Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery

I'm not a real Cowboy, but I play one in the movies.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Communiques de la Front

Jon and Carl have been playing another of their Steel Panthers: MBT play-by-EMail games, this time a French civil war between two similarly-equipped Armees, and keeping me up to date with their very entertaining banter between turns.

I share:

The scenario:

September 1979
10999 pts
51 vision
22 turns
  • No thermal sights
  • No helicopters (suicide to fly on map due to minimal terrain masking and radar air defense assets)
  • No air drop
  • Armor heavy force (tanks, light tanks, heavy APCs) with significant air power
  • Medium air defense not quite equivalent to the air threat
General Andoche Junot IV surveyed the battlefield, and was pleased with the disposition of his forces. "Just like my great-great-grandfather, who led the French Army to cross Spain and chase off the Portuguese in 1807, I will chase these bourgeoisie swine off the field."
"Or I will die trying! Viva Le Revolution!! Viva Le France!!! "

Field Marshall (one rank higher than his running dog lackey rebel Vichy opponent) Claude Dubouis was quite pleased with the initial reports coming in from the opening stages of the First Battle of the Second French Revolution. The intelligence from his spies in the rebel high command was apparently accurate and his opening bombardment upon the rebels staging areas had paid off. His big guns destroyed two of the rebel cavalry tanks and a reconnaissance jeep. The enemy's probing attacks with a couple of bombers was ineffective due to his spies' knowledge of the rebels target list. He was even so confidant in his plan that he ordered his air defense assets to hold their fire during the enemy bombers' attack so they didn't give away their positions. Field Marshall Dubouis knew that he needed to conserve them for the larger air assault that was sure to come.

"Sacre blue!" cursed General Junot. "My old nemesis Dubouis is the devil in disguise! He must have spies in our ranks that reported our positions to his Air Force! Those damned jets killed several more of my light tanks, jeeps, and other equipment. The only good news is that we shot down two Mirage III's and one Jaguar. They will not be flying anymore..."
As the General walked away to his command bunker, he wondered if the rumours about Dubouis were true. Did he really bath in champagne every night? That effete snob!!!

After the initial furious attacks were completed, an eerie quiet settled upon the battlefield. Field Marshall Dubouis energetically issued orders rearranging his forces to the north due to the surprising early success at taking the northern objectives. Apparently General Junot was busy "powdering" his aide's backside or instructing his forces on proper surrender etiquette instead committing his forces to battle. Hopefully the rebel general trained his forces well so there were no accidental discharges when they dropped their weapons at the official surrender ceremony. Field Marshall Dubouis mused that perhaps it was already time to order his aide to pick out his victory uniform and to bring up his case of Côte des Blancs 1982 Dubouis was saving for that special bubbly bath to celebrate his triumph over that pig-dog Junot.

Air Defense Lieutenant Pierre "Liver" Pate' was terrified of telling the General the bad news.
"Sir, their artillery destroyed one of our Hawk batteries!" he stammered.
The General put down the French Field Manual on Army Strategy and Tactics. He couldn't believe that there were actually three chapters devoted to the etiquette of surrender.
"Inform the other Air Defense batteries to take defensive measures. That will be all Pate!"
"I will not underestimate this Field Marshall again," Junot thought to himself. "Fortunately, we did not lose any more tanks or men today!" He knew though that his army was being torn apart though, and that he faced one of the most experienced enemy commanders....

"Well, the rebel forces had finally finished powdering their faces and getting their uniforms in order." mused Field Marshall Dubouis. He had to admit that the rebel general Junot apparently knew how to pick skilled artillerymen in addition to sycophants with tight tushes. The rebel big guns had destroyed one of his APCs and immobilized a tank. Dubouis figured those lazy tank crewmen in the damaged tank were already getting into their medicinal wine cabinet. Luckily the rebel ATGM crews and tank gunners seemed to have also broken into their supply of medicinal wine judging by their shooting skills. C'est La Vie.

"Le CQ, Le CQ, this is Tank Leader Bernaise reporting." "Go ahead, General Junot here."
"General, our tanks had numerous shots at the enemy, but we only killed one light tank. I couldn't believe how poorly our gunners were shooting. They killed two of our tanks with return fire, and their jets killed another one. It was pathetic out here General!"
"Don't get saucy with me Bernaise!" yelled Junot. "And tell your gunners to hit next time!"
General Junot had good news from Lt. Pate though. The air defense batteries shot down a Jaguar before it could do any damage, and they damaged an F1.
"I hope the Field Marshall enjoys his champagne...I'm having some delivered via airmail!"

