Free France Campaign

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conboy
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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by conboy » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:32 pm

Bru,

Thank you for the compliment.

The Liberation of Paris would end the campaign in spectacular fashion! Good luck with the campaign -- I look forward to playing it.

conboy

ps - My reading and investigating did not extend beyond the US 3d Infantry Division, so whatever French involvement I depicted is only coincidental with that aspect.

I did find it interesting to read about the dichotomy of the French Forces of the Interior and Colonial factions.

ColonelY
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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:48 pm

bru888 wrote:
Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:13 pm
Conboy, for now, Erik and I have decided to end the campaign with the Liberation of Paris. We kicked around those later battles in which the French fought in late 1944 and 1945, but they seem anti-climactic and questionable as to how much of a role the French played in them. You indirectly support that assessment with the low profile that the French have in your excellent late-war scenarios.

:shock: Ouch, ouch, beware of polemics! :wink: :D


:!: An (automatic) translation of this wiki page (which has a corresponding page under wiki only :o in German or Polish), https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/1re_arm%C ... _août_1944, gives us:

"The 1st French army is the name given to the military units placed under the orders of General de Lattre de Tassigny and assigned to the liberation of French territory.

It was first known as the 2nd Army (26 December 1943) and then as Army B from 23 January 1944. It was only in September 1944 that it was officially called the 1st French Army. It was nicknamed Rhine and Danube because of its victories on the Rhine and Danube between 31 March and 26 April 1945.

It is the main component of the French Liberation Army
."


:arrow: This French Army, therefore, is essentially the troops that took part in Operation Dragoon... before continuing the fight against the Germans. :wink:

For this army component to have been "nicknamed Rhine and Danube because of its victories on the Rhine and the Danube between 31 March and 26 April 1945" :D , it is indeed that its role was trully not at all anecdotal!


If I understood well, conboy discovered the participation of the Frenchies but did not go into too many "details" concerning them since his magnificent campaign is anyway focused on one American Division. Moreover, it seems to me that conboy does not take a position on a possible "low profile" :? but seems to me to simply support the fact that it is not necessarily easy to obtain precise informations related to those Frenchies at that time... :wink:


:idea: By the way, the last wiki link contains two interesting maps, here are the links :wink: :
Rhine and Danube, March 31st - April 19th 1945: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... emberg.png
Rhine and Danube, 20 April - 7 May 1945: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ ... triche.png

:arrow: Look at these maps, zooming in a little: It is (quite) clear that there (also) the French have really done their job! :D

bru888
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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Tue Jun 30, 2020 8:18 pm

I read you, Colonel. As I said a couple of times, I don't mean to disparage the French participation in these battles or in the war in general. If I did mean to do so, I wouldn't be here designing a campaign about them! I mentioned earlier that by 1945, French forces amounted to somewhere over a million men and women. Of course their force was formidable by then.

It's just three things:
1) We, well to be honest, more I than Erik, wanted to avoid competing with conboy and his great scenarios of Tholy, Strasbourg, and Colmar.
2) We have a hell of a lot of work ahead of us already with 18 scenarios to be built, and
3) It just struck me, and I convinced Erik, that the Liberation of Paris would be a swell dénouement for the campaign!

Now, here's the thing. As usual, Erik has done a bunch of groundwork already. He swings the project over to me and I embellish like crazy (although some scenarios here I will be developing from scratch). This then becomes my version. I send it back to him and he is in charge of the official version from that point forward.

If Erik wants to add late-1944 and 1945 scenarios to it at that time, that will be his prerogative. I might even beg to offer a Battle of Authion scenario which is the only regret that I have at this point; occurring in April 1945, it could not be added after Liberation of Paris without a very profound feeling of anticlimax. If Erik goes ahead with those late-1944 and 1945 scenarios, however, it wouldn't be anticlimactic as much and might make for a decent campaign ending.

Let us get the first 18 scenarios done and out there so you guys can have some fun!
- Bru

ColonelY
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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:12 pm

No worries, you've been understood. :D

Yes, first things first, and 18 scenarios, it's already something, that's for sure! 8)

I'm convinced this campaign will just be awesome. :D That's why I'm not afraid to say (or write, actually :lol: ): "Thanks in advance!"

