Books I have read and recommend.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Chain Of Command AAR: Action at Petit Fromage

ABOVE: The SS men fire at the British Cromwell tank!
Hi Guys.
I live in semi rural Victoria and sometimes, (often) I struggle to find opponents to game with.
I think Chain of Command shows real promise as a a good old fashion 'Play By Mail' (PBM) game,...
Or should I say a 'Play By Social Media' (PBSM) game.
So I'll set up a game,.. Set the parameters (Situation, Mission ect) and then post some photos from the perspective of one (or both maybe) combatants.
Then request someone (anyone) to send orders, probably via 'Messenger' for secrecy if having both sides played 'remotely'.
I play the phases until a 'hinge point' is achieved.
Maybe a CoC die has become available,...
Maybe the original orders are getting us nowhere,...
And then I play the game to a conclusion.
So with the that in mind I set up the following game and soon had a nice chap named Kris offer to play the Platoon Commander for the British.
Here's how it played out,...

First, lets set the scene, the scenario and the very very 'Quick Orders' for the British from Company HQ.


7th Battalion, Duke of Wellington's Regiment

A Company
3rd Platoon
25 June 1944
West of Caen
The last of the young corporals moved into the hasty 'O' Group. The Platoon Commander gave a curt "Cheers" to the Battalion Adjutant Captain Morris and then turned back to the three corporals. Sergeant Crab was collecting 2 inch Mortar rounds from the CSM,...
"Bloody hell Sir, that's a grand total of 5 smoke and 3 HE! I'm hardly going to blast Jerry of the ridge with this"!
The CSM gave a sharp reply:
"Stop ya whinging Sergeant! In my day we just had rocks,....
Besides, the Trailapes (Artillery) will do all the stonking you need lovely boy"!

Lt Baker commenced his orders,....


"Quick Orders.

Situation:
Ahead is the crossroads at Petit Fromage.
Enemy: 
It's believed elements of the 12th SS are holding the objective.
We expect them to be supported by 'some' armour,.."..
Corporal Barry Haree chimed in:
"Probably bloody Tigers"!
Lt Baker frowned:
"Thank you Harry for that positive input.
May I continue?
Fritz has at least a platoon is in there. The 12th SS are all young die hard Nazis. I don't expect we' take many prisoners.
Friendlies:
We have 3 Cromwells from the 24th Lancers in Support.
We have air supremacy, but with the weather being so shite don't expect any air support.
Artillery is stonking the crossroads as you can hear.
Mostly 5.5 inch.

Mission:

3 platoon, supported by a Troop of tanks from 24th Lancers is to advance to contact and then seize the crossroads at Petit Fromage.
Repeat
3 platoon, supported by a Troop of tanks from 24th Lancers is to advance to contact and then seize the crossroads at Petit Fromage.

Execution:

(This is the bit the remote PBSM player contributes).
As I told him:
Your orders can be as detailed or as brief as you want.
Your intent is really all that is needed by me.
For example.
1 section on the right is to,...
2 section on the left is to,....
3 Section will be in depth with me.
One tank will be in support of each section
Or
All tanks will mass on the left / right / road,....
You get the idea.

Back to our 'O' Group,....

This is what Kris came up with:

"Section 1 to push towards the stone fence in front of position and then to remain on overwatch looking towards the houses forward and to the right flank.
The 2 inch mortar to support and drop smoke as required for sections 2 and 3 Section 3 push forward quickly using the field as cover aiming to get to the stone wall to the center Section 2 to push into the just vacated building of section 3 and then to follow in haste through the field towards the stone wall to the right flank more so. This will stop the sections bunching up. Cromwell on the road cautious advance up road ready to swing in behind cover when the enemy appears. The lads in section 1 are to be on the look out for panzerfausts or any AT weapons.
Common men lets at it, Jerry's not going to wait all day for us!"

"Admin and Log:
We have the Adjt with us! BHQ obviously sees our company as the main effort and the OC sees our platoon as the tip of the spear,...
We also have CPL Avnil the medic with us,.. So if you cop a Blighty we'll have you sorted.
Command and Signals:
The Radio nets are unchanged. Company signals will be back at the FUP, with the Adjt.
Chain of Command is Me (Lt Baker), then Sgt Crab, then Seco 3 Section, Seco 1 then Seco 2.
The rest can fight it out,...
The Adjt will feed the lads forward as required so I'll be with you lads all the way.
That's it,...
Move out"!

