Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Meeting at Longlier - CDTOB AAR Part 2

We continued our slow progress through the Meeting at Longlier scenario once more. The fighting is becoming more intense, Longlier is occupied by entire battalions from both sides and the Germans are desperately attempting to march around the French flanks.
The situation at the end of Turn 6
As can be seen from the map above, the French advanced rapidly to form up a line centred on Longlier. The Germans are trying to flank the French on the right with a battalion or more of infantry (it feels like more at the moment!) and the German recon cavalry is in the north-west of the map attempting to gallop around and capture the built-up areas behind French lines. Not all units are shown on the map, for the sake of clarity.
The view from the German lines at the end of Turn 4
Turn 4 saw the French artillery deployed and ready to rain all-out thermonuclear heck on the Germans, while troops of both sides marched towards the front at full speed. We set to and I gleefully rolled for artillery response for my first artillery unit. No response. I rolled for the second. No response. What were these idiots up to? I cursed my gunners as they failed to fire at all.

Meanwhile Longlier was becoming the Stalingrad of the Lorraine area. Both armies occupied it but neither was making much headway as new troops were fed in from the rear. On the German left flank forces were building up and things were starting to look dicey for the French.
View from the French end of the table at the end of Turn 5
Turn 5 began with the artillery stonk that I had hoped for on the previous turn. It was much better than the planned stonk from the previous turn because the Germans had parked all their artillery in the walled field to the east of Longlier (top of the picture above). A couple of artillery templates covered the artillery and some infantry, and some lucky dice rolling destroyed the entire artillery battalion. BOOM! The infantry were not happy either. Suddenly the field was empty.

The fighting in Longlier continued as more troops were fed into the meatgrinder, and the German left flank continued to march around towards the French artillery. It looked like they would be able to charge the artillery on the next turn, which would probably not go that well for the guns and the gunners.
End of Turn 6 as taken by an observation pilot in a Bleriot plane. North is to the top of the picture.
The start of turn 6 went well for the French. All the guns fired, suppressing infantry in Longlier and blunting the flanking attack. Better yet, the French won the initiative and were able to charge the first flanking force, destroying part of it and causing the rest to become shaken. The fight in the eastern woods dragged on with honours being even on both sides, but the French troops became pinned by their opponents. Next turn may not go well for them and reinforcing companies are also advancing rapidly around the flank. It may be too late for an orderly withdrawal from that side of the battlefield, but there are no strategic objectives there, so sucking the Germans into a drawn out firefight might actually work in the long run, but at the cost of some brave poilus.

In Longlier casualties mounted up but no progress was being made. Meanwhile the French had a company advancing around both sides of the town. It will be tough digging the Germans out, but it is still a possibility.

To the north of Longlier, German infantry and cavalry were advancing round the flank. A battalion of French infantry was deployed to try to cut them off. The French cavalry who had held part of the town from the start mounted up and moved out through the infantry lines to try to catch the German cavalry and sort it out.

We've made mistakes with the rules along the way, but the scenario is turning out to be good fun. Fog of War cards add something to the chaos without unbalancing the game, and the forces seem fairly evenly matched. Steve is showing his tricksy side with his flanking manoeuvres while I have focused on driving through the middle in best Viking berserker tradition. It's a shame that we cannot play more and finish it sooner but overall I think I have sold Steve on CDTOB now.


  1. What a beautiful table!! And great looking map too...

    1. Thank you. I continually try to improve my terrain. Sounds like I am getting somewhere! :) The map was made in Campaign Cartographer 3. My skill with the program is only slowly improving but the resources available for it and the products you can produce are brilliant.