Chain of Command WW II: Operation Overlord has commenced.
The allies have pushed past the beach fortifications and the invasion of fortress Europe has begun.
Playing the Germans, I’ve been tasked with holding a critical road juncture while forces from the rear can dig in, and armor support can push forward- some new wonder weapons and other surprises for the newly arrived Americans.
Just men, is all I have.
But we do have half a dozen crates of panzerfaust and panzerschreck anti-tank weapons…
Every wall is going to be a fortress, every hedge-row a bunker, every shadow a trap in waiting…
…but first a recon of the battlefield before the American’s start pushing forward.
The Americans are out there, probing our positions, recon. We can smell the tobacco, see the mass of equipment, firepower, and tanks that they have…
…but they will never make it to the Fatherland, already new tanks, planes, and other wonder-weapons are making way to the front line. Some of the men have already seen the new “hunting tiger” tank, and how it is bigger and more powerful vs. anything America’s General Motors can put out.
American infantry start pushing forward, an advancing fire line, supported by armor. The target is the field just beyond the cross roads- if they can push us back, take and hold it, American forces pouring in from the coast will be able to bypass our counter-attack.
Advanced sniper teams begin operations. Targeting officers and command/communications targets is a necessity. First panzerschreck team ambushes the American tank destroyer down the road- it’s at the extreme range band, but if we can stop it at the end of the road it will serve as a improvised barricade for the M3’s behind it.
My first group of Panzergrenadiers engages the advancing American infantry line as more American infantry start advancing on the other side of the road. Two groups on each side, armor and M3 mechanized support right down the center.
I’m able to halt the advance on the left, but take losses on the Panzergrenadier’s from the M10 tank, before I’m able to stop it with a second panzerschreck team.
Now the American’s are pushing hard up the road with M3’s. I deploy sections, each with two MG 42 machine gun teams on both sides of the road.
The fire and return fire is intense.
It’s either run the gauntlet or stall and get hit in the cross fire…
One of the M3 tanks stops as heavy machine gun teams get out, and set up.
The second pushes forward down the road…
The American’s pile out, and are pinned by my machine guns, the advance is stalled, and the crossroads are still in German hands.
Orders are already in, link up with incoming Panzer group and immediately counter attack the Americans at the other end of the road- next week’s game.
German counter-attack next week!
With the first of the invasion in this sector stalled the order to counter attack has been given. Securing the road, command has given us tank support from the 2nd Panzer division. Three Panzer III tanks will launch the attack with our infantry in support.
Tanks take up position as infantry move through the woods. Not a simple break-through mission, we have to rout the Americans and be in control of a designated objective on the other side of the woods.
Panzer’s will push forward using the stone walls and trees for cover so the infantry can fall in behind. Two of the tanks on overwatch with the main gun ready with high explosive shells, and the hull machine guns also at the ready. Advance one tank, and force any hidden American AT guns to show themselves…
First tank is hit before it can even break from the woods, advance, move and fire with infantry in support and take out that AT gun!
Tanks drive off the AT team, but bazooka teams and machine gun teams pick up. Advancing infantry is stalled, as the tanks try to blast them out of dug-in positions.
Close to breaking them, but with the last tank disabled, and the American machine gun teams in a cover-position I’m not willing to advance my infantry.
The counter attack is stalled for now…
Hold the cross-roads…
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, the 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.
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, Germans in CoC 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.
It’s SLOW going even on the road- takes two movement dice just to turn. Do the British even need to stop it? Just run past it…
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?
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 grenades, knives, 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…