Thursday, 28 January 2016

Big CoC - Somewhere near Arnhem 1944

The overall layout of the table prior to all the lads arriving.  Hopefully with enough interesting terrain and open spaces
to make the game interesting for everybody
We thought it was time to get the lads out again for a slightly smaller game of CoC on the "Big" scale in order to become increasingly more familiar with the rules and to see if we
could co-ordinate our attacks better as supporting platoon commanders in order to achieve victory.
The game was setting up as a German Counter-attack on an established position in a town on the outskirts of Arnhem.  The British know there are resilient Panzer Grenadiers on the attack as well as scouting reports of armour close by.  They also know that their own armour is close but at least two full turns away from supporting them. 
As we know, a turn in CoC can be quite elastic and at times can feel like an eternity.

Handmade buildings from the old collection of "The Lonely Gamer" himself Nathan acquired many, many
years ago now.  Starting to get a lot more use in recent years.

The Patrol markers are out and the laser pointers are now doing their work in allowing us some accurate ideas
on exactly where our jump off points can be set up.  I think we got some wrong in terms of allowing them to
be behind hills rather than in cover however you live and learn

The Germans got a good jump on the allies in this phase being able to push quite aggressively on our left flank
and causing no end of issues for Martin and his West Riding lads.

The chaps first deploy and take some shock almost immediately

Phil moves his Panzer Grenadiers up rapidly over the creek bed and up to the hedge line very close to our most extreme left
jump off point

Mikes British Para's take to the courtyards of the local houses to see if they can hold-up the advance

Steve's troops go Tactical and look to get after the Brits as quickly as they can.

Another German section immediately deploys and attempts to take advantage of the tardy arrival of one of the British Platoons through the most abysmal Command dice you would ever want to see in your life as well as the effect of a
well timed and thought out pre-game barrage!

The combined effect of four LMG's concentrating fire on Marty's boys has a devastatingly quick effect on his shock and starts an immediate recovery mission for the allies on the left

Mikes Airborne take the extreme house and attempt to lay some fire upon Alex and Steve's advancing forces

On the left the aggressive pincer movement continues

That bloody MG42 caused some havoc early in the game let me assure you

I think that jump off point should have been in the actual courtyard itself

My lads finally come on and deploy a Bren and a sniper up top

Whilst the rest of the section takes to the first floor windows to add support

Alexanders section find a perfectly protected position to set up some sustained automatic fire

The Red Devils make a run for the house on the right and cop a spray of hot lead

Phil's German advance comes to a halt temporarily

A British 2" Mortar attempts to lay some HE on the enemy forces to the left...with
very, very limited success by the way!

Martin brings on his platoon on Cromwell's to counter what German armour may soon be rearing
 its ugly head in the vicinity 

Sure enough, a platoon of Stug's and Panther's arrive...perhaps once again a little too quickly ( I think it is one vehicle per phase only).  Once again, learning the rules as we go.

In the centre I send a section forward to try and support Mike's 1st Airborne platoon which is
finding the going quite hot against the combined firepower of Steve and Alex.  However the latter has made a rookie mistake by massing his two sections and is about to find out what mortars can do to such an attractive target!!

The Germans advance and capture the first allied jump off point...Force Morale is low

The lead Panther, paying no heed to local farmers horticultural efforts, pushes forward. 

The rest of the armour heads on.

At this point the consistent damage being taken by Steve and Alexanders infantry platoons started to take some very real effect on all the German forces, including the newly arrived armour.  To be fair we did misinterpret the rolls you had to take on Leaders in the vicinity of teams and sections who have taken kills and subsequently killed or wounded off a Senior Leader as well as a Junior Leader in the same series of rolls which was plainly incorrect.  Only one leader needs to roll when a section he is attached to takes mortal casualties.

In addition, we did not correctly interpret the HE fire of tanks on buildings and the rolls to hit which should have been 4,5 or 6 were only being acknowledged on sixes.  This obviously allowed Mike's British Airborne to last out a fair amount of time more than they should have.

So what did we learn?  Certainly a few new nuances of the rules.  The rapid advance of the Germans on the allied left, though successful initially, did leave the other two German Platoon Commanders slightly out like "shags on a rock".  When the armour did come on, the aforementioned 2nd and 3rd Platoons were nearly spent and the effect on the newly arrived forces was devastating on Force Morale. 

The defending British had four players however against three attacking German's which did cause some consternation amongst some in terms of dice rolling opportunities etc.  The thought that one Chain of Command dice each in the pie was an insufficient bonus was discussed however I personally thought that the additional support points would have more than compensated for that.  The Germans used their support poorly in my opinion when you consider a Tiger I never made it to the field despite sucking up a third of the German sides available support points.

The Tiger appearing early could well have swung the game away from the British so far they could never have wrested it back.

Once again we had an enormous amount of fun, followed by a lovely swim (it was 38 degrees C outside) and a lovely "Pot Luck" dinner afterwards when our wives all joined us at 6 pm.  A few rec wines, half a bottle of scotch and a few more beers later, the result of an allied victory was in dispute.

Just the way it should have been!


  1. Awesome terrain and beautiful pictures!

    1. Cheers Phil - it was a very enjoyable game.

  2. Looks like a good and varied selection of terrain to fight over and those handmade red buildings look ideal for the setting. Love the damage effects on the roof and walls.
    HE fire on a 456 with no cover benefit is ideal for taking on elite troops such as the Brit Para's. I learnt something new with the officer casualties as I also didn't realise you only rolled for one leader.
    Sounds like you had a great day during and after.

    1. Thank you Pat - yes the HE rule was a pretty major oversight however we did rectify it in a small game at the club on the Wednesday night much to my advantage. I am in the midst of planning my new terrain boards as these are now quite old and the pre- made hills, valleys and dry creek beds which worked so well for so long are now too limiting for the games we are playing these days. Expect a lot of visits to your site and anything labelled "terrain" in coming months mate!

  3. Very nice looking terrain, and great game, keep it coming.


    1. Thank you John fir your kind comment. Yes the terrain foes okay such a vital take both in the aesthetics of our hobby but particularly in games such as these where infantry are your main force. Do very much enjoy CoC.

  4. Fantastic, quite a sight!!! Cheers!

    1. Thanks RM - much appreciated. Need to start to work on some new boards though.

  5. Another fine spectacle and read of WWII action Carlo ... though the laser in the third picture did make me wonder if it was an alien invasion if earth in the 1940's game we were seeing! 8O)

    Ending the show with a swim, a meal and drinkies just goes to prove what a stand up bunch / gaggle / congregation of fine gamers you group is. Very civilised.

    von Peter himself

  6. A fine WWII spectacle and read Carlo ... even if the laser in the the third picture made me wonder if I was reading about an alien invasion of 1940s earth game! 8O)

    Finishing the affair with a swim, a meal and drinkies is a damned civilised way for a bunch / gaggle / congregation of gamers to behave. Nighty fine.

    von Peter himself

    1. Thanks Peter. Always a great way to finish a game and though at times a swim may be a problem if you desire to drown your gloating opponent, it can be quite a relaxing finish to the pseudo martial activities!

  7. Great looking table ands figures
    Yes you are correct JOP must be in cover or on the table edge
    Also the HE dice might have made a difference - holing up in a building in COC is usually not a good idea for several reasons - ask the real Paras in Arnhem what happened when the Tigers started to shell them floor by floor!

    1. Thanks John - we were slightly confused at the time and it would have made a world of difference.