Monday, April 20, 2015

KG Klink, France, Game 1


Its 1600 on 13 May 1940, elements of 7th Panzer Division (to whom Kampgruppe Klink is attached for the campaign in France) is advancing west, descending on the Belgian town of Dinant, where it intends on crossing the Meuse River.  The Commanding General, Rommel, dispatches elements of the 37th Reconnaissance Battalion slightly north towards the town of Houx, where it is to scout ahead of the 7th Infantry Regiment.  KG Klink's Armored Reconnaissance Company, commanded by 1st Lieutenant Wehner (wearer of the Iron Cross 2nd Class), is on the far right (northern-most) flank of the division, and closes in on a small hamlet defended by a French force from the 39th Infantry Regiment, 5th Motorized Division (5 DIM), which today pushed into Belgium in an attempt to halt the Germans at the Meuse.

The Recon Company was moving west and, as it approached a small bridge, began receiving small arms fire.  2nd Motorcycle Platoon immediately dismounted (on the east side of the bridge; the river is really but a stream, a tributary of the Meuse, which is still two miles to the east), while two armored cars pushed across and two more darted right, searching out a covered position to ford the stream, while 1st Motorcycle Platoon escorted a single Panzer Mk III forward on the far right.

The opposing forces, French on the left, Germans on the right.  The Germans are the entire Armored Reconnaissance Company, with one Panzer III (from the Panzer Company) and one MG34 (from the Schutzen Company) in support.

The German force:
CO - 1Lt Wehner (Iron Cross)
Armored Car Plt, Commander: 2Lt Weider (Sdkfz 222)
Vehicle 2 (Panzer II): Sgt Keck (Iron Cross)
Vehicle 3 (Sdkfz 232): Sgt Pichler (Iron Cross)
Vehicle 4 (Sdkfz 222): Cpl Dormund
Vehicle 5 (Sdkfz 222): Cpl Edst

1st Motorcycle Platoon, Commander: SSgt Gradl (Iron Cross)
1st Squad: SSgt Sachs
2nd Squad: Sgt Lowenstam
3rd Squad: Cpl Wilhelm
4th Squad: Cpl Visner

2nd Motorcyle Platoon, Commander: SSgt Behrendt (Iron Cross)
1st Squad: Sgt Eisen
2nd Squad: Cpl Obst
3rd Squad: Cpl Wallon
4th Squad: Cpl Pankau (Iron Cross)

Pz Mk III, Vehicle 4 3rd Platoon: Cpl Benten
MG34, Schwere Plt, Schutzen Co: Cpl Creuzburg

The French: Command stand, one H35 light tank, one .30 cal machine gun, and two infantry platoons of four squads each.

Overview, east is up (north is left): Germans at top, French at bottom.  Germans are in two groups, in the northeast (top left) and southeast (top right), while French are on blinds across the bottom (west).  The black blinds are infantry/infantry dummies, the white blinds are MG/MG dummies, and the green blinds are tank/tank dummies.

If you're thinking this map looks familiar, well, I'm cheap and I'm lazy.  This is the same map I just fought the Team Yankee deal on...

Germans at bridge: 2nd Motorcycle (M/C) Platoon has dismounted on the east side of the river, and the CO, Armored Car Plt Commander, and MG34 on the hill just left of the bridge.  Sgt Keck (Panzer II) and Cpl Edst's vehicles, while Sgt Pichler and Cpl Dormund's vehicles are at bottom center.

In the northeast corner are Cpl Benten's Pz III and 1st M/C Plt.

The French blinds are revealed, and their defense is heavily weighted to the right, towards the bridge.

French on the right, with the CO and MG atop the hill, the tank behind it, supported by two rifle squads (on on hill at right, one in heavy stone house at top center), and three more at top left.

The French left, with two rifle squads up front (left center) and one in the rear (bottom center).

I give an 'even up' roll to determine who shall go first, and it's the French.  Campaign's starting out perfect...

