Wednesday, January 11, 2012

France '14 (HPS Simulations) - 20th Century Firepower, 19th Century Tactical Mobility

If you are about to start playing France '14, I'd recommend getting a good stomach for high casualties and lots of patience for your operations timetable.

The German XII Corps (grey counters at the right) advances towards Dinant. It's 8 o'clock of 22 August 1914.
These armies can kill wholesale, you just have to give them time to deploy.

For example, the screenshot above is from the Charleroi scenario (a fine scenario that deals with the fascinating story of a French army that found itself too extended forward). In a tiny corner of that scenario, Germany's XII Corps is advancing west towards Dinant. Deploying to attack this French position is challenging enough because the meandering Meuse river, the forested areas and that creek that cuts the axis of attack in half. But the most formidable obstacle is deploying my forces for the attack.

Fire support: MG company. It took me 4 hours of simulated time to move this unit towards the attack position and it will take another 2 hours of simulated time to deploy it. 
Fire support: field gun and field howitzer. 6 hours to move forward (including time for my own gaffe) and two hours to deploy. 

In the case of the field howitzer shown above, the fire missions are solved at the end of the turn, simulating the confusing early era of indirect fire support.

Concentrating enough firepower for an attack takes a lot of time, and the most important lesson would be "thou shalt not deploy your forces in vain".


No comments: