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Battle for France 1944 – an AAR

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  • Battle for France 1944 – an AAR

    There is a wargame named Computer War in Europe for Windows.

    One of the scenarios is a 20 turn scenario titled “France 1944”.

    I just completed 3 PBEM games against 3 separate players. A combined AAR follows.

    The scenario commences with the Germans holding 7 objectives. They only need to hold 1 objective to win the game.

    Game 1: I played as the Allies with Attrition ON
    Game 2: I played as the Allies with Attrition ON
    Game 3: I played as the Axis with Attrition OFF

    In the game, a naval port can be “Major” or “Minor”. A Major port can provide supply to a distance of 10 movement points. A Minor port only 4 movement points.

    Supply units and Railway repair units can be transported across the sea. But their journey must begin and end in a Major port.

    It is important then, that the Allies capture a Major port as soon as possible. The 3 candidates are Le Harve in Normandy, Cherbourg in Normandy and Brest in Brittany.

    The first screen shot shows these ports and their relationship to Paris.

    Le Harve is heavily defended. And if captured, my troops would need to spread east and east across France and it would be difficult to concentrate the forces. This leaves Cherbourg and Brest.

    In Game 1, my Allies landed in Brittany and quickly captured Brest. In Game 2, my Allies landed in Normandy and quickly captured Cherbourg.

    The Brittany peninsula has more room to manoeuvre than does the Normandy area. With attrition ON, surely the German forces will be worn down much faster than the Allied forces.

    In both games, my opponents rushed troops to the landing beaches. My troops in Brittany had more mobility so I could make more attacks. Also, I could replace worn units with fresh units at will. I feel Brittany is a better landing location than Normandy.

    In Game 1, the French partisans, were able to damage railway lines between Brest and Paris and those railway lines that run to Southern France and the Mediterranean coast.

    With his supplies cut, the Game 1 opponent withdrew and formed a line centred at Paris and running more or less north south from Paris. But the line did not reach the Swiss border. He retained supply lines running east to the German border.

    In Game 2, the French partisans were more effective. They cut the rail lines running from Germany to France and those railway lines that run to Southern France and the Mediterranean coast. The Game 2 opponent also withdrew and he too formed a line centred at Paris and more or less running north south from there.

    At about the time of the 2 withdrawals, the weather turned bad. With mud and snow I had much trouble moving and attacking. The bad weather and Attrition ON were the 2 major factors.

    In Game 1, my opponent left some troops to fight a rearguard action. I intended to by-pass these troops except their ZOC meant I had to give them a wide berth, so I decided to destroy them. However, I had trouble gathering the forces to do this. Eventually I sent the paras back to the UK and they jumped and destroyed these troops. But this cost me a lot of time.

    Note also with the change in the weather, the colour of the hexes has changed.

    North of Paris, I tried to force a river crossing without success. So I tried an amphibious assault behind his lines. I intended to land 2 units. One would protect the beachhead and the other would advance one hex. This unit would project ZOC into the surrounding hexes and annoy him. He might even choose to withdraw his northern flank.

    With that I tried to swing around the south of Paris to surround Paris but the mud and Attrition ON stopped me more than the Germans did!

    In Game 2, with the rail between France and Germany cut, the opponent withdrew from Paris and I followed him east. But again the mud and Attrition slowed my advance.

    In both games, I got nowhere near the final 2 objectives in Belgium and both opponents held 2 objectives at the end of the games.

    In Game 3, I played as the Germans and Attrition was OFF. This game was started when I was about half way through the 2 other games. I hoped to use my experience to gain a victory!

    My opponent landed at Normandy. Around Cherbourg my troops were weak and he took longer to capture it than I thought. I could feel a victory coming on!

    He attacked hard al along the line and my defence held strong. He tried to advance south east without success. He tried to advance south west and finally succeeded.

    In the meantime he placed his partisans more cleverly than I had done so and cut my supply lines to the east.

    I intended to make a slow careful fighting withdrawl. However, with Attrition OFF and his troops at full strength, they were able to advance before the weather turned bad and advance faster than I anticipated. Quickly the bulk of my forces were caught in a pocket.

    Just then the weather did turn bad. I withdrew the remainder of my forces as fast as I could towards the West Wall but with Attrition OFF and my supplies cut, he seemed to advance faster than I could withdraw.

    Soon much of my army was destroyed. He passed through the gaps in my line and entered Germany and the country surrendered.

    Meanwhile, in the south of France: At turn 9, landing craft became available and I invaded Southern France.

    I am still a relative newby to the game engine. In Game 1, I made a mistake and landed at the Italian city of….. and in Game 2 the mistake was to land at the French city of ……….. Of course I should have landed near the Major French port of Marseille and captured it as quickly as possible!

    In Game 1, I advanced quickly. Too quickly! My opponent re-occupied a vacant……Without supply, my troops in Southern France are doomed!

    Then he made an unexpected attack and got a Both Retreat “BR” result! He had to leave the port and I recaptured it! Yaay!

    Anyhow, in both games, I was able to advance into Southern France, up to Lyon and then around the Swiss border generally towards Germany.

    All the games were enjoyable to play. I learnt much and will do better next time!

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