First I want to mention that Chain of Command has been nominated for an Origins Award in the Best Historical Miniatures Rules category. Rich is celebrating the good news with 15% off on Chain of Command until 1st of May. Now is a good time to pick up those tokens or jump off points you need, or why not the campaign supplement At the sharp end? And if you are like me and already have the rules and all the tokens and bits you need, then you can always splurge on one of the 28mm starter sets available: late war Germans and British.
Yep, you heard me, I have bought late war 28mm figures... I wasn't going to do that, it was an honest mistake. I was just going to complete the early war figures I already had, late war was always meant to be fought in 20mm... but those Crusader figures are just so damned nice, and 15% off an already discounted price was just too hard to resist. Add to that the fact that Italeri is collaborating with Warlord Games and will be releasing a line of 1/56 scale models -- rumours have been flying that Italeri already was doing the plastic hanomags and M3 halftracks for Bolt Action, but this new info is confirmed from both Italeri and Warlord Games. They will start with a Sherman, a Cromwell, a Panther and a Puma eight-wheeled armoured car, all late war stuff fitting for Normandy. There has been no announcement wether the kits are upscaled versions of their 1/72 models or not. I was also expecting some new terrain items, but instead Warlord Games will be selling Italeri's 1/72 scale stonewalls as 28mm, increasing the price without increasing the size, something that didn't go down well on The Miniatures Page.
|The original kit...|
|...and the Warlord Games set. It's even the exact same pieces rearranged slightly.|
|O group, preparing for action. Hank, our roadie, Thomas reading the rules and me refueling.|
We originally planned to run demo games during only the Saturday and spend Friday and Sunday looking at the other games and spending our hard earned cash in the shops. However a guy asked if he could try out the rules on friday evening already since he were participating in the Bushido tournament on Saturday. We were more than happy to oblige.
|A flyover the battlefield. (Just imagine you are Rommel in his Fiesler Storch.)|
|Patrol phase under way|
|Some markers have been locked down.|
|Jump-off points are deployed at least six inches behind the patrol markers.|
|The paras take up positions in a farm, but the Hand of Fate is approaching.|
|Sgt Lipton keeps the men in line.|
|The paras dare a frontal assault...|
|...which works out badly. Luckily for them the german player didn't have a CoC dice to end the turn with.|
|On the german flank a lone MG team guards the jump off point. Without a leader they were almost never activated.|
|It's a tough job being a lard ambassador. In the background some people are playing Bushido.|
|Eventually the MG team was chased away by the secon para squad. The dead cow is the jump off point.|
The first game ended in with a narrow win for the paras. They didn't actually break the Germans but we called it a night as it was obvious the remaining paras wouldn't have any trouble mopping up after a German counter attack ran out of steam and manpower. We left the table in the same layout for Saturday. For some reason we didn't take as much photos of the three games on Saturday, I think we were too embroiled in the action to remember.
|Second day. I love the smell of CoC and Croissants in the morning!|
|Patrol phase, the paras now attacking from the other side.|
|Lt. Winters leads the advance.|
|How about that for a command roll? The paras' command dice were on fire the whole convention.|
|Thomas explaining the finer details of movement to the players in the third game.|
|"...and then she said, Now I know why you call it Microsoft!"|
|With our Lard Ambassador shirts and the TFL sign we looked almost professional.|
|Deploying from jump off points. This time the patrol markers entered from opposite corners.|
|It's a sunny day in the French countryside. The small shrine marks another Jump Off point.|
|This poor little Hanomag didn't get far from it's jump off point until it was hit by a bazooka.|
|Overview of the table. More open ground, a river with a bridge and two fords.|
|Jockeying for position during the patrol phase.|
|The patrol phase is like a mini-game within the game and surprisingly tactical.|
|Racing for the ford, the poor Hanomag is ambushed yet again!|
|Boom! To add insult to injury the junior leader is wounded and out for the rest of the turn.|
The Paras gained the upper hand in all four games, probably because having six command dice and only two squads meant fewer tough choices for those players. Some german players complained that the paras were too tough, but I think they are a glass cannon: punching hard but brittle when you crack them. In one of our play-tests before the convention the Germans broke the Paras in half an hour by killing a junior leader with a lucky shot and then overrunning a jump off point, capturing a senior leader and a medic as well as wiping out the bazooka team guarding it.
|The badge of honour.|