onsdag 31 juli 2013

Chain of Command pre-orders!

Big heads-up today! Chain of Command is available for pre-order here. Wohooo!!!

Bullets, nazis, sinister grey. What more do you want on a cover?
For those of you who have just tuned in, Chain of Command is the next -- highly anticipated -- game from the wargames powerhouse TooFatLardies, Purveyors of well-crafted rules which let "you play the period and not the rules" as their slogan says. The acronym CoC has gotten the lardie mailing list in a frenzy, both from a lot of bad penis jokes ("playing with CoC" etc.) as well as from excitement over the rules themselves.

So do we really need another World War 2 ruleset? I believe so yes. Chain of Command will let the players command a platoon of infantry, sometimes a bit more, sometimes a bit less, and duke it out using actual period tactics. A game consists of a highly innovative pre-game Patrol phase, where the players try to lock eachother's scout teams down to determine or deny deployment points, followed by a number of turns of combat. Each turn consists of  a random number of phases in which players alternate deploying or activating their forces, following the Chain of Command.

A lot of emphasis has been put on getting the feel of infantry tactics right. You will have to think about your plan of attack, how to use the terrain to your advantage to achieve local superiority, and how to utilise your leaders in the best way. Weapon ranges are not truncated, so if you see something you can kill it. Likewise a lot of thought has gone into the victory conditions. Each force has a moral level which drops as units and leaders become casualties, but also when the enemy captures ground.

This is very much an infantry game, where tanks and support weapons are like supporting actors in a movie; your infantry platoon is the star. Tanks may be powerful, but they are lumbering behemoths that are nearly blind without help from the infantry. Support weapons have their assigned targets and won't waste ammo on a paltry couple of grunts unless they have a lieutenant screaming in their ears to do so. No more scouting with empty trucks, sniping forward observers with an anti-tank gun or grabbing last-turn objectives with your anti-aircraft tank.

Dice, dice, baby!
To celebrate the launch, TFL has made a lot of nice add-ons for the game. Stuff that aren't essential because you can knock something up yourself that will do the job, but that will make your games look extra nice. First, there's dice. No you don't need special CoC dice. You will need to keep track of your CoC tally, and when it reaches 6 you get a CoC point to spend on something special, like an interrupt or ending a turn. Using a D6 is a very handy way of doing that, and using a special D6 with the CoC logo on makes it easier to tell it apart from any old ordinary D6 laying around on your gaming table. I think we have all at some time rolled a dice that were placed next to a unit as a reminder of something...

Tokens! Not just a token marker, but genuine tokens!
In Chain of Command you will need to keep track of units' statuses, if they are moving in a tactical stance, are placed on overwatch by a leader, or just plain have been hit. You can use whatever markers you want, but special tokens are always better, avoiding confusion. I remember playing a game many years ago where my opponent placed dice next to units on overwatch, these were the same dice he used for rolling with and there were dice lying around everywhere, making it impossible to know which were used as markers. (Yes Anders, I'm looking at you!)

Jump-off point markers. The bits in the foreground, the rest is a Sherman and a German. (Ooh it rhymes!)
Lastly we have a set of Jump-off Point markers. Jump-off Points are places on the boards you can use to deploy your units from. They represent spots in the terrain where the scouting teams have marked out a safe approach; here your leader knows he can send his men without them being attacked. Outside those points there might be crawling with enemies. Since these are more or less permanent on the board (well, they can be captured and sometimes moved) they need to look good. So TFL has commissioned top sculptor Richard Ansell to make a set of resin 28mm markers. And yes, you can make your own, but as I'm completely useless when it comes to sculpting I gladly pay for such fine items.

The rules will be released on the 21st of August, and can be pre-ordered now. Until the release date you can get some very nice bundles with the dice and markers shown above, or just the rules if you prefer to make your own. There's also a bundle with the dice and tokens, but not the Jump-Off points in case you don't play 28mm. All the pre-order bundles includes the rules in hardcopy as well as on PDF for free, which will be emailed to you at the release date. If you only want the PDF version of Chain of Command you will have to wait until the general release and order it separately then. As for the extras they will be available only as long as stocks last, so hurry up and pre-order!

So what are you waiting for? Get ready for Chain of Command!

3 kommentarer:

  1. These sound interesting and I am always looking out for the 'next thing'. Up until now, I have used Two Hour Wargames stuff mainly and love their (Nuts!)rules for WW2 - which are great solo - and offer a good, unpredictable challenge.

    1. Then you should check these out! CoC is the next level up from NUTS! if I recall correctly, as you run a squad or two in NUTS! and a platoon in CoC. CoC is also perfect for solo play. And while you are looking at the TFL site, check out Platoon Forward (
      which can be bolted straight on top of NUTS!.

    2. The Two Hour Wargames system is interesting, I have the basic Chain Reaction rules and the All Things Zombie game. I have just dabbled a little bit with it though, and haven't tried Nuts at all.

      As Thomas says, CoC is one step above Nuts, using platoons instead of Squads as the main force, with focus on teams rather than individual men (although you still count each man).

      If you are not sure, I suggest you wait until the 21st and buy the PDF for a mere 12 quid to check it out.

      Also as Thomas said, Platoon Forward is a great tool for solo campaigns, and it is not specific for any system. As the titles suggests it is mainly concerned with platoon sized engagements.


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