I was introduced to CC:E six years ago and had a tepid reaction. One short scenario at a convention and I figured I was done with the game. But one of my gaming partners is an ardent fan of the system, and a couple weeks ago I decided to give it another try. Don re-taught me the game as we played Fat Lipki, and something clicked into place. So I bought CC:E and CC:M in the GMT sale this year, hoping to really dig into system.
I'd call last night my first real game. I was the Germans and Don was the Kiwis. I resisted the temptation to set up in the buildings on the North side of the map, and instead set up my units well back:
* Two units and a leader in the woods on the rear East flank of the central hill, overlooking the brush.
* A unit and a leader on the wooded North slopes of the hill (but not right on the ridge). Two other units in the brush on the West flank of the hill, covering the creek.
* Crucially, one lone unit in the patch of woods in the middle of western plateau.
My thinking was to keep out of sight initially, so the Kiwis couldn't take advantage of fire groups to pick off my spread out forces.
The scenario opened with Don's Kiwis moving West through an ineffective mine field to occupy the empty buildings and set up a strong firebase. In the center, a squad used the blind zone to approach the base of the hill. A lone New Zealander mortar team cautiously approached through the brush on the East, out of range of any Germans.
The day wore on with little movement, as the two sides hunkered down (lots of discards).
Eventually, the platoon in the centre advanced up the hill to the woods adjacent to the fallschirmjaeger commander and his squad, only to be entangled in wire. There ensued a close-range firefight, which broke the New Zealanders twice. But they rallied and clung to their toehold.
To the south, an impatient German unit moved out of the brush to draw the fire of the British (I figured we needed to get some cards played to start moving the Time marker). Murderous fire from a well-lead fire-group equipped with an HMG first broke, and then routed the Germans. (VP German 3--> German 1).
On the East flank, a tentative probe by the Kiwi mortar squad was repulsed, and the isolated squad settled in to plop mortars down on the Germans deployed on the hillside.
In the centre the Kiwis were driven off the ridge, but stubbornly returned again to the bullet-shredded patch of woods and destroyed the German wire.
To the East, the bulk of the New Zealanders waited for the rest of their column. And waited. And waited.
When the fresh squads arrived (Turn 2 German VP 1-->2), the New Zealanders erupted into action. The stubborn squad on the wooded ridge found a hero in their midst (Smythe) and charged at their German opponents, overunning them and gunning down the German commander (VP German 2 --> Allied 2). To the West, the Kiwis moved out in force, veering toward the Western edge of the plateau.
In alarm, I moved my remaining German officer and one of his squads around to the Western flank of the central hill to hook up with the German squad on the slope. The original German unit was immediately struck by the rampaging Smythe and his battle-drunk squad. In the savage fighting all of the combatants were killed or rendered combat ineffective (VP Allied 2--> 0).
(At this point we finally stared to see Time triggers, and we reached turn 3 with the VPs at something like VP German 2, with four German units on the casualty track. Things looked pretty grim for me at this point, but Don cautioned me that nobody is ever out of it in Combat Commander).
The center held. But the situation in the critical Western zone looked desperate. Five squads of New Zealanders were either up the slope or massing at the base. Carefully executed defensive fire (crossfire)from the single German unit in the woods backed off the foremost squad. But it was only a matter of time before a massed rush saw the New Zealanders charge off the map edge for 4 VP each.
Then a stroke of fortune. An unexpected German air mission struck the troops massing at the base, killing the Kiwi commanding officer and the squad carrying the HMG. Heartened by this demonstration of German airpower, the lone German in the woods kept up a sizzling fire against the remaining Kiwis poised at the top of the ridge. Then the charge came. Grenades flew. Squads were broken, and rallied (and two more Time triggers came out).
Two Kiwi squads were past the hornets nest and running through the dusk to clear ground (an exit of the two units for VP would have given the Allies a +4 lead), when another burst of fire broke them (and triggered another Time advance, and Sudden Death). The fallschirmjaegers won the day.
Great game, great story. So yeah, I'm all in now.
- Last edited Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:02 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:17 am
“Whatever you do, He will make good of it. But not the good He had prepared for you if you had obeyed Him.” Perelandra, C.S. Lewis
"He died not for men, but for each man. If each man had been the only man made, He would have done no less.” Perelandra, C.S. Lewis
Thanks for the great play report, Rob. It just gets better with more plays.
Excellent session report. Welcome to the game!
Yes, WELCOME !
This is an unusually fine and detailed After Action Report. Thanks for taking the time to write and post it.
Lost a close game by quick sudden death last night myself, so I sympathize with your opponent. Two more cards in my fate deck and I would have won.
Good job on remembering Malacandra's Maxim:
"Never Ever Concede in Combat Commander"
Who knew trench warfare could be such fun?
Ashwin in front of Tiger 131
Great game. Go you.