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Scenario 1/50: A Beautiful Morning – Just because you have an engineer, doesn’t mean you HAVE to cross the River!

Introduction
May 10, 1940. The Grossdeutschland Regiment screams through the Ardennes. Their goal? To capture the bridges across the Semois River and the village of Etalle on the far side.

Defending the area is Adenot’s detachment of the 2nd Division Legere de Cavalerie. No, they aren’t horses anymore, but motorcycles. The Germans have been given just under 4 hours (15 turns) to take the area.

The main objectives:
German/French
1. Inflict casualties on the Enemy (1 VP per step).
2. Control the Bridges (2 VP per bridge)
3. Control the village of Etalle (2 VP per hex south of the river)

Major Victory: Win by 7 or more VPs
Minor Victory: Win by 3 to 6 VPs



Note: Score will be denoted by (x-y), where x=German casualties, y=French casualties.

THE BATTLE

1100 – German engineers make to move across the river. French forces scramble eastward from Etalle to intercept.

1115 – Germans begin to cross the river as the German HMGs provide covering fire from the village of Sirvy. French reinforcements advance their armoured cars and motorcycles from the west



1130 – Germans in trouble as their AT Gun is stuck at the river. The trucks are hit by the P178 armoured car’s 25mm guns and are lost in the river along with the AT Guns! German Leichter Panzerspähwagen SdKfZ 221 reduced by the P178 reinforcements. (2-0)

Note: Germans are already in trouble with their only AT weapony knocked out. The French armoured cars will be very hard to eliminate now. Hindsight suggests that they should have left the AT Gun in village if they proceed with a plan of fording the river.

1145 – French 25mm Portee hit by HMG and mortars and routs (2-1). French reinforcements proceed to Sirvy.



1200 – German motorcycles assault the French (assault columns 13 to 9) but the attack goes terribly wrong! (German roll 1, French roll 6) Motorcycles reduced (3-1)

French attack/assault in the town.

1215 – French armoured cars and motorcycles retreat back toward the bridges after demoralizing the German forces in Sirvy. German motorcycle flees the assault south of the river



1230 - 1300 – German assaults south of the river make little progress. Eventually, the German HMGs make their way across the open to the northern bridge.



1315 – German HMGs make a dash for the bridge and lose half a platoon (4-1).

1330 – Germans infantry assaults the armoured cars which are hit by anti-tank weapony and further reduced. The surviving armoured cars attempt to flee and eliminated! (4-4)

German HMG platoon sees the success of the GD Infantry and has a miraculous rally.



1345 – German troops assault the roadblock. The French HMG panics and is disrupted. German PzI enters from the north and German offboard artillery is available.

Half the German HMG platoon on the road is eliminated. (5-4)

1400 – PzI hit by Anti-tank fire. No effect. French abandon the roadblock and are eliminated. (5-6)

The fight east of the town continues and finally the French are overrun, demoralized and flee. The French DGN is reduced by the German engineers (5-7)



1415 – French forces in Etalle fire on the advancing Germans causing casualties and killing the German Lieutenant. The German forces are out of command and cannot combat move (advance)! (6-7)

1430 – Demoralized DRG eliminated by German artillery (6-8)



GAME OVER

Aftermath

VPS French German
Casualties 6 8
Bridge 2 2
Etalle 10 0
Total 18 10


FRENCH MAJOR VICTORY

An interesting fluid battle makes me look forward to delving more into France 1940.

COMING SOON! – Australian forces advancing in North Africa.
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Stephen Wright
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I always enjoy reading your session reports and reviews.

Great job, keep it up!
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michael esposito
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Hi Randy. Just finished this one myself. Same result: Major French Victory.

I felt that the Germans did not have enough men to win this one. 1 At gun, 1 mortar, 1AC. No Artillery support until turn 9 at the earliest.

Compared to IA, the scenarios have very few casualties. I was pouring fire into the French town at range 2 to no effect. Tried a river crossing with ENG under fire only to have a step loss and demoralization! The French shot up the Pzkmf I and since tank losses count double, the French get a major victory.

Maybe I need to learn how to use Armor.....cry

How did you get across the river so quick? The Bridge in Hex 0604 don't exist...surprise
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Joshua Gottesman
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Mike,

The reduction in casualties (really, the increase in IA) is intentional. Infantry tactics evolved because of the high casualty rates in WWI. The limit of 2 column shifts for direct fire really holds down casualties in PG, and really emphasizes the importance of good leadership. In PG, a lot of ground is captured by breaking the morale of the enemy and making them retreat. I don't have enough experience yet with IA to say how different it feels there.
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michael esposito
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Joshuaaaaaa wrote:
Mike,

The reduction in casualties (really, the increase in IA) is intentional. Infantry tactics evolved because of the high casualty rates in WWI. The limit of 2 column shifts for direct fire really holds down casualties in PG, and really emphasizes the importance of good leadership. In PG, a lot of ground is captured by breaking the morale of the enemy and making them retreat. I don't have enough experience yet with IA to say how different it feels there.


Hi Joshua. Just finished an IA scenario #2 40 turns! Love this game!! Tons of fun!

Major Russian victory over the Germans. Russians took 22 step losses, Germans 20! Russians captured most of the town hexes from the Germans and even managed to exit 4 steps.

The game definately gives the feel of the WW1 battlefield enviorment IMHO. Losses seem spot on.

Not knocking PG, but it really is not as exiting as IA, not as much action. Tanks seem pretty weak, especially in assault.

Can't get used to the idea of tanks taking morale checks vs infantry, and the "free shot" for armor withdrawal...not sure of that....

Don't get me wrong, I am still going to play it, maybe I need more experience
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Joshua Gottesman
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Mike,

Well, in close quarters, tanks were vulnerable to infantry, especially in towns/woods. Since assault presumes things like molotovs or grenades or the like rattling the tank crew, I can see the morale checks. Protecting the tanks with infantry in those situations is important. I don't always see an elimination as the tank brewing up. I see it as maybe throwing a tread and the crew abandons it. Or the commander sticks his head out and gets shot, and the crew takes the tank out of combat.

With infantry (especially engineer) support, tanks are deadly on the assault, especially because casualties can often be taken from the escorting infantry first. And the escorting infantry can protect the tanks from the free shot when leaving an assault hex. To me, it teaches important combined arms lessons.
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michael esposito
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Thanks Joshua. I think Ill play the 2nd scenario in 1940 FoF and see how it goes. Germans definately need good die rolls to succeed.
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Michael,

I'm glad you like IA. One of the concerns was that with the lower DF values that urban assaults might bog down too much. I'm glad you are finding it exciting. This is probably partly due to Doug's influence ensuring that multiple paths to VPs exist so that you are rarely forced solely down a particular strategy (That isn't to say that some strategies aren't definitely more likely to succeed!).

Personally, I love France 1940 and find the scenarios very exciting. I can't remember what the river crossing numbers are, but in hindsight, the Germans would have been better off approaching the western bridges and fighting/crossing there.

I agree with Joshua's explanation of infantry assaulting tanks. Armour is virtually invulnerable to INF except in assault. The only way INF have any real chance of eliminating tanks is getting up close and personal. If you took this away, tanks would be unbeatable. I don't see any problem with the PG ruleset for assaults.

I invite you over to www.pg-hq.com in case you haven't discovered it yet.

Thanks for your comments.
Randy
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