Sunday, April 26, 2020

KG Klink in Greece, Fight #9


Morning, 13 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.  The fourth fight saw Major Bohm's 2nd Recce Battlegroup push back the Australian 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment after some fierce fighting.  The fifth battle saw Captain Freitag's beleaguered 1st Schutzen Battlegroup defend the B3 bridgehead against attacks by the British Rangers/9th King's Royal Rifle Corps, and the Royal Engineers/New Zealand Cavalry, pushing the former back and destroying the latter!  The sixth battle saw Battlegroup Wehner (1st Recce) attack and destroy the Lee Force/Australian 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, though they suffered so many casualties they were in then combined with the 2nd Recce battlegroup.  The seventh fight saw Lt Loeb's Panzers absolutely shellack the Allies' 4th Hussars, seeing the final defeat of Allied armored reserves, opening the road to the campaign objective of Servia, and unhinging the Allied defensive line.  The eighth fight saw Col Klink lead the Panzer Battlegroup in a hard-fought victory that saw the Australian 2nd Battalion, 8th Infantry Regiment destroyed.  Now we see Captain Freitag's 1st Schutzen Battlegroup attempting to fend off a spoiling attack by the British Rangers/9th King's Royal Rifle Corps, in an attempt to buy their comrades more time to withdraw from the German encirclement.

Overview, north is left.  This is a Commonwealth attack, so the Germans will enter anywhere on the left side of the table, from the village at top center to the wooded knoll at bottom center, while the Allies will enter from the right table edge.  The road is improved (at least in terms of 1941 Greece), there is a small hamlet consisting of three stone buildings at top center, and a few patches of trees scattered about, but the dominant terrain feature is the hilltops dotting the countryside (clockwise from left): Hill 242 (left), Hill 343 (top right), Hill 104N (right), Hill 104S (bottom right), and Hill 261 (bottom left).

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 Freitag (AKA, 1st Schutzen): consists of the CO stand (far left), two rifle platoons (a Platoon Commander and four rifle squads, each), a weapons platoon (Platoon Commander, two MG-34s, and two 80mm mortars), and a platoon of three Stug-IIIs.

Captain Freitag (Iron Cross 2nd Class)

1st Grenadier Platoon - 1st Lt Tausch (IC1 and 2)
1st Rifle Squad - LCpl Kroner
2nd Rifle Squad - SSgt Aust 
3rd Rifle Squad - Sgt Lutz 
4th Rifle Squad - LCpl Steinmetz

2nd Grenadier Platoon - 1st Lt Klugmann (IC1 and 2)
1st Rifle Squad - Cpl Reiswitz
2nd Rifle Squad - Cpl Junker 
3rd Rifle Squad - Sgt Lehmkuhl 
4th Rifle Squad - Cpl Orel 

Weapons Platoon - Sgt Creuzburg
MG1 - Cpl Steinkamp
MG2 - LCpl Moen
Mtr1 - LCpl Hager
Mtr2 - LCpl Schiff

Assault Gun Platoon - Officer Cadet Hinkle 
V2 - Cpl Holdstaat 
V3Sgt Wagner 

The Commonwealth force: 

British Rangers and 9th Kings Royal Rifle Corps
Commanding Officer: Captain Ralston*
2 x Rifle Platoon (Platoon Commander, three Rifle Sections, a 2" mortar, and a Boyes Anti-Tank Rifle, each.  I actually forgot to put the 2" mortars and ATR teams in the photo, but they're in the game)
Tank Platoon (1 x A10 Cruiser that missed the previous battle due to mechanical issues.  Quite fortunate, really, as all armor in the previous fight was knocked out.)

*This is essentially a replay of Fight #5, in which Battlegroup Freitag mounted a successful defense to see off the combined British Rangers/9KRRC and Royal Engineers/New Zealand Cavalry battlegroups.  This attack is much weaker than the previous attempt, but doesn't have much choice, with the whole Commonwealth force threatened to be cut off by significant mechanized forces in its rear (KG Klink's Panzer and Recce battlegroups).  Also, Major Digsby led the previous attack, but he was killed in action, so his deputy, Captain Ralston, has assumed command.

The British are the attackers, so they go first.  Captain Ralston brings on everyone: 1st Rifle Platoon advances on Hill 343 (top right), 2nd Rifle Platoon advances towards Hill 104N (far right), as Captain Ralston (just above them) looks on at his lone Cruiser moving up the road towards the village.

*I've given the Brits high Force Morale and (relatively) a lot of Command Dice (5), as I figure they're tough and motivated, despite being small, underpowered, tired, and hungry.  But it's kinda hard to come up with a good plan with so little to work with, not to mention the objective of demonstrating to tie up German forces/halt their pursuit.

For those with weak stomachs, please avert your eyes.  You should be able to tell that this is not going to go well for the good guys...

The Germans roll and get next phase, and Captain Freitag is ruthless, so he gets to work right away.  The German commander deploys Sgt Creuzburg's Weapons Platoon in the village, he and the MG-34s to the fore (left) and 8.0cm mortars to the rear (right).

The German MGs and mortars (bottom center) got to work on the British 1st Rifle Platoon...

The British Platoon Commander and 1st Section are mowed down, 2nd Section, 3rd Section, and the ATR team are suppressed, and the 2" mortar team is pinned.

With the next phase, the German Wpns Plt (bottom left) has another go at the British 1st Rifle Platoon (top right).

Eliminating the anti-tank rifle team.