I determined the details on the individual 'BIG MEN' using the matrix in PLATOON FORWARD available from Too Fat Lardies. I highly recommend this PDF as it can be used with any rule system not just CoC or IABSM.


Platoon Commander Lt Baker:

Optimistic family man  (Popular with the Lads) and reckless. He was a salesman at his father's corner shop before the war. Joined the Regiment in June of '43.

Platoon Sgt Crab: 

Likable and a 'True Believer' in their cause. "We're in a great crusade Lads! Let's kill all these Nazi swine"!
'Mud' has an even combat temperament. The lads respect his rank and the man (+1) for 'Rally' purpose, (removes one extra shock every time he Rallies the lads).

Section 1 CPL 'Crafty' Thompson:

Cunning family man even combat temperament (+1 when in HtH or directing fire).

Section 2 CPL 'Bibles' Bower: 

Glum and Religious with an even combat temperament (+1 dice when firing)

Section 3 CPL 'Snake' Rattler: 

A real nasty chap and 'Position' conscious (always looking secure promotion) and bold in combat (+1 dice in HtH)

I sent SITUATION REPORTS (Sit Reps) to Kris as the game progressed.

So, on with the game,...









The two British sections on the right briskly moved forward but soon Section 3 came under heavy fire from 2 MG42s generating 18 dice worth of fire and despite being in hard cover the leading section started taking casualties.
Their Section Commander Cpl Rattler was soon down with a wound!
The Platoon Commander sent SGT Crab off to assist 1 Section that was busy moving forward towards the hedges on the slight rise ahead whilst he himself moved up with the support section behind 3 section.
As 1 section advanced they heard the rumble of a tanks engine in the village ahead and then saw movement.
They identified the enemy tank as a TIGER and reported its presence.
To complicate the situation even more a German 75mm Pak Anti Tank Gun also made its presence know when it opened fire on the Cromwell tank on the road, Call Sign (C/S) 2 from the British Armour support troop.
1 this is 3-1!

Sit Rep
Section 1 has reached the hedge on the ridge and is in Overwatch
Our mortar is directly to their rear in the corner of the wheat field in position to provide Fire Support
Section 2 is positioned to provide covering fire for section 3
Section 3 is directly opposite the large farm building with the Red Roof.
Two Ironside elements of Cromwell Tanks are to the rear of sections 2 and 3
Ironside C/S 2 Cromwell on the road has been engaged by a 75mm AT gun on the road near the Farm complex gate.
The round missed!
Enemy tank is unobserved. Assumed to be in amongst the smaller buildings opposite 1 section
.
Wait,..

OUT"!





The Cromwell on the road returned fire on the Pak 75mm with HE and quickly killed one of the SS Gunners with a blast of shrapnel from a near miss,...
However the SS Men were not to be rattled and their third AP round stuck the Cromwell directly in the Hull MG position.
C/S Ironside 2 burst into flames with just the Sergeant commander tumbling out of the turret with a shard of metal in his right arm.
Meanwhile Section 2 moved off to their right to prepare for an assault on the large red roofed building that was giving Section 3 such grief.
Simultaneously the remaining two Cromwell tanks fired HE rounds into the Farm Building now called 'BIG RED'. The fire hardly slackened from the the building however and Section 3 suffered another casualty and more 'Shock'.


"1 THIS IS 3-1
Sit rep
3 section is taking very heavy fire from the Farm building. Section Commander wounded with Gun Shot Wound (GSW)
 to right leg and left foot. 1 KIA, 1 WIA, GSW right leg.
2 section moving to assault
1 section advancing on left.
Ironsides C/S 2 has been knocked out.
4 KIA, 1 bailed out.
Ironside C/S 1 and 3 in support.
Smoke from platoon asset blinding Farm House.
Wait,..
Out"!


