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Subject: Fall of France rss

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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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In my experience grand strategic ETO games often have a scripted quality: France falls so the game can hurry along towards the eastern front. I don't claim any expertise, but seems to me that the fall of France was a near run thing. Anyone know if this game avoids that trap?
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Björn Hansson
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gittes wrote:
In my experience grand strategic ETO games often have a scripted quality: France falls so the game can hurry along towards the eastern front. I don't claim any expertise, but seems to me that the fall of France was a near run thing. Anyone know if this game avoids that trap?


The problem is that if it doesn't fall any WW2 game pretty much ends, unless a neutral USSR is an option.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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taragalinas wrote:
gittes wrote:
In my experience grand strategic ETO games often have a scripted quality: France falls so the game can hurry along towards the eastern front. I don't claim any expertise, but seems to me that the fall of France was a near run thing. Anyone know if this game avoids that trap?


The problem is that if it doesn't fall any WW2 game pretty much ends, unless a neutral USSR is an option.


I would keeping the USSR neutral or make any aggressive action towards Germany risky. My thinking is if France is going to fall regardless, then a session is better off starting in summer 1940 or 1941.
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Björn Hansson
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gittes wrote:
I would keeping the USSR neutral or make any aggressive action towards Germany risky. My thinking is if France is going to fall regardless, then a session is better off starting in summer 1940 or 1941.


I don't know. I like playing the whole shebang even though I know how it is going to end. I mean, Germany will lose the war (even though it could still be a victory in game terms). "It's the journey" sort of...
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Jan Ozimek
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I think Europe Engulfed has the best solution I have come across for this dilemma. The Germans still win 99% of the time, but the armies are fairly equal in stength. The whole Fall Gelb gamble is simulated with Special Actions, which the Germans are loaded on in the early game. It allows them to blitz past the Maginot and take Paris before the French can react. (more or less).

Also, the Germans have some options in whether they will create the Vichy arrangement or take all of France by force.

One could still argue that starting at a later date would make sense, but other important decisions were also made during the same period. Ie: How hard should Britain fight for Norway, what happens in North Africa, how/when does Italy enter the war, etc..
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Jan Ozimek
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gittes wrote:
taragalinas wrote:
gittes wrote:
In my experience grand strategic ETO games often have a scripted quality: France falls so the game can hurry along towards the eastern front. I don't claim any expertise, but seems to me that the fall of France was a near run thing. Anyone know if this game avoids that trap?


The problem is that if it doesn't fall any WW2 game pretty much ends, unless a neutral USSR is an option.


I would keeping the USSR neutral or make any aggressive action towards Germany risky. My thinking is if France is going to fall regardless, then a session is better off starting in summer 1940 or 1941.


Keeping Russia neutral for a longer period takes the game very far into what-if-territory, and there might end up being very little resemblance to what actually happened. The game would become much more political and likely be more suitable for a multplayer negotiation-fest. I'm not saying that wouldn't be a good game, but hardly a simulation of WWII.
 
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Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
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ozimek wrote:
Keeping Russia neutral for a longer period takes the game very far into what-if-territory, and there might end up being very little resemblance to what actually happened. The game would become much more political and likely be more suitable for a multplayer negotiation-fest. I'm not saying that wouldn't be a good game, but hardly a simulation of WWII.

Hmm, I have to say I completely disagree.

In fact, of all the major things that could have gone one way or another in World War II, France not falling in six weeks is actually one of the more likely ones.
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Danny Holte
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I have an Arabic test today, but will respond later... If my head hasn't imploded!

There are some interesting twists to the France issue in the game.
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Danny Holte
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If the Germans want to take France in '40, they almost always will. Like someone alluded to, it would be a bit of a game breaker if this was a big gamble.

However, they usually do not take it quite as fast as historical. It was just not a very likely outcome without the massive shortcomings in the top slots of the French army. The soldiers fought hard. To see the historical outcome in a majority of historical approaches, you almost have to hamstring the French to the point of an automaton. I chose not to force this. The French has motivation to fight on.

Additionally, the German player can either choose to go with Vichy at the fall of Paris, or total capature. This allows them to tap more resources, but requires taking additional objectives. This normally allows the French to fight on quite a bit longer.

Going east first, through Poland and right into USSR is another possible strategy for the German player, and if this happens, there are units available in the force pool to allow the French player to increase the strength of this army, navy and air forces beyond June, '40 levels.
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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Well, I'm afraid it'll have to wait. Whatever it was, I'm sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman round here?
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DHolte wrote:
If the Germans want to take France in '40, they almost always will. Like someone alluded to, it would be a bit of a game breaker if this was a big gamble.