The French light tank moves up (bottom right) and fires its 37mm gun at the flank of Sgt Keck's Pz II (I'm using the orange tracer in the middle to sort of show where the shooting is, or at least who it's between).

The turret is disabled, and Keck and his crew bail out.

The French MG (bottom right) opens up on 2nd M/C Plt (top left).

Somehow only Sgt Eisen's 2nd Squad is pinned (yellow bead).

A French rifle squad rushes up close to Sgt Pichler and DCpl Dortmund's vehicles, but doesn't quite make it.

The German MG (bottom right) fires on the charging French infantry squad, hits nothing.  Let me repeat: the German MG34 team atop the hill fires at the French rifle squad in the open, and there is no effect.  Damn my dice!!!

SSgt Behrendt (just right of bridge) Sgt Eisen's 2nd Squad, while Cpl Pankau leads his 4th Squad and Cpl Wallon's 3rd Squad over the bridge (3rd Squad ended up in front because they got a better sprint roll), while Cpl Edst pulled his 222 (top left) up to the river and fired on the French tank (off camera to bottom right).

The 20mm rounds can't penetrate, but they did pin the crew.

Sgt Pichler moved his Sdkfz 232 out from cover and opened up on the French rifle squad that was charging it.

The French squad is gunned down (casualty figure at crossroads), while the squad in the house became pinned and one of the squads in the trees (far left) fell back and hunkered.

The the Germans catch a break: the French roll a scurry, which really sucks for them as they don't need to move, they need to shoot!

The French CO (bottom right) moved over and rallied the tank, who then dashed left (bottom left).  The rifle squad in the house and the trees both rallied.

The French rifle squad on the right dashed forward (top right), while the MG sprints for the heavy cover of the house, but doesn't make it all the way.

The French rifle squad that was in the trees at far right dashed forward (top center), while the French squad in the rear (was at bottom left) sprints to follow them (center).  The two French squads at center left sit tight; first, they've got nowhere to go, and second, they don't want to give the Germans the opportunity to move.

Back on the right, the Germans push forward across the bridge, and Cpl Edst's vehicle begins fording the river (I'm playing where it takes one move to move to the river and halt; another move to get in the river; and a third move to get out of the river).

And back on the left, two of the German motorcycle squads (center right) were able to see French movement (far left), so they zoomed up to the river and dismounted.  Then the Germans roll a scurry, which is a great deal.

Staying on the left, the remainder of 1st M/C Platoon moves up, with Cpl Benten's Pz III in support.

The French reaction on the left is to shift around a bit to straighten their lines.

Back on the right (looking north, so Germans on right, French on left), the Germans begin spreading out, pushing north (top) and left (west).

The French react on the right, with their CO and MG getting to the house.

In the center, the French fall back (far left); the Germans have split the enemy's defense.

The French do nothing on the left, they're set.

The French get a normal activation, and start Turn 4 with their MG (bottom right) firing point blank into the flank of Cpl Dortmund's armored car (bottom center, with white puffs).  The armored car is not affected, but Cpl Pankau's squad is forced to fall back and hunker (top left, red bead).

The French tank fires at Sgt Pichler's armored car.  Apparently I forgot to take another pic, but Sgt Pichler's vehicle falls back, and Cpl Wallon's 3rd Squad (just above the Sdkfz 232, in the trees) is pinned.

A French rifle squad moves up and fires on Cpl Wallon's squad, getting 'man down' (white bead).

Cpl Pankau rallies his squad (he's a hero) then moves up and tries to rally Cpl Wallon's squad, but they remain man down.  Cpl Pankau's squad fires on the French in the open, and they go 'man down.'

On far left, Cpl Benten's Pz III and two M/C squads move up to the river and fire, and all they get is a pin.  Wow...

Sgt Pichler, also a hero, rallies his vehicle and moves back up (far right), exchanging fire with the French tank to no effect.  I can't seem to take advantage of my numbers, end up engaging the French tank piecemeal, and I'm not getting anywhere...

