep forward with the Jadatiger.
Men, ready your Stielhandgranate and pistols,we are going over the fence and will flush those British out hand to hand.
Here is your chance to earn that Iron Cross.
My men take the forest at cost, but the flank is secured, with the continued firepower of the Jadatiger the British AT gun finally breaks driving the invaders from the field…
Chain of Command is an intense game- the rules are very decision heavy. When do you commit, where do you commit, and once you start taking losses and losing command dice your forces start to fold quickly. With the command dice and shock rules it does an excellent job- the best of all the wargames I have played so far of simulating that your soldiers are normal and mortal men even of they are well trained and dedicated to endseig.
Compared to something sci-fi like a Warhammer 40K Space Marine, your dudes will often get pinned, refuse to advance, and even fall back. One has to manage command dice and order from junior and senior leaders on the table to keep things going!
In terms of the Jadatiger I can’t be THAT hard on myself since it was my first play.
At 11 support points it was a liability in how I played it. I was over cautious which means my caution become my problem to worry about it being safe- as opposed to being 100% over aggressive with it- making it my opponent’s problem to worry about.
I burned a few turns and command dice moving back and forth with it trying to engage different targets. I was reactive vs. active with it. Although there were no tanks for it to anti-tank against, its armor and HE rounds + machine gun were over powering- I should have picked a point on the table- the location of a British jump off point and sent the tank to grab it at all costs. Force the British to deal with it vs. running around it.
The charge into the forest is what won the game- breaking that unit and securing the flank. Did I have another option? The British, hidden in the forest, could have advanced at any time- when the timing of the command dice favored them- I had no way to counter that except charging.
Chain of Command is the real deal in Wargaming, and is always intense…