My project, after 2nd edition Tonkin is made, is to create a new Dien Bien Phu game. It would only cover the fight for the main fortress from the end of March until the beginning of May. This is when the French actually starts to fight back. Keeping to the central fortress also gives me a good scale of the map. It would have, what I would call a floating game turn. Both players have their units and a set of cards. Each card represents a certain phase during a game turn. The point is that both players have the same phases but do not need to play them at the same time. For example, the French perhaps wants to play the replacement card while the Viet Minh decides to play the assault cards.

The full map (as it is now) can be viewed here:

http://www.kangerproject.com/DienBienPhu/

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Hi Kim. It looks very interesting. What is the scale ? And what is the level of complexity you expect ? and why do you choose hexes and not zones ? Not that I think that's a bad idea, but the 2 other games about DBP I know (atO and VV) uses zones.
Well, hexes are just small zones and a better way of depicting tactical movement. The scale would be French companies and VM battalions (much like in the VaeVictis version). I'm not too happy with the French scale in the ATO version.
The map has now been improved. Take a look in the header and see also the full map through the link.


This could be the style of the counter art
Hello Kim

quite a good news. I've got all games about DBP since the old (and better one) GDW Citadel. I'm waiting yours carefully.

just a question: why concentrating on the main position as it's generally considered that when strongpoints Gabrielle and Beatrice felt, the was little chance for the french troops to win ?
Simply because there is no way Beatrice and Gabrielle can be held and therefore there is no point including those two strongpoints. By concentrating on the main position I can also get a good scale for the map. My impression is that the French forces didn't really start to fight back until late March when they began to inflict heavy losses on Viet Minh. The VM force was getting diluted by the fresh and green replacements it received. This lowered the morale and the fighting efficiency of the VM troops. France could not, in the long run, avoid having DBP conquered. But perhaps it could have broken the back of the VM main battle force on the eve of the peace negotiation. The steam within the VM attack would have gone out and they would have been forced to postpone the take over, and this would have given France a different and better position in the negotiations.
These two positions could have been recovered with immediate and determined counterattacks. Gal Bigeard explained that quite well in "Pour une parcelle de gloire". When I played GDW Citadel I was determined to do so with success but heavy losses...
Despite this point of view, your approach is interessing. It was the one followed by French HQ during the battle but they lost. The only way to avoid defeat was a real renforcement of the "Camp retranché": stopping Atlante Operation, urge reinforcement - especially airplanes from the Metropole... Within 1 month...
Do you know any good sources showing what kind of defenses there were, and where they were. By this I mean the minefields and, especially, the barbed wire defenses. When I was at Dien Bien Phu I photographed their diorama of the battlefield which showed a lot. But it is really not good enough.
It will be easier for me to write in french - more precise for such a discussion and I know you write quite well in french.

Le meilleur ouvrage pour moi est celui de Pierre Rocolle: Pourquoi Dien Bien Phu. J'ai posté quelques cartes spécifiques sur Amazon à ce sujet:

http://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/2080603396/ref=cm_cmu_pg__header

l'ouvrage de Martin Windrow ) the last valley - en contient aussi un certain nombre.


Pas beaucoup d'info sur les champs de mine à ma connaissance.

Dans le Nasan de J Favreau et N Dufour, il y a des chémas et quelques excellentes analyses de l'organisation d'un camp retranché du type de DBP.
http://www.libfly.com/nasan-livre-17634.html

Dans les mémoires et témoignages sur la bataille, des informations éparses permettent de mieux appréhender les défenses de DBP.

Les manuels d'instruction militaires français de l'époque peuvent également servir à ce sujet.
L'osprey de Rottman consacré à "US WWII and Korean War filed fortification 41-53 est aussi bien utile.

Dans les échanges sur CSWconsacrés à Citadel (cf Kevin Boylan), il y a quelques échanges utiles, je pense également.

En fait, je pense que DBP attend toujours le grand jeu qui permettrait, depuis le GDW de Franck Chaldwick, d'aller au fond du sujet... Ah, si j'avais le temps ;-)
Est ce qu'il y a d'information ou témoignages sur les champ de mine chez l'armee francaise qu'on peut lire (telecharger)?

Tu peut voir les champ, comme je les connais, sur ma carte ici: http://www.kangerproject.com/DienBienPhu/
A ma connaissance, champs de mines, barbelés et plans de tir faisaient parties des travaux réalisés par le Génie ainsi que par les unités expérimentées du type LE ou RTA. L'ouvrage de Favreau/Dufour décrit bien le genre de travaux effectués pour un camp retranché (chap 8 de la page 101 à la page 123). Je peux scanner si nécessaire mais la possession de cet ouvrage éclaire beaucoup sur les combats de DBP.

Chaque point d'appui était constitué de manière autonome réunissant retranchements, champs de mine, barbelés, tranchées de communication, armes d'appui, plans feu direct et d'appui par artillerie et mortiers.

L'approche de Franck Chaldwick sur CItadel (GDW) me semble assez juste. EN fait, on a des informations éparses dans les diféfrents ouvrages consacrés à DBP. Il faudrait que je me replonge dans les principaux. Je ne pense pas que les plans présentés sur le site actuel de DBP soient fiables. Le mieux serait de se rendre au SHAT (service historique de l'armée de terre) au Château de Vincennes pour voir s'il n'existe pas de plans détaillés. Je ne l'ai jamais encore fait pour ma part.

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