Pan, dans la gueule à Jean!
Fall of France #3
|(Attacker) Germany||vs||France (Defender)|
|France||2e Division Légère de Cavalerie|
|France||5e Régiment de Cuirassiers|
|Germany||69th Infantry Regiment|
|Germany||7th Panzer Regiment|
|Overall Rating, 21 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 557 of 588|
|Parent Game||Fall of France|
|Maps||2: 31, 33|
|Layout Dimensions||56 x 43 cm
22 x 17 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Fall of France||maps + counters|
In the southern part of the Belgian Ardennes, French cavalry were the first line of defense on the first day of the German attack. Several squadrons of the 5th Cuirassiers were scattered in small villages near Etalle and waited for the Germans to appear. A forward platoon sent to the Ste-Marie railway station was quickly overrun, but at the village of Poncelle the cavalry held well-prepared positions and decided to show their valor.
The first German tanks were quickly destroyed by a French AT gun, and as soon as the German infantry came into view it was "Pan, dans la gueule à Jean!" (East this, Kraut!). But the German ground attacks grew in intensity along with their artillery fire, and soon the French couldn't see their enemy due to smoke from burning buildings and dust kicked up by shellfire. French artillery support remained unavailable, and it soon became clear that the brave cavalrymen couldn't hope to resit the German onslaught. they left the village as darkness fell.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|2 Errata Items|
The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
The movement allowance on the counters in Airborne is misprinted. It should be "3."
(rerathbun on 2012 Jan 30)
|Where are the reinforcements?|
It seems as though the French are destined to fight this battle with both arms tied behind their back. They simply don't have the forces to defend well and the Germans can crush them in detail. It is just a case of a little too late. Roll well for your reinforcements and you will probably have a decent chance at winning. Roll poorly and you will lose all the critical terrain before you get your final troops on board, like happened in this case.
It is a tense scenario, but only from the standpoint of the reinforcements...
|Played with errata !|
As other players said this scenario was heavy unbalanced in favor of the Germans, we decided to change some things : the French had 2 hidden AT guns, and their reinforcements entered on the turn scheduled. This gives the German a more interesting challenge, I think.
Anyway, my opponent was too shy and too slow. Instead of rushing to the village before the french reinforcements arrive, he moved slowly and stayed blocked on the advanced and isolated town hexes north. Direct fire and assault wasn't effective at all, and we were asking us how to break & destroy enemy units ? This is something we still need to learn !
I really think that with this errata, the scenario is more playable for the French, and this why I gave him a 3. Maybe another opinion ?
|La caballería francesa, desbordada|
En este escenario aproximadamente tres escuadrones de caballería francesa se enfrentan a un batallón de infantería alemana reforzado con artillería y dos pelotones y medio de blindados. La misión de la caballería francesa es desplegarse como pantalla defensiva para retrasar el avance alemán. Los franceses sólo despliegan inicialmente en el campo de batalla un escuadrón de caballería (desmontado); el resto de fuerzas llega como refuerzo aleatoriamente. El campo de batalla está cruzado de este a oeste por una carretera. Hay cuatro hexes de ciudad aislados repartidos por el campo de batalla y una ciudad de seis hexes (Poncelle) en la mitad occidental del mapa.
Como la carretera este-oeste es la principal vía de acceso de los alemanes, los franceses sitúan en ella un bloqueo (roadblock) para ralentizar el avance de los vehículos enemigos. Junto a él despliegan una batería AT y un pelotón de morteros de 60mm. Estas unidades constituyen las posiciones avanzadas del dispositivo galo. El resto de las fuerzas francesas se despliega en dos trincheras, situadas en zonas boscosas y próximas a la ciudad de seis hexes y en esta ciudad. Las ciudades de un hex quedan desguarnecidas.
Los alemanes entran por la carretera este-oeste llevando en vanguardia sus unidades blindadas (medio pelotón de PzIIIF, un pelotón de PzI y un pelotón de coches blindados SK232/8). No obstante, como han localizado la posición de la batería AT francesa, la evitan ocultándose en los bosques próximos. Al mismo tiempo, la infantería alemana desmonta de los camiones y avanza para despejar la carretera del bloqueo y de la batería AT enemiga. Ésta es pronto flanqueada por la infantería enemiga y se retira, al igual que el pelotón de morteros ligeros. Limpiada de obstáculos la carretera, los vehículos alemanes y parte de la infantería montada en camiones avanza a toda velocidad por ella hasta el límite oeste del campo de batalla. A continuación se producen los primeros asaltos sobre las trincheras enemigas y sobre la ciudad de seis hexes. Ésta no puede ser defendida en su totalidad por los franceses, por lo que las avanzadillas alemanas (un pelotón de MTC, un pelotón de infantería y otro de HMG en camiones) consiguen ocupar un hex sin encontrar resistencia.
Los enfrentamientos se generalizan y los alemanes imponen lentamente su mayor potencia de fuego y su número. Los refuerzos franceses tardan en llegar y cuando lo hacen la mayoría de hexes de ciudad están ya en poder de los alemanes o sometidos a feroces asaltos.
Al final del turno 12 el comandante francés se da por vencido y se retira con los supervivientes. Los alemanes obtienen una victoria mayor.
|No Hope for Henri|
German forces enter from the east.
Pz I hit by French AT-Gun! (2-0)
…and assault the roadblock. The AT Gun crew is routed. (2-1)
The roadblock is overrun and French captain is captured. Germans take the western town. (2-3)
French HMG reduced the German motorcycle platoon near the central village (3-3)
French HMG demoralized and mortar eliminated. (3-4)
French HMG eliminated and Lt killed (3-5). French cavalry reinforcements appear in the south and enter near the southeast village
French cavalry charge but both sides waffle their attacks.