By the way, I'm from time to time really surprised how different language versions of the "same" wikipedia page can differ sometimes... :? But that's another topic! :wink:


Come on, cheers up, keep up the good work. :D

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Wed Jul 01, 2020 12:40 am

Please stay tuned, Colonel, because I will be posting questions and updates here periodically.
- Bru

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Wed Jul 01, 2020 6:02 am

Okay! :D

I don't have all the answers, of course, but I'll try to do my best. 8)

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:26 pm

I just purchased this when I realized how skimpy the Wikipedia article is on this topic. I will read it in the background while I am working on other scenarios so that by the time I get to Operation Jedburgh, I will be up to speed.

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"Operation Jedburgh was a clandestine operation during World War II, in which personnel of the British Special Operations Executive, the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, the Free French Bureau Central de Renseignements et d'Action ("Central Bureau of Intelligence and Operations") and the Dutch and Belgian Armies were dropped by parachute into occupied France, the Netherlands and Belgium to conduct sabotage and guerrilla warfare, and to lead the local resistance forces in actions against the Germans."
- Bru

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 8:43 pm

Progress! All 18 scenarios have been created and linked in the campaign editor. With one exception (Operation Lila Denied), they are all shells at this point but, we are moving ahead!

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- Bru

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:42 am

The campaign is done! Heh, I mean, the shell is done. Now for the scenarios.

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- Bru

Erik2
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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by Erik2 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:48 am

Madagascar is probably 2 scenarios, Operation Ironclad and Operation Stream Line Jane

BTW, should I move those scenarios that I'm not planning to do any work on (for now) to the '_Ready for Bru' folder?

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 1:04 pm

Erik2 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:48 am
Madagascar is probably 2 scenarios, Operation Ironclad and Operation Stream Line Jane
See previous post where I eliminated Madagascar completely because it did not involve Free France forces. You can always add it later if you wish.
Erik2 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 7:48 am
BTW, should I move those scenarios that I'm not planning to do any work on (for now) to the '_Ready for Bru' folder?
I already squirreled some scenarios (highlighted) from the "Free French Fries" folder. That looks like it was premature, but I was sure that you said to look in there at some point. No matter; it's a timely question in that I am just about to embark on Dakar. So yes, would you please put your preliminary versions of scenarios in the "_Ready for Bru" folder now?

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Here's what I am anticipating/planning as of now:

ERIK TEMPLATES:
01Dakar
04Keren
05OperationExporter
06BirHakeim(?)
08RaceForTunis
12OperationVesuvius
17OperationDragoon

PREVIOUS SOURCES:
07SecondElAlamein
09OperationLilaDenied
16FalaisePocket

BRUCE ORIGINAL DESIGNS:
02Gabon
03Kufra
10Reunion
11Normandie-Niemen
13OperationDiadem
14OperationJedburgh
15InvasionOfElba
18LiberationOfParis
- Bru

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by Erik2 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:14 pm

Done.
I may create a couple of multiplayer scenarios of the two Madagascar ones.
Nothing goes to waste :wink:

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:31 pm

Thanks. Proceeding. A pleasure not to have to deal with dense forest and ski troops!
- Bru

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 2:42 pm

Nice Dakar template. Much work in this already. Note: I intend only FF core units. Even for them, it's a stretch that the same core units would be serving in Africa, Middle East, France, Germany etc. but I figured the player always enjoys handling his core units in a campaign. Everybody else will be aux, however.

I will fill out the text and tinker with objectives as usual. I will also calculate the RPs. Regarding SPs, I mapped those out over the campaign (rather meager number of specialisations for the FF; only 11, but I schemed the SP rate per scenario to accommodate; 5 to start and 4 after 17 scenarios is enough to ultimately buy all with maybe some +1 bonuses along the way to allow earlier adoption).
- Bru

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:21 pm

Dakar: Aside from the usual fluff duff that I contribute, I am going to add a secondary objective to take some outlying villages "to secure the perimeter" or something. Here is the issue: Nice, big, well-made map but with the objectives being only "Capture Rufisque" and "Capture Dakar," 90% of it will not be used. Besides, a good commander would want to ensure that there were not any significant Vichy forces in outlying areas, just in case. (There will be.)