Dubouis received his morning combat report as he lounged in the sumptuous bath. He braced himself for bad news, anticipating heavy losses from the expected rebel air attack. That special tingly feeling of the champagne bubbles caressing his body helped sooth the butterflies in his belly. However, Captain Soufflé sauntered in with a smile on his face (and such a pouty lips!) which boded well. The anticipated air attack had not come at all. In fact the rebel sent only one reconnaissance jet, which his IHAWK batteries promptly swatted out of the sky before it could complete it's run. Those cowards in the intel section! Their shrieking cries of danger had ruined his breakfast! The field marshal read further and saw that the ground battle, while contact with the rebels was still light, was going well. His forces had destroyed a AMX-13 light tank, a jeep, and damaged another cavalry tank without sustaining losses. Apparently the rebel gunners were still hungover and could not hit anything in return.

General Junot was perplexed. He could only find one chapter on "Offensive Tactics" in the official French Army Strategy Manual, and it discussed the proper procedures for "farting in the enemies general direction and giving them the one-fingered salute."
The General walked outside of his command bunker, dropped his pants, and pointed his powdered bare arse in the direction of the Field Marshall. Just when he was about to pass a large volume of gas, Lieutenant Pate came running up, with a report from the battlefied.
"Damn it Pate', can't you see I'm busy!" the General yelled. "I already heard that our Army killed two AMX light tanks, and that the enemy killed one of our AMX's."
The General's fart was loud and glorious, and was heard throughout the camp. Everyone cheered their brave General, who then brandished a proud one-fingered salute to the Field Marshall. "Va te faire foutre Dubouis!" he thundered. (kiss my powdered arse Dubouis)

After a refreshing bath and "briefing" with Captain Soufflé, Field Marshall Dubuois decided he should head to the front to see for himself how the battle was turning out. He no longer trusted those buffoons in the intel section. They had been screaming about enemy air attack continuously and all that had shown up were a few poorly flown jets that provided valuable training for his air defense assets. Dubouis raised his binoculars to his eyes and scanned the enemy lines only to be astounded by a ghastly sight. A squat fat man in an outdated and very bland uniform was wagging his pale white buttocks in his direction. The effect looking much like a moon-faced bearded albino goat shaking it's head at him.
Qu'il me laisse tranquille! That was General Junot waving his buttocks at him in perfect form as described on page 225 of the French Army Strategy Manual! It almost made made Dubuois want to tear his eyes from their sockets. While he could appreciate the general's skill at performing the difficult tactic, Dubuois could not ignore the insult. He turned and screamed at his executive officer, "Shoot that pompous ass!" The colonel immediately order two tank platoons forward to blunt the furious rebel offensive. When all was said and done the wiley rebel commander had successfully taunted the Field marshall, though at a heavy cost. The government forces destroyed an AMX-30B main battle tank, an AMX-13/90 light tank, an AMX-10P APC, and three jeeps while only suffering the loss of one AMX-10P APC.

While General Junot felt invigorated by his bawdy display of insolence, he knew that the battle was not going as planned. Another one of his aides, Captain Ledefeat, had just reported that his army lost several more tanks this day, and only destroyed one jeep.
"Damn that Dubuois!" he cursed to himself. "He is surely in league with the dark powers! How does he know how to maneuver so well? There was only one page of offensive tactics in the manual, and it was about the "Bare Arse, Fart Loudly, Extend Digit" (BAFLED) drill."
Lieutenant Pate' had overheard the General muttering to himself, and was very concerned. Oh well, he thought, at least he would receive a medal for the gallant performance of his air defense unit! And, maybe even a promotion to Le Capitan!! That would be a glorious day!!!

Field Marshall Dubuois stomped around his command tent and made life hell for those around him. The sting of General Junot's taunting still burned. As the Field Marshall dreamed of his revenge against Junot, the battalion executive officer Colonel Lafayette, a very competent officer and tactical genius, issued orders and worried about the rebel strike aircraft. On the other hand, Dubuois had dismissed the threat as his trusted aide Captain Soufflé had assured him that the rebel planes were not flight worthy. Apparently the Captain had contacts at the rebel air base that confirmed this fact." Ah the good Captain has other talents besides strong hands and an eye for superb champagne,"mused Dubuois. As the Field Marshall dreamed of painting Junot's ass with the face of a goat and parading his rebel nemesis through the streets of Paris during Dubuois's victory parade, the latest combat reports came over the fax. With trepidation, the staff read the reports and breathed a sigh of relief. The government forces had destroyed an AMX-13 light missile tank and an AMX-10P APC without sustaining any losses of their own.

