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"Chain of Command, a try out" Topic

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Action Log

13 Oct 2018 1:15 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to Wargaming in the United Kingdom board
  • Crossposted to 28mm WWII board

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World War Two on the Land

1,457 hits since 13 Oct 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 10:14 a.m. PST

Hi all.
Today we had a trial game of Chain of Command, the Too Fat Lardies game at our club.

The write up is on my blog at this link


Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 10:27 a.m. PST

I've played those a couple of times. Decent.

Banana Man Inactive Member13 Oct 2018 11:02 a.m. PST

Personally, I think it's an awful system. The command and control system is so convoluted, I doubt anyone could come up with something worse than that if they tried.

raylev313 Oct 2018 11:57 a.m. PST

I have to agree with Mr. Muppet. I've tried playing it with our gaming group at least a dozen times and I find the Command and Control system waaaaay too complicated. Not worth the effort any more.

Personal logo The Nigerian Lead Minister Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 12:05 p.m. PST

I find there is a lot of good stuff in the game, but I don't care for the command system much either.

Northern Monkey13 Oct 2018 2:09 p.m. PST

I'm intrigued to know how or why the command and control system is seen as complicated. I'd agree were you to say it was limiting in what it let you do, but it doesn't strike me as complicated at all.

Red358413 Oct 2018 3:33 p.m. PST

I'd say CoC are the best platoon level rules I've found…each to their own…

Andy Skinner Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 3:52 p.m. PST

I could imagine some folks wouldn't like it, but I don't see why it would be convoluted. I think it is great fun.


Wargamer Blue13 Oct 2018 5:55 p.m. PST

I found it slow and dead boring. Give me IABSM any day.

jdginaz13 Oct 2018 8:12 p.m. PST

I played two games of CoC today and they were anything but boring.
I enjoy playin IABSM also but don't find it any more or less exciting.

Don't know why others think the command & control system is complicated or convoluted. I've introduced half a dozen new players to the rules and within 4 or 5 phases they are playing on their own only rarely needing any help.

As to the command and control system according to the two Infantry veterans that I've gamed with they give a very good feel for the decisions that infantry leader have t make in combat

Rakkasan13 Oct 2018 9:13 p.m. PST

I have played both Chain of Command and IABSM. While I prefer IABSM I have not found either rule set convoluted or complicated. Nor was either set boring.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Oct 2018 11:39 p.m. PST

Chain of Command and IABSM are in their own league at recreating the problems of WWII infantry command at their respective command levels. Nothing else even comes close.

Anybody who thinks that their command mechanisms are either "convoluted" or "complicated" is using a very different definition of those two words than I understand them to have.

Fred Cartwright14 Oct 2018 4:03 a.m. PST

Chain of Command and IABSM are in their own league at recreating the problems of WWII infantry command at their respective command levels. Nothing else even comes close.

I wish Lardy fans were a bit more modest in their claims. You like the rules – we get that, but nothing else even comes close? Have you played every set of rules out there? I thought not! Having coauthored a set of rules which I think come close, or maybe better in some aspects, maybe not as good in others I would disagree. There are more out there. A couple of examples. Crossfire I would say do it equally well as the Lardies and arguably a more innovative set. Doesn't get the publicity these days, but people still play them. I wonder what Arty Conliffe is doing now. He has gone quiet on the rule writing scene, having been a prolific writer for some years. Some more options. I think Frank Chadwick's Men under Fire is a good set. Some people prefer MUF to CoC. Also the Piquet rules have given me some interesting games. The Battlegroup xxxxx guys also seem very effusive about their rules, but I haven't played them so can't comment.
The characteristic that unites all of these games IMHO are you either "get them" or you don't. People who get them tend to reject the other main stream games of the day. People who don't can't see what all the fuss is about.

Ney Ney14 Oct 2018 8:52 a.m. PST

+1 Fred Cartwright! Lardy rules seem to be the marmite of wargaming and woe betide those who don't like marmite!!!

kustenjaeger14 Oct 2018 9:24 a.m. PST


I enjoy CoC and IABSM – possibly the latter a bit more as I have played it more often.

However I have also played – and own – quite a few of the other rules for the period, including Crossfire (though I could not get vehicles to work) and Battlegroup Kursk, it's all horses for courses and some people will like aspects of rules that others don't. There are plenty of historical sets I don't like that plenty of other people do like. Often it is because the criteria people apply to what is a 'good' set of rules for them is very different.



BobGrognard14 Oct 2018 10:54 a.m. PST

It's interesting how we can read the same thread and draw different conclusions. The people on here who have said positive things about lardy rules have not made any negative comments about any other games.
However a number of people here have made very negative comments about Lardy games and the people who play them.