However, they usually do not take it quite as fast as historical. It was just not a very likely outcome without the massive shortcomings in the top slots of the French army. The soldiers fought hard. To see the historical outcome in a majority of historical approaches, you almost have to hamstring the French to the point of an automaton. I chose not to force this. The French has motivation to fight on.

Additionally, the German player can either choose to go with Vichy at the fall of Paris, or total capature. This allows them to tap more resources, but requires taking additional objectives. This normally allows the French to fight on quite a bit longer.

Going east first, through Poland and right into USSR is another possible strategy for the German player, and if this happens, there are units available in the force pool to allow the French player to increase the strength of this army, navy and air forces beyond June, '40 levels.


I like your ideas in regards to Vichy and French upgrades. The French were in the midst of modernizing their air and tank forces, with the former getting particularly better as the year wore on. However, while I am probably in the minority, I think France was a gamble that could have backfired, which would make for an interesting game.

But don't let me stop you.

Best of luck with the design Mr. Holte.
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Danny Holte
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gittes wrote:
DHolte wrote:
If the Germans want to take France in '40, they almost always will. Like someone alluded to, it would be a bit of a game breaker if this was a big gamble.

However, they usually do not take it quite as fast as historical. It was just not a very likely outcome without the massive shortcomings in the top slots of the French army. The soldiers fought hard. To see the historical outcome in a majority of historical approaches, you almost have to hamstring the French to the point of an automaton. I chose not to force this. The French has motivation to fight on.

Additionally, the German player can either choose to go with Vichy at the fall of Paris, or total capature. This allows them to tap more resources, but requires taking additional objectives. This normally allows the French to fight on quite a bit longer.

Going east first, through Poland and right into USSR is another possible strategy for the German player, and if this happens, there are units available in the force pool to allow the French player to increase the strength of this army, navy and air forces beyond June, '40 levels.


I like your ideas in regards to Vichy and French upgrades. The French were in the midst of modernizing their air and tank forces, with the former getting particularly better as the year wore on. However, while I am probably in the minority, I think France was a gamble that could have backfired, which would make for an interesting game.

But don't let me stop you.

Best of luck with the design Mr. Holte.


I agree - if it had been 1939. By mid-1940, however, I think it was too late for France despite the size of their army and the superiority of their armor. The high command was living hopelessly in 1918, and at almost no time during that fight was the issue ever in question.

An alt-history game with an alternative to the latter would be interesting, but assuming its presence in a strategic ETO game would really throw a hitch in things.

In other words, I agree that if France had had better top command in 1940, the war may have well gone very, very differently.
 
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Sean Chick (Formerly Paul O'Sullivan)
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Fag an bealac! Riam nar druid ar sbarin lann! Cuimhnigidh ar Luimnech agus feall na Sassonach! Erin go Bragh! Remember Limerick! Remember Ireland and Fontenoy!
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DHolte wrote:
I agree - if it had been 1939. By mid-1940, however, I think it was too late for France despite the size of their army and the superiority of their armor. The high command was living hopelessly in 1918, and at almost no time during that fight was the issue ever in question.

An alt-history game with an alternative to the latter would be interesting, but assuming its presence in a strategic ETO game would really throw a hitch in things.

In other words, I agree that if France had had better top command in 1940, the war may have well gone very, very differently.


It is debatable, and in all truth nearly everyone was ready for a repeat of 1918, even much of the German army. France had the misfortune of being right next to Germany, led by officers passed their prime, and the lack of fiery Clemenceau style political leadership. The Dyle Plan was not bad per se, it was just the wrong plan considering what the Germans were up to.

The Germans had air superiority and radios in their tanks, which is often the winning combination in World War II, as further evidenced by Barbarossa and Operation Compass.

Yet I have to wonder about the Battle of Stonne, just south of Sedan. The town changed hands 17 times from May 15-17. A victory there might have cut off Guderian. And if the war goes on, maybe the French realize what is at stake, rather than giving up.

For now though it is just a thought. I do like the idea of the French player getting to take over Russia or America if they lose their nation.
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Sean McCormick
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gittes wrote:
In my experience grand strategic ETO games often have a scripted quality: France falls so the game can hurry along towards the eastern front. I don't claim any expertise, but seems to me that the fall of France was a near run thing. Anyone know if this game avoids that trap?


I'm totally with you on this. I think France's fall should be unusual, as it was historically highly unlikely--in fact, had the Germans gone with their original battle plan, it's almost certain that you would have had a WW1-style frontline that would have held for some time. But no ETO game treats the French army as being anything more than a roadbump on the way to a showdown with Russia. Basically, gamers would protest if you don't get a historical result, but the historical result was almost certainly a major outlier.
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