I had heard good things about this game for solo play, since I sometimes have the urge to play a game and no one is available. Boy, this game did not disappoint. Very tense and interesting game which I can hopefully find a good opponent to play against.
Turn 1: Plan XVII and Push into Belgium
On the Allied side, the French launch their first offensive against the Germans entrenched in Colmar. The battle is a bloody repulse for the French armies that are forced to retreat.
On the Germans side, the Namur fort is destroyed thanks to the powerful Austrian and German guns while the 4th Belgian division withdraws to the coast to escape the oncoming Germans. The rest of the Belgian army flees to its fortifications in Antwerp. The Germans deploy two corps to keep them stuck in that position. By the end of the turn, the German armies have reached the following cities:
1st Army: Tournai
2nd Army: Marburge
3rd Army: Givet
Turn 2: Battle of the Frontiers
Germans CAPS: 9
Allied CAPS: 4
Confusion reigns on the Allied side, the French and British armies attempt to halt the relentless German advance. At Mezieres, the German 3rd army attacks the French but are counterattacked by the spirited French soldiers, but the French 5th Army suffer two corps losses. The BEF retreats to dig in at St. Quentin while the French 5th Army falls back to Rethel.
At the Battle of St. Quentin, the German 1st Army is routed although the BEF losses two divisions for this tenacious defence. Hoping to relieve pressure on the French 5th army and take advantage of the BEF's success at St. Quentin, the French 4th army attacks the German 3rd army at Mezieres. Both sides loss a corps and several German corps are weakened.
Sensing the danger to their comrades at Mezieres, the German 2nd army double times to Mezieres reinforcing their position and dealing the French two more corps losses. Seeing the enemy pinned down at Mezieres, the German 4th army marches into Sedan and now has Verdun pinnned from two sides. Because of the excellent German General Staff, the German army received an additional CAP point.
In the meantime, two German corps occupy Lens to secure four victory points in accordance with the Schlieffen Plan and then destroys the French corps guarding St. Pol. Things are not looking good for the Allies.
Turn 3: The Great Withdrawal
German CAPs: 7
Allies CAPs: 4
Due to the crisis in East Prussia, the German rushes reinforcements to this endangered front even though they could use these additional formations for the drive on Paris. Still, the German army is confident that it can achieve its objective before the leaves fall.
At the same time, Joffre finally realizes what is happening in Belgium and orders a General Withdrawal. The BEF pulls back to Compiegne, the weakened French 5th army to Rheims, and the battered French 4th army to Chalons. But unable to avoid the temptation of Alsace and Lorraine, Joffre again orders another attack which succeeds due to attacker's surprise and inflicts one corps loss on the Germans.
However on the Allied left wing, the situation is growing more critical. The German 2nd and 3rd armies attack the French 5th army at Rheims inflicting devastating casualties of 2 French corps and a calvary division compared to German losses of one cavalry division. Again, the superior German General Staff gains another CAP.
Hoping to maintain the momentum, the German 4th army sends reinforcements to keep up the pressure on the French 5th Army. These timely reinforcements again inflict further losses of 3 French corps and 2 French cavalry divisions. Now only one French cavalry division and an HQ hold Rheims.
Still, not all is lost, the Germans pull out of Colmar giving it the French and hoping to prepare for a counterattack. To the west, two German corps march on Amiens capturing a further three victory points for the Germans.
Turn 4: Paris is Endangered!
German CAPs: 7
Allied CAPs: 6
Using all their remaining resources, the Germans finally crush the French 5th Army and capture their HQ. After such an exhausting battle, the two armies take a well deserved rest. However with the pressure relieved, the French 4th army retreats to Hex 29 next to Paris for the decisive encounter.
At Compiegne, the German 1st army charges the BEF only to be counterattacked by the feisty Tommies who suffer another divisional loss for their elan. Now, Paris is Endangered and the situation drastically changes as the Allies attempt to starve off disaster.
