French Infantry in Four Seasons: How to Attack, Defend and Manoeuvre

French Infantry in Four Seasons: How to Attack, Defend and Manoeuvre

French Infantry in Four Seasons: How to Attack, Defend and Manoeuvre
By The Little General

Many a fine commander has struggled to maximise the troops under their command. With French Compagnie d’Infanterie, you have a pocket knife with a range of solutions that is practically a self-contained army.

Our staff training academy here in France has provided some notes for aspiring young officers to maximise their success in World War Three. Listen carefully! We assume you have read the Little General’s previous article on how to compose your force with the outstanding resources available to you. Read this first then proceed below.

Firstly, approach any mission you have been assigned without fear but with understanding. Many are the unwitting Marshal who has misread their requirements for victory and assumed they had more time or less reserves than they were forced to work with. Make sure you are not in this predicament.

If you are attacking then life is easier – and what self-respecting commander would not want to take the fight to the enemy?
French infantry were outstanding on the attack with large platoons and powerful troops. Always think carefully about how you intend to reach your objective with abundant time before any limits on your game time occur. You should always think about how the most direct path to the objective can be protected, whether by a timely smoke bombardment from your 120mm mortars or from supporting and distracting fire from a missile or tank unit. Combined arms are definitely the best way to accomplish a task and as worked historically, why send one platoon to take the objective when you could send three?

A poor player will blame dice and complain about failing to unpin their troops. This is unacceptable. Any true professional knows they are to ensure the encouraging words of their commander are in line of sight and 15cm/6” of listening ears always. No commander is promoted based on how safe they were during a battle. Even if you can’t ensure traction and forward movement of all troops, the odds are that having multiple units converging on an objective will be sufficient that one or more will do.

French Infantry in Four Seasons: How to Attack, Defend and Manoeuvre

Always ensure your missile teams are provided with a good line of sight. Remember if the enemy is concentrating on them as they support the main push, then they aren’t lobbing artillery at your objective-taking troops. This is a bonus in itself.

Smoke is your friend. You never have enough spare ammunition for more than one barrage per unit per game, but this SHOULD be used wherever possible. Remember once you range in for the smoke, you can always continue the bombardment with high explosives. French have the best artillery in the game for both skill, hitting power, range and numbers with an eye-watering mix of mortars, rapid-firing tubed artillery and rockets – not to mention the French Air Force able to add further templates. 
Why leave out so many tempting additions to your force?

French Infantry in Four Seasons: How to Attack, Defend and Manoeuvre

If you are planning to maximise your infantry forces, then ensure you have a layered AT defence. Nothing will beat a Milan or HOT or Eryx missile hitting the side of a tank. Wherever possible use spearheading to gain pre-battle mobility and line up interlocking fields of fire.

I don’t care how good the enemy tank is, the best your missiles have to deal with 16 side armour and none of your Mk 2 missiles will even slow down when they hit this armour!

Your infantry has the best antitank weapon in the world in the form of the APILAS. Yes, I know you only get one per platoon but it is a lazy player who doesn’t want to take the hurt to their enemy and actively attack with this godsend. Go for flank shots and watch your enemy shake with fear.

French Infantry in Four Seasons: How to Attack, Defend and Manoeuvre

Against lighter armour such as BMP or BTR, you have plentiful antitank grenades and 0.50” AAMGs on the VABs – use these to bail out enemy vehicles then assault with cold steel and FAMAS. No one will disagree with an angry French infantryman holding a sharp blade to their heads once they are out of their metal coffins!

Consider fighting your enemy at night. Your best weapons have thermal imaging – such as the Leclerc, Milan 2 and Eryx. This is sufficient to own the battlefield.

Remember your troops can’t win in isolation and once you can manage the co-ordination of tanks, infantry, artillery and even aircraft and helicopters, you will be a force to be reckoned with. Don’t expect one platoon to be your heroes, this is an army that works best in careful teamwork.

French Infantry in Four Seasons: How to Attack, Defend and Manoeuvre

French are a powerful and resilient army with exactly the tools needed to win any battle but you need to play to their strengths. Against Heavy Chobham or ERA armoured tanks such as M1A1HA, T80 or Challenger 1, don’t waste 120mm rounds when you have sufficient Milan2 or Eryx – better yet go for side shots with those. Much cheaper and more efficient.

On the other hand, nothing beats convincing an enemy they need to hand over an objective than having Leclercs land on troops without RPG7VR or APILAS. Nothing more than harsh language will disturb your successful assault in this case.

When you need to clear the enemy off an objective FIRST, nothing will do this better than five AUF1 155mm self-propelled howitzers. And yes, I do mean NOTHING. Using an observer, you range in on a 3+, hit the enemy on 2+ (or 3+ with NATO training) and reroll anything you miss. Even the toughest of tanks will quake at 4+ AT and 2+ Firepower coming from above. Terrifying!

French Infantry in Four Seasons: How to Attack, Defend and Manoeuvre

Commander, you hold all the aces in your French army – use your tools wisely.

~ The Little General