Almost scince we started playing CoC we have been talking a lot about playing bigger games. Big CoC was an instant hit with us and I think one third of the games we played have been Big CoC. But we have wanted a more elaborate scenario for games with several attacking platoons and one defending - a very realistic attack scenario in WW2, which I don´t think Big CoC recreate quite as well as it does games with the same number of platoons on both sides.
We wanted a scenario where the attacker needed to take bigger risks, facing time shortage to take the objective, and a numerically inferior defender that had a distinct upper hand when the attacker stumbles into prepared defences.
When we turned out to be three players for a night of CoC we made up the following scenario, and it turned out to be an very exiting game. The attackers were one Italian and one German platoon, and a Soviet platoon defended. We played on a 8´ by 4´ board. It played out very well, and the fortunes of war waxed and waned back and fourth several times as it should in a good tabletop game! Here are the rules for the scenario:
Start by setting up the terrain as normal. Once you have decided which table edge the defender will deploy from, mark out a zone on the defender's table edge. This zone starts at the table edge, and extends 12" into the table. If you are playing with a wider board then standard the defender's zone will be limited to 6' in width. So if you have a 8' wide table, the zone will end 12" from each short table edge as well.
To win, the attacker must have an uncontested Jump Off Point in the defender's zone when the third turn ends, or win by reducing the defenders' morale. Any other result is a win for the defender. Note that it's at the end of the third turn, not third phase.
The Patrol Phase
The scenario is played with the attacker and defender deploying their patrol markers on opposite sides, on the long table edges.. The defender has four patrol markers witch is places ut to 18" from his table-edge in a continious line with no more than 12" between the markers. The attackers place three patrol markers each at a point anywhere along their table edge, the attackers need to have one each of their respective patrol markers within 24" of eachother. During the patrol phase they always need to have two patrol markers within 24" of each other in this way. The patrol phase begin with each of the attackers rolling a 1D3+1 and taking that many moves. The side with the highest morale makes then their move/es altering moves until the patrol phase ends.
Morale, Force Support and Special Rules
The defender gets three free special CoC-Dice, this three dice can´t be used to end turn, but otherwise functions as ordinary CoC-Dice. The defender also gets two free entrenchments. The defender rolls for morale as usual but the attackers roll only one die, using that morale togheter. Moral loss to any of the attacking platoons lower their unified morale. Effects of low morale applies to both attacking platoons. Each attacker rolls 2D6 for support. The defender gets half of the attackers combined support-roll, rounded down. The force morale ratings is then compaired for both attacking platoons individually against the defending platoon. The result of this is then combined for the defending platoon.
More photos from the game are to be found in our pictures section!
It was very fun to see Jonas gebirgjäger conversion, and especially his little edelweiss-badge, because at the same time I had started making green stuff badges myself! Great minds think alike. I have always wanted to field a commissar in my CoC-games - a colourful and special officer unique to the Red Army. But so far the rules for them in CoC have left me without testing them at the field of battle (not playing the winter war yet, and the Barbarossa list rules, being, in my opinion faulty both historically (shooting privates in the middle of fighting?) and rules-wise (shooting one third of the section to unpin them?). So I sorted out some own rules after discussions at the TFL-forum, great!
The only problem now was that I did not have any miniature... That should really be no problem as any officer model ought to suffice, but I´m kind of a purist and in the beginning of the war the commissars (or politruks, as they were named at company level) had a star-shaped patch with the hammer and sickle on it on their sleeves instead of a chevron as other officers.
Of course my commissar needed this (no manufactures of miniatures has done an early war commissar, no suprise there!) I took a very small amount of greenstuff, rolled it to a ball, put it on the appropiate place on the model and flattened it. Then I worked it with a sharp hobby knife to the star-shape I wanted. It was not to easy, but both stars were to my liking at the third try. The smartest thing I did was to leave the first star to dry before doing the second, otherwise I would inevitable mess it up and destroyning the firts one making the second.
As I already had primed the model (a WG-plastic soviet with WG-plastic Blitzkrieg german arms) you can´t se it to well, but the stars are there and greens stuff green! Then I felt I had to paint the commissar up so you could see the finished result, he is not based yet but he will get some love there in the future as I have more models based at the same time...
With finished base in sigth, redy to lead the poeple of the soviet union to victory over death and destruction! I have not tested my own rules yet (not having a proper commissar model), but if you want be the first to give my new commissar rules a try out here they are:
COMMISSAR (LIST TWO SUPPORT)
The Commissar is a Senior Leader. If within command range of any friendly unit with shock that may be rallied, the commissar has to be activated if any Comand Dice of 4 is available that phase (only a natural 4 count for this purpose). Before making any other activations (including activating himself for movement) the Commissar has to use all his Command Initiatives to rally available shock from friendly units within his command range.
Just a quick update after conversion test of the first Gebirgsjäger, using the Perry Miniatures Afrikakorps box.
Left picture: I shaved off the botton of the legs with a hobby knife. I rolled two tiny "snakes" of green stuff, and attached one around each ankle. Then I took a dentist tool and flattened the green stuff a bit, and finally made a small score in the green stuff to make it look like puttees rolled around the legs.
For the hat, I first shaved off a millimeter or so of the bill. I took a very tiny ball of green stuff and flattened it on left side of the cap, which is as close as I can get to model an Edelweiss in this scale.
Finally, you can see that I went with just a gas mask container. In a lot of the pictures in the reference photo book I got, the Gebirgsjäger would carry a very light load, both when marching and in combat. Othen they are seen like this, with just the gas mask. The Perry box doesn't come with a bit of just the container, so I took one from a Warlord Games Blitzkrieg Germans sprue.
Funny fact about how clueless I am about WW2: I used to think that this round container was some kind of thermos for food!
Middle picture: again I took a extremely tiny speck of green stuff, rolled it to a ball, and flattened it against the right arm. This is for the Edelweiss emblem worn by the Gebirgsjäger.
Right picture: comparison with a Warlord Games miniature. It's becoming clear just how much these will stand out from the other Germans. The stances are very different, with the Perry's having a much straighter stance than WG's, and I like the more realistic proportions of the Perry miniature. On the other hand, the Perry Kar 98 rifle is a bit too stocky, and I think I prefer WG's rifle actually. Finally, the Perry kit comes with what I assume is 20mm round bases, and we have 25mm round bases for all our WW2 troops this far, so they will definitely be different if not only because of this.
Overall, I'm kind of happy with how it turned out, and the work involved has definitely not been so much that I'd reconsider doing a whole platoon. My big concern is whether the puttees will look good painted, or if it will look like a bunch of Germans with ankle monitors. I also think that maybe it would be enough to paint on the arm badges, but it will probably be nicer to have a bit of 3D feeling to them.
In my first encounter with squad-level WW2 gaming I was impressed by how beginner friendly it was. After all, the miniature requirement is much lower than for the kind of army level games that I was used to. Even when you add a lot of support points to a Chain of Command game, you're still looking at 30-40 guys and about two or three choices of guns, vehicles or small teams of engineers or a lone medic. Not exactly enough to fill an entire wardrobe.
However, if there's anything stronger than the power of love, it's the power of wargamers to find excuses to add to our lead mountains. Now that we reached the point where we can field two (or even three!) platoons of ordinary riflemen for both Soviets, Germans and Italians, it's not enough for us to just get more troops. Instead there are fierce Cossack raiding parties forming in the Soviet camp, and spectacular Bersaglieri plumes are spotted among the light Italian tank, so can I be faulted for starting to feel left out with my bog-standard German infantrymen? Something had to be done.
The Hills are Alive with the Sound of Fascists
I considered my expansion options carefully. I wanted to do a smaller force, just a single platoon, that I could invest some effort into now that we have enough minis to easily play even a four-player game. So having to do some simple conversion jobs was not a hindrance, but rather something appealing. I also wanted it to something slightly unusual as far as WW2 wargaming goes.
Fallschirmjägers is a popular force with lots of miniature support, but also kind of out of place on the east front at the time. SS units are also notoriously popular among certain wargamers, but not really my cup of tea. Ragtag squads of naval troops would be very cool, but a bit limited in scope and availability as minis. But Gebirgsjägers started to make more and more sense, the more I looked at them.
Once decided, I did some web-based resarch to figure out what I needed to represent these alpine Teutons and what to use to convert them. Visually, the Gebirgsjäger are distinguished by their different headwear (Bergsmütze), Edelweiss emblems on caps and arms, mountain trousers with extra reinforced seats and crotches, and wool puttees (leggings). They also had a special anorak to wear in snow or cold mountains.
Looking at my available options, it dawned on me that the Perry Miniatures Afrikakorps box could be the way to go. First of all, it includes several of the M43 field cap, which was closely modeled after the Bergmütze. If I could just shave off some of the bill it would be close enough. The trousers are not that big a deal, and just painting them stone grey instead of field grey is good enough for me. The puttees will have to be converted with some cutting/filing and green stuff.
As a bonus, the kit comes with a light mortar team, so I wouldn't have to get any extra metal minis to convert these. However, the kit also only covers three squads, so I would have to get two boxes to field a full platoon. On the other hand, this would leave me with enough extra men to convert up some Gebirgsjäger crew for the guns we already have.
Rules-wise there are not that much to adjust compared to a normal German riflemen platoon at the time. The Gebirgsjäger would generally use lighter weapons suitable for cramped urban fighting or that could be dragged along by pack animals in difficult terrain. This can easily be represented by choosing anti-tank guns or Flak 30/38 guns instead of tanks and heavy artillery when deploying for battle.
Speaking of pack animals, they used a ton of them (around 6000 per division, including everyhing from donkeys and mules to camels!) to carry their stuff. They would also have a designated animal caretaker in each squad. This is a great source of ideas for Jump Off Point markers and I won't settle until I have a small Wehrmacht zoo to accompany these men.
So here's where we stand: two boxes of Afrikakorps, the obligatory Osprey book for a cursory grasp at the subject, and an old reference picture book liberated from the Buckinghamshire County Library via Amazon. It has tons of great pictures, both staged propaganda ones and from real actions, so I am ready to give this a shot.
WW2 Campaign Blog
This blog follows the second Chain of Command club campaign, set in the intense fighting over Stalino in October 1941.