The French get a normal activation for Turn 5, with a random event ("Confusion: one unit may not act this turn."  I roll it up and it's one of the French squads in the trees on the left, which really didn't have any impact).

The French tank moves up and rallies the squad from man down, then fires on Sgt Pichler's vehicle, pinning it.  Then the French begin showing their testicles, and it doesn't go well for me...

The French CO leads a rifle squad out of the house, charging Cpl Dortmund's Sdkfz 222, who opens up with his vehicle's machine gun, but misses.

The French infantry crawl over the vehicle, firing into the vision ports and dropping grenades through the hatches, destroying Dortmund's vehicle.  Then they head for Sgt Pichler's vehicle; Lt Weider's Sdkfz 222 (top left) snap fires, but misses.  The French again rush into close combat.

But Sgt Pichler tosses several grenades and opens up with his MP-40 SMG, driving the French to fall back to the house (the French were +3, but rolled a tie, so they had to fall back).

The French MG (bottom left) opened up on Cpl Obst's squad (bottom right)...

Forcing them to fall back (French MG is at far left, Obst was hiding behind the trees at left center, Obst is now at top right with red bead).

On far left, Cpl Benten's Pz III fires again, and again has no effect!!!  Then Sgt Lowenstam's squad fires, also missing.  So Lowenstam gets to his feet and leads his men in a charge; snap fire misses.

The Germans are victorious (casualty figure at bottom left), and they turn left and move on to their next victim (right, at fence)...

But the French riflemen stand their ground and put Lowenstam's squad out of the fight!  I hate this game...

Off camera, the German CO falls back and rallies Cpl Obst's squad, but they only get up to 'pin.'

Sgt Pichler rallies his vehicle, moves it forward (on hill at bottom center), then again exchanges fruitless fire with the French tank (left).  At top center, Cpl Wallon's squad recovers from man down.  On to Turn 6.

The French continue to be bold: their rifle squad at bottom right fires to no effect, then the other rifle fires and gets a pin on Cpl Wilhelm's squad (in the river), so they follow it up with a charge...

But SSgt Gradl's command squad (the German center) snap fires, and mows the French down!

The French tank (left) moves over, and Lt Weider's Sdkfz 222 (top right) guard fires, no effect...

And the French tankers promptly brewed up Sgt Pichler's armored car.  This is going great...

On far left, I make a tactical error: Cpl Visner's squad (center) fires on the French, but misses, but decides to charge anyway...

But the French snap fire and gun Visner's squad down.  That's twice they beat German squads in close combat or with snap fire.  So I move Cpl Benten's tank up and he blasts the French squad to oblivion.  If I'd have done that to begin with, Visner's squad would still be with us.  But I wanted to hold the tank back as the French tank is out there lurking...

The German MG (top left) fires on the French house (bottom right)...

The rifle squad outside hast to fall back (bottom right), but the MG in the house doesn't budge.  I can't believe I used 3S and nothing happened to the MG team in the house...

Continuing my dice woes, Cpl Edst's Sdkfz 222 moves up and pumps 20mm rounds into the French squad at far left, to no effect.  Incredible...

And then, like it was friggin' destiny, the French tank moves left (bottom right) and fires at the flank of Cpl Benten's Pz Mk III...

Blowing it up.  More incredible?

Off camera to left, the French CO falls back and rallies a rifle squad, while the French MG (far left) fires on Sgt Eisen's squad (far right), to no effect.

The Germans roll up a normal activation with random event ("Initiative, one extra unit may activate this turn").  Gotta like that.

Lt Weider's Sdkfz 222 (far right) moves up and fires on the flank of the French tank (top left)...

The 20mm rounds immobilize the French tank, but the @#$%ing crew stays with the vehicle!  C'mon!!!

Cpl Pankau's squad fires at the French in the open, but miss, so they decide to charge.  The French snap fire misses...

Pankau's men run roughshod over the Frenchmen, then move up (far left).

