Panzer Grenadier Battles on February 18th:
Cassino '44 #13 - Maoris at the Station Cassino '44 #14 - Rajputanas Forward
Errors? Omissions? Report them!
The Iron Line: South
Fall of France #18
(Attacker) Germany vs France (Defender)
Formations Involved
France 1re Division Marocaine
Germany 4th Panzer Division

Overall balance chart for FaoF018
Side 1 5
Draw 0
Side 2 6
Overall Rating, 11 votes
Scenario Rank: 80 of 607
Parent Game Fall of France
Historicity Historical
Date 1940-05-15
Start Time 09:00
Turn Count 24
Visibility Day
Counters 151
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 2
Maps 1: 32
Layout Dimensions 43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
Play Bounty 112
AAR Bounty 143
Total Plays 11
Total AARs 4
Battle Types
Covering Action
Kill Them All
Urban Assault
Off-board Artillery
Randomly-drawn Aircraft
Terrain Mods
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Fall of France maps + counters

The Germans had launched two attacks on the railway line at Gembloux on May 14, and both times the Moroccans holding the line had rebuffed the Master Race with ease. So the next morning, the Germans ruined a magnificent sunrise by sending in a flight of Stukas to pour loads of bombs into the Moroccan lines. Soon afterward, the tanks and infantry of the 4th Panzer Division attacked in much greater numbers than they had the day before. But the French artillery got the jump on their German counterparts, silencing the enemy guns and depriving the pioneers of the covering fire they'd need to push through the railway obstacle.


The German tanks joined the fray far too soon and French heavy artillery, minefields and well-situated anti-tank guns wreaked havoc in their ranks. Squad leader Louis Brindejonc commanding one of the 25mm AT guns claimed seven German tanks that morning. More brilliant commanders and simple soldiers lost their lives near the terrible sunken railway before the tanks retreated and another wave of Stukas was called in at 1030 hours. The German infantry continued to assault alone, and at a high price in men and machines they successfully infiltrated the railway station at Gembloux, once the Germans figured out there was no way they could dislodge the Moroccans from there. By noon the French forces had lost seven entire sections in numerous close assaults, but the counterattack to restore their line was ready for launch.

Additional Notes

This scenario may retro fitted with the Moroccan Division counterset.

This one of the scenarios shows the Moroccan Division at the peak of its fighting prowess, as such Dr. Bennighof suggests using ESC to replace INF used to represent Moroccan infantry. (Special note: Marocain HMG units have a Movement factor of 2.)

Display Relevant AFV Rules

AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle
  • Vulnerable to results on the Assault Combat Chart (7.25, 7.63, ACC), and may be attacked by Anti-Tank fire (11.2, DFT). Anti-Tank fire only affects the individual unit fired upon (7.62, 11.0).
  • AFV's are activated by tank leaders (3.2, 3.3, 5.42, 6.8). They may also be activated as part of an initial activating stack, but if activated in this way would need a tank leader in order to carry out combat movement.
  • AFV's do not block Direct Fire (10.1).
  • Full-strength AFV's with "armor efficiency" may make two anti-tank (AT) fire attacks per turn (either in their action segment or during opportunity fire) if they have AT fire values of 0 or more (11.2).
  • Each unit with an AT fire value of 2 or more may fire at targets at a distance of between 100% and 150% of its printed AT range. It does so at half its AT fire value. (11.3)
  • Efficient and non-efficient AFV's may conduct two opportunity fires per turn if using direct fire (7.44, 7.64). Units with both Direct and AT Fire values may use either type of fire in the same turn as their opportunity fire, but not both (7.22, 13.0). Units which can take opportunity fire twice per turn do not have to target the same unit both times (13.0).
  • Demoralized AFV's are not required to flee from units that do not have AT fire values (14.3).
  • Place a Wreck marker when an AFV is eliminated in a bridge or town hex (16.3).
  • AFV's do not benefit from Entrenchments (16.42).
  • AFV's may Dig In (16.2).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables. Do not take step losses from Direct or Bombardment Fire. If X or #X result on Fire Table, make M morale check instead (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Provide the +1 modifier on the Assault Table when combined with infantry. (Modifier only applies to Germans in all scenarios; Soviet Guards in scenarios taking place after 1942; Polish, US and Commonwealth in scenarios taking place after 1943.) (ACC)
  • Tank: all are closed-top and provide the +1 Assault bonus, when applicable

