The Great War  with the French expansion is a very good and thorough medium-complexity wargame from Commands & Colors system. With Marcin we played through the whole Verdun campaign and then decided to test some of the Kickstarter specials. These are the scenarios featuring the French tanks in different battles. Let us see what the game has to offer!

The Great War articles:
[STRATEGIES] The Great War – French Expansion
[REVIEW] The Great War – French Army Expansion
The Great War – French Army Expansion – Scenarios 41-42
The Great War – French Army Expansion – Scenarios 43-44
The Great War – French Army Expansion – Scenarios 45-48
The Great War – French Army Expansion – Scenarios 49-52

Historical Background

Scenario 259 – Battle of Malmaison (Guillain Farm) 23 October 1917

The French overall plan of attack for the battle called for limited and reasonable objectives – not a very common approach during WWI, as many plans had a grandiose goals even when trench warfare was an everyday reality. The 140th Regiment was assigned to attack St. Guillain wood and farm. Their advance, however, came to a dead stop by machine gun fire from German bunkers positioned along the German front trench line (you can clearly see them below on set-up picture). French tanks were called forward and quickly knocked out the machine gun positions (yeah, you will see that too below…). The advance then continued and the wood, farm and both Giraffe and Lizard trenches were occupied before a noon rainstorm (indeed, like in history also on the board).

Session Report

Being ardent supporter of photo-rich session reports, I would like to present such below. It is even more suitable as we have really nice tank and soldiers figures to present! (thanks Plastics Soldiers Company!)

The initial set-up – we used the war-torn side of the map as we seemed it appropriate at the end of 1917. Very few German units on my side, not so many French lead by Marcin but there are two tanks! Will be interesting battle!
Both sides face-off each other, only two but strong MGs in first line of Germans, well entrenched in bunkers.
The French Saint Chamond Tanks are very powerful, with 5 hex range, 4 dice in close combat. My forces will have tremendous issues to stop them.
And so we started. The tanks moves like a knife through butter; “tankschrecken” rule – inability of units to ignore flags in from melee tank combat – is tremendous bonus for French. First MG is dead, Marcin also gets the points for the trench. My bombers try to counter-attack…
Marcin is tremendously lucky – he goes, step by step, through the trenches,  not bogging down, killing another 3 units and getting the 2 exit points for tank!
Situation at the end of the game. Only two of  my units stayed alive; I scored two points for racing against time. A very tough fight and deserved victory by French / Marcin.


A very fast scenario, with low number of units and very appropriate as a good introduction to the tank warfare. The Germans have really difficult situation but I still managed to score two hits on the tanks – pity none of them was finished by me. There are additional three scenarios in the booklet from this KS special (now available in the retail game too) so we definitely would like to play them too.

Also, I would like to draw attention to the beautiful French Tank models – it is a real pleasure to play with them. And improved, soft-plastic figures for the soldiers are great enhancement in comparison to first edition. Love the game!