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France '40» Forums » Sessions

Subject: A draw - very tough for the Germans to win rss

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Jay Sheely
United States
Hayward
California
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I finally had some free time and pulled out France '40 to play the Sickle Cut scenario. I plan to play Dynamo, then Normandy 44, then Ardennes 44 next.

Overall: The Sickle Cut scenario feels very much like a Battle of the Bulge game with huge piles of German armor in the East blasting over a thinly held river and then madly racing to the east. This game is nicely designed, easy to learn (for a wargamer) and quite interesting for at least a play or two. The victory conditions make it very hard for the Germans to win in the 10 turn game and much easier in the 14 turn game.

The score: after 10 turns it was 1 to 18 in favor of the Allies. In the German players defense, they were more concerned with kicking ass instead of closing down entry points. 3 German units were destroyed and one Panzer unit was past the midway point of the map (the actual fold). The French did not need the HALT! chits in the first 10 turns.

After 14 turns, the Germans had complete run of the map. The front lines were nearly at the half way point of the map and German Panzers had cut all rail lines and a couple were idly looking for something to do. 14 turn game score was 16 - 11 in favor of the Germans. The Germans could have taken the 5 LOS points from the French as well but this rule wasn't noticed until too late.

Other details: Rommel was pummeled in the North. The reinforcements made his life hell. The Rommel re-roll saved his neck at least twice. Monty entered the game and headed to the front line to desperately try to plug gaps and got a Defense Shattered as a result. Namur was by and large bypassed and left for German infantry to reduce.

Thoughts: The weight of the German infantry is just too much for the French to even think of confronting. The best the French can do is keep throwing anything they can in front of the Germans to slow them down. It seems very difficult for the Germans to win the 10 turn game, and very difficult for the French to win the 14 turn game.

The GQG markers are designed to simulate Allied difficulty in command, but these are progressively removed throughout the game. As the friction of war increases and Allied panic reaches a crescendo, Allied command is actually eased (somewhat). Seems odd. I haven't read a library on this campaign but adding GQG, instead of removing seems more realistic.

Opinion: Fun to play. Easy to learn. Medium-low replayability.
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Bill Lawson
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Rutland
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I have won this a few times for the Germans in 10 turns. I had the same thoughts about the GQG markers.
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Patrick Schifano

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I feel GQG represents mostly the lack of an operational plan to deal with a large German thrust through the Ardennes. It took several days, but eventually allied command adjusted their thinking to the new situation.

In some other thread Mark Simonitch suggested you only continue to 14 turns if the Germans are relatively close to victory. A slower German advance will guarantee victory in 14, but historically that slow approach would not achieve the strategic goals of Sickle Goal. It was the reckless speed of the operation which left Allied forces in such a predicament.
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JOE LIBRANDI
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Peoria
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I've played Sickle Cut about eight times and the Germans never came close to winning in 10 turns.

I think the fault of the scenario is that the Allies just need to delay the bulk of the German units as long as possible until turn ten. The early Allied reinforcements head to the western cities to garrison them and then on turn 10 all the Allied units have to do is surround the mech units to rack up VPs. If the mech divisions break up their stacks, they're too weak to defend against attacks and if they stay stacked, they get surrounded and cut off from supply. Since the German INF can't keep up, the German mech units are usually far west of the stronger INF units because the mech units need to try to cut off those western rail lines.

I like the game, but I'm starting to feel it's becoming an exercise in futility for the Germans.
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Michael McCalpin
United Kingdom
Ealing
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In my plays of Sickle Cut, the Germans are 2-4 in regulation time, and 2-3-1 when the game goes to fourteen turns. Two of those German losses were in early solo games rather than opposed games. Ten turns is a hard challenge for the German player, and it takes a little experience to figure out how to keep up the tempo, but it certainly can be done.

I hadn't considered that removing the GQG markers isn't necessarily historical, but I certainly see your point. The Allies' situation is pretty hairy already by the time a substantial number of markers come off, however, and most of the good units are likely to be British and therefore immune anyway.
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Marc Grad
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So for the players who have won as the Germans in the Sickle Cut scenario was it due to gaining victory points by closing Allied entry hexes or were the Germans ever able to score points by cutting off Allied the Allied contiguous rail path?

I'm curious if its possible for the Germans to win a 10 turn game by cutting the Allied lines

Thanks.
 
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