Display Order of Battle

France Order of Battle
Armée de Terre
Germany Order of Battle
  • Motorized

Display Errata (1)

1 Errata Item
Overall balance chart for 20

The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)

Display AARs (4)

Perhaps The Ultimate Test of PG Endurance - Those Scared of House-To-House Need Not Apply !
Author vince hughes (13)
Method Dual Table Setup + Voice Chat
Victor Germany
Participants waynebaumber (AAR)
Play Date 2012-02-10
Language English
Scenario FaoF018

This game was played over Skype with regular opponent Wayne Baumber. It was chosen via our random system of choosing a game and I think what we actually played compared to what we first saw took us both by surprise. This is shown as a 1 board game but is in effect a 1/2 boarder, and yet on this 1/2 board will fight around 130 counters !! Add to this that about half of this 'half' board are town hexes, and we can now deduce that we are in for a hum-dinger of a town-battle. What followed were 4 sessions or so of hard core, in for the long-haul house to house fighting with up to 15 assaults on-going near the final stages. Add to that an abundance of artillery and the recipe is there for carnage, hard-graft and long drawn out melees ! Read on :-)

As senior officer in charge of the attack on Gembloux I was unhappy at what I was being asked to do even before the start of the attack. Gembloux presented a solid town front on a 2km width with no cover for us on the approaches. A simple scan through the binoculars showed that the French had defended this line with a skillful tactical knowledge. Their MG teams were well placed for maximum effect and cross-fires along the line whilst supporting their infantry. AT guns were placed in cunning protected locations making them very hard to get at and nullifying our tank support for fear of carnage. The French were also dug-in to the northern flank as well as manning railway embankments and roadblocks. Finally, minefields had been laid by the enemy on both their northern and southern flanks. I was being asked not just to break this line, but also to make large incursions into Gembloux itself, meaning house-to-house fighting was inevitable. And all this was apparently required to be achieved within a 6 hour time frame. Despite my protestations of the losses expected, the orders remained in place. I would be assigning my trusted Lt.Col Leonidas to lead the regimental attack. With a heavy heart, I bade him well.

Things did not begin very well at all for our troops. 0900 hours and the Stukas from our Luftwaffe’s attacks had proved absolutely ineffective. I therefore determined to group our MG units on our left flank (south). These were ordered to send in a heavy fire at selected locations so as to weaken resistance at these points and make our infantry’s approach less deadly to them. I knew of course that these MG units would come under severe artillery bombardment that the French possessed and therefore I placed in charge one of my best Hauptman’s to lead and inspire them. Meanwhile, about 500m to the front of Gembloux was a long wooded area. This would be the main jump off point for infantry at a later point, but for now, a main thrust would be directed to the southern part of the French-Moroccan line. By using some infantry to carry out feints and draw fire from the African lackies and mercenaries, our troops were slowly able to get close to the southern town edge, albeit still under fire. This was for the best as it made French artillery use far more conservative for fear of hitting their own. Engineers also accompanied to assist in the minefields but they suffered nasty casualties as the French artillery bombarded them during their work. By about 1000 hours, our troops were engaged in some close house-to-house fighting at these points and progress was slow. The same tactics were used further up the line and one by one, incursions were made into the outskirts of Gembloux. However, the French artillery, though not as effective as it may have been was still seriously hampering efforts by disrupting our infantry’s forward thrusts. But we had pierced the line in about 3 or 4 places by 1030 hours with surprisingly slim losses (4 steps).

The next stage of the battle between 1100-1230 was much more deadly for both sides. The French-Moroccan defenders were forced to shuffle their resources about the town in order to plug holes being created in the front line. This then finally allowed German panzers and men to probe newly vacated or thinned out parts of the line, especially where enemy AT had been demolished and again, small local battles were formed. A struggle for primacy on the whole perimeter of Gembloux had developed. Beyond the perimeter a German platoon or two had captured a road block at the southern end of the town and were trying to keep this open in order to let more of our troops pass through and beyond into Gembloux. Things were getting bloody here as both sides did whatever they could to cut down intruding enemies. More Germans had also made some progress at the northern end of the line near the railway embankments. This was more diversionary than it was a full-thrust and it managed to tie down some of the Frenchmen that could have been used elsewhere, though it also cost the Germans a few casualties too.

