I'd recommend giving Chain of Command from Too Fat Lardies a look, The PDF is floating around, probably in one of the links up above, and it's a You want to play the old Squad Leader with a decent rules set just play. Of course there are times you just want to break the rules for aesthetic the Lardie Specials (downloadable pdf magazines sold from the TFL website), I use large coloured dice to track points on the Chain of Command dice. Jason Sendjirdjian, author of Chain of Command DMZ, has released a new This is a free page PDF download which details some rules.
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Chain of Command are the revolutionary new wargames rules designed for platoon sized actions with some additional support. The rules are fast paced. Welcome to Chain of Command, a set of rules for Our thanks go to the army of play‐testers and gaming platoon sized actions on the battlefields proof‐readers in. I don't suppose anyone has chain of command by too fat lardies they could upload .. Tank Command - Micro Armour soundofheaven.info, KiB, 1x1.
Iain Fuller 8 November at Victrix showing the their first plastic shots of their coming Roman range. Simply because it's fun, and our games provide a lighthearted take on a very dark subject- the Pacific War. Great post and an impressive display of gaming aids. Most rules don't, but I can think of one game which took a somewhat Napoleonic approach to ancients - called Ancient Empires. There's a thing too called Nafziger, a stunning collection of almost every OOB in Europe from to
I have been enjoying Bolt Action, but it looks like I can use the same troops and vehicles to play both. Apparently we are on the same page here. I'll continue to play both. I've used BA for SCW convention games due to my own perception that it's easier to explain and get the game up and running even for those who are completely new to the rules. After the first two turns the games tend to run themselves. BobGrognard I can walk into my local high street book store, Watersons, and find the BA rules and at least 2 or 3 supplements.
In our nearest major city there are at least seven places I can find it. CoC has a much smaller, mostly internet, presence. My opinions pretty much mesh with those of trailape, nice review by the way, BA is well written and fun and CoC is as well.
One gives a fast fun game in which real life tactics are not necessarily useful, the other gives a fast fun game were not using real life tactics will kill you deader than a Liberal Democrats election prospects.
CoC is a little more complex to learn but gives a much more nuanced game and is aimed at people who "play the history not the rules. I have played both and will play them again, given a choice I would play CoC.
Foundry blisters, Stavka… in a GW shop? On the way to the wall you must have passed into a parallel dimension. BA sounds better from your comparison. My experience with TFL rules is that you end up fighting your dice more than the enemy, totally frustrating. Interesting article, Trailape, and I agree with your assessments. I also want to throw out a nod to Battlegroup! I also think, of the three games I just mentioned, Battlegroup boasts the best armor rules. With that being said….
Bolt Action: Bolt Action is great for its simplicity. You can read through the rulebook once and be ready to go, and there are only a handful of charts and tables to refer to. That being said, simplicity is a double edged sword, and while fun, the game often leaves me craving a more tactically immersive experience. Chain of Command: Chain of Command really scratches that tactical itch, and I prefer it to Bolt Action.
Every move matters, from the earliest scout moves to the final severance of your opponent's lines of command and reinforcement. It really becomes a game of wits, not of dice, as you try to force your enemy to deploy his last reserves before you do, push up an under-defended flank, or ambush an undersupported AFV. But I must admit that it is a lot more complex than the competition: I hated the phase system at first, but it grew on me very quickly, and I've come to love the way it allows you to chain together a few units to work in tactical harmony- possibly across multiple phases, if you roll the right dice.
Random movement distance is great in principal, not so great when you roll a '1' on your movement distance. CoC's firepower dice feel more realistic than BA's: CoC's covering fire feels a bit tepid, but BA doesn't have it at all, so at least you have the option!
I realize in retrospect I've laid out a fair bit of criticism, so I must reiterate, I really love CoC. I guess it's sort of the way you can really get down and pick apart the starting lineup of your favorite sports team- if you didn't love it, you wouldn't care enough to get so invested! Few games out there put you in the Lieutenant's cap the way Chain of Command does.
