A Beautiful Morning
Fall of France #1
|(Attacker) Germany||vs||France (Defender)|
|France||2e Division Légère de Cavalerie|
|Overall Rating, 31 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 235 of 565|
|Parent Game||Fall of France|
|Layout Dimensions||43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Fall of France||maps + counters|
The emblematic Grossdeutschland Regiment, pride of Nazi Germany, obviously had to lead the way through Belgian Ardennes. Convinced of their manifest destiny as rulers of the world, the forward elements of IRGD sang a marching tune as they entered the village of Sirvy on the morning of May 10. Surprising a French motorcycle platoon that surrendered with nary a shot, they kept singing as they marched to take the bridges across the Semois River at Etalle.
Hauptmann Felsch was mortally wounded in the assault on the barricade at the main bridge. The attack stalled so Commandant Fost took over for him and renewed the attack, but then French motorized troops appeared to the north of the German confusion reigned on the battlefield. Eventually the Germans regained some momentum, damaging or destroying several French armored cars and forcing the rest to withdraw. But then Fost took a bullet to the head and died, stunning the Germans and stalling the attack again. The arrival of German tanks finally tipped the balance in their favor and let them secure the town an bridges, but only after a delay of several hours.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|Una pequeña joya|
He jugado este escenario al menos tres o cuatro veces. Siempre me fascinó la intensidad y la emoción de la partida a pesar del pequeño campo de batalla y de las escasas unidades en disputa. Otro motivo de atracción era que, a pesar de parecer un escenario equilibrado, los franceses acababan ganando casi siempre. Respondiendo a esta atracción magnética, me he decidido a jugar una vez más.
Los franceses están claramente a la defensiva, por lo que su táctica es clara: defender a toda costa los dos puentes y los hexes de ciudad al sur del río. Las unidades francesas que entran por el borde occidental del mapa deben acometer el flanco derecho alemán y en concreto sus cañones AT "à la portée" y sus coches blindados "P178" deben mantener a distancia a los débiles blindados alemanes y hostigar al resto.
Los alemanes lo tienen más complicado. A mi juicio, si quieren tener opciones de victoria, deben seguir las siguientes pautas:
1) Deben ocupar ante todo la ciudad del hex 510, para proteger su flanco derecho. Si los franceses ocuparan este punto, introducirían una cuña en el dispositivo alemán y complicarían mucho las cosas a los atacantes.
2) Bajo ningún concepto deben los alemanes intentar cruzar el río con la ayuda de ingenieros. Esto supondría un gran error, ya que dividirían sus fuerzas e impedirían golpear en el punto verdaderamente crucial: el puente central (hex 709).
3) Consecuencia de lo anterior es que los alemanes deben concentrar su potencia de fuego en el puente central, para hacer retroceder al enemigo y tomarlo.
4) Deben hacer avanzar a la batería AT de 37mm (tiene una capacidad de movimiento de "1" en estado de desmontada) hacia el centro de campo de batalla, para inentar destruir o ahuyentar a los coches blindados franceses "P178". De lo contrario éstos camparían por sus respetos.
Los alemanes se atienen al plan indicado. Un pelotón de infantería ocupa la ciudad del hex 510, con lo que se impide la penetración del enemigo en ese sector. A continuación concentran el fuego directo y de mortero sobre el puente central, desmoralizando y haciendo huir al pelotón de HMG enemigo que lo protegía y ocupándolo a continuación. Al mismo tiempo, hacen avanzar su batería AT de 37mm hacia el centro del mapa, provocando la retirada a prudente distancia de los coches blindados franceses.
Al poco tiempo, los alemanes consiguen introducirse en la ciudad al sur del río, asaltarla y ocupar dos hexes. Poco después los alemanes atacan el puente occidental (hex 910) y consiguen desalojar a la unidad francesa que lo protegía. Sin embargo el ataque carece de apoyo y los franceses concentran su fuego sobre el pelotón atacante. Éste es completamente aniquilado y los franceses vuelven a ocuparlo.
Al final el ataque alemán pierde fuerza y la batalla se estabiliza y acaba con el siguiente balance: Los alemanes han causado 8 "steps" de bajas al enemigo y controlan el puente central y dos hexes de ciudad al sur del río. Los franceses han provocado tres "steps" de bajas al enemigo y controlan el puente occidental y tres hexes de ciudad al sur del río. Total, una victoria alemana por la mínima y uno de los escenarios más emocionantes y divertidos que recuerdo.
A small but interesting scenario. The French set up their main defensive position in the town adjacent to the two bridges. They place the 25mm portee trucks on the left and right flanks to provide overwatch fire against any vehicle approach to the bridges.
The Germans set up east of the bridges with a main force to head for the bridges and a small flanking force to cross the river east of the bridges.
