Decisive Campaigns: Case Yellow - May 11, 1940 - Strategy Questions
|A Belgian defensive line forms as reinforcing Belgian forces move eastwards. Also visible, BEF air assets as I deploy them to the east to cover Belgian forces and screen the BEF advance.|
I am playing as France, Britain, Netherlands and Belgium against the Germans. I know very little about the Fall of France and find myself worrying about repeating the mistakes that were made. I am struggling with a number of strategic decisions and trying to correct some things that I found at the start of the campaign.
The big questions:
1. Where should he British Expeditionary Force deploy? The obvious choice looking at the situation map is in the north where the Dutch are getting creamed by the Germans. However it wouldn't take much for them to get cutoff by advancing German forces pushing through Belgium. Right now I've hesitated deploying them and they are forming up on the plains east of Antwerp.
2. Have I shortened my lines enough in Belgium to avoid having my forward formations (Cavalry Corps) from being enveloped by advancing Panzers? I've pulled back Cavalry Corps some from it's forward positions and also strengthened the Waal River Canal at Maastricht but I still have gaping holes in the sector covered by the Cavalry Corps. I am moving French forces in behind them but will it be enough to stall the German advance.
|The Cavalry Corps is hard pressed from the beginning by German forces that have crossed the Belgian border.|
3. Will a defense in depth prevent the deployment of German Parachute divisions behind my lines? I have no idea if this game's AI is capable of attacking this way but I don't want to find out the hard way. I am setting up three layers of defense. And I should say one of the reasons the Dutch are in such trouble was the parachute attacks to the rear of the Dutch line at Zaltbommel.
4. Is it possible to blow up enough bridges to funnel the German advance into terrain where I have strong defensive positions and an advantage in forces? Will I ever have a force advantage on this battlefield?!?
|This demolition attempt failed but Dutch and Belgian engineers have managed to bring down two bridges including one to bottle up the German Parachutists at Zaltbommel in Holland.|
7. And finally is there any way to save the Dutch from extinction? Can I withdraw their forces into a stronger defensive shell before the German blitzkrieg gets in behind them?
On May 11 as the Allied commander these are the big questions I am grappling with. I believe there wasn't really a unified command in 1940 and looking at how things stand now on my virtual battlefield, not having the complete picture would make it impossible to stop the Germans (and having the complete picture, it still might be impossible!). Not to mention I have no attachment to the battlefield and can make strategic decisions about giving up terrain to the advancing Germans that politically would have been unacceptable for the various high commands.
Anyway this VR Designs game Decisive Campaigns: Blitzkrieg Warsaw to Paris is a ton of fun. Once you get the hang of things there is great depth to the gameplay, great action and lots of operational decisions. This is my favorite game these days.