By the way, Colonel, Erik did a good job of following your unit name suggestions such as "13ème demi-brigade de Légion étrangère." The problem with this is, if that is a core unit, then it's going to look funny (and historically out of place) in other theaters of the war as the unit gets carried forward.

My thinking is this: Either go ALL aux (including FF), or go with more general names that are specific enough to stand out and be remembered but will not tie the units to specific regions and times. So here is a poll: All Aux units allowing fancy names or FF Core with less detailed nomenclature?
- Bru

ColonelY
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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Sat Jul 04, 2020 6:49 am

bru888 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:21 pm
[...] Either go ALL aux (including FF), or go with more general names that are specific enough to stand out and be remembered but will not tie the units to specific regions and times. So here is a poll: All Aux units allowing fancy names or FF Core with less detailed nomenclature?
Well, that's a concern, indeed. It's always nice to have some Core units to manage, but you can't let all historical traces disappear either.

:arrow: So I would vote for the second option: a less detailed nomenclature, but a nomenclature all the same! :wink:
But by the way, not ALL FF units have to be Core units, right? From time to time, few or even several of them may appear as Aux, which also gives designers more "naming flexibility".


Especially since there is another point: the precise nomenclature of the same unit/formation has sometimes varied during the war, to simplify all. :lol:

One can for example remember General Tassigny's Army B, as well as the famous Leclerc's Column. :wink:

But also on a smaller scale:
Following the losses suffered by the "1er Bataillon d'Infanterie de Marine" (BIM) and the "Bataillon du Pacifique" (BP1) during the siege and exit of Bir Hakeim, General Koenig decided to merge the two units into the "Bataillon d'Infanterie de Marine et du Pacifique" (BIMP).

What should be done in this case with possible Core units called BIM and BP1? :? Simply disband them? (Doing so will let them anyway in our "Dead units" pool, I think...)
Last edited by ColonelY on Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:02 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:01 am

bru888 wrote:
Fri Jul 03, 2020 9:21 pm
Dakar: [...] I am going to add a secondary objective to take some outlying villages "to secure the perimeter" or something. Here is the issue: Nice, big, well-made map but with the objectives being only "Capture Rufisque" and "Capture Dakar," 90% of it will not be used. [...]
Yes, indeed, some sec obj would be welcome, for sure! 8)

But, moreover, for this scenario, together with several events, I had already proposed several objectives (and relatively historical for the very least!): :D
ColonelY wrote:
Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:30 pm
8) BATTLE PLAN:
The plan of the operation envisages three hypotheses: Happy (peaceful rallying), Sticky (uncertain with symbolic resistance) and Nasty (organized resistance). The disembarkation, in order to neutralize the resistance on land and occupy Dakar, is organised according to three possible plans: William (bridgehead in Rufisque); Rufus (bridgehead in Hann then Ouakam) and Conqueror (combination of the 2 previous ones). A fourth, "Charles", proposed by Hettier de Boislambert, provides for the landing of the Free French forces at Rufisque as part of the Nasty plan.

Well, clearly, it’s the “Nasty” hypothesis that’s happening! So, a landing at Rufisque, the neutralization of the resistance on land and then moving “inland” towards Dakar in order to occupy it, all this under the cover of the Royal Navy and the available airplanes.
-----------------------------------
OBJECTIVES:
PRIMARY:
- Secure the Rufisque’s landing (by capturing few locations around the landing zone, including Rufisque; ‘could then be rewarded eventually by the spawning of 2 or 3 Volunteer Fighters units…*)
- Don’t let our General sink (so protect the Westerland… and maybe as well the Pennland?)
- Take Dakar (by capturing few locations within the city or its immediate surroundings) -> this should end directly the scenario (which should by the way be a medium to long one, for it is quite complete)

SECONDARY:
- Do not lose any British battleship or carrier (otherwise they won’t be happy, for sure; historically, one of the two British battleships was severely damaged)
- Sink at least two enemy submarines (2 over 4; historically two of them were sunk; at that time they were really dangerous because difficult to locate… so, to avoid casualties…)
- Destroy at least two fortresses (2 over 3; historically, they were all silenced… they can shot inland anyway, so in order to secure the advance of our troops…)

*This was expected by de Gaulle, really, so could definitely have happened… The cause of the Free France had many sympathizers, General de Gaulle was ready to welcome them heartfully and has even brought food for them (there was a food shortage around Dakar at that time – it’s strictly historical)

And we know that there is a fourth submarine which should be spawned on the last day of the battle…

And, speaking of spawning, a last idea: :idea:

One could maybe even add something like this: Use the famous Dakar-Niger railroad to spawn reinforcements on train, moving towards Dakar to strengthen its garrison… one unit at a time, each X turns… Then one could add a last secondary objective to stop this by capturing one or two flag hexes on this railroad.

