Books I have read and recommend.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chain Of Command at CANCON 2014

ABOVE: My forces for the game
I was fortunate enough to play a CHAIN OF COMMAND participation game at CANCON.

What follows is an AAR from my (The German Army or Heer) perspective.

Leutnant Hans Meashmizer surveyed the lay of the land before him.
BELOW:Leutnant Hans Meashmizer and the Panzershreck team of Privates Franke and Hessmann

His unit had been fighting for the last week against American Paratroopers and had suffered some casualties. Each of his 3 sections had been reduced to a MG42 LMG team of 3 men and 4 riflemen with a panzerfaust. CHQ had offered up a Panzershreck team and these two soldiers where his main defence against an armour that might link up with the American paratroopers from the beachheads of Normandy. Hopefully it wouldn’t come to that.

The small hamlet of Le Epic seemed empty. The little terrace houses and their small enclosed gardens looked peaceful enough nestled in amongst the bocage that surrounded it.

Unteroffiziers Schmidt and Paulus, take your sections and secure the first two houses on the main street. Obergefrieter Gobel, take your section along the line of bocage and await further orders. I will keep the Panzer killers with me. Move out”!

With that sections one and two occupied the two buildings on the western end of the hamlet on the south side of the road.
ABOVE: The German Sections secure the two houses
Obergefrieter Gobel’s section was slower to move off. The familiar and terrifying sound of a 60mm mortar firing caused them to pause.

At the north east end of Le Epic American Paratroopers from the 82nd were advancing into the Hamlet. One squad rushed into the house almost opposite number 2 section. Just as Unteroffizier Paulus’ men open fire on the ‘All Americans’ across the road a mortar round crashed into the roof above them killing Private Brand and causing the rest of the section to become concerned (suffering a point of ‘SHOCK’)

GAME NOTE: When a section, team or squad have more shock then members they become ‘Pinned / suppressed’ Once they have twice as much ‘Shock’ as members they rout!

ABOVE: The American Paratroopers take fire from Paulus men, and;
BELOW: Paulus men suffer a casualty and some 'SHOCK' from the Paras and their 60mm Mortar.

Unteroffizier Paulus started kicking some butts and the fire that his section poured across the road at the Yank Paratroopers across the road was very effective killing or wounding half the Americans.

Shorty an uneven firefight erupted between the two German sections and the now much depleted American Paratroopers. A Panzerfaust shot across the road sealed the Yanks fate and the three survivors fled out the back of the house into the part of the Platoon Sergeant who rallied them.  


Whilst this was happening Obergefrieter Gobel’s section was moving east along the bocage in an attempt find a flank to work around, and towards the sound of the American 60mm mortar that was continuing to drop round after round of HE on the two Heer sections in the houses at the western end of town.
Now Leutnant Hans Meashmizer entered the battlefield with the Panzershrek team. They halted in the walled garden behind Unteroffizier Paulus’ house. “Franke, take Hessmann with you and cover down the road for the approach of enemy Panz,…”

"BLAM BLAM BLAM ‘PING’! BLAM ‘PING’ !Buddddaa budda budda budda BLAM BLAM BLAM ‘PING’! BLAM”!!!
The bocage to the east of the terrace houses suddenly erupted with the sound of multiple M1 Garands and a 30 Cal MG!
Both Franke and Hessmann were both killed instantly and their Panzershreck fell in amongst the tomatoes and beets in the garden. As masonry and twigs flew all around him Leutnant Meashmizer dashed for and reached the relative safety of Paulus’ house. Only to find Paulus section dashing out the front door in an attempt to secure the house that was vacated by the broken and fleeing Americans. Paulus’ men stacked up outside the house in preparation of entering.
BELOW: Only Leutnant Hans Meashmizer is left standing in the garden
ABOVE :Obergefrieter Gobel’s section moving east towards the sound of the mortar firing
As this was happening another American squad and a bazooka team was attempting to move to the west and dashed across the road heading north and propped up against the side of the bocage,… the wrong side of the bocage. Unteroffizier Schmidt’s section blazed away and wiped out the majority of the Paratroopers. Only the Bazooka team managed to get over the bocage to relative safety. The three surviving Paras went back the way they cam and hunkered down in a garden behind a house.

Maybe it was the close call or maybe the rain of 60mm onto the house Leutnant Meashmizer was sheltering in but a paralysis overcame the German command.

