With the NZ Early War GT (at Battlecry) only two weeks away I thought this would be as good a time as any to cover my plans for it, and where I am at.
As with all tournaments I started with a hiss and a roar, planning an army to take along... and for once I even managed to make a serious amount of progress getting my French together for a Compagnie de Chasseurs Portes - thats lots of French infantry in super sexy Lorraine 38L carriers "zipping"" around the table. I say zipping because in Flames of War they are Slow.... However with 1 Front Armour and a pair of passenger fired machine-guns they are the business when it comes to delivering infantry to the front lines safely.
|Lorraine 38L Carrier|
Unfortunately life has been a little more complex than usual in my household with a very pregnant wife - seems to be quite in fashion at the moment round the office!
So I quickly started looking for a new plan, where I got to use the infantry I had already painted and also use as many of the figures I had already put aside for the project. I initially looked at a number of lists out of Blitzkrieg, primarily the motorised infantry but also the more traditional options as well but I could not come up with a list that I really feel in love with.
Luckily for me, in stepped Burning Empires with the Vichy French list. This offered me much of what I was looking for but fell short on the tank front. However with V3 on the horizon and French tanks about to get a huge lift (after Battlecry) I thought why play the tanks using V2 rules, when they will be much more fun later in the year. After a bit of too-ing and fro-ing (and a lucky bit of Wiki-foo) I decided on a French Foreign Legion company. How can I be playing Legion you ask... when all my guys are painted for Europe?!?!?! Well, that's where the Wiki-foo came in!
Enter the 97th Group Reconnaissance Infantry Division. Cutting a long story short, the 97th GRDI was a French Foreign Legion force formed in France, using men from the 4th Cavalry Depot in Tunisia and the 1st Foreign Cavalry Regiment. They used a mixture of horses, trucks and motorcycles to get around - now I will be representing them on foot for Battlecry but maybe if I can convince Mike or Phil to do a little more work they would whip me up a specialist list some day... They were unfortunately over run by the German armour and suffered terrible casualties, but fought like an elite force, grinding the attacking Germans down.
For more info on the history of the unit check out these two links:
Wikipedia Link - translated from French as the English version does not contain anywhere near as much information.
So, how am I choosing to represent them on the tabletop?
Compagnie de Tiralleurs HQ
Anti-Tank Gun Platoon (with 3 25mm Hotchkiss guns)
75mm Artillery Battery (with 4 guns)
Heavy Artillery Battery (with 4 155mm guns)
Self-propelled 75mm Anti-Aircraft Platoon (with four De Dion et Bouton 75mm AA trucks)
with two Barbed Wire Entanglements
|De Dion et Bouton 75mm AA truck|
My theory is that I have tried to stick to common Legion troops as much as possible. The Heavy Artillery comes from the 7th DINA (which the 97th was part of). The MG Nest and fortifications are a little harder to justify - primarily they are in there as they do not require much to paint and tack up over 100 points!
The De Dion et Bouton trucks.... well they are just super sexy! I also needed a maneuver element and whilst they are not that resilient they give me some good mobile punch.... did I also mention that they are super sexy looking!
Tomorrow I'll have another round of WIP pictures of the army - its coming along nicely however I need to hope that my cunning plan to airbrush the 3 colour camo works, otherwise I have a lot of brush work to do this week and I really only have lunch times and a few hours next weekend to dedicate to it... so as Tim Gunn would say "Make it work!