SSgt Gradl's command squad fires across the river, forcing the French squad to fall back (far right).  Gradl's men then move up and rally Cpl Wilhelm's squad.

This is followed by Cpl Wallon's squad (far right) moving up to clean up the Frenchmen (center) that fell back from Gradl's (top left) fire.

The Frenchmen surrender to Wallon's men.

At which point the French CO signals his troops to fall back.  This is the right side of the French line, where only the CO, an MG, and two rifle squads remain.  On the left there is only the tank crewmen in their immobilized tank.  These men fought valiantly, bloodying the Recon Company quite a bit, but the mission was a success, the route to Houz open.

Unfortunately for the Allies, the French and Belgians were unable to mount a coordinated, concerted defense, and so in the wee hours of the morning of 14 May 1940, the 7th Panzer Division's 7th Infantry Regiment pushed across the river, brushing back the French/Belgian defenders from the heights overlooking the Meuse.  Elements of KG Klink quickly began flowing across the river and, in support of the 7th Motorcycle Battalion, finds itself in the town of Haut le-Wastia, staving off the counterattack of the French 14th Dragoons.

Wow, what a fight!  For everyone wondering if the Germans would roll over the French, or if it would look more like the hard-fought campaign in Poland, I think you have your answer.  I'm so aggravated with that one French tank, able to shoot and scoot, taking my vehicles out one at a time.  It's funny that there were also a couple snap fire deaths (a 6 on 1D6), and a couple losses/tie in close combat.  Quite the up and down game.

-2nd Lt Weider (PC, Arm Rec Plt), 1 Tank Kill (F1).
-Sgt Pichler (V3, Arm Rec Plt), Mentioned in Dispatches for Valor in fighting off French infantry charge, Wound Badge, WIA Campaign (F1).
-Cpl Visner (4th Squad, 1st M/C Plt), Awarded Iron Cross 2nd Class for leading close assault, Wound Badge, WIA Campaign (F1).
-Sgt Keck (V2, Arm Rec Plt), Wound Badge, WIA - return (F1).
-Cpl Benten (V5, 2nd Pz Plt), Wound Badge, Panzer Assault Badge, KIA (F1).
-Cpl Dortmund (V4, Arm Rec Plt), Wound Badge, Panzer Assault Badge, KIA (F1).
-Sgt Lowenstam (2nd Squad, 1st M/C Plt), Wound Badge, Infantry Assault Badge, KIA (F1).
-Lost: 35 KIA/WIA, 1 Pz Mk III, 1 Pz Mk II, 1 Sdkfz 232, 1 Sdkfz 222.
-Caused: 50 KIA/WIA, captured 10, captured 1 damaged H35 light tank.

Can't wait for the next one.



  1. Wow, what a hard fought action. Another great report, looking forward to the next one.

    Cheers, Andy

    1. Andy,

      Yeah, man, it was pretty tough, and with the way that one H35 drove around, shooting up the German column, I'm more than a little afraid of what's going to happen with Matildas or Char Bs on the table...

      More to come this weekend, thanks for stopping by man.


  2. Those early Allied tanks are individually tough. One reason to get into early war. Great report - you have started the second campaign while the rest of us are still scratching around looking for excuses why we are are not posting gaming pictures!

    Also, are you playing your games in a different place or more in daylight or with a different camera? The pictures (and for the more recent posts) look lighter and crispier that last year.

    1. Hey Shaun,

      Yeah, that one tank really @#$%ed me off, and now I'm super scared of what's going to happen when the Allies get their heavies onto the table...

      " have started the second campaign while the rest of us are still scratching around looking for excuses..." Well, hop on in whenever you're ready buddy, the water's fine ;)

      After several years and thousands of pics, my trusty sidekick gave it up. I was going to go spend too much money on a new camera when my wife told me to try using my phone. Overall I'm pleased with the pic quality, but I do get quite a few 'shaky' photos.

      Hope all is well.