But CoC is harder to play solo? I can't make an comparison, but if both use dice to sequence and determine who moves when, I wouldn't think so.
Nice article. Very useful review. You make some great points.
USD DM. Chain of Command deserves a far wider audience than it has. I have enjoyed every game. You can read all about it here: You haven't as far as I'm aware. I have not played BA but have played around CoC games. More here link There are some grey areas in the rulebook but generally the game is easy to pick up. John ps the force structure in CoC is very similar to BA but with a historical basis so all those WG miniatures one has collected can be easily utilised to give CoC a go.
Curious to see how CoC handles vehicles. I can easily see a time when I may play both quite happily, depending on mood and the guys I game with. Coexistence is possible Apparently we are on the same page here. Play both and enjoy both.
The only real similarities are the setting. I'm going to give Chn of Cmd a try and see how it goes. The SCW expansions are excellent. I didn't realize the degree to which the exchange rate has changed.
With that being said… Bolt Action: I haven't found it difficult to play solo. Head to Head" Topic 76 Posts All members in good standing are free to post here. Totally agree with your assessment. Fred Cartwright. BA is easier to make sense of rules wise. So is it an assumption that bigger companies produce better rules? No, bigger companies command a wider audience. Last Hussar.
Queen Catherine. Nor I Seems simple enough to me. I'm very glad I got in touch with Richard because the discussions we had over email gave me a valuable insight into how seriously Too Fat Lardies take their rules and historical accuracy when it comes to representing nations and units in the game.
Of all the WW2 games that I have come into contact with up to this point had always handled national traits a bit like fantasy or sci-fi games handle special rules for various races. Often something is blown out of proportion, or a caricature version of reality is given to differentiate between forces and armies because the games are unable to provide you with enough detail or present the detail in such a way as to make basic guys with rifles differ from one another depending on what nation they served in.
This is what I think makes Chain of Command different from other rules. There are national rules and traits but they are really toned down and are all grounded in infantry manuals and actual training of the troops. And the main difference between say the Early War Germans and the Early War Polish platoon won't be a load of special rules, but rather the way their platoons look and what they contain in terms of men and weapons.
So let's start the review with a basic overlook of Chain of Command. It's a platoon level game, which means you have a platoon commander and a couple of squads that would make up the platoon structure - normally 3 rifle squads.
Added to this you have platoon assets, such as AT teams and maybe a light mortar team. The platoon then has access to various support assets, such as fortifications, vehicles, tanks or heavy weapons. What I like about the way forces are handled in the game is that you have real platoons that are fixed, as opposed to allow players to cherry pick their own squad sizes and squad equipment to make up something less than historically accurate and a lot more gamey.
Variation comes from the platoon support, which is handled in a very clever way, basically a list divided into points. Before the scenario begins the attacking player rolls 2D6 and add his platoon support bonus or penalty number to the result.
The total of that roll shows how much support he can field in this battle, and proceeds to pick units from the list, a foxhole position may cost 1 point, a HMG team may be 4 points, a powerful tank 8 points and so on. How you spend your support points is all up to you.
You can spend 12 points on "list 1" items only, which would give you 12 assets, or buy a single "list 12" vehicle. The choice is yours. The defender generally has half the support of the attacking player, but has the advantage of being the defender which often means forcing the enemy to come to you. A big part of Chain of Command, and indeed many scenarios revolve around this, is the force morale.
The starting force morale is randomly generated, and can be between points. The force morale is reduced bit by bit when troops are destroyed, or broken. You lose more points for dead commanders, squads and support options than you do for small teams - and once your morale drops to 4 points your force starts to suffer and your command ability is reduced.
The closer to 0 morale you get the harder the time your platoon will have. Reaching 0 morale has your force rout or surrender, and the game ends. Command and control in this game, as well as the turn sequence, is pretty clever and really different.