By now Section 1 reached the 'Stone wall' at the top of the slight rise to discover it was just a hedge.
Now the two SS squads in the cluster of buildings and hasty barricade burst to life!
Their four MG42s hurled buckets of lead into the unfortunate Tommies,...
The German tank rumbled up in support and the British sergeant identified it as a Panzer IV NOT a Tiger.
(I deliberately fed back some false information here)
As soon as the Brits noticed a tank I would roll a dice and based on rank / experience give an accurate or inaccurate target description.
Initially the Corporal rolled poorly (he rolled a 5 when he needed 1-3) and screamed "TIGER"!  
The more experienced Sergeant however was less prone to making the same mistake (needing a roll of 1-4 to get it right)

The PzIV still added some punch however.
To counter this the Brit 2 inch Mortar dropped some smoke to blind the SS Tank and one of the MG42s. This was in addition to the smoke that they had dropped earlier in front of 'BIG RED' permitting 2 Section to get in close for an assault on that building.

"9. This is 1-3 
Sit Rep 
Section 1 coming under extremely heavy fire from the vicinity of house to our front. 
One MG 42 engaging from hasty barricade and one MG 42 engaging us from house.
1 KIA, 3 WIA. Enemy tank is confirmed as a Pz 4. 
I say again, Pz IV. En PzIV and one MG42 blinded. 
Advancing would be difficult unsupported. 
More to follow,.... 
Section 2 is positioned for assault on large from building now nicknamed "Big Red". 
Firing from Big Red has ceased. 
Seco 2 Section suggested flanking movement to the right more secure. 
More to follow,... 
Section 3 has sustained another casualty Currently 1 KIA, 3 WIA including Seco. 
C/S Ironside 1 and 3 providing good support. 
End Report Out.


With smoke covering the Brit advance onto 'BIG RED' the Germans within that building withdrew into the farm yard.
The Tank fire had killed one of them and cause a little shock.

The smoke fired from the british 2 inch mortar that fell infront of the German tank did require it to be repositioned.
In doing so the SS tank commander exposed himself ever so slightly to the British Cromwells

Shots were exchanged by the 'Hull Down' tanks but luck was with the British tankers and soon the Panzer IV was a blazing wreck!
But there the good news ended.

The fire from the SS MG 42s however did not slacken,...




"9 This is 1-3 Sit Rep Section 1 virtually destroyed. CPL down, WIA 2 KIA, 5 WIA. Only Bren gunner and number two in the fight. 
More to follow,... 
 Section 2. Has assaulted Big Red Enemy has disengaged. Assumed to have fallen back to positions within farmyard. 
1 enemy KIA discovered in Big Red. 
More to follow,...
 Section 3. No change from previous report. Seco has been treated by 'Starlight' and is back in the fight.
 More to follow,... 
 Sunray minor (SGT) is directing fire of 2 inch. 
Reports enemy fire is extremely heavy and accurate 
More to follow,... 
 Enemy AFV Pz 4 has been destroyed by concentrated fire from Ironside elements. My Foxhound (Infantry) element Casualties heavy. 
Command and Control at final limit. (Force Moral 5!) 
 Strong wind has dispersed blinding smoke. 
Fire from at least 4 MG42s in vicinity of brown buildings is heavy and extremely accurate! 
Request permission to disengage! 
End of Report! 
Out"!

I called the game to an end at this point.

If I did one more phase it would have played out as follows (as i decided to roll some more dice out of curiosity):

The four SS MG42 in the vicinity of the collection of buildings before section 1 hurled their 34 dice to wipe out the sole remaining men of 1 Section.
British moral collapsed to 3. 
Conclusion
PBSM Works quite nicely.
The added bonus is you can include as little or as much information to share with the players as you see fit. Much like a "Dungeons and Dragons" Game-master would.
I'd like to have another go soon but with BOTH sides controlled be remote players.
The 'Fog Of War' that can be introduced by only showing what the actual 'models' can see.
COMMENTS WELCOMED as usual.
MERRY CHRISTMAS

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Reasonably Priced Realestate


Hi Guys
Well let's face it, we all want great terrain, but none of us want to spend too much because, well;
we all want great miniatures!
Terrain however really can make the difference between a game that looks good or looks FANTASTIC.
Part of the appeal of Miniature games is the eye candy, otherwise we'd simply play boardgames, right?

As some might be aware I did a comparison of two 'La Haye Sainte' models recently and BATTLEFIELD ACCESSORIES' offering was one of the farm sets I looked at.

