Croix de Guerre vehicle counters in other than French Blue

BattleSchool

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Still trying to organize my nifty new French OB, and thought I recalled a relatively recent thread that explained why certain vehicles are not provided in French Blue.

1. Consider the Carrier AC(b), which is only available in tan livery (as it was in the 1992 edition). (Or the Autocanon de 40 Contre-Avions(a) in US colours.) Given that we now have dedicated counters for the French French, and (AFAIK) the carrier below was only used by the French French, what's the rationale for it not being in French Blue? Doesn't the parenthetical national ID and MAVN F tell us what we need to know about these counters?
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18840
MAVN F If this counter is illustrated in the British or U.S. color in its Vehicle Note, it may be used in a Free French OB as per A25.54-.56. The following apply regardless of this counter's nationality color(s), except as stated otherwise:
  • "(a)", "(b)" or "(f)" in the piece name stands for "American", "British" or "French" respectively, for ESB (D2.5), Hammada Immobilization (F3.31), Sand Bog (F7.31), etc. purposes.
  • "(a)" or "(b)" also indicates that the MA uses black TH# (unless captured), as signified by "Black TH#" on the counter.
  • "(a)" also indicates that this vehicle is treated as captured if crewed by other than Free French or U.S. [EXC: by other than Vichy French, for the French-color version of the AM Dodge(a)].
  • "(b)" also indicates that this vehicle is treated as captured if crewed by other than Vichy French or British (including Free French, etc.; A25.4).
  • "(f)" also indicates that the MA always uses red TH# if this vehicle is an AFV, that a MG scrounged from this vehicle (or its wreck) takes counter form as a British-color LMG(f) (with captured-use penalties unless being fired by Free/Vichy French; A25.54), and that this vehicle is treated as captured if crewed by other than Free/Vichy French (A25.56).
2. A more general question, is there any need to store a different coloured counter of the same vehicle (EX: S35) with my French OB? IOW, under what circumstances might I need an S-35 in US livery?

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3. While the Autocanon de 75 Conus(b) may be a special case, because it was used by Free French forces that fought as part of the British 8th Army, didn't most Free French forces fight as part of larger American or British formations? I which case, why weren't these vehicles (also) printed in French Blue? (If the Conus can only appear as part of a British OB, would it make more sense for me to store these counters elsewhere, e.g., with British AFV?)

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4. Finally, what was the rationale for including five models of US halftracks in US livery? A cursory looks suggests that they all differ from similar halftracks in US and British service. So why not just print them in French Blue?
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TIA
 

bprobst

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I'm only guessing, but I think the rationale was (when CdG was first published, not the MMP edition) -- Free French with British vehicles and guns (i.e., primarily North Africa actions) you would not want any blue counters because they would stick out like a sore thumb even when concealed -- so all relevant counters are British tan. Similarly, when the Free French are fighting in Europe, they're using American vehicles and guns, so you want them all to be in US green. At that time, the idea was that any French blue counter was either being used by French army (1940) or Vichy French (post 1940). I don't really think that this was a good idea, as such, but no-one at the time ever thought to ask for my opinion. :)

With respect to the MMP reprint, I'm not sure any rationale was applied to the counter mix, period. (Again, I wasn't asked ....) Certainly the applicable thinking for the vehicles/guns was (I believe) "we ain't changing nothing". However the above rationale still applies to some extent ... if the "special" counters were done in French Blue (or any other colour), you would want all of the "regular" counters (hundreds of Shermans, etc.) in the same shade, which would have meant a whole lot more counters to put in the box. I don't think that (unlike most of the production decisions for that module) was a mistake on MMP's part.
 

BattleSchool

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Thanks for the reply Bruce. I agree with you regarding the host of Shermans, for example, that would be needed to give the Free French a complete "blue" OB. I also agree that considering the Free French originally used British Infantry and SW counters, it made sense for vehicles used by FF forces in North Africa to be tan in 1992, when CdG was first released.

I was just trying to get my head around why the vehicle counters in the new edition of CdG were not "converted" to French Blue given that FF Infantry and SW are now provided in French Blue. In the case of the S-35, MMP could either have eliminated the "extra" US coloured S-35s--to make space for other counters, or released the "extras" in blue. As for the five variants of US halftracks included with the new module, I'm at a loss to understand why they need to be in US green in the first place, as they neither match the original tan colour scheme of FF Infantry or the new colour scheme. Perhaps it's in anticipation of these ht being used in conjunction with other US AFVs. But like you, I can only speculate.

I'm happy with the decision MMP made to release FF Infantry and SW in French Blue, not least because this allows them to use French Guns and vehicles with a less confusing mix of tan and blue counters in North Africa and the Levant. But it was never going to be an easy split as the FF used so much British and US hardware.

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As a side note, the only scenario I could find that uses the Carrier AC(b) is TAC35. In this case, the tan livery makes sense because the FF also have four other British carriers in their OB. However, the FF Gun park is a mix of blue and tan, not that this or the colour of the carriers matter much on the barren desert of boards 26-29. One scenario that does seem to work well is FT238 (LFT14), where it is possible for the FF to use all tan counters for Infantry, SW and AFV, the latter of which includes the Ac de 75 Conus(b).
 

klasmalmstrom

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As for the five variants of US halftracks included with the new module, I'm at a loss to understand why they need to be in US green in the first place, as they neither match the original tan colour scheme of FF Infantry or the new colour scheme. Perhaps it's in anticipation of these ht being used in conjunction with other US AFVs. But like you, I can only speculate.
This. I assume this is why they were published in tan/green to begin with.

The FF used more British/American vehicles than those present in CdG2. Had these haltracks e.g., been in French-blue they could possibly "stand out" in a scenario where the FF used other American vehicles from Yanks. Same thing with the British-colored vehicles.

MMP could have decided to provide all British/American vehicles/guns used by the FF in French-blue, but they choose not to. (I am not sure how many more countersheets that would have meant - at least one more I would guess).
 

BattleSchool

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MMP could have decided to provide all British/American vehicles/guns used by the FF in French-blue, but they choose not to. (I am not sure how many more countersheets that would have meant - at least one more I would guess).
I wouldn't have expected them to go to this length. I was hoping however that all the AFV provided in CdG2 would be in French-blue. Whether these odd-ball AFV were also in tan or green would not have bothered me in the least.

But as you say, MMP had to draw the line somewhere.
 
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