While the Germans came close to reaching the French baseline, the last-gasp, German section was cut down before it could make a successful exit from the board. With that close call, I figured the German player might have a good chance of winning the scenario.
With only a handful of units in the game, initial deployments are critical and loss minimization paramount. Given the small size of the game and lack of covering terrain, few viable options present themselves for force set up.
For the French, I see only one real option for deployment. The wire must go in the hex on the far left of the French line to block a German section from sneaking to the baseline under the cover of the scrub. Each village hex gets one HMG and one infantry section. No other option seems reasonable. The village provides cover and the infantry sections provide support for the HMGs. With this deployment, all French troops are in command every turn.
For the Germans, set up must be in and behind the three woods hexes. How the German forces are deployed is up to the player. One force could represent a main attack and the other secondary with troops deployed accordingly. However the Germans deploy, if in two groups centered on the woods, only one group will be in automatic command each turn. The other group will need initiative to act.
Given the French have the First Turn, the German player cannot afford to stack his troops within LOF at start. In this game, I deployed the Germans as two and five with the bulk of the Germans on the right.
|German right with two sections in reserve and out of LOS|
|French opens up on the German HMG|
pinning the supporting infantry
|German HMG provides covering fire as infantry advances|
on the right under the cover of smoke.
French infantry is pinned in the village.
|Under cover of smoke,|
advance on the German right continues.
French pour fire into the HMG hex, pinning the gun while
a German section moves up in support.
|The smoke clears and French fire opens up.|
|One German section KIA and a second pinned.|
|German HMG returns fire into the village|
hoping to weaken the defenders
|The firefight continues as one section in the woods is KIA.|
Infantry section advancing under cover of smoke escapes,
|With smoke gone, the advancing Germans |
are cut down in the open.
Coming up to support the HMG,
another German section is KIA.
With four units destroyed, the German morale breaks and the remnants of this dismal affair withdraw.
This was a quick battle and barely consumed 30 minutes on the game clock. With the French hunkered down in the two villages and clear lines of supporting fire to the German positions, the German attack seems doomed.
Was it the dice? Die rolls were average with few extremes. Given French firepower, almost two hits per turn can be expected even when firing into cover. I set up the game again with same starting positions. The result? The same. This time, the Germans broke in about 15 minutes.
I tried two more games, all ended in the same result. I tried putting more force on the German left. I tried reinforcing the woods hexes at the outset. All ended in brutal German defeats.
|A different German deployment|