The scenario starts out with the Germans sending the ENG and one HMG due south to cross the river well east of the main French position. They send the remainder of their force west towards the bridges. Initial French fire is ineffective.
The flanking German force begins to cross the river, and the German 37mm destroys the right flanking French portee. The French reinforcement force enters north of the river and west of the Germans.
The Germans send their main force towards the bridge with their flnking force finishing their river crossing. The western French force heads for the right flank of the main German force.
The German main force begins an assault on the French forces in the town just south of the bridge. The flanking French force sets up north of the main German force for fire. The Germans send half of their main force to deal with this new threat. This German force then assaults the northern French force.
The fight basically breaks down into two assault hexes: one in the woods above the river, and one in the town just south of the river. The Germans have superior morale, but the French have defensive terrain bonus. Fire is exchanged for several turns, but in the end, both sides take significant casulties. By the end of the game, the Germans have inflicted more step losses on the French, but the French were able to maintain control over more bridge and town VP locations, and squeak out a 1 VP advantage over the Germans for the victory.
|Just a training run|
The Germans started by sending the bulk of their troops west to engage the French units on the north bank, and also a small detachment over the river to the east.
After a multi-turn assault combat that seemed to suck in units around it like a vortex, the French units on the north bank were defeated by the end of the second hour. By that time the German detachment had worked its way behind the defenders in Etalle & it came down to whether they could hang on to enough town hexes by the end of the scenario. Unfortunately it was not to be and the Germans won a major victory approx. 14 VP to 3.
This was my first time playing a full scenario of PG & got a bunch of rules wrong, which may have skewed the result. The scenario was full of incident and memorable moments and is certainly one I'd like to play again to see if the French could do better next time.
|Gallant Capitain Holds Out Until Final Turn|
The last time I played this scenario I split the German force into two groups, which helped prevent them getting a decisive result against the French defenders on the north bank until after many turns had passed. So, this time I decided to send all the German units against them.
For the French I used the same plan as before, which was to try and delay the Germans as much as possible but this time keep their units out of combat as long as possible. They were more successful at this than before but given the German's mobility and higher initiative they were able to eventually catch up with them and successfully assault them off the map.
The German 'killer assualt stacks' then made their way into Etalle and had eliminated all but one of the defender's stacks by the end of the game for the loss of only 3 steps of thier own.
I'm still scratching my head at the result. The French reserves hadn't turned up by the end of the game, but other than that I don't think they got the worst of the dice rolls. I'm not sure what more the French could have done to hang onto the town..
|Perhaps "beautiful" means something else in French or German|
Two roughly equivalent forces clash over two bridges and the two behind the bridges. The Germans have the edge with morale and they will be able to bring some solid column shifts with engineers and possibly tanks in urban fighting. The French, however, have superman. a 10-1-2 capitaine who completely alters the landscape of the battle.
The Germans send two small forces forward, one consisting of the two HMGs and the MTC to assault the closest bridge (the easternmost one) and the ENG and GD INF to cross the river. French Op fire is nasty, knocking off the reduced GD INF and one step of armored cars. The bridge then immediately falls to an assault on turn 3. This creates the impression that the town will fall quickly. Unfortunately for the Germans, a couple of step losses rob them of their morale superiority and constant need to step back and recover morale in the middle of assaults gives the French the opportunity to reinforce their positions.
On the final turn it appears as though the Germans may reach a minor victory until the French capitaine leads a wild counterattack, contesting a town hex and leaving the VPs at 16 French vs. 15 German. Indeed the Germans were only able to capture one town hex and one bridge, one town hex was contested and the rest of the VP sites were held by the French.
The French made great use of their leadership edge in this one by keeping the units in the assault hexes fresh. The Germans had less flexibility if they wanted to maintain their column shifts to have a better position in the assaults.
The final turn was a wild one with both sides throwing anything at the wall to see what would stick. I give it a "4" and don't go to five as this is a very small and technical fight. Entertaining but a bit fussy from being so small. A lot of fun once you get the hang of urban assault and the need to have adequate reserves.
|French Hold Out|
This was a tough one to play solo. French hold 2 bridges and have a small reserve of an armored car and a portee 25mm AT gun against a pretty good force of Gross Deutschland troops. Both have small reinforcing elements, the German Pz I coming with some OBA while the French motorcycle troops and armored cars come on the German side of the river to harry the German effort to take the 2 bridges. In hindsight, I wasn't aggressive enough with the Germans. I did get a force across the river to the east of the French, but they got bogged down in assault in the only town hex I was able to get to, while the rest of the force was bogged down on the other side of the river, one stuck in an assault in a town hex to the northwest side of the board and I wasn't able to build an effective assault force to attack the two roadblocks at the bridges. The German armor spent most of the game shooting at the roadblocks from adjacent hexes, somewhat daring the French to come out and attack them, but their fire had very limited success, finally taking 2 steps over time of the western roadblock but not inflicting any morale failures to take advantage of. In the end, the French held all but the one contested town hex, losing 6 steps to only 2 German step losses. Points added up for a French major victory, 14 points to 6. The river crossing scenarios are tough nuts to crack and will take a lot more work as I learn to deploy an attack force that stands a good chance of taking the objectives.
|A great introduction to PG|
This was only my second time playing PG (this scenario both times). With this one I felt like the rules started coming together, which kept the action moving at a nice pace.
