This battle was the first we have done to include French troops. It was played as an attack/defence scenario with the French attacking! It was a test game for a game later this week over the bank holiday weekend where the French will be attempting a major breakout from a secured bridge head. The Germans were based on 2 Btns of infantry, a Regimental HQ and 4 other support companies from the parent Division. The parent was Grossdeutschland Mot Regt. I played the defender, the key was to hold the central village which controlled a major road network. My supports were a Coy of ATGs, a Recce Coy, a 105mm Art Btn and a tank Coy.
The French force was based on 2 Regts from a DIM with a Btn of 75mm Art in support, plus 3 Btns from any other Division of available French (2 other ID, a DLC, a DLM, a DCR and army assets).
Graham selected tanks from the DCR and the Recce from the DLC.
Using French tanks takes some thought. They have a Coy structure as per the Germans, but only the HQ can issue orders. They have the option of splitting up tank Btns and assigning them to infantry formations as an inherent part of either the Btn or Regt with that commander being the originator of any orders. The pic above shows a Char Btn trying to enfilade the German position and playing cat and mouse with a German M/C Coy and a Coy of PzIIIs. A Coy of Pak 35s, nearest the Chars has managed to get hits but the smoke is from a mortar trying to blind the Char.
Panhard ACs driving hither and dither in support of French infantry. Taking the village would prove very difficult and apart from gaining a toe hold in part, the Germans would securely hold part of the village with the other part being a no mans land for both sides.
ACs can be very useful as their speed can allow them to switch areas very quickly. Obviously they are vulnerable to ATGs but against infantry only they can be deadly, even if the infantry are in cover.
The cat and mouse game with the Chars lasted all day, both sides relying on winning the turn initiative to force the opponent into actions that they would then try to exploit. It was tough going.
The Chars failed a Btn test when the commander took a hit. Didn't knock him out, but it did relieve the immediate danger. As a result, the French infantry attack was driven off quickly, the attacker suffering heavily. But this didn't dissuade the French from attacking.
The Chars go back into action with a fresh infantry assault and the ACs also in support. The French armour is difficult to knock out, but the French infantry eventually ran out of puff and the assault was called off. An excellent game.
We also used the variable morale system and factor/hit system. Both sides started with the same base morale. We can readily see the difficulties with both sides and advantages that each side has that they need to exploit. But I'm staying stum for now as the bigger game is this Thursday and I don't want to tell the French how to do it. It will be difficult enough!
Graham didn't want to go home!! Or he might be thinking its the way to stop me shooting the French!! A great weekend and the bigger game should be just as intriguing.