Sunday, December 04, 2011

AE:TK - Fall Of France, Turn 5

Well, here we are. It's been a tough slog for the Axis, and they are far from being shoe-ins to take Paris this final turn, but they have some things working in their favor, such as an extra tank army and an AF.

Both the Blitz marker and AF are placed in Paris. This will limit use of HQs during Blitz combat, but the need is to push the French out and with four steps there this is the only hope the Germans have. They also combine the units east of Antwerp to form a second tank army.

The Germans move one 6-6-3 back from Lille to GM to make room for the 8-6-4 tank, and the only Blitz combat they can do is against Amiens, which results in a 25:10 fight at 2-1, raised up to 3-1 for the tank and AF (with the Fr HQ hobbling the attack somewhat). The Germans roll a 5 (they have been unfortunate in this campaign) for a Dr1 1/1. This is not as bad as it looks - it forces out the stack, which can't go to Paris but instead to Le Havre. The French lose one 1-1-2 step to the Force Pool, and the Germans reduce their 5-4-4 unit in Calais, while advancing the 6-6-3 in Calais and the 8-6-4 in Lille into Amiens. At long last, the Germans have a shot at Paris. Here is the final map situation before the final attack:

This is it, the combat for the whole enchilada. The odds are 14:4, with one shift right for the AF, two shifts left for the city and for the HQ. The result is 2:1, which is not good - the Germans will need a roll of 1 or 2 to force a retreat. The roll is...

a 4. The French hold out to win the scenario!

Clearly I am a terrible Axis player. ;-)

Just for fun, let's assume that the roll was a 1 or 2 and the Germans were able to invoke Case Yellow. Here's what would have happened per 16.2.1 had they been successful:

  • First, the Axis select France as the country in question. This country has a special set of steps compared to other countries, but it's important to note that Case Yellow *can* be invoked on different countries than France. 
  • All of the French units that don't have a V reinforcement code are removed from the game. That means two units on the map and one in the Force Pool. Note that the Allied AA army must perform emergency breakdown as the French step in it's holding box is not a V unit. 
  • The Br 1-1-2 Fra colonial unit in it's holding box goes to the Delay Box. 
  • Alsace-Lorraine and Occupied France are both ceded to Germany, these are now Home Country spaces. The two Br infantry units left in France are all Interned, which I leave as an exercise for the reader. 
  • Stuff happens in Syria, and Vichy is created. Any units in Vichy are interned. 
  • Germany gets to apply influence to a minor country (historically this is Italy, although Italy is not in play in this scenario). The Germans may, if they wish, influence Vichy, although again that's not valuable in this scenario. 
Had France fallen, this is what the map would have looked like at the end of the German combat phase:

Kinda empty. Like DisneyWorld with a hurricane bearing down. 

So where did the Germans go wrong? The biggest problem I'm experiencing with this game is how best to position units to be ready to exploit, to prevent "bad" retreats into their backfield (as happened a lot in Barbarossa), but also how best to choose battles so as to make hay. In this case, I think the mistake was to overextend to Paris and give up Lille at the end of the third turn. The French were simply too strong to leave units hanging out like that. Better to hold back one hex and not advance beyond Troyes, which would have still kept the French from using the Maginot Troops, but still forcing them to extend their front. The Germans have a huge quantitative and qualitative advantage, but they have a very narrow front to work with and taking advantage of a broader front would have been a better idea than pressing forward. I'm also not sure that I needed that second air unit near Rotterdam, and perhaps I should have held one out for the fourth turn. 

Certainly the Germans had some terrible rolls on the fourth turn, especially that Ex result. This is why you want to get a 6:1 combat ratio to avoid this result, which will stall an offensive like nothing else. Except an Ad result. 

I hope you've enjoyed this runthrough of this training scenario, and have a better idea of how the game works. I have tried to be as correct as I can, but as I'm still learning the game myself I can only apologize for any mistakes I've made with the rules, as well as any sub-optimal plays I've made. If you see any mistakes, please let me know in the comments and I will try to get them fixed in the entries. Thanks very much for following along, and maybe we'll play a game of TK someday. 

1 comment:

WaterBoy said...

The French "V" units shouldn't stay on the map.
They are part of the army of Vichy, which is a newborn country, but a neutral one.
The non-V units are removed from the game, the V units are removed from the map/delay box/force pool and are stacked apart, as any neutral minor country.

This means that when the "Fall of France" conditional event is applied, no French stay to fight.