Battlegroup: First Game and the Tailleville Campaign finale

Peter and I have been using the Chain of Command rules and their campaign system to play a campaign I designed (background here). It saw a company from the Canadian North Shore Regiment trying to push in shore from Juno beach with the 5./ II. Grenadier-Regiment 736 opposing them. In the four campaign games it’s fair to say the defensive Germans were having the better time of it. They only had a single platoon, but their losses had been minimal. The Canadians, on the other hand, had three platoons severely mauled in their attempts to push in land. Here are the reports for the previous games (1, 2, 3 and 4).

We thoroughly enjoyed the games of CoC, but we were each tempted to try Battlegroup. Mostly, it has to be said, to allow a bit more armour to enter the fray. Chain of Command is primarily an infantry platoon focussed game (though I should try Big Chain of Command to see how it scales). Battlegroup claims to allow gaming from the squad to company (and beyond), but for our first go we decided to try a platoon level game at 400pts per side. For each force that translated to an infantry platoon , four tanks/assault guns, and some artillery support. I modified my CoC vassal module to incorporate the battle counters.

We played an interesting and fun game, playing the Attack/Counter-Attack scenario to represent the Germans finally taking the fight to the Canadians. It resulted in a win for the Germans (17 to 28), but I was helped along by pulling two Mine Strike counters, which resulted in an M10 and a Sherman being destroyed (and forcing Peter to pull counters).

As this was the finale for the campaign, I think the Canadians will need to find another route inland from the western end of Juno. They have a very tenuous (and hard fought for) toe-hold in the dunes behind the beach, but any further progress has been comprehensively rebuffed.

In this game we were still groping our way through the Battlegroup rules, but we managed with relatively few errors. Here are a few things we got wrong:

  • You play until a Battle Rating is exceeded, not equaled.
  • Medium and Heavy mortars cannot direct fire at targets.
  • Firing on board artillery is more involved than we initially thought.
  • German infantry squads have the riflemen and the MG separated into different teams (i.e. requiring separate orders each).

Having played the game I found the detailed battle report by Piers Brand very useful to read through. It helped spot the few things we did wrong. I hope to play more Battlegroup (and Chain of Command) in the near future.

Until next time,

Owen

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