Monday, 1 October 2018

Game 69 : France 1940, the 2nd skirmish

This was the last of the current series of WWII games involving the early French. The terrain was the same as in the first skirmish game. Intriguingly, the OBs selected by both sides were also the same as in the first game. The Germans were based on a 3 Btn Mot Regt. In support was 1 Btn of off table 105mm Hows, 1 x Coy of Pak 35 ATGs, 1 x M/C Coy and 1 x Tank Coy (2 x Pz IIIEs and 1 Pz IVE).
The French forces were based on 2 x Regts of Mot Infantry, each of 3 Btns. In support were 2 x 75mm off table guns, 1 x Btn of Char B1s and a Regt of Panhard ACs (it is huge, 16 ACs).

This game is very balanced. The French started by slowly forcing back the German flanks so that an encircling action could be attempted. The Char B1s were allotted, by Coy, to specific French Regts and this flexibility, in this instance, worked to their advantage. Pak 35s don't do very well against their flank armour even!

The main German advantage lies in the amount of support weapons that are integral to each Battalion. This can easily tip the balance in a fire fight or the process of using covering forces to aid advances.

The Germans were pressed on every side. The German armour kept a central position and "flew" from flank to flank much like an emergency fire brigade. Periodically, French ACs would present themselves as juicy targets and as a result they suffered significant casualties.

The central village was always held by the Germans. This is on the right. The village portion on the left would become a no mans land as German artillery was easily targeted on this village to ensure that the French could not ensconce themselves in the middle of the village.

A pic of the French trying to slowly close the area that the Germans controlled. The Char B1s were key to this process, their armour affording them a near invincibility and the hull gun providing effective HE support fire. But the infantry had to move very carefully. Here the Germans are relinquishing the first hedge and are moving to a second hedge line.

This is a similar situation on the opposite flank. It was this turn that saw a major French armoured effort. The Char B1s closed on both sides to engage the Germans. It got quite nasty, quite a lot of damage on the Germans, including a destroyed Pz IIIE. The Char B1s took a small number of hits, but more importantly they suffered a morale loss. One was bad enough that the Char B1s were pinned in position. As they had been engaged by the Engineer platoons, the next turn would have been critical. Then we ran out of time......................
The battle is very well balanced. We could both see that if either side were reinforced by any sort of combat Btn, then that would tip the balance for their side. It was nice to see how the game hovered on a knife's edge.

Here we are, and both still sober!! Next up we are back to Napoleonics. It looks like that I will start with Vimeiro in the Peninsular. Not long to that game.........