We could see maybe the first train passing by just after the first troops have landed, then an event talking about this and setting a new objective…

For immersive sake, I could be awesome. And with the capture hexes not far away from Rufisque anyway (because this famous railway passes near Rufisque and because keeping part of it should be enough to prevent the enemy from using it to get to Dakar.), it shouldn’t be too much of an issue for the player. (And if it’s a little tricky to trigger, then it could be just one real unit in train then no more anyway… although it wouldn’t be optimal.)
Again, it could have happened, so why not?
:arrow: So, possible objectives related to enemy submarines and fortresses, to allied warships, to our leader not far away which must be protected (it's strictly historical!) and to a railway to (first partly) control in order to prevent the enemy to gain some (or too much!) reinforcements... That will directly add some more depth and flavor to this scenario! :D

If it happens, then the "Volunteer Fighters", or "Partisans" maybe, even if of course FF, should here of course start/stay as Aux units anyway, right? :wink:


Now I'm thinking that taking Dakar shouldn't end directly the scenario, for there are sec obj to achieve as well... And about the fortresses, one could add a time limit, a "before turn XYZ" or something... :wink:

I totally agree with your concept of securing "the perimeter", but it's starts clearly by securing "the Rufisque’s landing"... Then there could be another bunch of locations to control on our way towards Dakar!

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:35 am

So, for instance about the "13ème demi-brigade de Légion étrangère"... it could appear maybe via a more generic "13e LE" (thus forgetting on purpose about the "DB"-aspect!) and then eventually with some numbers/letters to differentiate between our units if there are more than one in the game that represent/compose this military formation.

Like this, a "13e LE" is less likely to look "fancy" in future scenarios... :D

Then, there may be somehow a scaling issue. :? Let's say that 3 or 4 infantry units are about to compose the "13e LE" in the Dakar scenario... if these 3 or 4 units are all Core, then this "13e LE" could perhaps be over-represented in future scenarios involving many more military formations. That's why I think one could definitely use both Core and Aux units even for the FF in this campaign. :wink:

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by ColonelY » Sat Jul 04, 2020 9:03 am

:D Hey, I've just got another idea, as in the 2nd scenario (Gabon) there are (or should be at least) few British ships to support the operation... :idea: The sec obj "Do not lose any British battleship or carrier" (Dakar) could come together with the loss/non-apparition of the British ships in the next scenario in case of failure!?

So, as obj description, then maybe something like "If you fail, the British will probably be less inclined to entrust you with some of their ships as support in the future!" will do the trick? :D


Like this it may be more immersive, for there would be some consequences...

:arrow: And then it will be necessary to do enough damage to enemy fortresses quickly (remember the "before turn XYZ" or something! :wink: ), while managing the presence of enemy ships and planes so as not to suffer too many naval losses either... That should be interesting! :D

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Re: Free France Campaign

Post by bru888 » Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:27 pm

I learned from Erik how players love their core units, even in single scenarios, not to mention campaigns. They want the capability of upgrading core units or resurrecting dead ones; they like their accumulating experience over the course of the campaign; and there is a challenge in trying to keep favorites "alive" (i.e., never having them killed in the first place). So there must be a Free France core (although some special FF units can indeed be auxiliary).

But this is the arc of this unusual campaign: From West Africa to North Africa to East Africa to Syria, back to North Africa, to southern France, to the Indian Ocean, (skip Normandie-Niémen because that will be all air units), to the Mediterranean, to Italy, to northern France, back to the Mediterranean, back to northern France, back to southern France, and then finally the City of Light! (I had a feeling when I started that sentence that it would wind up looking ridiculous but I was determined to finish it! :) )

This means I must come up with a unit nomenclature that is non-specific but memorable to the player. I will do my best.
- Bru

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