Monday, May 9, 2016

Cool Minis or Not - Games Day 5/7/2016

Over the weekend, I was privileged to help Matt put on a fantastic set of Chain of Command games at "Cool Minis or Not." Matt did all the heavy lifting and hard work. He provided the terrain, the miniatures and everything. I got to sit around and talk about one of my favorite game systems and play. What a great day.

We took bins of buildings like this:

And turned it into the table below.

We arrived around 8am at the venue for setup and got right to work. Matt's terrain was beautiful over the course of the day, we played four games. Setup was very straight forward despite the sheer amount of terrain that was there.

Borrowing Mark's banner, we were ready to go.

The first game we played was a patrol scenario from the main rulebook. A platoon of US Infantry with a halftrack and a tank destroyer for supports fought against a platoon of volksgrenadiers that I can't remember the supports for as I was playing the US at the time. The game went well with the Germans occupying the ruined government building and another ruin across the street. The halftrack was amazing. It survived two separate strikes from a panzerfoust and stayed in the fight. It would be responsible for the destruction of two of Matt's volksgrenadier squads. My problem all day was low starting morale. I could not get a game started on a morale higher than 8. The results of the first game were a draw. Neither side could carry on the fight.

The second game of the day was a delaying action. I took command of the Germans and Matt the US troops. We were joined by a young man who was pulled in by the terrain. My volksgrenadiers faced a platoon of US troops and a tank platoon. This game was really interesting. The young man who joined us was supposed to play in a couple of other games but said, "this was way more interesting than his other games" and stuck with us. He moved his platoon down the main road. One tank veered off the road to engage a heavy MG team that I stationed in the government building. They ended up trading shots with Matt's tank destroyer the whole game and were nearly killed to a man.

Besides the MG team, I had selected a STUG III as a support element. The STUG spent most of the game engaging some infantry at distance that were hiding in a building. It did great devastation to the squad in the building but never managed to break it. But it had one shot at the tank that moved to fire on my MG team. I took the shot and rolled well. The sherman was blown to bits. The next highlight was after our visitor had to leave. His tank platoon engaged some infantry in a ruined building. These grenadiers had been wearing down Matt's infantry the whole game. Things were starting to look bleak for the allies. Then all three remaining shermans fired on the building. In the avalanche of 6's that followed, the squad was nearly killed to a man as the building collapsed around them. Its lone survivor routed off the table. This was all it took to break my force morale and ended the game. It was fantastic.

Game 3 was very short lived. I picked up the US infantry again. We attempted a flank attack scenario. My battle plan came unravelled almost immediately. I pressed my troops in quickly and in close combat lost the entire squad. The Germans did as well but my starting morale was an 8 and after the close assault, my morale was 4 to the German 6. The US pulled back immediately. A brief lunch at 4pm had us back on the game table for game 4.

We picked up another new player who was enthusiastic about the game. He played a platoon of US Infantry as did I. Matt again playing the Germans. I deployed along the long edge of the table while the other US player started from the short end. Matt's forces were spread out across the government building and two others. I again tried to push too fast and too hard. This time I nearly succeeded. I brought up the halftrack again as a support option. However, Matt had a grudge against "Old Reliable." Yep, I named that half-track. Well, the anti-tank gun appeared and fired a shot that routed off (not destroyed) my halftrack. And thus began my force morale spiral downwards.

The infantry, now unsupported, charged the gun and drove off the crew and close assaulted the senior leader that was directing it. Matt lost a senior leader and I lost my junior leader. I took a worse morale hit. I brought up a second squad only to have the two squads stuck in a firefight with all three of Matt's. By the end of that, our visiting player had fresh forces and nearly no opponents. We played several more turns of an already decided game to give him a better feel for the rules.

I am definitely planning on doing CMON again next year. I will probably bring a Sharp Practice game as long as Matt or someone runs a Chain of Command game. It was a great day.


  1. Sounds like you had alot of fun. Did you only have two players show up for your four games. Sounds a bit light.

    1. We were stuck at a far end of the hall. There were only 2 historical games including ours. Mostly folks playing things like Zombicide and the like. Still, I had fun.