Chain of Command are apparently "awful", "convoluted", "slow", "dead boring" and "not worth the effort". All of these are pretty damning, negative terms. If we contrast this with the people who have said they like Chain of Command, they have said nothing other than positive things about the game they enjoy.

If the Lardy rules are indeed "marmite", I don't see why we are being told woe betide anyone who doesn't like them. Their fans have merely said positive things about the game they like. Their opponents have been the negative ones using pejorative and negative terms.

Surely in such a situation it should be "woe betide anyone who says positive things about Lardy games because they will immediately be dismissed as a fan boy and their opinion either questioned or denigrated"?

Joes Shop Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2018 10:56 a.m. PST

Fred Cartwright: +2

Fred Cartwright14 Oct 2018 11:38 a.m. PST

Their fans have merely said positive things about the game they like.

Not sure I would agree with that Bob. Saying no other rules come even close to the league that Lardy rules are in is denigrating all the other sets out there. I personally don't think it is true. There are rules sets IMHO that do as good a job of recreating the challenges of WW2 infantry command. All I asked for was a bit of humility. We know you like the rules that doesn't make them the only good sets of rules out there. I am pretty sure Richard Clarke would not claim that either.

BobGrognard14 Oct 2018 11:57 a.m. PST

Fred, saying that a set of rules is in a class of its own is a figure of speech. Saying that a game is awful, convoluted, slow, dead boring and not worth they effort are direct criticisms which are clearly opinions as opposed to facts. And yet you object only to the former? You want people who like Lardy rules to display humility and yet you accept others damning criticisms of those same rules without comment.

As I say, strange how we can read the same words and yet come to different conclusions.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP14 Oct 2018 12:30 p.m. PST

Some people prefer MUF to CoC.

Can't argue with that…

Wargamer Blue14 Oct 2018 6:27 p.m. PST

It's a fact. CoC is really boring.

Fred Cartwright14 Oct 2018 6:57 p.m. PST

Bob, why would I object to anyone giving an opinion about there experiences of the game just because it is negative, even more then I would criticise somone if their experience was positive. It is as if you are saying how dare anyone play the game and find it boring and convoluted when I have played it and found it fun and intuitive and my experience is more valid than yours! Everyone has a unique experience and none is more or less valid than another's.

Chain of Command and IABSM are in their own league at recreating the problems of WWII infantry command at their respective command levels. Nothing else even comes close.

This comment however is different. It is not relating the persons experience of playing the game, as the other posters have done. I object to it for a number of reasons. It purports to claim that the poster has played every set of WW2 rules and tested them against the criteria of reacreating the problems of infantry command at whatever level and no other rules come close. I am very sure that the poster hasn't played every set out there, I've played a lot and still way off that mark, so he is talking out of his a**e. Second judged by those criteria IMHO a number of games would qualify as achieving that and I gave some examples of ones I have played, I am sure there are more. Which either suggests that the posters experience of other rules is very narrow or he has some very strange ideas of what meeting the criteria looks like. Third it smacks of elitism, only Lardies are playing "proper games" the rest of us poor saps are just deluding ourselves. I would never object to anyone playing one of my games and telling me they found it boring, convoluted, difficult or whatever. Fair enough, they have done me the courtesy of trying it and it is not for them. I do object to people making extravagant claims about something or telling me that my experience is not valid in some way.
Having said all that I do not find Lardy rules boring, convoluted or hard. I have all the WW2 sets, Through Mud and Blood and Sharp Practice and have enjoyed games of all of them. I think the Lardies are very talented designers, but not the only ones.
Edward. I would agree about Crossfire's vehicle rules. They do look as though Arty knocked them out on the back of a fag packet 10 minutes before the rules went to press! ;-) Crossfire is unashamedly an infantry game, but if you really, really, really want to use some tanks here are some rules, seems to be the size of it.
Oh and saying something is in "a league of its own" is a figure of speech, true, but it is a figure of speech that means "Completely superior to others of its kind". That sort of claim, IMHO, needs a lot of evidence to back it up. It is a claim I would hesitate to make about any set of rules I have played or authored.

BobGrognard14 Oct 2018 9:10 p.m. PST

Interesting that you see it like that. I wouldn't think that if someone said "Tiger Woods is in a league of his own" they were insulting every other golfer. I'd see that specifically as a complement to Woods. As I say, it must be a different perspective.

On the other hand, "It's a fact, CoC is just boring" is clearly a direct attack which is rather out of line with the fact that readers of Wargames Illustrated voted it the best set of historical rules in 2017, evidence, were it needed, that CoC is a veriy popular set of rules.

