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"In the Ardennes - August 1914 (Historicon AAR)" Topic


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©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
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Ponder11 Jul 2011 6:42 p.m. PST

Howdy,

On Saturday evening at Historicon I ran a game using Command Decision Test of Battle. The game portrayed a hypothetical German spoiling attack on the French 17th Corps Semoy bridgeheads. The players all had prior CD experience which made this a very easy game to run. Photo's below:

Photo 1 - Terrain from the west

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Photo 2 Terrain from the south

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Photo 3 - Terrain from the east

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Photo 4 - Terrain from the north

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Photo 5 - German skirmish line

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Photo 6 - French marching

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Photo 7 - Broad skirmish line for the Germans

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Photo 8 - German right flank, French left

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Photo 9 - German left flank just before the French flank march arrives. French arrive on the east road.

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Situation: A hypothetical scenario, the Germans launch a spoiling attack on the Semoy Bridgehead. The game map roughly matches the southern portion of the Friday game map. An additional town was added along the northern board edge.

French Forces: The French are Trained, Morale 8. The artillery is Regular, Morale 8. Two companies (from separate battalions), each with an artillery battery, are deployed protecting each bridgehead. The initial forces deploy within 1-foot of the bridgehead towns.

The other two companies of each battalion enter on turn 1 from the south.

The third battalion enters on turn 4. The commander of III battalion chose to delay entry two turns and make a flank march. (The Germans were not told this).

German Forces: The Germans are Experienced, Morale 9. The German began with three battalions deployed within 1-foot of the northern board edge.

The German players each rolled a d10. High roll was offered the chance to exchange an infantry company for a MG company or a cavalry squadron. He chose the MGs. The 2nd higher roll, was then offered the same exchange but with only the cavalry squadron. He took it. The third German player had only the four infantry companies.

The Germans had no artillery.


Mission:

French Hold the two bridgeheads, and take one of the three northern villages.

German Take one of the bridgeheads.

Both sides were told they needed to inflict greater losses than taken.


What happened in the game The Germans advanced in a broad skirmish line. Upon contact both flanks moved to envelop the French. The Germans were unsure if the river was fordable (it was). The center company repeatly attempted to cross open ground under French fire. They took very heavy casualties. About the time the German flank attacks began to make progress, the French flank march entered. On turn 5 two dismounted cavalry scouts entered, followed on turn 6 by the main body. The Germans promptly lost heart and the game ended.

A French victory, casualties ran 4:1 in favor of the French.

It was a fun, low-key game.

Ponder on,

JAS

Ponder11 Jul 2011 6:48 p.m. PST

Howdy,

Friday's game was bathtubbed at 1:4 using battalion movement stands. This is an experimental CD variant (some bugs still remain).

The map for the game:

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The game portrayed the clash of the French 17th Corps and the German 18th Corps (21 ID) near Bertrix in the Ardennes.

French: The 17 CA consisted of 33 DI and 34 DI. Infantry & Cavalry Trained, Morale 8. Artillery Regular, 8.

On 21 August the main body of 17 CA was ordered to move to Ste. Cecile with bridgeheads, if necessary, on the Semoy at Herbeumont and Cugnon. On 22 August 17 CA was to cross the Semoy, with the objectives being Jehonville (34 DI) and Ochamps (33 DI).

German: The German forces consisted of the 21 ID. Thus the Germans were outnumbered two to one. The Germans, however, were Experienced, Morale 9.

On 21 August 21 ID moved behind 25 ID from Longlier-Hamipre to Libramont, and on 22 August the division advance guard moved further NW to Ochamps, where the division swung SW to engage the French.

What happened in the game: The French march aggressively northward, the infantry preceeding the cavalry recce Bad for point for the French. German dismounted cavalry occupied the southern approaches of Bertrix. The German players allowed the cavalry to become decisively engaged Bad point for the Germans. A divisional cavalry regiment (3 squadrons) has no business trying to due more than delay an infantry force.

As the German main body arrived, the French attempted to plow over the outnumbered German troops Bad point for the French. This resulted in heavy French casualties.

At the end of the game, a French regiment had reached Jehonville (NW corner), and turned east to attack the Germans. The French also held Bertrix (North center). The Germans controlled Ochamps.

French casualties ran about 2:1 of the Germans this was fairly historical. I rate the result as a draw in that the Germans were unable to advance. Historically, the French fell back after the battle as the Corps to the right had either failed to advance or been decisively defeated (i.e., the Colonial Corps). This set the stage for Saturday's game. Photos from Friday's game below:

Photo 1 - French bridgehead on the Semoy at Cugony

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Photo 2 - French bridgehead on the Semoy at Hebeumont

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Photo 3 - Terrain from the north, Bertrix front right.

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Photo 4 - Terrain from the NW.

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Photo 5 - French highwater mark, north of Bertrix.

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Photo 6 - Germans south of Orgeo

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Photo 7 - Germans north of Orgeo

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Photo 8 - French at Jehonville

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Photo 9 - Overview of contact at mid-battle

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Another Friday evening CD game: (using company movement stands)- assault on an Indian box during Gazala

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Tiger Lily Terrain also on Friday evening

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Ponder on,

JAS

John Leahy Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Jul 2011 11:22 p.m. PST

Very cool looking games! How long did the two WWI games run?

Thanks,

John

Ponder12 Jul 2011 8:46 a.m. PST

Howdy,

Both games scheduled for four hours. Friday's took the entire slot, while Saturday's smaller game ran in about three hours.

Ponder on,

JAS

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