Thursday, April 9, 2020

KG Klink in Greece, Fight #4


Afternoon, 11 April 1941

Here we are, continuing Kampfgruppe Klink's campaign in Greece.  The first battle saw Captain Freitag's 1st Schutzen Battlegroup take a key mountain crossroads manned by members of the British Royal Engineers supported by Armored Cavalry from New Zealand.  The fight saw the Germans infantry nearly eliminate the Commonwealth battlegroup, which fell back in disarray.  Captain Freitag pressed his advantage, immediately pursuing south down, where it ran into defensive positions manned by the remnants of the New Zealand 21st Infantry Battalion.  1st Schutzen then evicted the NZ 21st Inf Bn from its positions, forcing them to fall back.  The third fight saw 1st Lt Ginter's 2nd Schutzen moving secure a crossing over the D3 bridge, forcing the 27th MG Battalion back.  Now we have Major Bohm's 2nd Recce Battlegroup pressing forward against remnants of the Australian 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment.

Overview, north is left.  The Germans will be entering from the north and attacking south, where the Commonwealth forces will be defending, able to emplace anywhere from their baseline up to the left edge of the hill at top center to the treeline at bottom center.  The road is improved (at least in terms of 1941 Greece), there is a small hamlet consisting of three stone buildings at far right, a few patches of trees scattered about, but the dominant terrain feature is the hilltops dotting the countryside (clockwise from left): Hill 512 (bottom left), Hill 100 (top left), Hill 56 (top center right), Hill 327 (bottom right), and Hill 102 (center bottom).

I'm playing with very simple terrain so that I can lay it down and scrape it up as quickly as possible, to get in a lot of games as quickly as possible.
I'm playing solo using Too Fat Lardies' Chain of Command, modified a bit.  I've bumped it up a level (using multi-based stands, not individual troops), I simplified fire and melee combat, and morale (5Core concepts, as always), as well as movement (I like dicing for movement, but it significantly slows things down for me).  I changed the CoC Dice so that it represents indirect supporting fires from Higher HQ, and I did away with the Patrol Phase.  I love the Patrol Phase, but it doesn't work for me playing solo, so what I do is designate an attacker and a defender; both sides start completely off table, using their Command Dice to deploy on table (as normal), but where it differs is that I basically give the defender a deployment area of half the table, and he can deploy anywhere in that area, even dug in, so long as it's at least 6" from any attacker.

If you're now wondering, then, why do I still call these rules "Chain of Command," it's because the entire game revolves around the use of Chain of Command's brilliant activation system (command roll/Command Dice), the use of leaders' command initiative, and the 'Force Morale' concept of declining Command Dice and morale to breaking.  To me, that's the heart of the system, and it makes for a fun game.

The opposing forces, with Germans on the left and Commonwealth on the right.

I'm playing these games in 10mm using figures from Pendraken and Minifigs UK, roads from Fat Frank, hills from Warzone, buildings from Crescent Root, rivers from Wargamers Terrain, and trees from Gunner at Signifer.

Battlegroup Bohm (AKA, 2nd Recce): consists of the CO stand (far left), one motorcycle rifle platoons (a Platoon Commander and four rifle squads), a weapons platoon (Platoon Commander, two 7.5cm Infantry Guns, and Pak-36 anti-tank guns), a platoon of two armored cars, and a platoon of three tanks (two Panzer IIs and one Pz I).