The main probe continued to be in the south and our men were now working their way through some blocks of the town. It was a very slow business and equally debilitating to both sides. The casualties by this time had risen to 19 steps each, and the Germans were struggling to find avenues that would allow them to quickly throw in much needed reinforcements into the important assaults. But Lt.Col Leonidas was at the vanguard of the German thrust, leading the front tip of the schwerpunckt as our troops toiled forward. Like his names-sake of Thermopalye, his leadership was what pushed our troops through the enemy when chance allowed. By 1215 hours the breaches in the French line were quite numerous but they kept finding troops that could plug them. Our leading elements were running out of steam too and more troops would be required for another thrust into the town. The more they had progressed, the thinner the schwerpunkt became. The Germans would need to plump up the head of the attack to give it back some punch. With two and half hours left in the allocated time frame, this is what the Germans would try to do before launching a final burst for their objectives. Between 1230-1300 hours, the Germans attempted exactly this. They slowly fed troops into the attritional town fighting attempting to gain a decisive numerical advantage. The ploy was working, but not at pace. However, the Moroccans were being wore down with the intensity of the town fighting. In no less than 13 blocks, assaults were in progress. Over this 45 minute period, French losses had started to mount, though the panzers had also suffered some hits to the troublesome 25mm AT guns.

Our troops were pushed to their final gasping limits to finally stretch that thinning French line, and stretch it did. At last, at 1330 hours, a platoon of PzIV’s finally burst through into the open and undefended suburbs of the town. Moving at speed through Gembloux, the French now tried to send a scratch force of troops to chase them down. Once this occurred, German efforts in various other sectors finally began to neutralize the enemy. Then, once a block was neutralized, this freed up more troops to help in the areas of resistance. We had sadly to lose some of our tanks in these final stages of the operation, but, against my feelings earlier that morning, our troops were finally getting the upper-hand. By 1345 hours, both sides were throwing their final efforts at their enemy but further French resistance was both pointless and ultimately fruitless.

At precisely 1400 hours, a white flag could be seen fluttering from the town hall. These Colonial troops had surrendered and this side of Gembloux had been invested by the Germans. At the time of surrender, casualties were French 36 steps (& 8 leaders) German 25 steps (and 2 leaders) though the doubling of AFV’s took German step-equivalents to 32 steps. Around 10-11 blocks were still being contested, but Germans controlled perhaps 8-10 blocks and the French perhaps 5 or 6. There was no strength remaining for a French counter-attack and the German win had certainly been hard won.

This has been my third Fall of France Battle and all three have involved high numbers of counters in what I would determine as real-toughie scenarios. How the Germans (despite winning here) managed to take France in 6 weeks if the French always fought like this is beyond me ? On the scenario itself, I rate it a '4'. It will stay long in my memory for the toughness of the initial advance through fire & shell, then breaching minefields and going into so many assaults and more than I have ever encountered before in one game. Truly memorable ! That said, I will concede that I don't think such a scenario would be everybodys cup of tea. There is little in the way of manouvre at all but rather getting your opponent to be brow-beaten down with the sheer intensity of the town fighting.

2012-02-12 09:38

Thanks for an excellent AAR. The narrative style allows gamers to see the action as history, while the mechanical description allows one to recreate a particular style of offense or defense and play solo against someone else's plan.

2012-02-12 15:29

Hey cheers Larry, thats very kind of you. Im also impressed you actually made it to the end of this long narrative hehe ! That said, the game's length and input deserved more than a 'few' words so as to enshrine it in memory for years to come for me.

Its also a bit 'cool' to use one of Jay's phrases that other people even read these. I tend to read either AAR's of games I have already played OR AAR's of ones I'm about to play. That way, they tend to make more sense as to what is being described.