Personally, I'm not particularly bothered. I think we should all just play the games we enjoy and let others do the same without feeling the need to say unpleasant things about games clearly enjoyed by others. Once again, my point was that people were criticising lardy fans for being overly enthusiastic , when in fact it was those denigrating those rules who were and still are hurling brickbats.

However, you and I clearly view that slightly differently when it comes to the use of that particular phrase.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP14 Oct 2018 10:20 p.m. PST

Boy, Fred, you sure read a lot into that comment that isn't there. It was clearly meant as an opinion, counterpoint to the ones expressed previously. If it had been intended as a statement of fact, it would have been accompanied by examples and/or analysis. I could have dredged up plenty of examples from five decades of WWII gaming (no I have not played every set of WWII rules, nor should that be a prerequisite for forming an opinion) but that seemed unnecessary since my statement was intended only to indicate a different viewpoint and was obviously not intended to convince anyone to agree with me. And "league of their own" is, in fact, a figure of speech meant to imply differentiation by type and not merely by degree.

In future posts I will be sure to explicitly indicate that my opinions are drawn from my personal experience and are not intended to be omniscient pronunciations of incontrovertible fact, so that no one is tempted to take offense, thusly:

"Nothing else I have seen even comes close."

(Though it hardly seems necessary, since it would not be reasonable for anyone to assume that I was passing judgement on something I had not seen.)


Fred Cartwright15 Oct 2018 3:36 a.m. PST

Bob, with reference to Tiger Woods one would have some justification in stating that based on his sporting achievements, but Lardies rules in a league of their own? Nah!
Interesting that you see claiming something is boring having played it and found it so as an attack. I see it merely as a personal opinion. Just because the readers of Wargames Illustrated voted it the best set of rules in 2017 doesn't mean everyone who has played it has to enjoy it. It is ok for people to find it boring.
And yet it bothered you enough to wade in to the discussion. No one is criticising Lardy fans for being over enthusiastic, you love the rules, I get that, just for overdoing the hyperbole.
War Artisan, it was an opinion masquerading as fact. I have played a good number of rules and this is my opinion based on my experiences is fair enough, but then I would be interested to know what rules you have played that you haven't found one that comes even close. I gave a few examples and there are others. The Nuts/Chain Reaction players say similar things about their games as do the players of the new version of Disposable Heroes. Not played either, but they are on my list. If you have played some of the sets I have mentioned and not found one that comes even close I would be interested to know what criteria you are judging them on. Having, for example played both Crossfire and Lardy rules I find very little to chose between them when it comes to recreating the challenges of low level infantry command. Both reward real life tactics and play out the way I would expect based on what I have read.
Finally not sure what you mean by this

And "league of their own" is, in fact, a figure of speech meant to imply differentiation by type and not merely by degree.
If you use in a league of their own you are comparing something against others of its kind/type/ilk. If you want to differentiate by type then in a class of their own would probably be a better figure of speech. For example HMS Dreadnought was in a class of her own, because she was a different type from all the other battleships. Though would still struggle to see what makes Lardy rules a different type from other sets of rules.

BobGrognard15 Oct 2018 7:42 a.m. PST

Well, this has certainly been a lesson in semantics.

Slyde Klewlis15 Oct 2018 1:12 p.m. PST

If you have played Bolt Action for a while and are looking to try out pretty decent uncomplicated fun system that is not at all that difficult to grasp I would recommend watching the Beasts of War "Let's Play" videos featuring "Chain of Command".

Just go to the Beasts of War YouTube site and type in "Let's Play Chain of Command" in the search box.

Or do a Google Video search of the same.

Watch the Games first.

Once you have made up your mind to give the CoC rule system a try I would recommend downloading a .PDF copy of the rules. Easy to "Find" things when you need to check a rule quickly.

Also go to the TooFatLardies CoC Forum and have a look at the Getting Started Thread for some helpful tips and resources.

I think once people actually watch a few games being played and then have a look at the rules it is quite simple to play and I have thoroughly enjoyed the new life this system has breathed into my WWII tabletop hobby lately.

I still enjoy Bolt Action occasionally, however I find CoC to be a very enjoyable system that is as easy to learn and have been playing more and more games at home.

Teppsta Supporting Member of TMP15 Oct 2018 2:59 p.m. PST

Bobgrognard – you're in a league of your own 👍👍

Fred Cartwright15 Oct 2018 3:11 p.m. PST

Bobgrognard you're in a league of your own

No he is in a class of his own! :-)

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