We had another go at Chain of Command last night. Gary put together a very busy table (despite an unfortunate lack of green cloth to act as a backdrop) and we played one of the scenarios from the book, with a force of Germans looking to break through a Russian defence and capture a jump-off point near their baseline.
Here's the setup, looking down the table from the Russian baseline.
John and Caesar took the Germans, whilst Gary and I ran the Russians.
The Russians got off to a good starat, bringing on a reasonable number of troops early on, and we moved to occupy a forward position in the buildings.
This was a bad plan. The low mounds along the road pretty much blocked out line of fire to any of the rapidly advancing groups of Germans. They swiftly set up LMGs covering our lead infantry squad, and then subjected them to a withering fire, which we could neither avoid, nor reply to.
To the bottom right of the picture can be seen the objective, with a strong force of Russians covering it. This force did have a reasonably clear view of the battlefield, and the Germans sensibly avoided hurling themselves straight at the objective. Mid-left can be seen another line of Russians covering against an advance on that flank.
Here's our defensive line, showing Gary's lovely Russians, and one of the very nice jump-off point markers he's made.
Here's the other flank - infantry along the hedge-line and an MMG in the building. The Germans are skulking behind the wood, unwilling to expose themselves to the MMG.
In the end the German players realised that they could just whittle down the Russian morale and win by making the entire force run away. And, essentially, that's what they did, routing our exposed force and then threatening the others. We had defended the objective reasonable well - the forward position was a mistake, but most of our other troops were well sited - but the Germans effectively changed the nature of the objective. We actually found the text of the scenario confusing, and felt that with the attackers under no time pressure they could afford to go for a slow, methodical, wearing down of the defenders, rather than actually having to go for the objective in any meaningful way. That aside we enjoyed the game, though, with the mechanisms providing much entertainment.