*The funny thing is that the German machine guns did all that except for one suppression.  Just imagine if the mortars were doing anything useful...

With things going swimmingly for Wpns Plt (top left), the Germans bring on 2nd Grenadier Platoon (bottom left), dug-in to the treeline.  They open fire on the British 2nd Rifle Platoon (far right), but it's ineffective.

*Total miss on troops in the open with 3K 4S!!!

The Germans bring on their Stug Platoon (bottom left) behind 2nd Grenadier Platoon (center right top).  The Platoon Commander, Officer Cadet Hinkle, opens fire with his 75mm gun, but only manages to pin the British platoon's 2" mortar team.

The Stugs continue to push forward, halting only to fire on the British 2nd Rifle Platoon...

This time they're on the money!  Well, at least the PC was: OC Hinkle's HE shell knocked out Rifle Section and suppressed two more, while the other two Stugs completely missed, with 2K 3S each!

2nd Gren Plt (bottom left) again fires on the British 2nd Rifle Platoon (top right), and again they completely miss!!!

*What the hell is going on here?  The mortars have completely missed twice, the rifle platoon has completely missed twice, and two of four Stug shots have completely missed.  Maybe the Brits will okay after all.

But you're probably noticing there's a lot of action on the German side, and not much on the British side.  The Germans have rolled an astounding four phases in a row!  They just can't shoot for @#$%...

Now the German Wpns Plt (in the ville) opens fire on the British 2nd Rifle Platoon (top right, ignoring 1st Rifle Platoon (top left)...

Again the mortars completely miss, and the MGs only manage to suppress the British Platoon Commander.

*I don't get what's going on with these shooting dice, with the German command rolls being so good, this should be over already.

Captain Ralston, a bit shell-shocked, snaps to and rallies the entire British 2nd Rifle Platoon.

And they move up the road, to Hill 104N...

As the Cruiser presses ahead, firing on the Sgt Creuzburg's machine gunners.

But while Sgt Creuzburg is suppressed (red bead), his two MG teams calmly return fire on the British tank, suppressing the crew!

The German mortars (bottom center left) fire on the British 1st Rifle Platoon (top center)...

And completely miss for the fourth time in a row!

OC Hinkle's Stugs move up and fire on the British 2nd Rifle Platoon...

Suppressing one Rifle Section and pinning the 2" mortar team.

*That's it, on 6K and 9S!!!  This has got to be some sort of record.  Having said that, I shouldn't have given the Stugs 2K 3S each, now that 2nd Rifle Platoon has reached cover.

The Stugs continue to press their attack on 2nd Rifle Platoon, as OC Hinkle pulls left (left, the other two continue firing on 2nd Rifle Plt, top right)...

Their combined fire only manages to suppress the British Platoon Commander and ATR team.

But the coup de grace is about to be administered: Officer Cadet Hinkle's Stug gunner (bottom left) lines up a shot on the Cruiser's exposed ass (top center)...

And one shot blasts him straight to hell.

With that, the brave British soldiers, exposed, badly bruised, and outnumbered, throw in the towel.

And with that, the British Rangers/9th King's Royal Rifle Corps is eliminated.  Captain Freitag immediately pushes his 1st Schutzen Battlegroup forward to exploit the victory (B5 from B4), pulling alongside Lt Ginter's 2nd Schutzen and putting pressure on both the New Zealand 21st Infantry Battalion and the New Zealand 27th Machine-Gun Battalion.

Well, sorry folks, that wasn't much of a fight.  But that's sort of how it's going: the Commonwealth are in a really bad situation, their line cracked, then outflanked, then crumbling, and now devolving into a full-on flight covered by troops that don't really have much hope (or weapons, equipment, and ammunition) to slow down the German blitzkrieg.  As you can see from the map above, this campaign is drawing to a close, and I'm not the odds will look any better for the Commonwealth troops in future fights.  Just think: if the Germans didn't have world record bad shooting dice, that thing could have been over in about ten minutes.  Having said that, if it wasn't for their equally world record command dice rolls, maybe the British could have gotten some maneuvering in that changed the complexion of the fight.  C'est la guerre!

German losses:  5 casualties 
Commonwealth losses: 35 casualties, 60 captured, one Cruiser A10 destroyed


None, though Officer Cadet Hinkle got his first tank kill of the war

Next up we witness Colonel Klink leading the Panzer Battlegroup in an attack on the lightly armed Wellington Force, a hodge-podge of cooks, bakers, and candlestick makers hastily thrown together.  A victory here for the Germans will likely see the Wellington Force destroyed and the gate shut behind the retreating Commonwealth forces.



  1. Great stuff! Despite rotten marksmanship by the Germans, Freitag still manages to badly maul the CW formation. I wish I could muster such a string of victories on the gaming table.

    1. Jonathan,

      Hey, it's easy to win like this when you're playing solo ;)
      Like I said, you're namesake did quite a bit of the heavy lifting in this campaign, gets promoted for it, too ;)


  2. Another great AAR Jack. It does show why the Allied force was in full retreat at this point as their armour was pretty poor, assuming it could move (their tracks kept breaking). One thing in CoC that bugs me (IIRC) is that you can't seem to correct mortar fire, to take into account the earlier misses.

    1. Steve,

      Thank you, Sir! Yeah, at this point, everything has fallen apart for the Allies and they're just working to see if any of their units can escape the bag; with the Panzer BG moving on Wellington Force, it's not looking promising...

      I can't blame the mortar fire on Chain of Command; the barrage was adjudged 'on target,' just the shooting dice were total crap, twice!