Houx, Belgium, 12 May 1940
France, 1940. The German attack into France was building. Rommel's divisions were ready to cross the Muese river. Leading the attack was the 7. Pz Div. followed by 5. Pz Div. Facing them was the French 9th Army. The French 2nd Corps had the 5th Motorized Division to the north, and the French 11th Corps' 18 Infantry Division was directly south. The boundary between Corps was in the area of the German advance and that added to the confusion.
Motorcycle scouts moved toward Houx on May 12. All three bridges, Dinant, Houx, and Yvoir were destroyed. Eventually they found a weir across river to island, while crossing they came under attack by French 66th Regiment (from 18 Inf. Div.). Later that regiment withdrew and was replaced by a less tenacious 2/39th from the 5 Motorized Division. Germans crossed the river and assaulted in the early morning. The heights at Wastia were taken by the cyclists.
Meanwhile, during the night of 12th/13th May, 5th Panzer had failed in their attempt to cross the Meuse by boat at Yvoir to the north. In Houx, motorcyclists of 8th Reconnaissance Battalion of 5th Panzer had succeeded in crossing the weir linking Houx with the Isle de Houx and the far bank. Oberst Werner quickly sent three battalions of panzergrenadiers across to reinforce the bridgehead. The 7th Motorcycle Battalion of 7th Panzer division also crossed, and were able to capture Grange.
By dawn on the 14th, 15 PzKfw IV had been ferried across to defend the bridgehead. An additional 15 tanks and 20 antitank guns from the 7. Pz Div. had been moved across by midday.
That night the 7th Motorcycle Battalion in Grange beat off a determined attack by French units, the commander being wounded and his adjutant killed.
French armor also assaulted heights at Wastia, but infantry failed to arrive, so the tanks fell back at night. The next morning counter-attacks resumed against Wastia. But by now the German main thrust bypassed them and headed South and then west to support an attack developing at Onhaye. There Rommel's PzKw III was hit by French artillery.
Key features are:
- The Muese river is about 1km to the east.
- The landscape is rising to the west, represented by crests. The crests to the south and the one in the north-west represent hills.
- German push coming from the eastern table edge starting at the road.
- The lines of green circles represent tree lines or tall hedges.
For reference see the Google map of the area.
French Player (Defending)
Hold the village of Grange, the crossroads to the north-east, and the heights to the north west.
Elements of the 66th Regiment
1 Rifle Platoon
3 Rifle Squads
Heavy AT Platoon (2 x 47mm)
Obstacle sections: 2 wire, 2 mine
The French get 4 ghost markers plus 2 dummy markers. All French forces that deploy hidden must be assigned to a marker. The bunkers can each be assigned to a ghost marker as well.
The markers may be placed anywhere south and west of line C-C.
The reinforcements will enter the table on the first French initiative after any one of the objectives is captured by the Germans.
Forces enter at point A.
1 Company, 2nd Battalion of the French 39th Infantry Regiment
1 FO (60mm Mortar, 12 FM)
3 Rifle Squads
German Player (Attacking)
Begins scenario with initiative.
Capture the village of Grange and the hill north west of the village.
Forward Elements of the 5th Panzer Division
2 Rifle Platoons
3 Rifle Squads
The German forces enter the table at point B on their first initiative. The units are also represented by ghosts: 3 real markers, and 2 dummies.
The reinforcements will arrive on the next German initiative after one of the objectives is captured.
2nd Company, 7th Motorcycle Battalion
1 FO (81mm Mortar, 12 FM)
3 Rifle Squads
3 Engineer Squads
1 Panzer Platoon
Terrain objectives: the three points on the map marked, X, Y and Z are worth 1 Victory Points each. In addition, each player should secretly give a bonus point to objective X or Y (but not Z). The bonus points must be written down and will be revealed at the end of the game.
Scenario Special Rules
This scenario is played in two parts: (a) the initial bridge-head at night and (b) the follow-on forces in the morning. The shift is triggered by the German side capturing any one of the objectives.
In the first part, night fighting rules are in effect (see Hit the Dirt for the full rules).
- Each stand can make at most one move action per initiative
- All stands get a protective -1 die modifier when fired upon
- A stand in any sort of cover can only be fired on by an enemy stand in the same feature
The first part of the scenario also uses hidden movement or "ghosts". The ghosts have more restrictions on top of the night fighting rules above:
- May only move, rally, call indirect fire (if a FO), or spot (recon-by-fire)
- Recon-by-fire is 2d6 regardless of the unit(s), or dummy, it represents
- Pinned ghosts rally on 4+ and get no modifiers
Ghosts are revealed on any of the following events:
- Successful RBF against the terrain feature the ghost occupies
- Fire result of suppress or higher (phasing or reactive)
- Owning player chooses to reveal stands
If a ghost is revealed by enemy direct fire, the suppression or kill is immediately transferred to one of the stands. A dummy ghost is just removed.
This fictional scenario borrows from the events during the river crossing, but does not follow them exactly. The scenario design is based on two-part scenarios written by Tim Marshall and Steven Thomas.
If the French player is having a hard time, you could add a Light AT Platoon (2 x 25mm) to the reinforcements
 Deighton, Len, and Walther K. Nehring. Blitzkrieg : From the Rise of Hitler to the Fall of Dunkirk. New York: Alfred A. Knopf Incorporated, 1980.