Friday, October 23, 2015

Game -Arras 1940

CD3. Modified rather than bath-tubbed as I almost had all the necessary kit. The short game was 8 turns the long 12, I settled for 10. The Allied objectives were the villages of Wanquetin (French), Achicourts, Wailly and Bretencourt (British). The German objectives were to hold the line between Arras to Riviere. Only the major villages were represented on the tabletop.

There were numerous special rules in play to represent the various efforts made by the battlefield commanders of the day. 4th & 7th Royal Tank Regiment supported by 6th & 8th Durham Light Infantry + support elements for the British. I/6 & II/7 Schtz + I/3 SS for the Germans. 11e RDP & 13e BCC + support for the French. I played out this scenario over about 4 weeks

Early moves, neither side had air support  

The German reaction to the attack was slowed by poor recon 

This is III SS Aty - HaT 75s standing for Czech 100s, likewise the prime movers are stand ins

Citizens of Arras getting nervous 

After a brief skirmish with their British counterparts, German motorcycle infantry dismount and take up defensive positions in the village of Wailly (British objective)

French forces moving up. A big problem for the Allies the whole game was not enough time to fully co-ordinate attacks, which caused problems later on for the stretched infantry - which there weren't enough of

Elements of 13e BCC encounter the lead company of 1/6 Rgt

Turn 4. Still no air support for either side, here 4 RTR & 6 DLI hit the village of Daniville, just a couple of kilometers southeast of Arras in strength. Matilda I is by SHQ

And probing attacks were made into the northern side of Wailly, as German forces there had not been fully identified nor their strength known 

Extreme south, Infantry companies from 8 DLI and a platoon of Matilda Is from 7 RTR engage a company of I/3 SS at Berneville. This village had to be taken otherwise the German troops here would be diverted to Wanquetin, where the French were putting in a big attack

Turn 6. The first reinforcement role was a fortunate one for the Germans as it included elements of 23 Flak Abt and the German commander, Rommel himself

German aircraft finally show up, bombing Matilda IIs from 4 RTR, this was crucial phase of the game because the British had been carving up the opposition on this flank, advancing rapidly on their objective, Achicourts. Unusually, this attack only caused the tank company to go 'Pinned' despite losing one platoon

The fighter attack was driven off by ground fire, however

Turn 7. In the centre, a British attack on the northern end of Wailly is easily repulsed 

23 Flak Abt engaging targets to their front 

And side, Matilda I from 4 RTR on the losing side of this encounter

Still, Allied pressure just outside the city begins to tell on the Germans, they have numbers but superior Allied armour is slowly negating this advantage as the game goes on

260th Bty RA. Guns and crew by Airfix

Finally air support arrives for the British and delivers a game changer. The scenario listed a Blenheim bomber, which I don't have so this recently completed Hudson did a stand in

Turn 8. French casualties around Wanquentin. Continuous fighting had been going on here for about five turns

 Allied efforts in this area begin to pay off. The Durhams secure the railway station at  Les Loges, this completely cut off the SS battalion who had been holding out all game, waiting for armoured support that never arrived

Finally, the French take their objective, Wanquentin

Late German reinforcements in the form of 78 Aty

And, their RHQ support. Airfix trucks, the car is by ACE, the 150L18 is a very nice little model by Caesar 

Turn 9, the Allies attack with everything available in an effort to secure their objectives before nightfall

More air attacks against the Matilda IIs of 4 RTR

The scenario listed a Lysander but it was not allowed to make ground attacks. My stand in Gloucester flies an air-superiority patrol here, denying the Stuka a big target

Couldn't be in two places at once though, 4 RTR gets hit again

Pz 38t company manages to hit Matildas from 7 RTR in the rear, to no effect

Turn 10. The British have men inside the village of Wailly, but the Germans have two companies of infantry, in good morale who aren't going anywhere soon

More or less the same situation further north at Achicourts

Allied air support strafed a German reinforcement column, it was too late for either to have any impact on the outcome of the scenario by this time

8 DLI at the southern end of Wailly 

Damaged platoons of 7 RTR regroup in the only objective they took fast, Bretencourt

Numerous German reinforcements didn't make it onto the table, and those that did were quickly committed to the battle. In the event, the Allies took 2 of their 5 objectives for a real-terms-loss of 8-10 AFVs of all types, the French 10-12 and the Germans 25 likewise, for a Allied minor victory. A very detailed and accurate scenario that I would certainly play again. This is a very difficult scenario for the Allies to win as they lack the infantry necessary to take BUA and 10 turns is not long enough given the distances they have to cover. This scenario is from Bob Mackenzie


  1. I always love the look of your games and this one is the best yet with another great battle report to. Was this a solo game?

    1. Thanks mate, yep solo - doubt there'd be another gamer within 200km of here

  2. That was a very impressive looking game Al! So much going on, plus it shows off all the hard work of collecting & assembling the necessary forces.

  3. A really impressive looking game and great pics. Excited just by reading through the play. A lot of tension. Well done.

    1. Thanks lads, quite a project for sure :)

  4. Great report Al. Looks awesome!

  5. Nice one mate. 48 pics to drool over!

    Impressed that you played this out over so long.

    1. Cheers mate, not much else to do out here - feel free to visit anytime you like!

  6. Nice to see the early war get an airing and an impressive range of kit too.

  7. Great job mate , you need a hoilday after that lot ..

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