Thanks again L


2012-02-12 15:50

Having experienced house-to-house fighting in great detail, you'd conjecturally rate a Stalingrad urban warfare mega scenario as _ / 5 ? :-)

(edited 2012-02-12 16:46)


I've personally never been a detractor from such a project. In fact, such an epic battle excites me. The difference also being that such a campaign game would be set over days/weeks etc rather than 6 hours that this scenario represented and therefore the assault process would not always be as intense as this one (though on certain 'attack days' it would be of course). I've tried coming up with how to make the town hexes in such a package more unique too.

By that, I mean fighting over 200m of terraced rowed houses would be different to fighting in an apartment block would be different to fighting across a wide open factory floor (a 100m long for example) with the the odd over-turned work-bench and twisted metal girder in the way, would be different to fighting across a State park, would be different to shooting in the streets and so it goes. Also locations of stairs, elevator shafts and rubble deposits (which coincidentally is a thing FoF has alluded too).

I'm thinking Cassino size hexes here with a playbook for hex descriptions above those of a standard hex. Not to be as detailed as, but kind of a Dungeons & Dragons when it comes to hexes. The best way would be to have say a German and Soviet play-book and obviously a designated part of the city as a fighting area to map rather than a generic map. Any expansion to this could always feature on another part of town with its own little fold away smaller map.

All in all, I do actually have some ideas but of course need I say, production would be well out of AP's grasp and special rules would play a large part in order to keep scenario play fresh, exciting and unique.

As you can see, I have had some thoughts on this indeed. Taste buds wetted any further ?

2012-02-13 19:29

Whetted not at all, to be honest. While mega-hex maps are always welcome, the idea of having to reference various terrain sub-types seems tedious, at least in the context of PG's regular complexity level.

But that's small potatoes. What concerns me most is the effect on leadership. Here you can look to Guadalcanal for some insight. In the jungle leaders can only command their own hex. I would expect the same restriction for urban warfare in Stalingrad. To expect a LT to somehow hold together several platoons in various factory warehouses is not rational.

Being unable to chain activations via leadership is not a terrible thing, but it does lead to very unrealistic play. As the omniscient player, you can still coordinate an assault through the jungle across a broad front. Yet in real life - apart from the sounds of distant gunfire - there was no way of knowing what the hell was going on in the jungle 300m away, let along 1km.

The same would be true for house-to-house-to-factory-to-hotel fighting in Stalingrad. In reality every platoon becomes its own little island, but that's certainly not how we'd play it as godlike commanders.

Can fun be satisfyingly balanced with command and control realism for Stalingrad at the platoon scale? I'm not so sure.

2012-02-14 05:30

"Can fun be satisfyingly balanced with command and control realism for Stalingrad at the platoon scale? I'm not so sure"

Of course it can. We do it everyday with every town attack in any of the scenarios, and just to prove how fun it is, you even set up this website !

You could have such detail on leadership and hex terrains and ad nauseum, but I guess in the end it all comes down to how much 'baggage' or 'chrome' each player desires dependent on the individuals pov.

But lets face it. Even with the game in its current simplistic guise we still enjoy it immensely.

(edited 2012-02-14 18:10)

Unfortunately Stalingrad and Aachen don't really fit into the PG scale. That's where I would scale down to Advanced Tactical (Tobruk) System to play out house to house fighting. The alternating activations and the grading of losses between morale and casualties mirrors PG rather closely, as if the two systems were related.

2012-02-14 18:42

@Vince, I give you a nice, logical response citing examples from within the PG universe and you dismiss me. Shame on you, lazy man! :-P I note you have never presided over a battle in the jungle. Perhaps if you blow the dust off of your copies of Guadalcanal and Jungle Fighting and give them a try, you might come to appreciate my position. ;-)

@Larry, I've lusted after ATS for many years. I think it'd suit me better than ASL, but I haven't a regular face-to-face opponent and for me that's a deal-breaker. Someday... someday...

2012-02-14 19:07

I 'lusted' over ATS at one stage, but I just couldn't get by how ASL it all looked and whether it was worth investing in a game that looked a copy of another ?

That was an 'impression' and not an opinion. The game itself may well be very very different, though itreally didn't look that way.

