Steve has taken an interest in early war and he picked up the Blitzkrieg book for Battlegroup. Like all of the publications for this game it is really well produced and offers a tempting prospect for collecting new armies. It’s what prompted me to collect a small Russian force. However, we’re starting our early war foray in the west, with the German attack towards Belgium and France in May 1940.
We’re using the Too Fat Lardies’ Gembloux Gap supplement as inspiration for the games and the maps. This game was played using the map from Scenario One – Palm-off at Perbais and the Battlegroup Defence Line mission. We both had 400pt forces. We both like Chain of Command, but it can produce some dull games or maybe we haven’t figured it out and play too conservatively. CoC is probably realistic and simulates the command challenges faced at platoon level, but we want something more dynamic and Battlegroup fits the bill while being relatively quick to play.
The Germans started things off, aggressively pushing a 251/1 up the road and taking out a Somua with a lucky shot. The French responded, immobilising a Panzer IV.
Not wanting to get bogged down in a long range shooting match with the Somuas, one of the Panzer IVs (the mobile one!) started to move towards the village. The other traded shots with the French tanks, but it was a chit draw, following a disastrous assault from the grenadiers on the central house, that resulted in a mine strike on the rearmost French tank. The half track that dropped the unlucky assault unit pushed towards the rearmost objective. The French repositioned their gun, but with the German reinforcements arriving next turn things were looking bad for them.
The rapidly advancing 251 grabbed an objective and the rest of the German force arrived from reserve (following a successful Panzermarsch roll). The immobilised Panzer IV took out the last remaining Somua. The reinforcing halftracks pushed forward to position for an assault on the resisting farmhouse and French gun. Steve pulled a Break Down chit and the Panzer IV that had been pushing for the village ground to a halt.
The grenadiers pulled off their assaults and that was it for the French. They reached breaking point and fell back. The could not repel the rapidly advancing Germans.
This game really lived up to the ideals of blitzkrieg. The Germans arrived in force before the French reinforcements had a chance to arrive. Steve did comment that I probably had all of the Panzer IVs available to the Germans, but they actually had quite a few! I don’t own any of the earlier marks, but I might need to pick up some IIIs.
Until next time,