Major Bohm (veteran of Poland, France, and now Greece, a former tanker seeing his first action as the KG Executive Officer)  

1st Motorcycle Platoon - Officer Cadet Distler 
1st Motorcycle Squad - SSgt Dorn 
2nd Motorcycle Squad - Sgt Wilhelm (Iron Cross 2nd Class)
3rd Motorcycle Squad - Cpl Visner (IC2)
4th Motorcycle Squad - Cpl Wallon 

Weapons Platoon - Sgt Kallenbach (IC2)
IG1 - Cpl Kallmeyer
IG2 - LCpl Nans
PaK1 - LCpl Saucen
PaK2 - LCpl Gerdt

Armored Reconnaissance Platoon - N/A
4th Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle - Cpl Fasbender 
5th Armored Reconnaissance Vehicle - Cpl Edst  (IC2) 

1st Panzer Platoon - Officer Cadet Kleiber 
Vehicle Four - Cpl Leno 
Vehicle Five - Cpl Stegan 

The Commonwealth force: Australian 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment 
Commanding Officer: Major Hogan
1 x Carrier Platoon (Platoon Commander, 3 x Rifle Section, 1 x 2" Mortar, 1 x Boyes anti-tank rifle, 6 x Universal Carrier)
1 x Rifle Platoon (Platoon Commander, 3 x Rifle Section, 1 x 2" Mortar, 1 x Boyes anti-tank rifle)
1 x Weapons Platoon (Platoon Commander, 2 x Vickers MGs, 2 x 3" mortars)
Anti-Tank Platoon (Platoon Commander, 2 x 2-pdr ATG)

Let's get it on!  As always, the attacker goes first, giving the defenders time and space to determine where and how to deploy.  The Panzer Platoon comes on to cover (far left) as the Armored Car Plt shoots up the road at all possible speed (center top, on road).  Major Bohm plants himself atop a knoll just below Hill 100, while 1st Motorcycle Plt crosses the saddle between them.  Lastly, Wpns Plt deploys on Hill 512, with the Infantry Guns unlimbering up top (bottom left) and the PaKs continuing downslope (center left bottom).

*The thinking wit shooting the armored cars up the road is that the defenders can only deploy in their half of the table, more than 6" away from any enemy forces, so I'm looking to cut the table in half and severly limit their options.  We'll see how it goes...

Feeling the pressure, Major Hogan orders his Rifle Platoon to deploy atop Hill 256 (top right, with the German Motorcycle Platoon at top left and the Armored Car Platoon at bottom left).

The Aussies fire their small arms at Officer Cadet Distler's Motorcycle Platoon...

4th Squad is knocked out and 2nd and 3rd Squads are suppressed!

And then the Diggers turn their Boyes anti-tank rifle on the armored cars and engage, but fail to hit anything.

The Aussies then deploy their Wpns Plt atop Hill 327 (bottom right, with their Rifle Plt atop Hill 256, at top center).

The Australian mortars and machine guns fire on the Motorcycle Platoon (top center left).

Officer Cadet Distler is pinned down, and 2nd Squad is suppressed!

The German Infantry Guns (bottom left) begin pounding Hill 256 (top right) as the PaKs move up to Hill 102 (far right).

The Australian Rifle Plt on Hill 256 has its ATR team suppressed and one Rifle Section pinned.

Major Bohm orders the panzer up, where they engage Hill 256 (top right), as he moves to rally the Motorcycle Platoon (top left).  The M/C Plt is back in fighting shape, but the panzers only mange to pin one Rifle Section.

As Cpl Fasbenderr's armored cars push up the road, past Hill 256, advancing on the village.

*Making it so the Australians cannot deploy there!

The Infantry Guns (bottom left) continue to pound Hill 256 (top right), knocking out their 2" mortar.

Officer Cadet Distler pushes his now-dismounted Motorcycle Platoon forward, and Officer Cadet Kleiber's panzers continue firing on Hill 256...

Suppressing two Rifle Sections and forcing the ATR team to fall back (bottom right)!

The Australian MG position engages the German armored cars...

Knocking out Cpl Fasbender's vehicle!  He's caught in the open turret and lightly wounded, but he and his crew simply shelter in the immobilized vehicle.

The Australian mortars (bottom right) fire on the German Motorcycle Platoon (top left)...

And it's ugly: 3rd Squad is knocked out (though its squad leader, Cpl Visner, is okay), while 1st Squad is suppressed and the 2nd Squad and the Platoon Commander are pinned. "Dammit," exclaims Major Bohm, " I just friggin' rallied those guys!"