It's neither a pure IGOUGO nor is it a pure alternative activation sequence and the turns aren't static but very flexible in their length and content. To understand all this I have to describe the "command dice". Each platoon has a specified number of command D6 dice which are rolled at the start of each phase not turn.
The results of each die represent different things. Both command types have a number of initiative points which they can use differently in order to activate units within their command range. A Junior vehicle commander with 2 initiative points can spend one point to activate the driver, and one point to activate the gunner - or spend two points on the gunner to improve his aim.
Once again, the special rules are grounded in infantry tactics and command instructions from army manuals and not a fantasy product for the sake of creating greater difference between forces. You simply take all results of that you rolled in your command pool, and apply the results to activate as many units and officers in your platoon before the phase is handed over to the opponent. This is repeated and players constantly take turns in doing this until the turn ultimately ends.
When your Chain of Command reaches 6 points you get access to a couple of special benefits. Such as interrupting an enemy activation, but more powerful is the ability to end the turn.
When you end the turn all ongoing effects, such as smoke, overwatch and tactical stances are removed and the turn begins with a clean slate.
It can be very powerful to end the turn just before you are mounting an attack, and remove all enemy smoke obscuring the enemy positions. If you roll 6's on your command die they are generally wasted. If you roll a single 6, it just means that the enemy will have the next phase as he would have anyway. If you roll two 6's you will get two consecutive phases.
If you roll three 6's the turn ends and you will have the first phase of the next turn. So both the turn sequence and the unit activation has a very different flow and you could really argue that what is called "Phase" is really what we would normally called a turn. And what is called a "Turn" in the game, is more of a reset button. However, what this altered turn sequence does for the game, is to provide a less predictable combat situation, you can have one turn last 10 phases, while the next turn only last 4.
This turn sequence also makes smoke deployed by grenade or light mortars stick around for a longer time than you would usually experience in a game like this, and thus have a much bigger impact on the tactical situation.
Furthermore, the turn can also force enemy units that are suffering from being broken at the end of a turn, to rout, unless you are able to rally them up to adequate performance levels before it happens. Another unique feature of Chain of Command is the "Patrol phase" where players push a number of blinds around on the table until they come within a specified range of the enemy blinds and are "locked".
This creates a much more fluid deployment zone, and the blinds are then used as both jump-off points for unit deployment and objective markers. This becomes a bit of a mini game before you deploy anything on the table, but represents very nicely how patrols would observe and grab valuable terrain as they are locked into combat with the enemy and then have reinforcements arrive to the scene. Very nice work, I do both things very similarly but I need to get some of the white stuffing it looks much better than cotton wool.
Cotton wool has two problems, the first being it just looks like cotton wool, secondly it tends to sag over time and become limp, the synthetic stuff is much more durable. Yes Marc I agree, it takes acrylic paint well. To make some black smoke I simply soaked some of it in a diluted mix of artists' acrylic, gave it a squeeze to get rid of excess and left it to dry and it came out looking great. Travis, I've updated the post to include links to a few useful sites and I've included Tabletop CP I hope you don't mind!
Great post and an impressive display of gaming aids.
Some really good ideas as well. Makes me want to break out my CoC forces for a game. Rich has made my post in the TFL forum a sticky and the first one in the CoC folder, so hopefully others can add their tips and advice and it becomes a good resource for new players. I created a useful aid for the patrol phase. The 1 foot dowel I use to move patrol markers and check for proximity. The two 18" dowels I use to determine the angles for the JOPs.
I put them on the two closest enemy patrol markers and across the friendly marker. Because they are 18" long, typically all I need to do is put the JOP in the angle between the two dowels but beyond the length of the dowel, which should be 6" beyond the patrol marker.
Top bannana! I do some things the same and some similar to you but top tip on the smoke, will be looking out for some of that stuff you use. Lately I've seen a lot of posts in forums and social media from new players asking questions about how people base their figures, or looking for suggestions on pulling together what they need to play Chain of Command.
So I thought I would tie together in one post an overview of the key elements I've pulled together or created for playing, as well as some useful links to other places where you can find out more.