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"Taking the Gembloux Gap CoC mini-Campaign: Battles 6,7 & 8" Topic

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Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP31 Jan 2023 1:46 p.m. PST

Please see link link and link for the next three actions in this refight of the Too Fat Lardies' pint-sized campaign Taking the Gembloux Gap.




Just Jack Supporting Member of TMP01 Feb 2023 7:14 p.m. PST


First, you can't stack up three batreps and post them all at the same time, it's a wargaming crime! ;)

Second, a great campaign, congratulations on seeing it through to conclusion, and thanks for blogging it all and sharing it with us.

The French certainly had a rough time, but nothing ahistorical about that, though I certainly understand your consternation that they didn't put up more of a fight. For what it's worth, two things really stuck out to me:

1) a lot of the French ineptness was simply a horrible run of dice, which didn't allow them to capitalize on any of their tactical opportunities. They had plenty of decent engagement opportunities and just seemed to blow it, whereas the Germans were exactly the opposite (look at that stonk in the last game); and

2) French Force Morale was brittle to begin with and made worse by the the bad dice rolling, first in terms good German rolling causing more casualties causing more morale checks, and then bad French rolling ending games on account of more bad rolling ("anything but a one, rolled a one").

So I don't think you've got a solo bias issue, I think the French just had an incredible run of bad luck. And if there was a structural problem with the campaign, it was the small number of forces on the table, and the ‘Force Morale' mechanism possibly not being properly aligned with the (small) force structure. Fewer units on the table meant there was no ‘cushion' to live through a string of bad rolls (the idea being that a higher number of rolls might allow the rolls to ‘even out,' collapse on the average, so to speak), and any losses at all representing a significant piece of your force (assuming your Force Morale rolls are weighted and/or triggered by certain percentages of units becoming casualties).

In any case, I was happy to have the opportunity to read all through your campaign, thanks for sharing.


Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2023 12:43 p.m. PST

Thanks Jack, that's kind (and encouraging)!

First, you can't stack up three batreps and post them all at the same time, it's a wargaming crime! ;)

True, true. I ended up with a ton of reports and I needed to just shovel them out of the door…mea culpa.

Thinking on it some more, I think there was an extra thing going on in the Gembloux Gap which skewed things against the French. The French infantry organization that was used had a platoon of 8 elements, whereas a German platoon would typically have 11, giving it nearly a 50% 'raw' firepower improvement and much more robustness against losing an element or two to bad luck. Given that the Germans had the advantage in support weapons (and luck) that was probably a major factor. I was leaning anyway to changing the theoretical organizations for all these forces from a reinforced platoon to a very weak company: in the rules, that should give everything more staying power. So in the last fight (around the railway station) instead of grouping the French into a single big sub-unit, they would have instead have had a weak infantry platoon, a weak improvised armour platoon and either have the anti-tank gun as a single element 'platoon', or attach it to the infantry. That increased articulation should stop the mass routs (although obviously it will make the individual platoons a little more brittle).

Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2023 5:43 p.m. PST

Great stuff. I hate to agree with Jack because he is rarely correct but here he has a point. Force morale wasn't equal with both forces as you say yourself. Also as you set up your french platoons i think they had more men than german platoons didn't they?
I don't think you have any bias. I suspect I do. I probably run 70/30.
Again great stuff


Joe Legan Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2023 6:07 p.m. PST

Jon, just looked it up and my memory is bad. The french platoons were similar to the Germans. The french infantry companies had an extra platoon; I always get that confused. Sorry.



Ps. Making the individual platoons more brittle might even be historical one could argue.

Personal logo Whirlwind Supporting Member of TMP03 Feb 2023 7:04 a.m. PST

Thanks Joe, I appreciate that. In any case, some more WW2 stuff coming up soon I hope, although this time it will definitely be more of a true company-level game.

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