2012-02-14 19:21

We're getting well off-topic here, but it's your AAR so hey, why not! :-) My understanding (outsider's perspective here) is that ATS is more "gamey", less "simmy" than ASL, though we are still talking about very complex games here.

Another big difference is that ATS is more oriented towards the "everything you need is in the box" approach to series publishing. It also has dropdead gorgeous maps, whereas I can't stand ASL's map style. This is entirely in the eye of the beholder though.

The final relevant difference in my eyes is community size. ASL's community is expansive and devoted. If ATS has a dedicated following, I've yet to encounter it...

If you really want to understand the differences, head on over to BGG and peruse this thread: Comparing ASL To ATS - A Very Detailed & Technical Analysis. Lots and lots of good stuff in there.

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PG marathon slog!
Author waynebaumber (12)
Method Dual Table Setup + Voice Chat
Victor Germany
Participants vince hughes (AAR)
Play Date 2012-02-10
Language English
Scenario FaoF018

This was played against Vince over Skype. Played over only half a board, this was out most intense PG action since we started playing. I won't cover the actual play of our game for this I will refer the reader to Herr Hughes accurate if slightly rose tinted AAR. When I mark PG scenario's my guidelines are was the game memorable, was it balanced enough to keep both players interested and was it fun. This scenario was memorable and reasonably balanced and we had fun at times. It is also hard work with large stacks in a congested board, assaults which will last for many turns and will result in lots of low level morale checks, hence the 4 rating. Both Vince and I are amazed that so far this scenario has only seen German victories, I believe that this is very winnable as the French and while not bemoaning my luck if the early French shooting had been more accurate before the Germans closed into close combat and a slightly better set up in regards to the A/T guns then this battle could well have had another outcome. That said the German commander was on top form using assaults to tie down troops and also to advance through the French lines, once those Panzer's are in your rear there is little the French player can do! This scenario is hard work, good fun and recommended for the more experienced player.

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Holding out at the Iron Line-South
Author TheDoctor
Method Solo
Victor France
Play Date 2012-08-07
Language English
Scenario FaoF018

Setup-French: 0510- 45mmAPX, HMG, S-Lt. 0508, 0608- Two INF and a 25mm in each, with a LT. and Capt. in 0508, a LT. Col. in 0608. 0710- Two INF, HMG, a LT. 0711- 25mm, INF, HMG, Capt. and Lt. 0611- Two INF, 20mm, S-LT. 0612- Two INF, HMG, Lt. 0613- Two INF, 25mm, Capt. 0614- Two INF, HMG, Comm. 0615- Two INF, 75mm, Col. and Capt. 0616- Two INF, HMG, Comm. 0712- Two INF, S-LT. 0714- INF, HMG, LT. 0716- Two INF, SGT. 0813- Mortars, SGT. Minefields, a Decoy in 0511, a 1 in 0512, 2's in 0513, 0517, and a 3 in 0516. The German strategy was to break through in the center and N, and have ENG's clear the mines on the South before the reinforcements. The tanks would push forward, and any that were destroyed could be replaced with the reinforcements.

Turns 1-4- The Germans enter and move up to the French line. 2 AFV step losses are taken, and the German forces are slowed on the hill and in the S, where the ENG's are disrupted by OF. In the Center, the Germans move quickly, not as much effected by the OF. Artillery on both sides is inffective, as it will be throughout the game. The French are shaken, but still hold their ground.

Turns 5-8: The Germans capture the two 40 meter hill hexes by assault, forcing the French out with compound demoralizations. In the Center the French repulse the first line of Germans, and the mine fields keep the Germans from surrounding them. The ENG's are forced to retreat, and the PzIV is destroyed in an assault. Soon the French replace the two half stepped units in the middle, and are prepared for the second line of Germans, led by the first half of reinforcements, arriving on turn seven. The two S prongs in the town combine to attack the two hex wide gap in the mine fields. Artillery exchanges claim two steps losses on both sides.