More French reinforcements arrive in the southeast. In the assault some cavalry are lost. (3-6).
The French infantry near the roadblock are finally defeated. (3-8)
In the west, the German armoured car spooks the French as German engineers and HMG platoon advance.
The first entrenchment is eliminated. French assault in the southeast forces the German AT Gun crews to rout, but more cavalry are lost (4-12).
Germans send reinforcements to the town. The position in both the town and entrenchment are looking dire!
Some more cavalry are eliminated while others are hit by off-board artillery while routing. (4-14).
The French Surrender!
GERMAN MAJOR VICTORY!!!
This battle was a bit of a disappointment after the first two of this series. The victory conditions seemed unbalanced with both the Germans and French having the same victory conditions, despite the Germans vastly outgunning, outnumbering and even out-morale-ing the French.
It finally came to a point where it seemed pointless playing out the last 4 turns, which would likely have seen the remaining entrenchment fall and the French cavalry driven back into the southeast woods.
Scenario Rating: Below Average, 2/5
|Too easy for the Boche|
Having read the previous AARs on this scenario, I was expecting this to be one sided. I had already earmarked to play this solo while my FtF buddy was on holiday as I though it would be a good intro to Fall of France. However it is too unbalanced to make an intresting game. I set up the French well away from the German entry hexes hoping to buy time for the reinforcements and trying to keep out of sight from the German off board artillery. The Germans poured onto the board bypassing the roadblock the German AFV wnet no where near the French A/T gun. By turn 6 the Germans had captured all the town hexes and were assaulting the two entrenchment hexes. The first French reinforcements came on at first opportunity but were hounded by the German artillery straight away and the survivors had to huddle in woods and could not assist thier dismounted colleagues. The entrenchments did slow the Germans down but on turn 12 both fell to the overwhelming strength of the Germans. With no sign of the second group of reinforcements I called the game two turns later. The Germans had lost one inf step the French had lost eight steps if inf/cav and the HMG,MTR and A/T gun. Could this scenario be fixed? Possibly using hidden units for the French and adding another A/T gun to the French OOB and having all the reinforcements come on at once. As it stands though this scenario should be avoided.
|Just not enough French troops|
Started the French troops guarding the large town and one in the middle of board. I was hoping that they would be able to cause some casualties as the Germans closed on them. Started well taking out a truck and INF unit using op fire, But once dismounted and advancing there were just too many targets to keep them all a bay. The Germans used the off board artillery and 75 to soften up the entrenchment and towns while the German foot units pushed in to assault them. Once the ENGs and AFVs joined the fray (with a leader) they made short work of the French units. I was able to execute a cavalry charge on the MTC unit, sort of a changing of the guard as far as technology is concerned.
I modified the French reinforcement rule to add one to the dice roll for each turn after the initial opportunity to bring them in. I felt this was a better representation of units arriving after being ordered into the area, they might get delayed but they would still be moving toward the battle and arrive for sure within an hour of their first opportunity.
|Another German pushover|
This is another historical pushover scenario. The French have little to no chance with a offensive minded German player. In my play after 8 turns the Germans were in a position to control the town and prevent the French reinforcements from not even making on the board. From a historical prespective, this was true, but from a game prespective it is very unbalanced in favor of the Germans.
|A German Drubbing|
In the late afternoon of May 10, 1940, German elements of the 69th Schützen Regiment & 7th Panzer Regiment and select reconnaissance units were spotted by units from the 5th Cuirassiers of the 2nd Division Legere de Cavalerie. The French cavalry quickly dismounted and were supported by both a 25mm and 60mm artillery platoon. The mortar group was forward on the hill covering a roadblock at the crossroads, while the 25mm unit was placed on the west central hill between two entrenchments on the north and south points of the same hill. The remaining French troops were in the southwest village. Both the mortar unit and the 25mm one were eliminated by German OBA early in the skirmish. A German motorcycle platoon and SK232/8 unit led the group west along the main road while towns on the east sector were being secured in German control. A roadblock at the crossroads was removed by German engineers at 1700, which cleared the way for the advance of the German forces. The north French entrenchment was captured at 1745, while German armor and infantry led by Major von Houten entered the southwest village. At 1800 hours, four French cavalry platoons arrived from the southeast, and the German assault on both the south entrenchment and southwest village began shortly thereafter. However, the French held out at both locations. Another wave of French cavalry and motorcycle units arrived at 1845 from the southeast and southwest respectively. While they bolstered the beleaguered French and harassed the Germans, they were only able to eliminate one German 37mm AT platoon. The battle ended at 2015 with the Germans claiming a major victory.
This scenario is another of those historically accurate, but unbalanced plays. The French have a handful of units to try and hold a large number of town and entrenchment hexes that are worth 2 VP’s each, while the Germans have extensive firepower, including 32 OBA, and mobility. Two factors made this particular playthrough more difficult for the French: they only had initiative on 2 of 16 turns, and the reinforcements were delayed by 1-2 turns from their potential arrival. Neither side did very well on their firing accuracy, since the Germans could not root out the French from an entrenchment or village hex, despite having a 2-3 column advantage and five turns to do so, and the French did little damage to those German forces or any other for that matter. The Germans ended up with 37 VP’s from 15 French steps lost, and control of one entrenchment and ten town hexes, while the French had 4 VP’s from 2 German steps eliminated and control of a single town hex. The result was a major German victory, despite FoW ending 7 of 16 turns prematurely.