As French defences had collapsed around the church, their whole battalion was quickly falling back to avoid being flanked. Kronthaler's recon platoon was hounding them and as soon as the tail element of the French battalion formed a defensive line, he ordered his men to attack. Enemy's force composition was unknown, but a hunch told Kronthaler that he might expect armour, too. So in addition to company's integral armoured car (SdKfz221), he was supported by a PanzerJäger I, whose 47mm gun should be able to penetrate almost any allied tank from the front. The French commander had chosen a good position for defence. Mostly open fields with a couple of stone buildings  - the defenders could conceal themselves in the heavy woods, anchoring both flanks. But, woods would also allow Germans to infiltrate on their right flank. That would hopefully keep the French attention on that flank, leaving the other flank open for a quick motorized attack on the 2 jump off points. At least that was Kronthaler's plan.

Situation after the patrol phase. French outplayed me, but I managed to keep him out of the centre buildings


These buildings would be the key to the victory - at least so I thought.

Even the best plans fall apiece quite quickly - the leading SdKfz221 reported that an enemy tank, Char Bis to exact, was sighted. By some miracle the poor armoured car actually survived a direct hit from the monster and scooted to the relative safety of the houses. This threw a major wrench to the German plans, as the tank dominated the centre of the area, forcing my infantry to skulk in woods.

Advancing through the woods, French player left his middle section overwatching in very precarious position.

Meanwhile the flanking section, reinforced with Feldwebel was slowly trundling through the woods, making absolutely certain to stay out of sight. Going was very slow, but section pretty much locked the French flank in place. In the centre, the French point section decided to wait for the Char Bis to clear enemy armour before occupying the central buildings, this gave the Germans an opportunity for an audacious rapid deployment via half track mounted section. SdKfz251 advanced forwards pedal to the floor, using the buildings as a shield against the enemy tank. French infantry took the bait of a lone lmg team harassing their flank from the woods and stood in the open, allowing the central German section to secure the houses - they had no intention to go inside while the tank was prowling the area, just to deny fortified position to the enemy.

Houses denied, one lmg team manning the halftrack.


A decoy team keeps the French occupied.

French countered this by moving the Char Bis laterally to a better position - the steel monster showed it flank for a moment and Germans grabbed the opportunity, deploying a PanzerJäger I - the puny self-propelled AT-gun had enough punch to take out the monster from the side. Unfortunately the first shot glanced harmlessly off the armour. The steel monster started to turn and Germans used a precious CoC dice to interrupt. The second shot barely hit, but scored 5 penetrations, of which Char Bis countered only 1. 4 net hits and the steel beast exploded - in the middle of French infantry, knocking several of them senseless. This was the beginning of the end.

Two shots, one kill!

And this is why infantry should stay away from tanks. Meanwhile, Germans rush the building and start wondering where all the windows went..


The German middle section immediately rushed to the house and opened fire on the French troops, now in the open - the French middle was now effectively pinned and flanking troops started their advance. Few phases of grenades shocked the French troops guarding the hilltop, SdKzf251 routed the Hotchkiss mmg and Feldwebel gave the order "Handgrenaten!" and the flanking section charged in. French fought well, taking their number down, but superior numbers did the trick and French morale reached 0.

And it ended with grenades and bayonets.

This was quite a blow to the French player; he lost the VB team, one full section with JL and remains of another section. Poor platoon leader got a carpet parade from the battalion commander. Fortunately little birds say that the British troops nearby are not sitting idle, but preparing to attack the German flank..

One of those games, where one roll of dice decided everything. We had pretty much a stalemate on the German right flank, with neither side being able to do much else that taking pot shots. Rest of the map was open, so advancing without smoke would have been bloody, particularly as the French had a mmg available. I had been planning a rapid flanking manoeuvre with halftrack and 221, but the enemy heavy tank pretty much prevented that. The Char Bis closed the centre, so I was already thinking of withdrawal, when opportunity presented itself in the shape of Char Bis' flank. A game decided by one shot. The French player's new motto apparently is "A German inside a house is a bad German."