A Bridgehead Too Far
Fall of France #32
|(Defender) Germany||vs||France (Attacker)|
|France||2e Régiment de Tirailleurs Marocains|
|France||4e Régiment de Cuirassiers|
|Germany||11th Panzer Division|
|Overall Rating, 10 votes|
|Scenario Rank: 357 of 607|
|Parent Game||Fall of France|
|Layout Dimensions||43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
|Scenario Requirements & Playability|
|Fall of France||maps + counters|
Falling back in disarray from Maubeuge and the Mormal Forest, French units tried to find some safety behind the Escaut (Schelde) River. this jibed with the French High Command's plan to form a new line of defense between Denain and Cambrai and all around Arras. But gaining control of the scattered French forces was just wishful thinking at this point, and some bridges across the Escaut were simply left unguarded and swiftly occupied by the marauding Germans.
Third Battalion of 2nd Regiment de Tirailleurs Marocains just barely escaped from the inferno at Gembloux and then marched 140 kilometers in three days to arrive at Bouchain. they were immediately assigned to the defense of the Escaut River line, and on May 20th they were sent to retake the small bridge at Boucheneuil from the Germans. The Germans repulsed the initial attack, but that night the Moroccans attacked again with Somua tank platoon in support. Pushing through mortar and heavy machinegun fire, they reached the bridge and the sappers mined it. But the demolition charges failed to destroy the bridge completely, and two Somuas were lost.
This scenario may retro fitted with the Moroccan Division counterset. When doing so, only the ESC and ENG counters are replaced.
|AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle|
|1 Errata Item|
The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.
(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
|How Do You Say "Nail Biter" In French?|
Played my local opponent. Germans set up with all units within one hex of the bridge, with the 9-1-2 leader on the bridge hex. The French advanced and within a few turns had begun to assault units adjacent to the bridge hex. Eventually they eliminated the German units while other units advanced into the bridge hex. Over the last few turns the Germans were doing the assaulting in an attempt to keep the engineers from blowing the bridge. They were able to disrupt the engineer units but the French recovered and were able to blow the bridge on the final turn for a narrow French victory. All in all a really fun scenario and one that would warrant replaying numerous times.
There has recently been a bit of discussion on the forums concerning urban battles and the ability of PG to adequately hold interest in an urban slugfest such as Stalingrad. Board 30 from Fall of France should give you your answer. It is a highly urbanized area punctuated with green space, much as Stalingrad was.
In this quick playing nighttime scenario a group of highly motivated French need to get some engineers to a bridge to blow the bridge and slow down the German advance. The Germans have a company to defend the bridge, the French have two companies and some random tanks to help them try to lever the Germans out of the way and get the engineers into the bridge hex with enough cover to try to blow it up.
The problem is much more difficult for the German player. To be sure of success he must keep the French engineers either out of the hex entirely or out of good order if they are in the hex. The issue is that their force is small and they do not have morale superiority. The use of pinning assaults by both sides and decoys movement through the towns is useful and necessary. Since the fight is at night there is not much art to the movements - the eventual assaults will be strength against strength.
In my situation the Germans were levered out of one covering position and were able to assault the bridge hex. This permitted the engineers to advance to join the assault and after two turns blow the bridge on turn 10. They did manage to lose three steps as well as the accompanying tanks while only causing two step losses to the Germans but with the bridge blown behind them the remaining 7 steps of Germans are likely to surrender.
As I said before, this one is quick but I could not really warm to the situation - it seemed almost too technical given the small forces involved. I give it a "2" and would suggest it for solo play only as the German player has very little to do.