Well the good news is Mike Parker has gone into a partnership with another chap and they have finally got around to creating a true ONLINE presence.

BELOW: The BA Church and below that the 'Destroyed' version


You can now purchase BATTLEFIELD ACCESSORIES (BA) terrain ONLINE!

  http://battlefield-accessories.myshopify.com/

The terrain is of excellent quality and very competitively priced .
I refer you back to my LA HAYE SAINTE review to get an impression of what I'm talking about.

The range is extensive:
Bridges
Factories
Workshops
Futuristic Buildings, Bunkers and Fortifications
Houses (both intact and destroyed)
Churches
MASSIVE 17th Century Star Forts
Inca / Aztec Temples
Japanese Castles
Crates
and on and on we go,...
with more to come I'm sure.


Nothing flimsy, and easy to construct BA Terrain is both easy on the eye AND affordable.
I highly recommend BATTLEFIELD ACCESSORIES.
For me, they are my ONE STOP TERRAIN SHOP!











 
BELOW: What can be done,.. just some of the 'Pimping' I'm doing at the moment to my BA Factory. Painting still to be done.







Sunday, September 6, 2015

So You're a Platoon Commander! Comparing Chain of Command and Bolt Action


Hi Guys

I've been meaning to do a comparison of these two rule systems for a considerable time but other things just simply get in the way, like other projects (Commissions, my ongoing La Haye Sainte project, painting 100s of Perry Miniatures, and building lots and lots of terrain,..).
Well finally here it is.
Now before I start I just want to say that I'm looking at the two systems through the eyes of a soldier (Artilleryman) of 33 years service (both in a pure training environment and operationally).
Yes, I know they are both 'Games' and playability and pure enjoyment must sit at the top of the list, but some level of realism must in my opinion be evident, otherwise why not simply play Warhammer Fantasy?
I've played about 5 games now of both systems and found both to be enjoyable and challenging.
One system was however MORE challenging, realistic and for me personally, enjoyable.
So let's look at each systems.
BELOW: A Brit Airborne 6 Pdr covering down a road somewhere in Holland.


Bolt Action (BA) is produced by Warlord Games and works on a system where for each Squad (or Section), AFV, Artillery Piece, vehicle or small team (Artillery Observer for example) you and your opponent get one 'Command Die'. All the dice go into a single opaque container and are drawn randomly. As a die comes out the owner of that die can issue 1 of 6 different commands (RUN, ADVANCE, FIRE, AMBUSH, RALLY, DOWN) to his troops as he sees fit. Very suspenseful stuff!

Produced by Too Fat Lardies, Chain Of Command (CoC) works much differently.
Depending on the Quality of your force you get to roll 4 (poor quality) 5 (Regular or standard quality) or 6 (Elite or hardened well trained Veterans).
At the start of your turn you roll your allocated dice.
For each 1 you roll you can activate a small team
For a 2 a Section together with its leader
For a 3 a Section Commander (Leader) with his Section
For a 4 a senior leader such as the Platoon Sergeant, (if you have one) or the Platoon Commander)
A roll of a 5 goes towards building up CoC die, and once you have one of these then there are all sorts of options open to you, like declaring an ambush, interrupting an opponents move, relocating a sniper team, to mention just some.
A 6 is a 'Phasing' Die and let's just say multiple 6s are a good thing.

Pre Game Preparation
In Bolt Action (BA) you select or dice for a scenario, set up and play
In Chain of Command (CoC) you select or dice for a scenario and then enter what is called the 'Patrol Phase'. This is like a mini game within the larger game.
It represents scouts or recon patrols probing ahead of your main force and establishing what is referred to as Jump Off Points (JOP).
It is from these JOPs your troops enter the table, and the loss of which can have catastrophic consequences.
BELOW: CoC at CANCON 2014

Movement
It's a fixed distance in BA.
For example Infantry run 12 inches without firing or 6 inches if the wish to move AND then fire. Terrain will obviously have effects on movement but you KNOW how far your boys will move FOR CERTAIN.
In CoC it's variable, based on moving one D6 if moving tactically, maintaining a low profile for example, (maybe they are leopard crawling or monkey running).
Normal movement is 2D6 or 1 D6 to move AND fire, (or fire and then move)
"At The Double," 3D6 is a pell-mell 'Rush' and pick up some disorder for your trouble!
So in other words each individual Section / Squad will move as they see as appropriate depending on whether or not the Section Commander or Squad Leader has told them to "keep low lads"! or "Move it boys"!
This seems more realistic to me.

