France 1

AAR: John Tiller’s France 40 – Half Day’s Hard Work

June 12, 2020
1 min read

I am an aggressive player. Committing all of my troops without reserves to overwhelm the enemy is my signature move. A bad signature move. Not surprisingly I had to pay a heavy price for such acts. However, this makes for an interesting PBEM face-off with an opponent when I took up as France defending Belgium in John Tiller’s France 40 scenario, A Day’s Hard Work.

My goal was fending off against an overwhelming German might while protecting several key VP locations. The good news is most of the towns were separated by bridges. Wired bridges. So I called on my engineers to prepare to blow up the bridge while I evacuated my armored divisions which proves almost futile. As my last steel beast rolled across the bridge, my engineers barged in to tell me they could not blow up because it was a wired bridge. And since I couldn’t figure out these new mechanics. I tasked them to lay mines on my side of the bridge for any brave incoming Nazis who dare cross.

France 3 1068x680 1
Orp le Grand, Belgium, 13th May 1940: After the initial setbacks at Hannut, the XVI Armee Korps’ widespread units arrived during the night of May 12th, and rested until mid-morning the next day. An attack was planned, using both 3rd and 4th Panzer divisions, to break through the French north-south defensive line, with 3rd Pz in the north and 4th Panzer on their left in the south. It was a hard half-day of work.

Outnumbered and outgunned, I chose to pull back all of the divisions to shore up my defenses around critical junctions and locations such as roads for faster reinforcements and behind rivers which proved to be extremely useful! My opponent pressed hard against my northern divisions but was abruptly stopped by my concentrated fire, eliminating one of their tank divisions.

The southern divisions weren’t so lucky, like dominoes, division after division were disrupted, wavered, and broke. I managed to save the majority of them by rotating them with fresh troops snatched from the nearest town. By mid-game all of the town only had artillery guns as their “protection” This was absolutely needed to sustain my large defense lines against the Nazis!

In the end, my opponent was able to take a small town called Wansin in the center worth 25 points. Despite only losing one town, my men had to pay a heavy cost of 1400 men while the Nazis lost only a fifth. Thankfully it was not enough to win the game for my opponent. Rewarding me with a major victory.

France 2
My first PBEM victory in France 40

If you are interested in the invasion of France or the Dunkirk evacuation. You may read my short review of Dunkirk Fight To The Last Man by High Sebag-Montefiore.


I am saddened that my opponent in this game, Dan Canavan, had passed away from COVID-19. He will be deeply missed and I am glad we shared a game together.

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Max Chee

Max Chee considers himself an avid wargamer, which inspired him to create this site. He has a burning passion for history and advocates computer wargaming for the masses. He believes one can derive knowledge from learning and playing out history,


  1. Try ‘the blitzkrieg legend ‘ by frieser and ‘the breaking point’ by doughty for more detail on sedan and the breakthrough

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