French Strategies for 1936



  • Hello all, new player here and I was wondering what y’all do to inflict maximum casualties on the German player? Does France have any chance of surviving of the German assault? It seems to me a fortification in Paris paired with some artillery might help do some damage.

    As a sidebar, can the French use factories after Paris falls? I’m thinking no because they would have no supply path to a major factory and don’t have any home country left when operating from Africa/France.



  • @Slamhelsing
    I find a couple of AA guns can be useful. One in Paris and one in Picardy/Lorraine to ward off/snipe a German aircraft or two can be cost effective.
    A good spread of Militia especially in Paris and Lorraine can be good ablative wounds especially when they have a bunker/city bonus, a small stack of Inf and Art in Picardy seems to be a must but is probably just cannon fodder, add a couple of light armour or a Char B to Paris to give you some punch if IPP and time allows.
    Having a holding force of inf/art in Bordeux can be a good method of reducing the likelyhood of encirclement but this will come at the cost of Frontier or Paris defences. Bordeux being particularly effective because you will only be engaged by Blitzing forces and thus each wound you inflict will be more costly.

    It seems the chances of being able to repulse the German attack is slim and would have more to do with bad rolls and luck rather than a “fool proof” strategy. Maximizing the cost to German forces should be your main aim, that is what the above spend/deployment seeks to do.



  • @Slamhelsing
    Alternate take:
    It has been proposed that France could be effectively “abandoned” and many of the forces shipped out to Africa, gambling on most of them becoming Free French.
    Most of the forces in France will evaporate once Paris is taken/encircled so in an attempt to utilize these forces to a greater extent later, they could be shipped to sub saharan africa/syria in the Hope’s that these units become FF and can be used as auxiliary forces to shore up the British. The aircraft are particularly valuable in this respect as it would allow the Free French to launch limited offensives of their own against the likes of Italy.
    The obvious downsides are that you will be less likely to cause casualties to Germany in the battle for France and a 50% chance that they will all become Vichy anyway.
    But given that a German player can engineer their attack to result in negligible casualties anyway and the 50/50 gamble can be partially negated by a good spread in the re-deployment of the Forces it might well be worth a shot given the seductive possibility of having a useful Free French force in Africa in 1940.



  • @Dran-Black great reply, I’ve been completely overlooking AA, but I like the Africa idea. In the case of shipping forces to Africa, could you move them to one of the territories that can become the new French capitol to guarantee that they become FF?


  • 2018 2017 '16

    There is no guarantee that any of the French territories will become Free French. The only place one of their proposed capitals could be safe is London, but of course you can’t move any French units there until both them and the UK are at war. That’s why it’s important for the Germans to take France all in one turn. Well, that and so Britain doesn’t drop units into France.

    I did have one game where France survived the whole game but that was because Germany smashed Russia instead. It was a brilliant move by them though check it out;
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLXHm3hvGKezi3Skboy4wiUQciDYU_-sqb



  • @GeneralHandGrenade thanks for the clarification GHG, the smash Russia move sounds brilliant, considering France can’t attack the Germans for a full turn


  • 2018 2017 '16

    I had it pointed out to me last night that it’s a good idea for France to lend lease units on the first turn to Abyssinia to prevent Italy from taking it. If the Abyssinians can hold on there and continue to acquire units until Paris falls then the territory goes to France and is not subject to the Vichy roll. It automatically goes Free French. Whatever units are there are converted into Free French units and now you have a small force guaranteed in Africa. Just remember that the more units France sends there the less they have to sponge units off of Germany.



  • @GeneralHandGrenade after France moves capitols I’d the new one considered home territory? Or are they unable to build or use factories then because they would have no home country and no supply line to a major factory?


  • 2018 2017 '16

    @Slamhelsing No. Paris and the connecting French territories are still considered the home country of Free France.

    The rules are ambiguous when it comes to Version 2 of the rules regarding Free France. I would recommend that you start using the rules from Version 3 which are listed on HBG’s site in the Preorder section.

    In Version 3 You can specify any Free French Territory as their new capital. You can build a factory in any Free French territory that has a point value. Here’s what it says about their factories;
    Does not need a railway connection to Home Country. After acquiring a factory, may build anything on the Free French build chart.
    In Version 3 Free France has their own Reference Card which is separate from the France Reference Card.



  • @GeneralHandGrenade thank you for the clarification, I’ve been confused on that one



  • @GeneralHandGrenade
    Isnt it almost impossible to send troops to abyssinia. You need an open supply line to the territory and IIRC there are no rail or port links in Abyssinia.
    How can you manage to build the supply line and Lend Lease the Troops before the Italians easily overwhelm the territory?



  • @GeneralHandGrenade
    I do like the idea of securing Abyssinia as a guaranteed Free French redoubt especially if you were going to attempt the “Free French Roulette” strategy that I mention in the alternate take above.
    If you decide to effectively pull out and give Germany an easy ride, Lend Leasing a decent force to Abyssinia could give you a head start especially if the 50/50 breakdown of the “Roulette” goes well for the FF.


  • 2018 2017 '16

    @Dran-Black If you look on the V-3 map you’ll see that there is a Minor Port in French Somaliland and a railway from there to Abyssinia.



  • @GeneralHandGrenade
    Yes, I’ve just seen a decent closeup of the V3 map. Very interesting. Thanks for the tip.
    Makes for a far more interesting situation in East Africa.



  • @Slamhelsing Militia, as much as possible. Artillery and Infantry are good, maybe a couple AA guns. Have the UK locked and loaded to drop troops in France. Finally pray that Germany screws up.



  • @Dran-Black I’m not a huge fan of the Africa strategy. I’ve seen the Vichy rolls go horrible too many times.



  • @Broken-Mortar
    Oh I agree it’s a gamble and like any big gamble if it doesnt go your way it’s a bit of a disaster.
    But given that I’ve seen Germany take a pretty bulked out France with barely any losses, it’s something to be considered. And when comparing the two outcomes, leaves you in more or less the same place.
    However if the rolls do go your way, you can have a pretty effective fighting force capable of independent action in Africa or the Middle East.
    Something to consider at any rate. Especially if you fancy trying something different.



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