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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

French Colonial Infantry vs German Schutzen

  • HQ
  • Full Schutzen Platoon
  • Full Schutzen Platoon
  • Weak Schutzen Platoon
  • 4x Panzerjaeger I
  • 3x Panzer IVd
  • 10.5cm Battery

  • HQ + Resupply Section + 60mm Mortar
  • Full Rifle Platoon
  • Full Rifle Platoon
  • Full Rifle Platoon
  • HMG Platoon
  • 5x Panhard AMD-35
  • 3x SOMUA S-35
  • 75mm Artillery Battery
  • 155mm Artillery Battery

Tom had just finished his French Infantry, and decided to make two lists and let me pick which one to run. Having yet to play the Germans in Early War, I leapt at the chance. So I took command of the Schutzen and he the French. All of the models in this battle are Tom's except the SOMUAs and Panhards which are mine. We rolled for the mission and got Fighting Withdrawal with Tom as the attacker.


I got to deploy everything. I know how mean the SOMUAs can be, so I stuck the Panzerjaeger in ambush. From left to right in my deployment zone: Schutzen (full) (note the objective in the upper left of the wheat), Weak Schutzen in the buildings (with my placed objective in the bottom center near the ford), Panzer IVs. On the right side of the river we have a full Schutzen platoon in the farm with another objective on the road. Behind them are the 10.5cm guns.

From left to right, Tom has a massive wad of 2 Rifle platoons, SOMUAs, and his artillery and HMGs. On the right he sticks one rifle platoon and the Panhards.

Panzer IVs

The German right flank.

The German left.

Tom's left flank.

The brunt of the French forces.

The counter attack has formed up!


The French move out!

SOMUAs race ahead.

Infantry moves at the double to keep up.

Frenchmen take position on the hill!

The Germans open fire and hit the 75mm battery, but cause no harm!

The Panzer IVs shift left.


The air is filled with the whistling sound of falling shells!

Shells fall all around, killing one infantry stand and bailing a Panzer IV!

HMGs move up to the edge of the woods while Colonial French Infantry races down the hill, bayonets fixed!

The SOMUAs support an infantry advance into a wood.

The French assault, but the Germans withdraw with no losses.

The Panzerjaegers spring their ambush! Fire from the 10.5s and Panzer IVs slam into the French positions, knocking out 3 stands, 1 SOMUA, and bailing another SOMUA!

Schutzen open up on the advancing French infantry- knocking out 2 HMG teams, and 2 infantry stands.


1 SOMUA S-35
5 infantry stands
2 HMGs

1 Infantry stand


Top of 3.

The understrength Schutzen platoon is withdrawn.

The French move up to the farmhouse, ready to assault the German position!

The Panhards move up in support.

The lone active SOMUA opens up on the panzerjaegers, bailing one.

The German 10.5s range in on the Panhards! Two go up in flames and 2 get bailed out.

The Schutzen open up on the French infantry after the French infantry decided not to assault. The 75s AND 155s tried to range in on the German troops, but failed.

More fire is poured into the French infantry in the open.

The rest of the SOMUAs fall to the panzerjaegers.

SOMUA Platoon
1x Panhard
11 infantry stands
2 HMGs

2 Infantry stand


Top of 4.

A massive barrage rains down on the German position knocking out a panzer IV and bailing a Panzerjaeger!

The French infantry pulls back into the woods, but the Panhards push forward with MGs blazing.

The French assault on the German left flank hunker down and decide not to press the attack after the loss of the SOMUAs.

The German left flank on the bottom of 4. The 2 remaining Panzer IVs are withdrawn.

The Schutzen rush forward and assault the Panhards! Two are destroyed, but 2 bailed out ones are just out of reach and they stay on the table!

SOMUA Platoon
3x Panhards
11 infantry stands
2 HMGs

1 Panzer IV
2 Infantry stand


Top of 5.

With time slipping away, the French rally and move out!


The french lose one stand, but capture a panzerjaeger! The Schutzen and German armor pull back, but the French are spread thin!

Both Panhards remount and shoot up the Germans.

The Panzerjaegers reposition to open up on a french infantry platoon sneaking down the river. My kingdom for a machine gun!

The Schutzen open up on the battered French platoon, knocking them down to a single stand (with the company commander).

The sneaky French platoon is broken.

The Germans keep moving and assault the Panhards again!