Coordinated movement.
In BA you can't really coordinate arms with any real certainty.
Here's an Example:
Let's say one of my dice is drawn. I decide to move my Stug III
Then one of my dice is drawn again so I move my Squad behind the Stug III. Excellent!
But I can only move my Stug III and my squad in the same phase IF I get two Die drawn in succession. If this doesn't happen the insane situation can arise where the Stug roles on down the road, leaving the dim witted infantrymen standing in the middle of a perfect firing lane just begging to be blown away.
Now obviously you can increase your chances to coordinate movement by 'counting the dice' as they come out of the bag, and waiting until you know that you have more dice in the bag than the other guy, but this might never happen (particularly if the bad guys have more dice than you due to being of cheaper 'stock')
BELOW: A PzIII in North Africa

In CoC I can quite easily move my AFV down the road with my supporting infantry section right behind it (for cover) or either side of it (protecting it from enemy with Anti-tank weapons)
And to do this SHOULD be easy.
Example:
It's my phase of turn 2.
I have regular US Armoured Infantry (5 Command Dice)
I roll and get 3, 2, 3, 5, 6
The 6 means next 'Phase' is the Italians (my opponents)
The 5 means I've scored one CoC Die! (Only 5 to go).
I use the one of the 3s to get my SGT to put my MMG 'Team' on Overwatch.
I use the other 3 to order my M4 Sherman tank down the road (the MMG is coving its movement in case any Italian Paratroopers with a Panzerfaust pop up) and I use the 2 to have a Squad of infantry move normally behind the tank.
The infantry might not be right up behind the tank,.. But they won't be simply left 12 inches behind.

Let's look at Ambushing
Ambushes in BA aren't true ambushes.
There's no,..
"Holy cow! Where did they come from"?
In other words they are really just in Overwatch.
The Ambush order in BA still leaves the ambushers in plain sight on the table.
I can see you, and if I can see you I can engage you, therefore you're not 'in ambush'.
There are rules in BA covering 'Hidden Troops', but for reasons I can't quite understand they are still deployed on the table in plain sight.
The bonus for them is it's  virtually impossible to actually hit them if shot at!
They lose that bonus if infantry or Recce vehicles approach within 12 inches or other things happen,....

In CoC a Anti Tank team can suddenly appear literally 'out of nowhere' and attempt to put a shaped charge into the side of your tank!
This is done by utilising a CoC dice (remember,.. Rolling '5's accumulates these and once I have scored six '5's I gain one CoC Die) and deploying a small team anywhere within 12inches of a 'Jump off' point but NOT within 6 inces of enemy infantry (they would have acquired the ambushers within that range).

Consequently I see a Sherman moving across a field within 18 inches of one of my JOP    so I declare I'll stage an ambush! I discard my CoC die and place a Panzerfaust team I've held off table for just such an opportunity. Fritz is placed behind a hedge 3 inches from the Sherman and fires!
In CoC it's not wise to have AFVs moving around unsupported by the foxhounds!
Oh, and you better have some troops in 'Overwatch' covering your armour

Close Air Support
Air support in CoC is something totally random and I'm fine with that.
The forces in play in these Skirmish level games really shouldn't simply call up a P47 Thunderbolt. Sorry,... Those assets are held at Battalion or higher level. Probably DIVISIONAL!
Admittedly your force really could be the tip of the spear and yes, at battalion level the FAC needs to be placed somewhere, but that somewhere is usually Battalion Tac Hq or with a Company Commander and maybe he's been sent off with a platoon,..
In BA you can obtain a FAC. Fair enough

