My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Memoir '44 - The Fall Gelb Campaign

Don and I have been playing a Memoir '44 campaign for the last two weekends and it has rally turned out fascinating. I love the idea of campaigns - where actions in one game carry over in some form to the next - and those in the Campaign Book - Volume 1 certainly do.

The Fall Gelb campaign is a linked narrative campaign in which all of the scenarios are mapped out and defined beforehand. Success or failure in a game can have one of several effects. It can determine:

  • Which scenario or sub-campaign is to be fought next;
  • What additional forces you have available (over and above that indicated in the pre-defined scenario);
  • What forces in the scenario definition you do not get to use; and
  • What changes to the setup you must make.
What makes this type of campaign easy to run, but still worthwhile is that your successes and failures in one game do have an impact in the next, but yet the basic scenario played is still balanced. You just get a little more advantage or penalty based on previous play. This really helps reduce the number of "suicide moves" players make to achieve last turn wins. (It doesn't, however, eliminate them.)

Game 1, Pre-campaign, Bodange scenario


This is a strange little scenario in that it has not effect on the campaign or subsequent games whatsoever. Don called it a "warm-up game". I think it could be linked to Game 3, Airborne Operations Campaign, Unternehmen Niwi scenario in that one of the German armor reinforcements comes down the road from Bodange, so if the Germans lose that scenario, they lose that reinforcement.

That said, Don (as the Axis) won the Bodange scenario 5-4, so it was a close game. The Belgians are spread out and fairly immobile, but their artillery dominates this game, as does most artillery on defense.

Game 2, Airborne Operations campaign, Fort Eben-EmaĆ«l scenario

This is the famous German glider assault on the Belgian fortress that was reputed to be impregnable and was basically rendered ineffective within 10 minutes or so, and surrendered within a day.

The Belgians have the advantage of plenty of cover (bunkers, turrets, and fortresses), but as the Germans are within the defenses and the objectives are all unoccupied, the Belgians have to move. I did a fairly good job of moving into the center and protecting the objectives while Don had terrible luck trying to blow one turret in particular (five rolls of 2 dice each, with each die having 1/6th chance of rolling a star and he needed one star to blow it up).

The Germans needed six VP while the Belgians only needed five, however the Germans could blow turrets automatically (no card or action required), so they should have won... However, the Belgians squeaked out a 5-5 victory.

Well, there is a lightning store outside, so I think I will shut down the computer...

The rest of the story later (still five more games to report on).

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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").