Sunday, June 6, 2010

Second try at BK-1 (modified) and even worse

Well, Young General helped me out by taking the French side for my modified version of the Axis & Allies Miniatures Scenario BK-1

To recap, this is an updated version of the official Blitzkrieg Campaign A Defiant Gesture, BK-1 scenario, modified to be more authentic because a number of units that were not available when the scenario was first published in 2006 are now available.

The starting French force defending the town of Stonne and the heights didn't change. It is comprised of one Bold Captain, six MAS riflemen and 3 Level grenadiers. (As noted before, there's a typo in the scenario and it shows Lebel icons but says SMLE Rifles underneath. As the SMLE makes no sense I went with the icon,.

The French reinforcement group from the 45th BCC has been changed to H-39s instead of the original R-35s because the actual battle featured H-39s. The R-35s were apparently merely the closest sub available back then.

The French group from the 49th BCC still includes a pair of CHar B1 bis heavy tanks but the 6 pdr ATG has been replaced with a 75mm Gun and a half track transport to better match actual French equipment in 1940, although the actual battle for Stonne didn't include any heavy French anti-tank gun.

Much bigger changes were in store for the German side. The changes to the French OB added more points so the Germans were also boosted in total point value to match.

First off, the anachronistic JU-87G was replaced with a JU-87A Stuka.

The Grossdeutschland Regiment kept its Wehrmacht Oberleutnant, despite his anachronistic nature because I felt like he might represent fanatical anti-tank teams and the Germans really needed the AT capability. I replaced the two Panzergrenadiers with three Motorized Schutzen because it was more accurate to the period and the Germans needed the bodies. The MG 42 was replaced with the sand-bagged machine gun team and its MG 34. With the revised card they sand-bagged MG tean can move so it ends up being much the same.Finally the SiG 33 was replaced with a STG III. This is a better unit anyway, and it';s much more authentic. The STG III's baptism of fire was with GD during this campaign.

The 8th Panzer Division contingent was also modified. I added a second Panzer III and added a Panzer IB to make up for a deficiency in points. The SdKfz 222s and the Panzer IICs remained (although I proxied a couple of Pz IIFs to make it look better.

Even with the beefed up German force I suspected the French armor would simply prove too tough to handle and it did. The first turn the Stuka performed its duty by successfully bombing the French Bold Captain off the board, which meant the Germans would win the initiative in every subsequent turn save one. Unfortunately it appears that the Stuka pilot was spending too much time celebrating back at the airfield because he didn't reappear again until the issue was well decided and when he did come back his bombs missed. Worse, he was not available to interdict the French tanks, so the Char Bs arrived on turn 2 and the H-39s on Turn 3.

Even the 67th Reserve Division troops proved tough to handle because they had an uncanny ability to find cover.

In the brutal affair that followed the German force was again wiped out while causing rather light losses to the French. Only the Bold Captain, two grenadiers, one rifleman and on Char B were destroyed. One H-39 was damaged. That was it.

To salvage this scenario I think the arrival of the French tanks has to be delayed further or maybe their numbers reduced. So far the Germans have not come close to being competitive in the scenario. I think the French cannon and transport can be dropped, as they're not even historical and it may be worthwhile to cut the number of French tanks in half. Even one Char B is pretty tough to handle with Pz. I, II & III tanks.

In any case, it was not a total waste, as Young General always loves a chance to kick the Old Warrior's butt and he's not overly concerned about whether it was a fair fight.

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