*I'm noticing a big problem with the Recce battlegroups: while sort of heavily armed (at least for their size), they only have one rifle platoon, so not much staying power.  The Aussies are focusing most of their firepower there as they figure the Germans can't take and hold the village with no infantry...

The Aussies on Hill 256 try to rally themselves back into fighting shape: one rifle is okay, one gets up pinned, the ATR team is good (but out of position, having fallen back previously), and one rifle section fails and falls back (top right).

Enter the Carrier Platoon (top right), coming between Hill 256 and the village.

The Universal Carriers fire on the German armored cars with their Brens and their Boyes AT Rifle, pinning Cpl Edst's vehicle.

One of the 2-pdrs comes on the table, next to the Wpns Plt on Hill 327.

*Yeah, a little weird only bringing one gun, but that's what happens when you roll a 1, you get to activate one team/squad/vehicle. And in terms of its placement, the German blitz really screwed up the Aussie deployment options.

The little ATG immediately begins banging away at the German tanks (top center)...

Knocking out Corporal Steegan's Panzer I, killing him instantly!  The remainder of his crew manages to bail out, while Officer Cadet Kleiber's crew is suppressed and Cpl Leno's is pinned!

The German Infantry Guns (bottom right) return fire on Hill 327...

Knocking out one of the Vickers MG teams.

While atop hill 102, the Paks deploy and engage the Aussie Carrier Platoon (top center)...

Knocking out one of the carriers and a Rifle Section, while suppressing one and pinning another!

The Panzer Plt sets about rallying itself, with Officer Cadet Kleiber getting gup to pinned and Cpl Leno succeeding, while Sgt Wilhelm's 2nd Squad (left top) opens fire, pinning one of the Australian Rifle Sections on Hill 256 (top right).

The remaining Aussie Vickers MG team continues firing on Cpl Edst's Sdkfz 222, keeping it pinned.

While the 3" mortars (bottom right) open fire on the German Infantry Guns atop Hill 512 (top left)...

The rounds are a little off and only manage to pin one of the gun crews.

The Carrier Platoon rolls forward (minus the suppressed vehicle, red bead at center bottom).

As the single 2-pdr ATG keeps banging away at the panzers, keeping Officer Cadet Kleiber's crew pinned.

Major Hogan finally makes an appearance on scene, arriving behind the Carrier Platoon and rallying the suppressed vehicle (bottom right).

While atop Hill 256, the two Aussie Rifle Sections still in the fight open fire on the German Motorcycle Platoon, suppressing Officer Cadet Distler.

*Good grief, the Aussies have gotten three phases in a row.

The Aussie mortars (bottom right) continue pounding the German guns on Hill 512 (top left).

This time suppressing one of the gun crews.

As Major Hogan personally leads the Carrier Platoon into close assault the German armored cars!!!

The Australian Platoon Commander and one of his Rifle Sections are knocked out while putting Cpl Edst's vehicle out of the fight, though Edst managed to sneak away, unscratched!

Atop Hill 512, Sgt Kallenbach (bottom leeft) is cool under fire and immediately rallies his two shaken gun crews, then gets them busy pumping 75mm HE rounds into the Australian Carrier Platoon (top right)...

The German ATGs on Hill 102 also get in on the act...

*Apparently I missed a photograph: one Bren Carrier is knocked out, another suppressed, the ATR Team is knocked out, and a Rifle Section is suppressed.

Major Bohm (center) sets about rallying the Motorcycle Platoon: the PC is good, 2nd Squad is good, , and 1st Squad get up to pinned.  Then he turns around and rallies Officer Cadet Kleiber, the Panzer Platoon Commander.

The tanks push up the road, firing into the mass of carnage that was the Carrier Platoon...

Major Hogan is gunned down, a Bren Carrier is suppressed, and a previously suppressed Carrier breaks and runs (far right).

*Damn, I missed another picture: the last remaining Rifle Section and the 2" mortar team surrender, allowing three Carriers to be captured as well.

