Saturday, March 1, 2014

AAR: A Falklands’ Patrol, or Cold-CoC-ing a penguin

Well, it has been a bit since my last blog entry that had any real substance, but I got two more notches on my New Year’s resolutions; I finished another book and got my first game in for the year! 

So first up, I just finished War of the White Death and have now started up The Soviet Invasion of Finland, 1939-40 (Soviet (Russian) Military Experience) by Carl Van Dyke.  If you want to know about the Winter War of 1939-40, I will highly recommend this book, War of the White Death, and the previous book that I was reading, A Frozen Hell.  You really need to read both and read A Frozen Hell first, then War of the White Death.  A  Frozen Hell gives an excellent political overview of the events leading to the Winter War, background of Mannerheim, and the Finnish view of the war.  War of the White Death was written using former Soviet documents and gives an excellent and detailed account of the war from the Russian side of the war.  Matter of fact the author deliberately avoids covering the same material in A Frozen Hell and states that one should read that book for the political & Finnish accounts.

On to the ARR of the game!

This was the first time that any of us played TooFatLardies’ Chain of Command (CoC), so it was a learning experience with a lot time of me sticking my nose in the book looking up things.  I limited who I invited because this was the first time with this system and I wanted Curtis T. & Steve H. as they have played a lot of TFL games before, and Glenn W. as one who has not played a lot of TFL, but has been reading up on various CoC reviews and AARs on other blogs so that he was rather familiar with the system.  We ran the game at the Wargamers’ Cave in IL (Thanks, guys!).   All in all, it is a good system and everyone was catching on how the dice worked and how to do things in the game.  Everyone commented at the end of the game that this was a better system than Bolt Action, which I am taking their word for it as all of them had played Bolt Action and I have not yet.  Unfortunately, as I was spending too much time checking rules as this was the first game and I am not confident with my memory to not look things up (but with repetitiveness, comes confidence and I plan to be repeating this system), I did not make notes of what happen in the game to give a detailed AAR.

While CoC is designed to be for WW2, it is open enough that it can be used for pre & post WW2 games up to a point and some people are already trying to adapt it for post-Colonialism Africa and Cold War era games.  So this first CoC game was using my Falklands conflict figures.  If you go back to some of my previous posts, you will find my stats for the Falklands weapons.  The scenario involved a platoon of British Paras probing an Argentine defensive position.  I used the British Paras rules right out of CoC as their tactics at the platoon level had not changed since WW2.  For the Argentine conscripts, I used the Soviet infantry rules, except I did not give them those national characteristics.  Instead I made one section “Die Hards” as in most of my readings, there was almost always one group of Argentine soldiers that would fight it out and only killing them would stop them from holding on their little bit of the islands.  I also made them Regulars to reflect one of the better infantry regiments, the RI 25.  I also ran the scenario in daylight hours to keep the game simple for spotting for now.

As mention before, a platoon of British Paras were to probe up an Argentine defensive position.  The Paras went light and were not carrying their Carl G or LAWs.  I have not figured the stats for the Carl G or the LAWs was the main reason for not including them in the scenario, but the Carl G was reportedly bad for malfunctions in the very cold climate in the Falklands with only the Royal Marines that had been in the Arctic Warfare training having minimum problems as they had been trained on the proper care methods.  I decided to treat the M79 grenade launcher the same as the rifle grenade.  The extra men of the Para’s platoon headquarters was not available as I assumed that they would be on other duties, wounded, or etc.  This was also the case with the support section for the Argentine platoon.

The Para platoon was being pushed by Steve H. (running the platoon leader and two sections) and Curtis T. (running the platoon sergeant and one section).  The Argentine platoon was being pushed by Glenn W.  It was easy for Glenn to run the whole platoon since there was enough support points that all three sections started entrenched and really didn’t need to move for the game.

The game started with the Argentine conscripts having a Force Morale of 8 and the Para’s with 9.  Unfortunately, Steve did not roll very well for the number of turns to move his Patrol Markers before the game began, (I guess the Argentine troops were using their night vision effectively that night).  So the Paras had to start farther back and had to cross big gap to try to push the Argentine conscripts on a hill.  Steve made good with one section right away for setting up a base of fire on one hill top.  Shortly later, he was able to get a second section on smaller hill in the middle of the board to also provide a fire base.  Curtis moved his section up the one flank of the main hill held by the Argentine conscripts.  For most of the game the Argentine conscripts stayed in their trenches and traded shots with the Para.  The Argentine sniper was especially a troublesome follow for the Para until the Paras finally spotted him and eliminated him in a rather overkill sort of way!

The game ended with the Paras not being in a position to push at least one Argentine section out of their trenches and hurting.  The Argentine conscripts were in better shape, but their Force Morale was in dire straits.  I did not keep any notes during the game, but I believe that the Paras had lost 5 or 6 men out of the 27 and the Argentine conscripts lost about the same number of men, with one being a section NCO, out of 34 men.  The Force Morales were at 8 for the Para’s and the Argentine conscripts had a 4.  The main reason for the major drop in the Force Morale for the Argentine conscripts was the one section NCO was first wounded and later killed.  It appears that he was the most beloved NCO in the platoon because both times that Glenn rolled for the effects of him being wounded, then killed, it was the worst result that could be rolled for the effects on their morale.

I really like what I saw with this gaming system and plan to revisit it again later this year.

Below are some of the pictures from the game with captions below them.

Be seeing you

Sapper


The British Commander signalling his troops forward
Brits on the move
Argentine conscripts are dug in to defend what is theirs
The Para section that was laying down supporting fire for the advance
The effect rolls for the hits against the Argentine sniper!
An Argentine section abandoned their trenches to move into a position to counter assault
Game end - the Paras elected to abandon the attack as the Argentine conscripts in front of them were "Die Hards"




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