Hoping to recover the situation, the French 4th army counterattacks the Germans at Compiegne and forces them to pull back to avoid any further losses. The German 1st Army falls back to Montdider to lick its wounds, but the German 2nd and 3rd Armies have been called in for the final push on Paris. Things are not looking good for the Allies.
Turn 5: Paris for lunch!
German CAPs: 5
Allied CAPs: 8
Due to the disaster in front of Paris, Moltke panics and contemplates withdrawal to avoid a possible disaster near Paris. German position is stretched to the limit with a huge gapping hole existing between the German 1st, 2nd, and 3rd armies coverging on Paris and the German 4th and 5th Armies ringing Verdun; however, the French armies have no forces to throw into this gap. They need everything they have to hold the line at Paris and hope for a miracle, which almost happens.
After lugging their heavy artillery all the way from Belgium, the Germans are finally looking forward to leveling Paris like Liege, Namur, and Magburge, but the French surprise their foes with a determined counterattack. The price for their elan is high; the French suffer 2 corps and a divisional loss.
But the pressure is beginning to mount for the Germans, they are at the very end of a long supply line and their flanks are in the air. It would only take one disaster for the German assault on Paris to falter. At Hex 29 south of Paris, the French are beginning to recover their luck inflicting two corps losses on the Germans.
The second assault on Paris again results in a skirmish which delays the German attack although the Paris fort is finally eliminated thanks to Austrian and German heavy artillery. The exhausted Allies attempt to bring up reinforcements and hope for a miracle.
In their final attack, the Germans push the stubborn French out of Paris and occupy the capital. The resulting news results in a devastating collapse in moral. The French army refuses to make any further attacks and Joffre is relieved of his command. The new French government realizing their hopeless position sends envoys to the Germans to talk peace. Now with Paris taken for lunch, it is time to have St. Petersburg for dinner.
Losses for the campaign:
Germans: 4 corps, 1 cavalry division
British: 3 divisions, 1 brigade
French: 12 corps, 2 divisions, 6 cavalry divisions, 1 HQ (5th Army)
Like I said before, a very tense and exciting ending. If the Allies had been able to hold out for another turn, I could see them forcing the Germans to pull back from Paris due to their over-extended position. The crippling losses suffered by the French throughout the game helped the Germans greatly in continuing their advance and allowing them to open a gap in their lines. Definitely looking forward to more plays of this game in the future.
- Last edited Sun Jun 28, 2009 9:54 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Tue Jun 16, 2009 10:09 pm
Yep, nice AAR.
I have several observations about your gameplay in which the Allied should not have done to prevent such an early defeat by turn 5:
1) Avoid direct confrontation with the German. The BEF is strong in defense but not in offense. In my game, they stay put in Cambrai to sever the German St. Quentin-Mezieres supply line.
2) The German could not enter into the Schliffen Plan hexes to capture Lens. I think you might be playing the Germans wrong but maybe you have figured out how to do that because BEF retreated to St. Quentin. That is why it is so important for the BEF to defend Cambrai.
3) Where are the French I and II T Corps? They should move to cut the extended German supply line position from their initial garrison places at St. Pol and Calais. That way, the German has to turn back away from Paris, at least some good full strength units, to clear the supply line off the enemies.
I am now in the middle of a campaign game and the Germans are also in Paris with the 2nd Army. An anti-climax occurred when the attack was cancelled by FOW "Cautious Attacker" on the second attack attempt of the last remaining German CAP! Both sides stayed in Paris and extended the battle of pAris onto the next week 19th to 24th Sep, 1914 (GT 7).
- Last edited Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:16 am (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:14 am
I believe the reason was because the French got atrocious CPs rolls at the beginning of their turns. They were caught between the dilemma of wanting to hold the Germans off and trying to rebuild their forces.
I was under the impression that the Schlieffen plan hexes themselves were the maximum limit the Germans could advance. I'll keep that in mind for my next game.
VITRY SUR SEINE
Val de Marne
I don't think you could destroy the Namur fort on the first turn because the guns start on the "fired" side.
You can besiege it and get a lucky surrender roll.