And the Panhards are finished off.

SOMUA Platoon
Panhard Platoon
1 Colonial Rifle Platoon
10 infantry stands
2 HMGs

1 Panzer IV
1 Panzerjaeger
2 Infantry stand


Top of 6.

The French's last hope is to attack on the left, and take the farm! Under the cover of an artillery barrage, the French strike!

After a bloody assault that goes on for several turns (with several French whiffs!), the Germans are left with the field.

At this point Tom is left with his artillery, a 2 gun strong HMG Platoon, and a 1 man strong infantry platoon (that passed his sole survivor check). Clearly, taking the objective is out of the question and Tom calls it.


I am feeling really down on French infantry. That being said, this was a tough fight for infantry vs infantry- I think had Tom been defending, it could've been a totally different battle! The french do look good though! I question the usefulness of their artillery. They're so very expensive, especially if only being used in indirect fire. I am excited to finish my own French infantry though and try to figure them out.


freekickhero said...

Thanks for the great AAR! Still trying to figure out an early war British rifle company with French tank/armored car support. What point total was your game? Loved the French assault supported by the armor and the wicked German ambush.

Scary Biscuits said...

Did Tom move an objective with the French Sp. rule?

Christopher(aka Axebreaker) said...

Enjoyed the AAR!


Anatoli said...

That was brutal!

Btw, I really like the terrain you guys are using. Looks good but above all very functional.
Roads always make a huge difference when on the table - it's not the same without them.

Who makes the artillery explosion markers?

indierockclimber said...

@freekick- 1750 pts. Early War Brit Rifles should be a ton of fun!

@Mike- yeah, both objectives on the flanks are 4" closer

@Christopher- thank you sir!

@Anatoli- glad you dug it! The explosion markers are by Paper Terrain:

Todd said...

Where did you get that awesome German car objective? I love reading the AARs - thanks!!!

Steven MacLauchlan said...

Hi Todd- that was some schwag from BF Nats '09. I think they might be available elsewhere, but I'm not sure where. It's a great looking objective, but the damn lightpost makes storing it difficult. I should've left it removable :)

Meaux said...


Just a quick question from a group new to FoW about how you handle non-forest area terrain. I'm guessing the fields w/ actual wheat block LoS/conceal for infantry but not tanks, but what about the bare/plowed (JR Miniatures?) fields? Any effect there besides cosmetic?


Steven MacLauchlan said...

Ultimately we decided that the plowed fields do nothing except make difficult ground.

Frankly plowed fields just don't offer enough concealment for infantry on the move realistically, and infantry already gets concealment in the open if they don't move so... it didn't make much sense to treat them any other way!

Bob R said...

Another great batrep! I love reading these :)

Tom de Mayo said...

Tom here. This was my first experience with the French infantry. Like Steve, I can't say I was real impressed. But I will say a few words in their defense:

1) Steve always wins. Well, almost always. He's just a better player than I am. So you can't judge the army or the list only by whether French or Germans win. The last few games, Steve played the French and decimated the Germans.

2) The French made a credible push on all three objectives, and came within a single assault of taking the farmhouse several times. So, sure, the French died in droves. But in a one-off game of FW, it's all about the objectives. There's no reason for the attacker not to push their force to destruction.

3) Fearless infantry are quite nice. Not so good as CV, I will say, but definitely a cut above CT. Vivez les coloniales!

4) The artillery had real potential. As others have noted, this was a unfavorable scenario for them. (Only 6 turns of firing, really. Not enough to dig Germans out of their holes.) But the time or two I did get a double-wide artillery template, rerolling hits, w/ 4 AT and 4+ FP. Yi! The 75mms also make a fine AT gun in defense.

5) I like the carrier rule. That extra die per team has the potential to be very useful. Especially in defensive fire, where it basically negates the effects of pinning. I didn't get to use it much, but in my first assault on the farm house, I used the carrier bonus when trying to pin the guys inside. The platoon, together with the Panhards, fell short by a single hit, I think.

indierockclimber said...

2) I think Tom is right- the batrep doesn't really accurately protray just how close my right flank was to collapsing. One really good assault into the farmhouse and it could've gone totally south!

3) Agreed- I think the fearless french infantry is gonna be quite competetive

4) Also agreed- FW is almost the WORST showing you can have for the french arty and they still did okay

5) Those ammo carriers rule!

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