Atop Hill 256, two suppressed Rifle Sections surrender as their PC, ATR team, and last remaining Rifle Section beat feet!

The remnants of the Weapons and Anti-Tank Platoons fall back to the south.

As the Germans move up and secure the village.

Both sides were bloodied, and the Australians fall back one spot to D5, while Recce 2 holds fast to reorganize.

Man, that was pretty damn rough.  Like I said, there's not much 'oomph' to the battlegroup with only one rifle platoon, and the armored cars and Panzer I and IIs don't accomplish all that much, either.  Hell, I kinda missed having the MGs and mortars of the infantry battlegroups; the mortars and the infantry guns are pretty much the same, but those PaKs are useless against infantry.  I really got lucky, on two accounts: first, I think my strategy of shooting the armored cars up the road as quickly as possible was a great idea, it really limited the Australian deployment options, and second, it represented a threat that had to be dealt with, which kept their Weapons Platoon (well, at least the MGs) busy and led to their Carrier Platoon being committed, then exposing itself to finish them off.  They pretty much had to do that if they wanted to get rid of the armored cars in any reasonable amount of time; it was going to take all day using machine guns and anti-tank rifles.  So they ran out to take out the armored cars, which then allowed me to use the PaKs, Infantry Guns, and tanks to slaughter them.

German losses: 30 casualties, 1 Panzer I and two Sdfkz 222s knocked out.  The Panzer I is out of action permanently, but both armored cars are back in the fight.
Commonwealth losses: 35 casualties, 20 captured

Cpl Stegan, seeing his first combat, was KIA
Cpl Fasbender was lightly wounded and is back in action


Next up, Captain Freitag's 1st Schutzen is defending the B3 bridge from the Brit Rangers/9KRRC and Royal Engineers/New Zealand Cavalry battlegroups.



  1. Another exciting and rousing battle, Jack! Your battle reports are well documented and the action is easy to follow. For RECCE operation, this was a very bloody affair. I enjoy seeing your early war ToE.

    1. Jonathan,

      Thanks man, I'm glad you liked it and I'm glad you're enjoying the campaign.

      Regarding the TO&E/OOB, I usually make a post showing the whole kampfgruppe, and update it after each fight so that you guys can see it, but the problem is that I've already played all ten of these fights and the OOB I have shows the end, and I didn't want to spoil it for you guys by posting before the campaign is finished.

      Regarding being bloody for a recce op, yeah, definitely. From my standpoint, I'd probably classify the two Recce Battlegroups as more as 'cavalry' then 'reconnaissance,' being lightly equipped but with a lot of firepower (relatively speaking) and very mobile, so they're definitely expected to fight to accomplish Kampfgruppe Klink objectives, rather than perform any sort of intelligence collection mission.


  2. Great campaign, really enjoying the narrative.

    Cheers, Andy

  3. A most enjoyable game report with supporting narrative. I suspect writing up the game reports takes up as much time, if not more, than playing the games themselves.

  4. Thank you, Peter, much appreciated! And yes, you're absolutely right regarding the time spend on the battle reports.


  5. Hello Jack

    I think the Aussies were hard done by with the rule of being able to restrict their deployment :-) Yes, I know in real life you could make some sort of justification on why it happened. Theys were robbed of victory! :-) Or at least less casualties.

    Anyway, great report and the Carrier Platoon really did cop it in the game.

    Oh, and you probably won't get conflicted in the Klink games as I do not think they will ever go up against US Marines...

  6. Hey buddy, hope all is well.

    Restricting deployment is a part of the way Chain of Command works, and I kinda like it, gives me even more of a reason to go and overextend myself ;)

    The "Charge of the Carrier Platoon" was lots of fun for me, even though it didn't work. High risk, high reward is where it's at ;)

    Indeed, and the main reason is because it wouldn't even be a close fight. If the Army could beat the Germans in less than a year, I figure the Marine coulda been in Berlin by their birthday (10 November) ;)