The French deployed in the town and on the bridges, except for the HMG and a sous-lieut who were placed in the heavy woods on the slope at 0706. With the heavy Hotchkiss MG this was going to take some time to pull back to the city if needed. The Germans planned on crossing the river with the ENG and all the infantry units. The guns, and mobile units would put pressure on the town and bridge at 0709.
The ENG unit moved into the river at 0504, where the French Sous-Lt directed the HMG to target them with opportunity fire with devastating effect. The ENG was demoralized which disrupted the entire assault plan. The MTC and SK221 were able to move into the village at 0510 with the MTC being disrupted. Bayonne's detachment followed the road along the river to bring the P178's to bear on the SK221, which they eventually destroyed.
The AT guns ended up in the village at 0507 and both sides wasted a lot of ammo shooting back and forth across the river (lesson here is that it is hard ot gain anything shooting at each other form strong defensive positions, you need to eventually assault to win). The ENG eventually recovered and were able to start helping units across the river after the German HMG's caused a step reduction and disruption for the French HMG.
Once across the river the German infantry units made the slow climb into the forest eventually assaulting and eliminating the French HMG (should have retreated to the town once the river crossing was made).
Both sides struggled to get their reinforcements while the German infantry eventually assaulted the city. The French threw most of their in town forces into the fray in 0807 and 0908. The last hour of the battle was fought in the this part of town (the French reinforcement eventually arrived to help). The Germans finally got their reinforcements, but too late to help before the end of the scenario.
In the end it was clear the French we going to loose the town and bridges, but they had delayed the Germans long enough to win the scenario. The French were helped by some good dice roles while the Germans failed on some critical ones.
On the morning of May 10, 1940, troops of the Grossdeustchland Division (GD) moved south toward the bridges crossing the Semois River at Etalle. The bridges had been roadblocked and were guarded by French motorcycle units from Adenot’s Detachment, 2nd Division Legere de Cavalerie; the DRG’s were in town just south of the river with a P178 platoon, and two 25mm portée platoons were in the woods south of town for support. They were reinforced on their left by DRG and P178 units from Bayonne’s Detachment moving in from the west. As the Germans approached, the French cyclists dismounted and moved to the roadblocks on the bridges; however, they retreated from the bridge by 1145. A combined French fire group situated on the west bridge then took out one of the GD HMG platoons, while the remainder of the GD forces entered the north part of town and eliminated a 25mm portée unit. The French then counterattacked the GD units, with motorcycle unit reinforcements arriving to assist at 1245. That confrontation continued off and on until 1430, at which time the battle was stopped. A German Panzer I platoon arrived on the scene at 1300, too late to really have an impact on the outcome, but it did help in eliminating the French units that had returned to attempt to hold the east bridge.
This is a fun, short scenario played on a single map with a number of different unit types. The primary objectives involve control of the town hexes and step loss count. Both sides ended up with eight steps lost, but the French held a bridge and four town hexes uncontested, while the Germans only held a single bridge. The resulted in 18 VP’s for the French to only 10 for the Germans and a major victory for the French.
|A deadly morning|
This scenario looked to be a push over for the Germans but the French, with good deployment and lucky dice rolls can stay in the game for most of it. The key is that the Germans must move and take the towns/bridge which gives the French good opportunity fire on the German advance. In my play the Germans took fire and dispersed and demoralized quickly. The German advance was slowed has they had to assualt the towns at this point the French morale provided the Germans with an edge as the French wilted under the advance. The French tried to get their armored cars into position to provide support but the German AT gun and armored cars keep them back. The Germans finally captured the towns south of the river as well as a bridge. Final score Germans 12, French 6
|Just because you have an engineer, doesn’t mean you HAVE to cross the River!|
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.
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. 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
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.
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!
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.
1400 – PzI hit by Anti-tank fire. No effect. French abandon the roadblock and are eliminated.
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
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)!
1430 – Demoralized DRG eliminated by German artillery
FRENCH MAJOR VICTORY (18 - 10 VPs)
An interesting fluid battle makes me look forward to delving more into France 1940.
