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The Blitzkrieg Legend: The Battle for France, 1940» Forums » Sessions

Subject: TBL Campaign in Auckland rss

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Patrick Shirley
New Zealand
North Shore City
Auckland
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Our The Blitzkrieg Legend campaign has started and been going for a couple of weeks now. The teams:
Allies
Cameron - commanding the North (mostly Belgians, Dutch and British but also the French near Antwerp)
Thomas - commanding the South (All French)

Germans
Patrick (me) aka General Bock - commanding the North, all the forces down to Namur and the Northern Ardennes, this includes 3rd, 4th and 9th Panzer with 7th Panzer just having also been transferred to my command
Hamish aka General Guderian - commanding the South and all the remaining Panzer divisions including Panzer group Kleist

The pace has been quite slow with only a half turn completed each evening as we team Germans grapple with the scale and number of units, something neither of us is familiar with having only played much smaller OCS titles. Hamish has never played a game with multi step units.

France 14th May 1940 (End of German First Player Turn 3)

I've the decided to break down the action into 4 main areas, there's probably a better way to do this but this will do for now.

Netherlands and Northern Belgium

This is the area the Germans have enjoyed the most success in and in which almost everything has pretty much gone to plan. 2 Panzer divisions, the 3rd and the 9th are sent through Eindhoven to meet up with airborne forces near Dordrecht to drive onto Rotterdam and Den Haag. 20th Motorised and the SS-V division branch South towards Antwerp to attempt to block the Allies from coming to the rescue although those 2 divisions seem a little prone out in the open. Turn 2 the Dutch held on and avoided surrender on a 50%/50% die roll but with the Germans now holding 4 Major city hexes their odds of holding on are slim. If they do with Harlem now in German hands effectively cutting off the port of Amsterdam and Rotterdam under German control the Dutch will be completely cut off from trace supply. Other infantry forces move slowly to make contact with Belgium forces on the Albert canal.



Central Belgium

Commando forces take the fort South of Maastricht opening the road for 4th Panzer to surround Liege from the North and for infantry forces to pour through the gap. Infantry divisions slowly draw the noose South of Liege taking a few forts along the way. Liege remains a major obstacle however with the main road still held by Belgian forces that are now cut off.
May 14th (Turn 3) sees 4th Panzer drive to the Gembloux gap (the gap of open terrain between Namur and the end of the Dyle line). In a departure from the historical plan 7th Panzer is sent North crossing the Meuse at Andenne to strengthen the punch at Gembloux. Sadly both attacks are failures though the 7th Panzer attack does open a very small gap in the line. This gambit seemed necessary to us as things are going so badly in the Ardennes. We've in effect forgone our chance at another bridgehead at Dinant to add strength to the Gembloux attack looking for a major breakthrough that didn't arise. Part of the problem is that I sent 3rd Panzer to help against the Dutch whereas the Germans really need 2 Panzer divisions to operate in this area.



Ardennes

It's all about logistics here as we struggle to get enough supply forward to drive our forces onwards. But as well as this the terrain really favours the defender with our Panzers often held up by small French formations holding the key road junctions. Turn 2 sees us reach the East side of the Meuse with 1st and 10th Panzer just North of Charlesville-Mezieres failing to budge the strong defenders. Turn 3 likewise we fail to take the bridges but 10th Panzer does manage to cross the river to threaten the flank of the defenders holding the bridge. Much more successful is 5th Panzer's attack near Givet where we now hold both sides of the bridge but strong French forces are poised to counterattack and clearly they will as this is their biggest threat. Note that we have foregone the more usual drive to exit the Ardennes near Sedan but some significant battles do occur on the Southern flank as we approach the Western end of the Maginot Line with infantry.





Maginot Line

With big infantry formations located right near our main supply lines we can afford to to make big spectacular attacks here with 3-4 full strength infantry divisions. Alas with some bad luck we fail to really make any kind of dent of the Maginot line. It's a bloody slog but it seems necessary to apply some pressure here to stop the French from just diverting all their forces Westward.

Overall

On the initial turn we used a fair number of air formations to degrade Allied air capacity but with poor results we decided to focus on dominating the skies with fighter cover (2 Kleist airstrips have now been built in the Ardennes) and using our bombers for tactical purposes and for interdiction. We have also tried to DG the stronger French reinforcements moving to the front lines from the South with some limited success. Overall the situation looks pretty poor for the Germans. The expected schedule to achieve victory is brutal and at this stage I could see the Germans being bottled up in the Ardennes as the forest and the Meuse river are formidable obstacles. Without a quick crossing the French can bring their reinforcements to bear and bog down the Germans with their strong artillery. The North and Central Belgium are going a little better, and an early Dutch surrender might release enough forces to shift the balance a bit.

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Kev.
United States
Austin
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Great stuff. Turn 1 & 2 are long for Germans, then it will pick up!
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alan beaumont
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If you do this to your images we won't have to hop about to see what's what:
.

Just add large to the end of the ImageID, or original if you really want to make an impact. (Colour irrelevent, added in lieu of quotes)
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Patrick Shirley
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misteralan wrote:
If you do this to your images we won't have to hop about to see what's what:
.

Just add large to the end of the ImageID, or original if you really want to make an impact. (Colour irrelevent, added in lieu of quotes)


Thanks! Didn't know how to do that.
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alan beaumont
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You're welcome
Cheers, I had it pointed out to me many years ago in this list Tricks of the Geek.

Don't make your reports too interesting. I've been successfully persuading myself not to buy TBL as I know I'll never play it. Now my resolve is shaken. laugh
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Thomas Buettner
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Nice summary as to where we are after 2.5 game turns, Patrick!

Patrick was too modest to mention, that during turn 2 some horrible dice rolls prevented the Germans to make better headway and having a better shot at obtaining a Meuse river crossing.
At least twice AR5 led panzer division stacks squared off with AR3 French cavalry units and failed to dispatch them - in turn this led to the German advance being turned away from Sedan itself and channeled towards the river crossing north of Charlesville-Mezieres.

Now French tank engines are being started and artillery ammunition piles assembled for the battles ahead:
The German Meuse bridgehead at Givet is small, but potentially dangerous. It needs to be contained at least, better yet the Germans should be thrown back across the river.

Around Gembloux the Germans managed to break into, but not through, the Allied lines. 2 German panzer divisions, partially in move mode are facing off against several reinforced French infantry divisions, with 2M and 3M armored divisions lurking behind the front lines.
The Luftwaffe seems to be mostly spent for the turn and the Germans seem to have little if any operational reserves at hand in the area. So tempting to orchestrate an army level counterattack during the Allied turn.

What could possibly go wrong...?
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Cameron Taylor
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Great job, as always Patrick.

I'm not feeling too confident about that counterattack!
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Hamish Mackenzie
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What indeed could go wrong.! Hopefully some bad roles to even things out.!!
It appears God has reflected about what happened in 1940 to the French and is trying to make amends.
I think it will always be hard for the Germans in this game as there is no real fog of war to replicate the confusion, ignorance, dearth of tactical and strategic nouse at high command level and lack of communication that was instrumental in Germanys stunning victory.
I think you are too much an old hand and season campaigner at OCS to sneak around the very solid front door your forces on the Meuse represent. However we live in hope that our superb panzer divisions will reach open country and finally deliver their potential.
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