We had the next game in our Gembloux Gap campaign last night, this time utilizing the Blitzkrieg scenario from the 1940 source book for Chain of Command. Until now the Germans have been doing well, but I felt that this game was going to be a difficult one for them. They are racing essentially against a clock, but things really did not go as expected as you will see.
Here are some pre-game photos of the terrain for this scenario. I find it difficult to remember to take photos during the game although this time I did take a few.
Dice were rolled and the game started:
Germans (FM 9) (3 Schützen Regiment)
Schützen Platoon #1 (less 2 men)
French (FM 8) (110e Régiment d'Infanterie)
Infanterie Platoon #2 (new)
Canon de 47mm L53 ATG
As usual we played out the Patrol Phase on P-Y's brilliant ap. The smaller dots are the JOP's, while the numbered dots are the PM's at their final positions.
My plan was to use the PzIV to threaten the southern approach and try to get off the table by initially travelling south of the wall in the east and then going to the road in front of the garage in attempt to exit the western edge. I strongly suspected the P-Y would take an ATG which he did, so I also set up a squad in the southern forest to try to make a run for it in the south as well as 2 squads in the northern forest to make a run for it there. I also set up my IG18 in the forest to the north facing south west in order to cover them. This final placement did not work well as I do not believe it had a target for the game.
P-Y placed his ATG at the intersection in the road and cleverly placed a squad to the south just outside of 4" of the forest making it extremely difficult to move within firing range without engaging in combat. This really flummoxed me, and I eventually had to withdraw back. P-Y was unlucky in accumulating CoC dice to end the game and I believe the most he had collected was 9 pips. Early on I had a CoC dice that I could utilize at any time to reduce his CoC dice.
He was able to take out my PzIV by immobilisation mid way through the game. At this point I could see that I was probably not going to win the game except by reducing his FM to zero. I switched my plan to one forcing the French to take as much attrition as possible and then withdrawing. By now the game was well into the 4th hours and it was getting late. The French had their 2nd platoon on the table and I still had my first so I could afford to take some losses. I would have more support in my 2nd attempt to take this table, we were only in turn 3 and I was on table 3 and if I was successful the French would have a weaker force with which to defend on the 2nd go. P-Y had a routing unit with 2 officers so after a lot of back and forth, I ended the turn and the withdrew from the table. I probably could have stayed the course and hoped for a win by FM as when I withdrew I was at 4 and the French were at 3. But at the same time, P-Y played quite a good game holding my infantry off in the south and the north.
A French victory but hopefully somewhat of a Pyrrhic one!
Photos taken during the game.
Germans (platoon 1)
11 men killed
5 dead, 3 missing (now 6 dead, 3 missing)
French (platoon 2)
12 men killed including 2 officers
6 dead, 4 missing