We opted to play Scenario One: the Patrol. I commanded the French, keen to see how they worked. having never played them before.
In the patrol phase Gary’s Germans did a great job boxing me in to the wood on the left flank of the board. This left me with one option, to attack strike on the left flank. Wisely he had positioned an infantry squad to protect his flank. I deployed my VB rifle grenade section behind the vineyard. To support the infantry units which would move up on put pressure on the flank.
While getting my infantry ducks in a row I decided I needed something to shift the focus away from that flank attack. So early in the game I trundled an armoured car down the road in the to shift focus.
This worked well and resulted in Gary deploying an anti-tank rifle and a squad of infantry on the far side of the table to deal with this lumbering lump of metal. What resulted was an exchange of “ping” noises has the German anti-tank rifle fired, hit but failed to damage the Panhard armoured car.
Back on the left flank, I advanced two sections up to the position where they could strike at the German flank. By combining the fire from rifle grenadiers and an infantry section I began to wear the Germans down.
Throughout the game I constantly rolled fours with my command dice so I could activate my senior leader who happily continued give orders and encouragement to his assaulting infantry. This kept the pressure up very nicely. It was helped by rolling a mix of threes or ones and twos to allow me to use the grenadiers or the Panhard has appropriate.
My luck was further compounded by rolling great dice each time I fired –always getting at least three hits. While Gary’s dice rolling was below par, on one occasion he failed to score a single hit with an entire squad firing. Interestingly there were no double or treble sixes rolled with the command dice in the entire game meaning it was one turn long.
Nevertheless, they made it across the road, over the hedge, on to the other side where they assaulted the remains of the German squad who were kind enough to fall back. This was the point I felt I hand made a breakthrough, because, junior leaders were getting hurt and a jump off point was about to fall in to my hands.
It was time to turn the screw. On the next phase I advanced my armoured car around the hill to a position on the left flank of the Germans on the top of the hill. This cut them off and meant I could pressure them from multiple positions.
With the German force moral sliding below five it was clear the game was decided and we called it a French victory. Naturally I was delighted with the result even if it was down to some great dice rolling. By contrast to my last game, I conceived a simple plan and stuck to it. That makes all the difference.