GAME NOTE: My opponent stung together two phases of double 6 rolls, them played a CHAIN OF COMMAND (CoC) die then we had a ‘Random Event’ where ‘JABOS’ appeared overhead that resulted in everyone not moving.
BELOW:Paulus’ men stacked up outside the house in preparation of entering get shot up.

As Paulus men prepared to enter the house the Americans had vacated Yank Paratroopers at the northern end of the bocage that had just wiped out the P’shrek team now blazed away at them. The 60mm mortar also dropped a round on them. Only Paulus and two of his MG42 team made it inside. They managed to get their LMG into action and finished off the three remaining Paras that Sergeant Rock had rallied. At that same time Schmidt’s section crossed the road and occupied the house opposite them.

Obergefrieter Gobel’s section arrived opposite the bocage the American squad to the east had been using to cause so much carnage and managed to get the drop on them
GAME NOTE: I played my CoC Die and interrupted the American’s turn.
ABOVE: Obergefrieter Gobel’s section arrived opposite the bocage
BELOW: The Yanks suffer the consequences of being surprised

Grenades sailed over the bocage onto the Americans followed by a hail of Rifle, SMG and LMG fire. Killing or wounding 4 Americans.
The Mortar shifts its fire onto Paulus and his LMG team.
The American SNCO SGT Rock called out to the three Paras lurking in the garden to lay down a suppressive fire onto Paulus’ and his two Machine Gunners before hurling a grenade and assaulting them. Amazingly he killed all three Germans and recaptured the house! .
BELOW: The Three Yank Paratroopers who laid down the suppressive fire for SGT Rock's charge!

BELOW: SGT Rocks Assault! THE PLAN! The thin red lines represent the 'Support by fire' from the 60mm Mortar and the three paratroopers in the garden. The narrow arrow is SGT Rocks assault. The thick red arrow is Schmidt's dash across to road into the house.

ABOVE: SGT Rock prepares to assault Paulus and his two man LMG team!
BELOW: The victorious SGT Rock 
Feeling embolden by SGT Rock’s heroics the three Paras rushed into Schmidt’s house only to be wiped out.

BELOW: Schmidt's men seize the house on the northern side of the road and dispatch the three brave / foolish Paratroopers.

From their now digs Schmidt's men engage and kill the Bazooka team. The American moral is now very low and only one point away from breaking!
Obergefrieter Gobel’s section continued to engage in a vicious firefight with the Paratroopers across the road and behind the bocage eventually coming off second best when the Obergefrieter is stunned and unable to rally off any shock.

Leutnant Meashmizer then decides it’s up to him to storm the house occupied by SGT Rock. SGT Rock decides to meet the German officer in the street and like some scene out of Saving Private Ryan they both kill each other.  

At this point the game ends with the German Moral at 0 and the US moral at 1. Both sides are pretty much destroyed.
What a FANTASTIC game! CoC is without doubt one of the most realist WW2 / Modern skirmish games I've ever played. It plays quickly, easily and if you employ historical / real tactical doctrines you will be rewarded with a very enjoyable and historically accurate game.
My two biggest blunders were sending Paulus' section across the road without first ensuring it was safe to do so. No smoke was thrown to cover their crossing, and the whole section crossed when really I should have sent across only a team at a time. A rush of blood saw the section lose half it's strength. I should probably have sent Schmidt's section across the road at the same time and by team bounds.
Blunder number two? Assuming my P'shreck team and Leutnant Meashmizer were in a secure position resulted in a near disaster. Losing the P'Sheck team was a bitter lesson. Never assume anything unless you absolutely have to.
Unfortunately for me the firefight with the American squad behind the bocage came down to poor firing by my guys and the JNCO being taken out of the fight. Without his leadership the section soon fell apart.  
I wont go through all the game mechanics. My advice is go over to YouTUBE and watch the video series the guys at Too Fat Lardies have posted on CoC. They are well worth a look.
Part one is here:
In short. A great game. I highly recommend Chain of Command to you all!
Thanks to the guys who put the game on and to my opponent Dean from Sydney. The terrain and miniatures were first rate and Dean was a real gentleman to play against.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Hi All
It's the Australia Day long weekend and as usual the Canberra Gaming Society hosts CANCON.
As usual there was a lot to see.
A big crowd again this year with day one appearing to me to have the biggest crowd.
I didn't play in any of the tournaments, but I did play in two participation games
I did get some shopping in. The Bring and Buy stall as usual as a real treasure trove, and VERY crowded on the first day in the morning.
I did manage to purchase the following at excellent prices:
1. A Platoon of Australian 20mm Wartime Miniatures modern infantry and a Bushmaster Infantry Mobility Vehicle (IMV) and about 40 Taliban fighters and a mint copy of 'Operation Enduring Freedom' Codex and scenario boot for $60. The Aussies were even painted to a rather good standard.
2. A mint condition 'A Nation Divided' ACW board game, (that I'll use for my LONGSTREET campaign) for $25.
3. A mint condition copy of BATTLE CRY ACW battle game for $20.00