Major De' Sasterre excitedly called in his battle report to Colonel Bernaise. "We have killed numerous enemy tanks and vehicles Sir, and we only lost a couple of our own this turn!" Colonel Bernaise had heard from other vehicle commanders, and he knew that they had lost more tanks across the battlefield. But at least he had good news to send Junot.
In a darkened room, Lieutenant Pate' pushed a button on his secure satellite phone. He listened to the tone while the connection was made. "Pear, this is Liver, do you hear me?" said the Lieutenant. Captain Pierre "Pear" Souffle answered softly, "Yes, I hear you Liver. I have some more information to report. Do you have anything to share with me?"
"Pear, my friend, something big is about to happen! I overheard the General joking that he hoped that bloated warthog swine-dog Air Marshall enjoyed his champagne bath tonight! Now, do you have the coordinates of your air defense batteries? Talk quickly my friend!"
The Lieutenant remembered back to fonder times when he and his dear friend Souffle were at Officer's Training School. They loved "cooking" together. He really missed his friend, and hoped that together, they could put an end to this mad civil war, and enjoy new "recipes".
[damn, I'm getting hungry reading these recipes!]

Colonel Lafayette had finally gotten through to his commander about his concerns about Captain Soufflé. The listening device placed in the satellite phone gave irrefutable proof of the good Captain's treachery. Field Marshall Dubuois bravely wiped a tear from his eye and brushed an imaginary mote of dust off his immaculate sky blue dress uniform, and then turned to face his executive officer. "Arrest Captain Soufflé immediately, but place him in the VIP cell. I will interrogate him myself tonight."
Colonel Lafayette told Dubuois that it was probably too late to prevent the destruction of the fixed I-HAWK batteries but he ordered the ROLAND mobile SAMs and all SPAA units to full alert. The Colonel also informed Dubuois that the front had settled down somewhat since the recent furious rebel assault. No armored units from either side had been destroyed. No sooner had Lafayette finished his briefing than the air raid sirens started blaring! The anticipated rebel air raid was happening. To the north, a tremendous artillery barrage lit up the twilight sky and massive secondary explosions gave telling evidence of the accuracy of the rebel gunners. "Damn that traitorous black-heart Soufflé!", railed the Colonel. He knew that the Captain would come through this smelling like a rose since he was favored by Dubuois. "Interrogation" my ass!
Lafayette turned his attention to the Air Defense net. Sitreps started coming in from the various weapons batteries. The Rolands scored a kill against a Jaguar before it could complete it's attack! A second Jaguar avoided a missile and but was riddled by a DCA 30mm gun after pulling up from it's run. Thankfully it was only able to destroy a jeep. An F1 Mirage made it through the dense flak unscathed but dropped it's bombs long, missing a lucky main battle tank. Immediately after, two Mirage III attack aircraft screamed in from a different direction, only to overfly another well-placed AAA battery. Both fell victim to the skilled gun crews before they could do any damage. Lafayette breathed a sigh of relief and switched back to the armor net. The long night was just getting started.

General Junot resigned himself to the facts. His army had suffered a serious defeat, and there was no use in continuing the rebellion and losing more of his loyal comrades.
But there was one in his ranks whose disloyalty would be punished severely. He had the traitor Pate' stripped of his rank (and other things) in his private chambers. Then he was summarily court-martialed, and sentenced to solitary confinement, with the prisoner to receive only bland English food. When Pate' heard this, he wished he had been hanged.
The General closed the door to his room, picked up his Field Manual, and opened the book to Chapter 1: How French Officers Always Accept Defeat with Dignity. He only read the first sentence, then closed the book, and grabbed his American .45-calibre revolver.
Suddenly a shot rang out, and an aide rushed over to the General's door and knocked. There was no reply. When he opened the door, he saw General Junot sprawled over his bed, with his bare arse frosted white with fresh powder. Next to the bed was a note:
"To my loyal Army -- Today you have fought with pride and dignity against the imperial government forces. While we were not victorious, we have taught the enemy several lessons about French honour and courage. But it is better that we sue for peace, as good French usually do, and put an end to this bloody civil war. I have dispatched a courier with my sword and unconditional surrender to Field Marshall Dubouis. I also included a picture of my large hairy arse, which he can kiss. I pray that there is one among you who will rise up and champion our cause for liberty, and one day overthrow this evil republic empire!"
Remember, "La Garde meurt, mais ne se rend pas." (The Guards die but do not surrender).
General Andoche Junot IV
Leader of the Free French Armee


Not as ambitious as those two, I've been playing a French/French delay mission against the computer. After my Rolands got schwacked by early SEAD sorties, I whittled the computer down to a Marginal Victory for myself.



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