Wednesday, July 18, 2018

France 40 - Operation Dynamo

Yesterday Richard and I played the second scenario in the GMT France '40 game, Operation Dynamo aka Dunkirk.  I went the Allies.

 End of May 24.  Rommel has disobeyed the Hitler Order to HALT!

 Will he gets his comeuppance?
Not on those die rolls.  My attack, although at 4:1 was just a 2 which meant defender retreat.  Rommel threw a 6 to conduct a determined defence and stood his ground.

As Determined Defence was to feature significantly in this game, I have reproduced the table.  Needless to say, German armour is Elite.

 May 25.  The Belgians are holding firm (mostly).
Calais has been reinforced.  However the Allies are pulling back, preparing for the worst.

 May 26.  An SS Division has gone to Rommel's rescue.  How will he ever live that down?
I'm a bit worried that the pocket is more looking like a funnel.

The Hitler Halt is still working to the Allies advantage.  It works as follows: there are six chits which the Allies place and then roll two dice and remove the chit whose number comes up.  The Allies like throwing doubles (as in the above picture).

 May 27.  The Allies have pulled back further.  
The German armour is no longer subject to Halt orders.

 May 28.  Belgium has surrendered.
It's not all bad as soon the German armour will have to start to withdraw.
Speaking of withdrawal, the Allied evacuation has started.

 Knowing that they will be withdrawing the Germans launch lots of attacks with their armour.
Luckily the Allies successfully conduct some determined defences and avoid breakthroughs.

The issue of the German armour being withdrawn is explained in the Designer Notes.  The mechanic means the Allies are fearful of the German armour, but that it will be limited in its effectiveness.

 May 29.  So far the Allies have been able to evacuate six units.
However the German attacks risk cutting off troops from Dunkirk.

 May 30.
It is getting serious.  A number of Allied units are having a difficult time pulling back.
The few remaining Panzer Divisions are still causing problems.

 May 31.
The German armour is getting close to Dunkirk.

 June 1.
Phew!  All the German armour has now been withdrawn.  
The German infantry has been ground down.  Units have continued to be evacuated...

 June 2.
This was a disaster of a turn as the Allied left flank collapsed,
 positioning the Germans next to the evacuation beaches.

June 3.
However, by the next day, the Allies had been able to evacuate enough units to be able to claim Victory.

This was an excellent tense little WW2 game covering quite a different aspect of the war.  Air and naval power is all abstracted, and the mechanics are the classic move/combat sequence alternating between players with units rated for attack, defence and movement.  Elegant and very engaging.


  1. Nice report. I tried Case Yellow - the Ted Raicer game - a couple of years ago with a friend over VASSAL. Was interesting but the historical restrictions meant that there wasn't a lot of room for player initiative (for the Allies at least). Looks like this one has a little more excitement in it.

    1. Thanks. I could have been a tad more aggressive, but being the first time I had played this scenario I wasn't sure how easy it would be to pull back. I probably hung on for one turn too many at the beginning.