Hall of Hero's was there and selling X-WING expansions are bargain prices. I got a Millennium Falcon, a Shuttle, two Tie Bombers and a B-Wing for $90.00!

Without a further ado here are some photos from the three days

BELOW: EUREKA MINIATURES was in attendance and are now producing AB MINIATURES 20mm WW2 range. Here we see the German Paratroopers. I purchased a Platoon plus worth or these guys for 'Chain of Command'

 BELOW: FoG-Ancients Babylonians
 BELOW: BOLT ACTION games. And some very nice Teddy Bear fur terrain.
Romanian Infantry I think.


 BELOW: A Mathilda Mk II Tank for BOLT ACTION.

BELOW: A MASSIVE modern Chain Of Command game set in Rwanda
BELOW: Some of the action from the IMPETUS comp. Egyptian Chariots always look impressive when painted and based to such a high standard.

 BELOW: IMPETUS battle between Egyptians and Sassanid Persians

 ABOVE and BELOW: The magnificent Grotto Wargames Furniture.
 BELOW: DBMM or FoG-Ancients game.
BELOW: More IMPETUS tournament games in progress.

 BELOW: MUSKET and TOMOHAWK game in progress

 BELOW: Some of the impressive remote controlled Tanks on show.
 BELOW: Three photos of some of the very impressive Teddy Bear Fur terrain used in the BOLT ACTION tournament.

 BELOW: A very interesting Counter Insurgency game with LOTS of human terrain to deal with and some nice scratch built buildings.
 BELOW: The WRG Napoleonic's tournament. Hard to believe people are still using these old rules.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Hi Guys
Ok, I'll admit it,.. I'm a fan of all things 'Zombie'.
The idea of mindless undead swarming over the countryside hell bent on destroying all in their path holds a particular fascination for me. Maybe it's the image of stalwart dogged survivors fighting it out in a post apocalyptic world or maybe it's just living in our nations capital where I'm convinced the 'Walking Dead' already hold sway, (particularly in Parliament).
Anyway I recently came across a game called 'ZOMBICIDE' and what a nifty BIG boxed game it is.
The game is produced by Guillotine Games and is an impressive collection of gaming 'Bits and pieces'.
It comes with 71 Miniatures consisting of 6 survivors, 65 'Zombies' (40 'Walkers', 16 'Runners', 8 'Fatties' and 1' Abomination'). There is also 9 Game Tiles that fit together to make the playing surface and of course Dice, Tokens, Cards and a very easy to read and learn rule book.
At a retail price of $120 it isn't cheap, but when you consider all the stuff you get its pretty good value for money. It's almost worth it just for the miniatures alone.
Yes they are plastic but they are very nice miniatures, well detailed and already based.
The rule system is simplicity itself! First off, you do not play against your fellow players. Well, you could but that wouldn't be wise. The game is designed to be played against the system controlled zombies. Ideally you should play cooperatively against the walking dead but there is nothing stopping you from ignoring the other survivors or actually blowing them away also.
All survivors start off at a 'basic' level of experience (BLUE LEVEL) and as they succeed in tasks, or take out the Zombies they gain experience, from BLUE to YELLOW to ORANGE and finally RED. As soon as one player reaches the next level of experience the number of zombies that are 'SPAWED' by the game system either increase in number or become more dangerous (move a little quicker). That said, the survivor gains extra skills as he or she gains a new experience level. Too bad for those survivors that are experience level BLUE when you're level ORANGE!!!!
Basically the game is played with all survivors carrying out a few actions such as moving, fighting, searching or a mix of the above. Certain ACTIONS cause noise, and noise attracts zombies. Do you dispatch that zombie with a crowbar or a chain saw. Sure the chainsaw will mince the zeek, but it's sure to draw some unwelcomed guests. Once all the survivors have done their actions then the zombies spawn, then move or attack, (or move AND attack).
The rules themselves are IMHO a tad too simple. For example, if you fire a weapon into a 'zone' where there are both friends AND zombies the first 'HIT' you score MUST be on a friendly (unless you have a 'scoped' weapon). Now for me this is ridiculous. At worse there should be a chance you might hit a friendly with you first shot but if there is 8 zombies in a zone with one fellow survivor I'm guessing even the worst marksman is more likely to hit a lumbering corpse than a franticly flying friend! When my daughter and I played our first game we instituted a 'house rule' that ALL shots had a percentage chance of hitting a friendly (depending on the number of zombies and the experience of the shooter). And here is the real diamond in the rough with these rules! They are so easy to modify or use as a base for your own rule system.
My 15 year old daughter Hayley and I played the Tutorial scenario and with 3 survivors each came within a whisker of succeeding in the mission but unfortunately we were overcome by a wave of stinking undead just short of freedom.
BELOW: Early in our first game. Not many 'Zeeks', and we're doing well

