Monday, 17 June 2013

First Look: Chain of Command by Too Fat Lardies

While researching the best mix for my Bolt Action Brits I came across a mention of another set of WW2 skirmish rules that are coming out later this year, 'Chain of Command' from Too Fat Lardies. They seemed to be generating some buzz so I decided to check them out. I noticed they'd done a set of videos explaining the rules and a play through of a game so I've linked them all here with my thoughts.

The forces seem to be about the same size as Bolt Action so I should be able to use my figures for both games with just a little tweaking. The 'Patrol' phase sounds interesting and provides some nice pre-game tactics to add flavour to the game. So far so good.

Not too clear what the benefit of ending a turn is at this stage, but it becomes slightly clearer in later videos. The use of dice to activate troops is nothing new but does provide command & control problems for you to solve. It's not too clear what the benefits of having a 'chain of command' dice are, I guess you need to play a few games to fully understand why moving a jump off point or ending a turn might be important. The use of sixes to adjust the flow of phases again requires you to think a bit more carefully about what you intend to do. What if my opponent rolls two sixes and gets to move twice, am I too exposed. Alternatively if I roll two sixes am I in a position to take advantage of a double move. Still seems an interesting rule set with no drawbacks so far.

I like the option to move and fire or move further but with less options, that's fairly standard in lots of rules. However I don't like the rolling to see how far you can move. It just seems like a random effect for randomness sake. I understand if you're moving through bad terrain the distance you could move might be affected and that effect could vary depending on how bad the terrain turned out to be. But if you're moving along a road with no enemy anywhere near you why would your move be so variable? If I get these rules I may house rule to remove the randomness or maybe make it 3" minimum move plus a D3 or something like that. I like the ranges of the weapons but not sure about the combat mechanisms, they seem a little simplistic. The 'shock' mechanism and morale system isn't really covered in enough detail here or in the later videos to allow me to make a decision on it. A couple of things here that make me think I might stick with Bolt Action but we'll see.

Some fuller explanations of things here. I like the way that the Germans can come in on the Jump Off points giving them a sort of ambush. The rallying is a nice feature, but I would like to know more about 'Shock' and it's effects. I'd also have prefered to see more of the actual combat resolution than just the end results.

More of the same here nothing really new covered.

I like the use of smoke and that you can use grenades. The fact that the Germans got too spread out to be able to use a lot of their dice was interesting and makes you consider the command and control implications of your tactics a lot more than you see in other games. But I'd like to have seen more about morale and shock.

I like the idea of using videos to explain your rule basics and show how the game plays, so kudos to TFL for that. But I have a number of questions, such as do the rules include scenarios; are there national differences for the various troop types; is there a campaign structure; do the rules include comprehensive army lists or are we going to have to buy supplements etc. Overall the rules seem to have some interesting ideas and offer a different tactical challenge to Bolt Action. Not sure if I'll buy a set, it depends on the price, but worth another look once they come out, which is expected to be sometime in August.


  1. You say moving down a road with no enemy around you.

    How do you know there's no enemy around you? Sure you can see on the table top there are no figures around but in real life you never know such things. Any number of things can cause movement to slow or halt including someone on the flank or at the front just thinking they saw something.

    Real life on a combat patrol is far more random than people think.

  2. Interesting that friends that have infantry service prefer CoC over BA.

    1. It does seem that CoC more accurately represents infantry combat tactics.


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