The Battle For Hannut

Flames of War "Total War" Scenario

Overview

On December 10th, 2011 seven friends from the BattleVault Gamers got togheter to play the "Hannut" Total War Scenario from Wargames Illsutrated 276. We felt that the Scenario, as presented in WI 276, was not fully developed so we went ahead and filled in some of the gaps.

French
C-in-C/Support Charles C.
Escadron de Combat Tom B.
Escadron de Fusiliers Ed H.

German
4th Panzer Div C-in-C Charles M.
4th Panzer Bde Don B.
4th Shutzen Bde Jon H.3rd Panzer Div C-in-C Tony T.
3rd Panzer Bde Tony T.

SPECIAL RULES

1. Support Forces. The Support forces are not a “company.” They have no company commander and its platoons may not use any other company commander for rerolls. The Support Forces do not take Company Morale checks. Company Comamnders can range in for any Support force artillery with the appropriate -1 modifier for “Not under Command.”

2. Higher Commanders. The French have one and the Germans have two Higher Command Teams. These Higher Command Teams may join any subordinate platoon from any force under their command. A Higher Command Team is an Infantry Pistol Team and with an armored transports (Panhard Radio Car for the French and SdKfz-251 for the Germans)

3. Stukas. One Day One the Germans have Priority (Schwerepunkt) Stuka support. One Day Two they have Limited Stuka Support.


ORDERS

German XVI ARMEEKORP

Your orders are to attack and breakthrough the French Corps De Cavalrie in the vicinity of Hannut in order pin down the French First Armee in Belgium while German forces in the south sweep thorough the Ardennes to cut of allied forces in Belgium.

French Corps De Cavalrie

Your orders are to defend in depth from Hannut east to the Gembloux in order to delay the German XVI ARMEEKORP and allow the French First Army time to prepare more deliberate defensive lines.

PREPARING FOR BATTLE

1. The French deploy the Escadron de Combat anywhere within 24” of the western egde of the board. The Escadron de Fusiliers deploy in the zone around Hannut. The French Support elements deploy anywhere from the main North-South road back to the west edged of the board. The Support Recon H39s and 47mm ATG may be deployed in ambush in that Support deployment area.

2. The Germans deploy the 4th Panzer Brigade within 12” of the eastern board edge and no close than 12” to the northern or southern board edges. The 4th Shutzen Brigade and the Day 1 support units deploy in reserve and enter from the eastern board edge.

3. The German 3rd Panzer Brigade and Day 2 Support are deployed in their entirety on turn 7 directly on the board no closer than 24” east of the most eastern French team.

BEGINNING THE BATTLE

1. Starting with the French both sides may make Reconnaissance Deployments.

2. The French start of in Prepared Positions and Gone-to-Ground.

3. The Germans have the first turn.

ENDING THE BATTLE

The battle ends when all of one sides non-support forces have broken or if Day 2 has ended. To determine Day 2 ending at the start of turn 13 roll a die. If it is a 5+ night has fallen and the battle is over. Add one more additional die at the beginning of each turn following turn 12 and if any is a 5+ the battle is over.

DECIDING WHO WON

One VP is gained for each turn that one of the six objectives is solely held by a side. The French can only get VPs for holding objectives 1, 2, and 3 on Day One, however they can still contest German control of those objectives on Day Two. The side earns the most VPs has won.

The game map with initial deployment areas

The game board before deployments. This view is looking North torwards the town of Hannut

The Action.

Ed deployed the French Infantry in and around Hannut itself with Recon Panhards deployed along the main North-South road. Tom had the French Armor Reserve already on the board while Charles deployed the artillery to the French rear and also ran a Souma unit covering the south bridge.

Initial French Deployments

The 4th Panzer Brigade and Corps Recon deployed to the East with Don in command of the Panzers, Charles M running the Support assets and with Jon H's Shutzen Ko in reserve off board.

In the initial turns the German Stukas, despite being priority support, failed to arrive. Likewise the German reserve rolls were not good, but nonetheless, Don slammed on with his Panzers.

Lead by the Soumas, the French armor arrived just as the 4th Bde Panzers assult into the city of Hannut.

Remarkably, the French defensive fire is completely ineffective and the "light" Panzers kill a few French Infantry teams and push back the lead platoon. They are now contesting the middle objective on the North-South road.

The "heavy" Panzers try to secure the objective (bridge) on the south of the North-South after destroying a Panhard patrol. The French tough already have a lead platoon of Soumas on hand to hold the objective.

The action gets furious! The French stabilize their right while the battle in the center of Hannut rages on! The Germans start getting reinforcements and choose to bring on fire support before their infantry.

Later Shutzen troops finally arrive and move mounted down the man East-West road. The French tanks, decide that after having a hard time actually killing the German Panzers that the truck mounted Shutzen might be a better target and they storm past the German Panzers to wreak havoc in the German rear.

Towards the end of Day 1(Turn 6) the 4th Panzer Bde finally clears the French infantry away from the city center of Hannut, however French tanks linger in the area to continue to contest the German foot hold in Hannut.

On Day 2, the remainder of all German forces including the German 3rd Panzer Bde and support arrive.

Now with a large superiority in tanks, the German Panzers of the 3rd and 4th Bdes drive past Hannut and deep into the French 2nd line of defense.

On the French 2nd line the 75mle French Guns switch to direct fire and give the Panzers a severe check. However, the French Infantry in Hannut have finally broken as well as the French tanks south of the town. This forces the French to have to give up the position around Hannut completer but they have held on long enough and withdraw with far Victory Points than the Germans managed to accumulate in the two days of battle. So the battle ends as a Tactical win for the Germans, but an Operational Victory one for the French as now the French 1st Army to the west will have time to dig in and prepare for the next Panzer onslaught.

This scenario was a lot of fun to play, and now that we’ve gone through it once we have some ideas to improve it for the next run!