Saturday 14 August 2021

Gembloux Gap 2: Noirmont

 The culvert game, the whole point I built my two culverts a few weeks ago in the hope I would get here, so last night Matt and I settled down to our second game after 3rd Panzer took the village of Perbais. Here at Noirmont the French defenders had to blow two culverts to slow down the panzers as they cut a swathe through Belgium, in game terms if the Poilu's were successful they would cut the German turns for victory down from ten to eight, so quite a bit at stake for both sides.

Due to losses two of my squads were down to eight men and one to nine, so this time I took an extra squad for support along with an MG34 on a tripod and my very successful last time 75mm infantry gun. Matt had a new platoon but not many support points so took an extra demolition squad and a Panhard armoured car. My plan was to make the southern culvert untenable by dropping as much lead as possible on anyone near it thus preventing the French from taking two turns from me. Matt of course wanted to blow both and retire.

The Germans moved first and got a double phase, I was very happy and sent two squads racing towards the southern culvert, for some daft reason I did not put my infantry gun on my left but put it on my right where it could not target the culvert, I did however put the MMG on my left. The French duly turned up and set to blowing up the westerly culvert, the easy one, a full squad then took up a position on the road out of LOS of my advancing schutzen. Despite putting the artillery in the wrong place they took a shot at the rifle grenade team and wiped it out leaving the Junior Leader to wander aimlessly in the rear for the rest of the game, my morale climbed. We now had a bit of a Mexican stand off, can you say that now, anyway I got my two squads into a position on overwatch waiting for a chance to rush the defenders, one I would put in the house while the other took the punishment on the way in, the result I hoped would favour my boys when they retaliated. I then could not get the command dice I needed so brought on a Senior Leader to help but Matt then got a double phase and punished me, eventually wiping out my squad in the open and leaving my Junior Leader to wander on his own, my morale fell.

 I now woke up and sent a flanking squad along on my right and let my MMG loose on the Frenchies who had now managed to get a second squad up to cover the second team of engineers as they ran for the southern culvert, in the background a large explosion put paid to the westerly crossing, with the Panhard only just making it off the culvert as it went up. Sacre Bleu!

 Just as things were looking very good for Matt, I managed to end the turn and get another phase, I rushed the house, threw grenades and opened up on the French cowering behind it, this was a great success and with oodles of shock the Group de Combat routed, French morale was now looking dodgy, but could they win enough time to get the second lot of explosives to blow. Sadly for France it was a no, the German fire now swept the French lines and again morale plummeted as men ran for the rear, Matt was forced to retire sans culvert as they say.

  A very tight game this time, despite my good luck during the opening phases the tide turned against me and things looked extremely worrying, then the pendulum swung back and the French suffered a catastrophic round which prompted Matt to withdraw. I have another CoC game on Tuesday at the club against Rob's US Paras in the Ardennes with my Volksgrenadiers, this will be a hard fight for me I think.

At the club this week I took Wings of War for a quick throw down game, there were four of us and the idea was that a British two seater had to photograph a target behind German lines and return with some decent photographs which would lead to a second mission with an artillery spotter over the target to ensure its destruction. The two seater in both cases would have three Scouts for an escort, the Germans would have four Scouts in an effort to take down the Recce and Spotter planes. The forces were chosen at random, I got two Albatross DVa and Simon a Fokker DVII and a Pfalz DIII, Dan got the two seater RE8 along with a Sopwith Camel and Rob got two Camels.

 The priority for Simon and I was obviously the Recce aircraft in the first game and in this we failed miserably, in the maelstrom of the dogfight we had to spend more time trying not to collide with each other than firing at the enemy, we lost three Scouts and when the RE8 got back to base with barely a scratch his photographic efforts proved successful so the next one up was the artillery spotter.

 As the RFC closed with us things again took a wrong turn for me, one unlucky Albatross very quickly spun earthward while the other put up a bit of a better fight, Simon also managed to last longer than I did. Once again the dogfight proved very confusing and several times gun jams saved the life of the RE8 as our Scouts closed in. It was all in vain however as once again we fell prey to the RFC. A couple of exciting games but very one sided as Lady Luck favoured the British, I was particularly unlucky and rubbish, I don't think the RFC lost one plane in both games, an unusual occurrence for this great littlegame.

What else, well I have at last finished my latest kit, a British truck from Rubicon, nothing fancy just a plain troop carrier and a very nice model it is too. On the cards are a bunch of Refugees from 1st Corps as I do not have Jump Off Points for my French and thought some little groups of refugees would work, they can also double up in other games when not being used as JOP's. I think I shall also add a few more leaders to my WWII forces, for some reason I seemed to keep losing them in the midst of yesterdays battle despite having them all sorted before we began.

 So, some thought now on what supports I can bring to Tuesday night's game.


  1. George, thanks again for hosting a fab looking game! It really was a good fun, close fought, ding dong battle that came right down to the wire. The patrol phase went pretty much as I’d planned, but as you say the early part of the game went your way. Then things were looking very good for “Belle France”. But a sudden comeback by your lads carried the day for you. If only I’d remembered my Francs Tireurs earlier ๐Ÿ˜‚ Looking forward to the Blitz on Villeroux!

  2. You are welcome mate, great night.

  3. George, I love the look of your CoC game! Great visuals including your fab map. Engaging storytelling too! Congrats on the victory!

    1. Thanks Jonathan, can't take credit for the map, I only put a few things on top. I want to do something like that but too busy with the other maps for now.

  4. I think that's the closest I have seen the French come too blowing both culverts. Gotta love Wings of War for a fun interlude. Nice looking truck too old chap.

    1. I really messed up not putting my infantry gun on the left, gave me a fright as well. Thanks Phil.

  5. As you know I loathe Lard rules, but I do enjoy looking at your lovely games. WoW is a grand fun game as Phil says. The truck is fine too. Looking forward to seeing your refugees!

  6. Thanks David, I also have an extra squad of Frenchies on the way. So much for slowing down.