Turns 9-12: More assaults in the town, with the second half of the German reinforcement coming on, but again the French repulse them, with amazing die rolls for them, and horrible die rolls for the Germans. The Germans take the town on the hill, but only after the 45APX retreats in the wagon. The French continue to pour down artillery, but little effect on the units in the town: the same with the German artillery.

Turns 13-20: In the Center, the Germans finally break through in the North of the two hex gap, but French reserves come up to stop them before they can get units through the opening, on turn 17, the French counterassault, and within two turns, push the Germans back. The ENG's try to clear mines again, but amazingly are stopped by the French ART. The German tank numbers have gone down due to assaults, and slowly the German force in the town loses steam. In the hill, the 45APX claims one last tank before German ART destroy it. The assaults on the sunken railroad begin, but French first fire claims more German step losses, forcing the German to reconsider trying to take the railroad. German ART does destroy the 20mm in the town.

Turns 21-24: In the final hour of the game, the French rally their troops and push back the scattered Germans further into the heart of the town, capturing three more town hexes. In the South the ENG's fail to clear any mines, and destroyed in the end by DF from adjacent French units. On the Iron Line in the North, the Germans win one assault, but the other two are lost, and the French make a quick effort to retake to hamlet on the hill, but run out of time. Soon the game is over and the French scored 11 more VP's than the Germans, due to the high number of tanks destroyed, and win the day.

2012-08-08 16:42

Thanks for taking the time to write this and it was very interesting to see the difference in ideas used for the Germans.

Contrary to your game, I approached the south of the Iron Line (where the French like yours had minefields), and spent time trying to winkle my way in there. The French OBA there (especially with an extra +1 col v minefields) really was a terror to get through. In the north I placed a nominal threat just to hold the Frenchies up there in place.

In the centre, I spent time wearing the French down with AFV DF fire, massed HMG fire, and then when enough DIS and DEM's were applied, I then rushed forward with the German infantry. Knowing full-well that these would still receive some fire, I made sure they were supported by decent leaders and also braved OBA with the thought that by rushing adjacent to weakened French lines, the French would risk a lot of friendly fire.

Once the assaults were joined it was a matter of keeping the tanks back (to avoid double point losses which in your game DID affect the result) UNTIL French AT was neutralised, then, when ready, I threw them in and with ENG and leaders, got the odd +3 assault mod to counter the -2 for town.

I notice your 47APX was a pain for the Germans as it was in ours.

Great scenario and from the combined results, looks extremely balanced as a game.

Other than that, enjoy the rest of your Summer Hols !

2012-08-09 00:45

I would second the comments above, in our game As Vince has said he held the tanks back and his ENG neutralized the minefields for his units to flank my southern line. Having said that I thought that I was unlucky in the first few turns as he moved forward not to get more DEM and Step loss results results. Its is a great scenario a bit of slug-fest though. FoF has many good scenario's in I also liked No 28 "They Shall Not Pass".

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Brick (Red) Wall
Author Matt W
Method Solo
Victor France
Play Date 2015-04-04
Language English
Scenario FaoF018

I decided to play this one to break out the Moroccan Division set. I expect that the German infantry would have rather I did not.

A regiment of Moroccans with a lot of AT guns, holds a frontage of merely 2/3 of a board against a regiment of Germans supported by a whole passel o' tanks. The objective is to take town hexes and destroy the opposing forces. While the Germans do have all those tanks they don't have the French artillery which provides for the ability to do a whole lot of damage as there simply isn't enough cover for the Germans to array their forces safely.

I actually played this one twice as I missed the restriction on the boards the first time through but the result, even with a lot more maneuvering room for the Germans was almost identical. The Germans can take some town hexes as they can (for a time) enter into some assaults with three column shifts (leader, combined arms and engineers). The cost, however can be prohibitive. They simply cannot cause the level of losses that they will have to sustain and ultimately the losses in infantry will be so severe that the armor will be exposed and then it all goes downhill fast.

Play this one solitaire as it is not really competitive (especially if using the Moraccan set as it provides for an upgrade to the French infantry component by substituting ESC for INF. The extra firepower is not critical but does make a difference on opportunity fire). It is interesting to think that this is precisely the war that the French high command thought they would be fighting. It is the war that would have ensued had the German operational plans not have fallen into Belgian hands in January

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