Sunday, 15 November 2020

Forges Rail Yard Turns 1-6

 The Battle for Forges Rail Yard

13th August 1944

This is a fictional tabletop game based on the actions of various elements of the French 2nd Armoured Division in its attempt to close the Falaise Pocket in Augsut 1944. My first attempt at a solo game out here in Spain.

Groupement Mobile Alucard (a fictional element made up just for this game) is tasked to clear and seize the industrial area and rail yards south west of the town of Forges to secure this the right hand flank of the division to support further advances.

Groupe Alucard consists of tanks and armoured infantry supported by artillery, some engineers, tank destroyers and recce units.

They face a motley collection of survivors from the German 728th Infantry Regiment battered and exhausted, but still capable of some sort of defence.

My table looking toward Forges

Looking from Forges towards the French advance

The rail yard

More general views

German aid station

German HQ

French forces

Tanks, engineers & tank destroyers

Recce and armoured infantry

Command plus sp anti aircraft

My kit bashed 40mm sp (a vehicle unique to 2Dble)

German defenders

9th panzer counter attack

Turn 1

The French decide to make a three pronged advance, dividing their command along the road/rail line plus two cross country columns all mixed armour/infantry.

lt tanks leading on the right hand flank 

recce down the road

Tank destroyers and infantry on the left

Turn 2

German FOO calls down artillery onto the leading recce elements

Gets through and the first salvo brackets the lead vehicles, wiping out the Jeep and heavily damaging the M20

One the left the infantry dismount and prepare to cross the road and attack the factory, supported by the M10s, a Sherman and the M4 HTMC, the engineer halftrack advances forward so its platoon can dismount and support this attack too.

On the right the lead amoured infantry dismount and prepare to advance on the farm supported by the light tanks and a Sherman

Turn 3 more German artillery (ineffective), the French FOO calls down fire against the obvious FOO perch - the water tower (misses)

The infantry on the right move across the road, immediately they come under LMG fire and take casualties.

Return fire is devastating

2 x 76mm TDs, a Sherman`s 75, 2 rounds of 81mm mortar, at least 2 .50 cal HMGs plus rifles, and a BAR.

On the right the infantry cross the road unopposed except for an odd sniper round, the farm is empty!

Command elements of the French arrive on tabletop

Turn 4

The artillery dual continues the Germans bracket the lead Shermans but fail to score hits or damage, the French hit and bring down the water tower, a huge stroke of bad luck for the Germans sees it fall on the 20mm Flak position wiping out the gun....

emplaced 20mm in the rail yard


On the left the French infantry move into the factory and are engaged by German infantry 

On the right the German sniper scores his first kill!

Turn 5

The German artillery falls silent, the French assume they`ve got the FOO and the Shermans on the road move forward. They are immediately fired on by the Pak97/38 which hits but fails to penetrate, at this point my almost legendary curse of the anti tank gun kicks in and it is spotted and obliterated in return.....

But the Germans quickly got their revenge and a hidden panzerfaust claims the leading Sherman although the firer is instantly gunned down too.

On the left the infantry supported by engineers clear the factory building, but also engage other Germans among the bombed out biuldings

On the right the sniper claims his second victim, but is finally spotted and killed

Turn 6 

Much to the surprise of the French and i`m sure to the Germans too, the Luftwaffe makes a rare appearance and performs a strafing run down the road. it hits but fails to cause any casualties in the command half track. The SP 40mm Bofors actually rolled a misfire and the two .50cals which also fired at the Me109 both failed to hit anything at all..........


The Shermans in the centre want infantry support before risking anymore panzerfaust shots, so hold.

On the right the lt tanks, now joined by a Sherman and a couple of platoons of infantry begin to move forward toward the wrecked engine.

On the left an M10 and a Sherman break into the factory grounds to help clear the stubborn German defenders.

At this point I decided to call it a day, playing solo has created issues I hadn`t considered - obviously I`m moving all the pieces and rolling all the dice for both sides. Also as always with our games I`m taking notes and the photos. Trying to be "non omnipotent" and NOT pre-judge tactical moves, was more time consuming than I has previously guessed. 

I will continue this later this week.


  1. Great stuff Richard, the table is fab and a nice report!


    1. Cheers Matt, Thanks for commenting, trying solo gaming for the first time in over 25yrs - a trail and error experiment.

      I`m pleased with the general look of the table, I wish I could build/paint better, but I simply can`t - that is life eh :)

  2. Really good AAR, Richard. Or perhaps, not so much an *after* action report, but from the sound of it a *live* action report and photos! I'm looking forward to the next episode ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜Š

    1. Yes a bit more complicated than taking notes whist the other players make their moves.......

  3. Great to see the "Action Report" mojo in full flow and thanks for sharing on Sotcw website. I shall look forward to part2. You might want to leave this game up, (after you complete it) and replay as the French, and letting the Threat Generation system (TGS) take control of the Germans. You would need some index cards, one for each unit, but it may create "unexpected" activity that keeps you on your toes as the French player. TGS involves bit more work than your system above, but creates some fog of war, which this kind of attack / defend in close terrain lends itself too. I shall stay tuned. TGS may not be your cup of tea, but you may find yourself creating a new version of TGS that gets you hooked in solo play situations. All best CarlL (sotcw)

    1. Cheers Carl, this is all a bit trial and error at the mo (maybe I should have started smaller?) I haven`t solo gamed since before Debbie moved to Wales (26yrs or so ago). I`m still working through the kinks, and obviously documenting/photographing and finally posting everything takes a fair bit of time - but hey ho, no pain no gain as they say :)

  4. Really great looking game Richard. I think tables are just righht when they have this amount of terrain on. Gives you plenty of tactical options in play.



    1. Thanks Pete, I am quite pleased with the cluttered look, lots of sight restrictions and blind spots which need to be assessed and covered :)


  5. You made some really good points there about the blog commenting at an advanced level. Thanks for sharing!
    Very good blog article. Really looking forward to read more. Really Great!.