Sunday, May 16, 2010

Updating Stonne

While schedule conflicts prevented me from playing on the precise anniversary, I did get in a near anniversary game of the Axis & Allies historical miniatures historical scenario BK-1, published on the official A&A minis site. This depicts some of the fighting for Stonne, France, on May 15, 1940.

Since that scenario was first published in 2006 a lot of new figures have become available, so I decided that there was little sense in playing the scenario as published when there were many more accurate figures in the mix now.

The French side actually required relatively few changes. The Bold Captain, MAS 7.5mm Inf and Lebel Grenadiers that set up are unchanged. (Note that the scenario lists SMLE rifles in stead of the Lebels, but this must be a typo as it would make no sense for SMLE rifles to be present and the picture shows the Lebels.

For the Reinforcements from the 45 BCC (a battalion, not the brigade listed by the scenario card) the R-35s are replaced by H-39s because that was the type of tank present. The R-35 was obviously used originally because it was a similar tank that was already in the game.

For the Reinforcement group from the 49th BCC (also a battalion) the Char Bis are unchanged, but accompanying ATG is replaced. I'm not sure why the 6 PDR was used in the scenario, as it's not really close to anything actually fielded by the French during the battle. What ATGs they had tended to be 25mm guns. There's nothing really suitable yet in AAM, but the French di also have some of their famous 75s in the area, so I subbed one of those. In 2006 there weren't any gun transports available but now there are, so the 75 gets a P107 half-track prime mover.

All-in-all, few changes are needed for the French OB and the subs add a few points to the French total.

In contrast the German order of battle should undergo a drastic overhaul.

First, we replace the JU-87G tank buster with the more accurate JU-87B from the Early War set.

The Wehrmacht Oberleutnant remains, depsite his 1942 date, because the Germans need the anti-tank capability and I assume that he ismeant to represent some tank-killer teams, similar to the "panzerfauist" tank killers teams given to the Finns in another scenario. The Panzergreandiers are replaced by Motorized Shuetzen, which is more appropriate to 1940. True True Panzergrenadiers came a little later. The MG-42 is likewise replaced by the Sandbagged Machine-Gun Team which is armed with the MG-34. In game terms it's the same with the revised card. The sIG 33 is replaced with the StuG III D, which is what the GrossDeutchland actaully used. As a matter of fact, this was the combat debut of the STG III.

The Panzer III F, Panzer IIC and SdKfz 222 are all unchanged, although I proxied the Pz IIF models for the Pz IIC for appearances because most of the models are V2. Only the 222s were the older scale because that vehicile hasn't been updated yet. While the French changes tended to add a few points, all the German changes subtracted some, so in order to keep the point values similar but without changing the character of the scenario I added a SdKfz 231 and a Panzer IB, both of which were also present on the battlefield that day. The Germans were still a couple of points shy of the French, but they did start with all troops present while the French had variable reinforcement so I thought I'd see how it played out before making more changes.

The actual session against an opponent was inconclusive due to his inexperience with the game, but it seemed to suggest that the French tanks were too tough for this order of battle to handle. I solitaired it afterward and while the Germans did a tad better , it still wasn't really close. The Germans simply didn't have enough anti-tank capability to deal with those tough French tanks, especially if they showed up early, which they did both times.

So I modified the German OB a little more. The SdkFz 231 went away, as it added nothing to the German side. In its place I added another Panzer III F and another Schuetzen. This brought both armies to exactly 132 points. This gave the Germans a little more capability to handle French tanks and one more soldier to try to capture the objective with while not changing the scenario in any fundamental way.

So we will see how that works out later this week.

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