Last week I published a video on my YouTube Channel about learning new rules and I guess that means I have to put my money where my mouth is and learn a new set of rules! Actually, I can't really call Chain of Command a 'new' set of rules because they first hit the hobby scene in 2013, and I bought my copy over four months ago. Since then I have been converting some of my 15mm Flames of War figures for use with this ruleset while trying to learn the rules. As I explained in my video, I find it very hard to just sit down and read a rulebook, so I have been watching a lot of how-to videos, playtesting and otherwise 'dabbling' with the rules on my own. Now its time to play a proper game, bringing together the various elements I have been working on over the last few months.
I started by setting up the table, making use of my recently completed ploughed fields and wheatfields, along with my collection of homemade Bocage hedgerows and gates. My table is a bit small for this game (just 4' by 2'6") although I have plans to make this a little bigger in the future. Despite this, it is still just about big enough to play a solo tester game on and start reviewing my understanding of the rules, figuring out what I don't know or don't understand.
Because this isn't a proper game - it's more a training exercise for myself - I didn't take as many pictures as I would normally, and didn't fully finish the game. I did get a chance to play out my first Melee, with the Germans overextending themselves in an attempt to capture the farmhouse and then getting counter charged by overwhelming numbers of Americans and basically having their backsides handed to them.
After that encounter, the Panzergrenadiers were in a dreadful position, bleeding troops and now overlooked by American MG's firing from the upper floors of the Farmhouse. Eventually, I reached a point where I decided I had learned enough from this test game and brought it to an end. However, I have decided to keep the layout largely the same and immediately play another test game with the sides swapped around. I'll start from the beginning again, carrying out the Patrol Phase and seeing if I can play with fewer mistakes next time.
So what have I learned from this solo test game? First, no matter how much I try to read and absorb the rules, I really learn from playing with them. Second, I need to keep a list of rules or topics I am vague about, so I can focus my attention on those bits of the rulebook. Thirdly I have found navigating the rulebook a little confusing at times so I think I'll add some 'tabs' to key pages in the rulebook so I can jump to them quickly. The fourth thing I already alluded to, highlighting the leaders a bit more so I can see them easier on the games table.
I expect I'll have to play quite a few more games like this to 'master' the rules. Certainly, I need a better grasp on them before I try to run a game of CoC for the Rejects. Looks like I have my work cut out for me over the next few weeks!
Brilliant looking table Lee.ReplyDelete
Thanks. I've got over 25ft of bocage and it's still not enough!Delete
Lovely looking game Lee. I found that the games were often very similar, with whom ever had an MG in an upstairs room dominated the table. Good historical feel but made for dull game play.ReplyDelete
I'm replaying the game now and getting quite a different experience...mind you, it helps remembering the rules!Delete
Looks good. CoC is my favourite platoon level game (and I've tried a few!)ReplyDelete
I'm enjoying it more with each game.Delete
Excellent looking game with your very nice terrain items.ReplyDelete
Great looking table, and a very smart way to learn a game (in these sad times where learning at the club is curtailed)ReplyDelete
I hope my own efforts go half as well.
I'm currently on play-test 4. The earlier test games were curtailed when I realised I was doing something significantly wrong. I consider that a success because I'm learning far more from my mistakes than I could by simply reading the rules. Each successive game has got better and more accurate which was the whole point of this exercise.Delete
I look forward to reading more about your thoughts on the game when you get through it all!Delete
Organizationally at least the CoC rules are a bit complicated.
I've had that thought myself...finding stuff has been a challenge. Saying that I'm not sure how they could be organised better, given the dice driven phase structure. Its not like games where the rules follow an organised pattern Move, Shoot, Melee, Moral etc.Delete
Looks fantastic Lee. Awesome set of rules in my opinion.ReplyDelete
The more I play with them the more I'm appreciating their subtlety. There is a lot to take in (the rules are more complex than I originally thought) but each new rule learned is a step toward appreciating just how good they are at replicating small scale actions in WWII.Delete
Good stuff Lee! Really enjoy your YouTube stuff too. I enjoy new things, don’t go to a club after a bad experience similar to what you mentioned in your latest episode. I enjoy my hobby, solo game with miniatures and have a boardgameg friend for my GMT games. I am too old to paint but seeing this small game is really inspirational.ReplyDelete
I'm enjoying learning these rules, the only downside is my table is a bit small (not a lot of space in the Operations Room). I'm going to make a top to fit on my existing table to make it a slightly larger, but not by much.Delete
Super looking table, Lee! For me, CoC produces exciting games.ReplyDelete
Thanks. I really need to make it a bit bigger and I'm thinking about making a removable 'top' that will sit on my existing table and increase its size. The max I could get away with is 3x5ft but that's still a 50% increase in surface area from what I'm using now (2'6"x4'). I can't go much bigger because of the size of my room, but I think it'll make for better games.Delete