Road To The Early War Grand Tournament: Chris' French

Burning Empires Road To The Early War Grand Tournament:
Chris' French
by Chris Townley

With the NZ Early War GT (at Battlecry) only two days 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 – that’s 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.
Unfortunately life has been a little more complex than usual and my painting stalled after finishing my first two infantry platoons!

Right: The Lorraine 38L Carrier.
Lorraine 38L Carrier
Company HQ 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 (still in blisters or boxes) I had already put aside for the project. I initially looked at a number of lists out of Blitzkrieg, 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 since Battlecry was using the V2 rules and French tanks about to get a huge lift (in V3) 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!
Chris' Infantry Platoon
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.
Chris' Infantry Platoon

Purists will say that I should have re-painted my Kepis etc since I am using them as a Legion force, but given the limited amount of time to get them finished that is a luxury I might have to forgo this time around. Of course like any army there is always more work to do so I have put that on my “to-do” list for later!

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...

ATF40 Link...

So, how am I choosing to represent them on the tabletop?

Legion Troops
Compagnie de Tiralleurs HQ
30 points
Tirailleurs Platoon
175 points
Tirailleurs Platoon
175 points
Anti-Tank Gun Platoon (with 3 25mm Hotchkiss guns)
80 points
75mm Artillery Battery (with 4 guns)
385 points
Divisional Support
Heavy Artillery Battery (with 4 155mm guns)
290 points
Self-propelled 75mm Anti-Aircraft Platoon (with four De Dion et Bouton 75mm AA trucks)
255 points
Machine-gun Nests with three Barbed Wire Entanglements 110 points
1500 points
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 Nests 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!

Left: De Dion et Bouton 75mm AA truck.
This is about the time I would show a photo of the entire army painted and ready to go, as well as some comments about my practice games with Mike…did I mention I was a little behind on my painting…?
Work in Progress Shots
Work in Progress Shots
Work in Progress Shots
Work in Progress Shots Work in Progress Shots
Work in Progress Shots
So instead I’ve got a few work in progress photos and an empty energy drink can on my desk here at work from the 6am starts so that I could get a couple of hours of painting in before work.

~ Chris.
Work in Progress Shots