Original pictoral report at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/526266/
|Fall of France Scenario 1|
This is my first AAR for Pg and my first game so I had to learn the rules as i went along.
1100 The French won the initiative first but did nothing with it. The German HMGs advanced closer under withering fire from the troops in the town and roadblock. The Grossdeutschland Grenadiers and Engineers screamed across the valley in their trucks towards the bridge. The French fire is ineffective.
1115 The French reinforcements (P178 and some DRG's) close in on the bridge from the North side of the river, German opportunity fire inexplicably misses. The French in the town and on the bridge are still yet to inflict any casualties on the Grenadiers
1130 GD Grenadiers disrupt the bridge defenders (one DRG platoon). French HMG on right flank in woods is demoralized but recovers next turn.
1145 The GD Grenadiers and Engineers assault the bridge and wipe out French motorcyclist platoon with no losses. (0-2)
1200 Lots of ammo wasted in this turn.
1215 Germans on bridge reduce French DRG reinforcements. German HMG's Disrupt French town defenders, but they recover. (0-3)
1230 Another turn of wasted ammo. The Germans will have to be more aggressive if they want to complete their objectives.
1245 The German HMG platoons advance towards the bridge to reinforce the infantry there.
1300 The GD Grenadiers assault into the town and destroy a reduced DRG platoon whilst the HMG platoons move onto the bridge behind them. (0-4)
1315 Last DRG unit in the town flees after assault, leaving only a troop of Panhards and a troop of AT Guns in the town.
1330 Germans finally clear the roadblock while the French give up one town hex to consolidate and allow the weakened troops in the vil link up with the motorcyclist reinforcements (finally rolled a 5!). Panhards on eastern flank reduce the PZI troop. (1-4)
1345 The Grenadiers in the town consolidate and recover whilst all around them the other Germans and French waste ammo.
1400 The HMG platoons on the bridge absolutely rip up motorcyclists on the eastern flank. (1-6)
1415 Another turn of wasting ammo and recovering from disruptions. Germans must act quickly or risk a draw, if not defeat.
1430 GD Grenadiers leave it late to take another town hex but taken it was. The German HMGs on the bridge continue to keep other French elements pinned down.
German Minor Victory Germans 12 French 8
I enjoyed my first game but I know I played too conservitavely mainly due to the fact I wasnt sure just how much either side could really hurt each other until I was familiar with the game mechanics. I had no luck with the German offboard artillery but it did cause one or two crucial disruptions. I will play scenario two next and I think I will have a better understanding.
|France on an equal footing?|
Fairly balanced force-wise, as the German I made an attempt to cross the river with the bulk of my force and flank the town from the south. Big mistake as I sent a too-hasty assault up the hill and into the woods behind -- only to run into the French reinforcements. With all my forces essentialy bottled up south of town, time ran out for me, French major victory.
|A tough morning for the Germans|
First scenario, first AAR... Celebration !
And first defeat... But no problem, this one was for learning the rules above all.
I think I was too much prudent, and the German advance was too slow. I tried to gather some firepower (with my two HMG's) but with no results. So, the French defense has never collapsed. And when I tried to go on one bridge, under the protection of the roadblock, I rapidly went demoralized and my forces melted away... I threw the towel, as I lost 8 steps and the French only one.
My feeling is that the scenario is tough for the Germans. The French have good cover and don't need to expose themselves, at the contrary of the Germans. A smoke cover could help, maybe...
Anyway, nice game, for sure !!!
|Not a morning stroll...|
Vorausabteilung Felsch got more than they bargained for in trying to eject elements of 2eme DLC from Etalle. Despite hurling crack GD infantry over the northern bridge, they only managed to secure the bridge in the very last turn, losing most of the GD infantry in the process. The French also took substantial losses, but their success in holding Etalle ensured a decisive VP margin over the Germans.
From a players point of view, this was a surprising one, as the GD infantry have the edge in firepower and morale, and I drew an uber-Major to represent Hauptmann Felsch. At least he survived the engagement, unlike his historical counterpart. The French fought hard and well (aided by some super-leaders too), and the German tanks never arrive, which historically was the deciding factor. A good scenario, and certainly worthy of a replay to see if the French can do it again.
The scenario was played using Laska's Rock'n'Roll variant rules from the AP website
|My First Complete Battle, My First Draw, and My First AAR|
The German's singing was quickly silenced as they were repulsed at every attempt to get into the town of Etalle. While quickly eliminating the French Portee's with their AT gun, the Germans could not reach the bridges in good order and had to retreat to the surrounding woods/towns to regroup. As soon as the German's regrouped to make a second assault the French reinforcements arrived and set up a line of fire across their path. In a last ditch effort the Germans once again assaulted the bridges, this time under heavy fire from the French reinforcements. It was too little, too late, the German's had hit a sour note.