Close combat!
When you go into close combat in BA any 'pin' markers (which simulate the 'Shock' or 'Suppression' troops are enduring) are removed!
ALL of them!
Like a wise section commander you've been working like a demon to win the firefight before committing to the hand to hand stuff but now as the entrenching tools and bayonet work is about to start the enemy suddenly finds his guts and fights!
Everyone is now a hero,...
All the shock you've applied is now for naught,...
Now obviously there is an element of what I've just mentioned (guys throwing up their hands or simply refusing to fight) taking place and the 'results' will be seen in the final outcome of the hand to hand combat.
It's simply abstracted into the results.
Hand to Hand is usually not simultaneous in BA,...
If your unit has been activated and you're in the 'open' then there is little chance you'll be able to fight back as the attacker will mete out his hits before you do. Only if you have some guys still standing can you reply.
I just don't like the fact that unless your defenders are behind an obstacle they don't fight simultaneously with their attackers.
There appears to be more abstraction taking place in BA to simplify the game and that's ok by me. Game design is always a compromise between realism and playability.

In CoC in almost all circumstances both sides fight EXCEPT in the situation where one side has an advantage in combat dice of 4 to 1 or greater.
In that case the weaker side routs immediately in a terrible state of shock!
Otherwise it's brutal and it's possible both participants can be wiped out,.. As it should be.
Close Combat in CoC, (like most things) is slightly more complex than in BA.

Small Arms Firepower:
In CoC a German MG 42 generates 8 dice which is over half the sections Firepower
In BA it generates 4 dice less then half!
That speaks volumes (pardon the pun) about both sets of rules!
In CoC the Machine Gun is king!
Well at least as far as the Germans are concerned. Looking at a German infantry section you soon see that the section is built around the MG34/42.
But looking at a Brit section you see manoeuvre is the name of the game, with the Bren not providing as much punch.
Consequently the Platoon Commander in CoC is better off playing his sections historically.
The German trying to dominate with his excellent LMGs (often by 'Attaching' the Section Commander to the LMG team to add extra dice) and the Brit relying on manoeuvre and the excellent accuracy of the Bren to target specific teams within the enemies forces.
BELOW: German Infantry with PINS or SHOCK

Suppression.
In BA when you score a hit on the enemy, whether it be one hit or several you only inflict 1 pin marker.
To be fair, if you inflict 50% or more casualties you do trigger a 'Do or Die' moral test.
By contrast in CoC you might not cause any actual casualties when you engage an enemy section squad or team but you may inflict so much 'shock' on them they become paralysed or even break in flight!


Tactical Flexibility
In BA you start with Teams or Sections / Squads, (which can be as big or as small as you wish  within certain parameters). During game play you can't form a 'Team' from a 'Section'. For example, a section commander can't order his scouts to move to the intersection and check out that area, or send his Bren team off to a far flank.
Now you could I guess work around this by creating your sections / squads using two dice per squad. That us to say one die for 1 NCO with a SMG and 4 riflemen and another for a LMG team of 1 NCO and 4 men (2 manning a LMG) thus creating your German Squad. In effect 2 dice per section / squad, but that creates other issues and still leaves you with two independent 'teams' that might not be able to coordinate their movement and can't merge and split as the Squad leader desires.
In CoC this is possible. The Section command can splinter of small teams to perform tasks and then reconstitute his section, just as in reality.
As a platoon commander you and your sections have that tactical flexibility in CoC. You don't in BA.

Orbats or 'Lists':
Bolt Action lists look to me like something out of Warhammer 40k.
Seriously, you can 'pick n mix' pretty much to your hearts content.
You don't select historically accurate sections or squads in BA. Rather you 'Purchase' teams of about 5 men (on average I'd say) or teams that you can increase to proper squad strengths. As noted this can create a situation where you could conceivably create a squad or section consisting of 10 men with TWO Command Dice.
Games could well be decided by who can throw together the 'gamyest' order of battle rather than who possessed the best tactical grasp of what's going on.

CoC lists detail the specifics of each platoon type and then give that platoon a force 'Rating' which goes toward indicating what 'Support' options you can choose.
Anything from (for the British Motor Platoon in 1944) a single 'Sticky Bomb' or some barbed wire to a Churchill Crocodile Tank with a Junior Leader!
CoC lists drive you toward historically accurate orders of battle (Orbats) and support options.
Both rules sets allow for some limited 'National Characteristics'.
BELOW:
As viewed through a Periscope, (handy for 'TRUE Line Of Sight' games like CoC and BA)
A Brit Cromwell tank comes undone AND "Don't bunch up boys"!