ABOVE: Ned is doing well, knocking over 'Zeek' by the half dozen!
BELOW: Ned's in trouble!

Now let's look a bit more at the miniatures.

The miniatures that come in the box set are '30mm' apparently. Well they look like the traditional 28mm miniatures we all know and love.
BELOW: We have photos of the SURVIVORS (and the hulking 'Abomination'). Wanda the rollerblading waitress with a chainsaw was Hayley's favourite. 'Lucky' Phil, (the grey miniature of a police officer with the shotgun) I was rather fond of.
BELOW: Some of the Zombies. As you can see the quality and detail is first rate. Like I said, the price is almost worth just the miniatures alone.

They mix well with the 28mm plastic figures from WARGAMES FACTORY. I've included some photos so you can make a comparison
 ABOVE: Two of the 4 box sets available from WARGAMES FACTORY (WGF). I also have the 'MEN' survivors and the ZOMBIE sets.
BELOW: Two WGF zombies either side of a ZOMBICIDE WALKER. The early production zombies from WGF don't come with round bases and are rather crude compared to their later sets for Female Zombies and MALE and FEMALE survivors. Considering they are the walking dead, a lack of detail isn't a deal breaker for me.
 BELOW: A ZOMBICIDE female walker (left) and a WGF Zombie Vixen. Both are excellent miniatures with plenty of detail and character.
 BELOW: ZOMBICIDE 'Phil' survivor and one of WGF 'MEN' survivors with a handgun. On the extreme right is a WGF Male that I converted with a RPG from the WOMENS box set.
 BELOW: A EUREKA MINIATURES 28mm metal Afghan National Police officer 'back to back with 'Phil' from the ZOMBICIDE box set
BELOW: You can see the difference in quality between the earlier 'ZOMBIES' from WGF and their current set of ZOMBIE VIXENS.
BELOW: A WGF MALE SURVIVOR (with an RPG from the WOMEN set) along side a EUREKA MINIATURES 28mm metal AFGHAN POLICE or ANA soldier with an RPG. Compatible? Works for me!
BELOW: A WGF MALE SURVIVOR (with a AK47 or AK74) along side a EUREKA MINIATURES 28mm metal AFGHAN POLICE or ANA soldier with the same weapon.
 BELOW: WGF Survivors and ZOMBIES! AAArrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggghhhhhh!!!

 BELOW: Wanda and her stats card. here you can see the colour coded experience gauge.
There is also an IPAD app for ZOMBICIDE that basically gives you the stats cards for all the survivors and tracks their equipment, wounds and skills as well as their experience level.
The App will even resolve combats for you (you can roll dice or have the App do it for you) complete with the sound of weapons being discharged.
Very handy and a must for those ZOMBICIDE players who have an IPAD. 
As we can see below, Wanda has settled in nicely even if she has sustained 1 wound.
I highly recommend ZOMBICIDE to those who have an interest in such things. It's a simple fun game that is well worth the price. There are two expansions that I know of (I have them on order at present). The miniatures are very high quality and the rules are great as a basis to build upon if you want some more 'Chrome'.
Well, gotta go. I'm feeling a bit seedy,........ aaaaarrrrrgggghh.