Saturday, 15 December 2018

Chain of Command, 1st game

Last night we played our first Chain of Command game. I know the ruleset has been around for a few years, and has built up a loyal following, but our gaming group has always been slow to catch up with the hypes and trends. These days, rulesets (and the corresponding hypes) come and disappear so fast it's hard to keep up. But anyway, we had Chain of Command lying around for some time, so ot was time to try it.

Bart set up a game with his 20mm Arnhem figures. In hindsight, the troop density on the table was probably a bit on the low side (table too large), but it's only through playing games that you learn this.

What was our impression of the rules?
  • The pre-game deployment (patrol markers, drop-off points) was fun, but we kept wondering why we should go through all these motions simply to get our troops into action? Shouldn't a good scenario setup be able to do same?
  • Combat resolution was rather convoluted to our taste. Over they years, we have come to favour "lean and mean" rules. Keep the number of procedures and mechanics as simple, but as elegant as possible, while focusing on the important decisions a player has to make. We felt that the resolution mechanics of Chain of Command were a bit too "fiddly": too many dice, too many statuses to keep track of, a bit too confusing.
To be fair, we didn;t manage to completely read the rules beforehand, so that also might explain some of our impressions. Since this was our first game, so we should give it another try or two before coming to a final conclusion.

Initial table setup using Bart's excellent Market Garden 1944 collection.
Bart and Koen consulting the rules. "Your rulebook says something different from my rulebook?"
British paras taking position behind a wall. Blue marker = overwatch.
German squad taking up position behind a wooded area.
General overview of the table
British paras retreating. Red marker = shocked.
German troops hiding in ruins.
End phase.


  1. I have not played CIC myself but you point about fiddly speaks to me of many of today's rules- too many mechaisms that take the "game" out of the players hands and reduce it to a mere dice rolling contest