In summary
Both systems will provide you with an enjoyable challenging game.
Both systems are well supported.
But here's one of my bigger gripes with BA,...
The poorer (points wise cheaper) quality your troops are the more troops (and as a consequence) 'Command dice' you'll get!
This is crazy as it supposes the worse your troops are the more likely you are to gain the initiative.
In CoC the better your troops the more dice you get and the more likely you are to gain the initiative and the better your Command and Control is.
For game balance in CoC the Green Troops will either gain more support options or lessen their opponents support options.

Warlord Games have been churning out plenty of Army Lists and for about $40 a book you can buy them, and they are very nice books indeed with lots of great Osprey Publishing illustrations.
There are lots of podcasts supporting BA also.
Too Fat Lardies also gave done a good job in supporting Chain of Command with two RULES Supplement!
Big CoC focuses on having a Tank or Assault Gun force as the basis of your command and At The Sharp End provides rules for playing a campaign!
There is also three (at this time) mini campaign books:
29 Go,
Kampfgruppe Luck,
And;
Old Hickory.
All army lists are FREE for download from the TFL forum and they have lists covering not just WW2 but also the Spanish Civil War!
There are moves afoot to produce a modern version of CoC called 'Fighting Season' and a WW1 variant is also available.
Both systems provide online video tutorials via YouTube
I HIGHLY recommend you watch both for an excellent introduction to both systems.
Hell. I could simply post both YouTube links and save myself all this writing,...
Here they are (grab a hot chocolate and a Tim Tam or two and enjoy):
Chain Of Command 
and
BOLT ACTION

Bolt Action has a huge following and finding someone to play against in most clubs certainly shouldn't be a challenge.
It's simplicity makes it ideal for introducing people to the period and I myself use BA to introduce youngsters to Wargaming.
If you want to have some fun, push some WW2 soldiers around a table and can live with some oddities then Bolt Action is great!
For me however Chain Of Command is much more challenging and realistic and it truly feels like I'm commanding a WW2 Platoon for only a very slight increase in complexity.
I really appreciate the effort the guys at TFL have gone to produce such a realistic yet elegantly simply system.
From experience I can tell you Chain Of Command is as close as you'll get to the real thing.
Here are some relevant LINKS:
The CoC Forum
Too Fat Lardies
The BA Forum
BOLT ACTION

UPDATE: CoC is on SALE! 20% OFF for Sept 2015
Link here: http://toofatlardies.co.uk/blog/?p=5132

Monday, August 3, 2015

ITALERI CROMWELLS

Hi Guys
I've been adding a lot of 28mm (1:56th Scale) WW2 miniatures and Armour to my collection of late.
This is due to my fascination with Too Fat Lardies FANTASTIC WW2 Platoon Level rules 'Chain Of Command (CoC).
I've really been impressed with the BLITZKRIEG and JTFM range of Resin Kits as well as the rather inexpensive OLD GLORY 'Berlin Or Bust' range of WW2 Miniatures and AFVs and Guns / Vehicles which are quite servicable for those counting their pennies.
Another good 'Economical' option is the Italeri plastic kits.
The kits come with transfers, glue, a tiny dropper bottle of paint and a reasonable paint brush.
I purchased two of these 'Bread and Butter' tanks from WarTime Miniatures here in Australia for $54 plus postage (another $7.50) which is a pretty competitive price for two Main Battle Tanks.

The Kit is pretty simple and provides you with a nice Mk.IV Cromwell with the option to add a 'Bocage Plough' which is a really nice touch.
The turret is removable and the main gun moves up and down though I'll be fixing mine so it stays level rather than hanging limp in the turret.
You also get decals for either a British or Polish tank. Again very nice.
Unfortunately there is no Crew Figures, even though you can have hatches modeled 'Unbuttoned' (open).
Not a deal breaker as the PERRY'S do a nice tank crew set.
There is plenty on detail on the kit and should paint up quite nicely.
The paint, glue and brush are useful, however I discovered glue in a bottle with a brush applicator can be a dangerous thing, with me knocking a bottle over and spilling about half the contents over my workspace. Fortunately the result was simply some wasted glue but it could have been much worse.

I'll post some photos of this tank once I've painted her up.

Cheers
Trailape