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.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Memoir '44 - The Fall Gelb Campaign (Part 6)

Game 12, The Sickle-Cut campaign, Defense of Le Cateau scenario

This was an interesting scenario in that the French are thrown far forward and scattered, making it easier to pick them off. I decided to retreat away from the Sambre Canal towards Le Cateau, which is a German objective. This allows me to have multiple units firing on any unit crossing the canal, while denying the Germans terrain from which to attack Le Cateau.

My luck was such that I did not get a chance to get a reinforcement from the Reserves, but simply got to dig in a single unit. (I chose the infantry in the woods on the left flank. Don's luck was just as good; he got a sandbag too!

In the end, Don's forces ground down mine, but at a cost. The game ended 5-5, but as the Allies needed 6 VP it was a German win. Don additionally got a objective point (Le Cateau). I destroyed an additional two Panzer units, but that brings it to a total of seven, which is not enough to earn another objective point.

Allies 58-47

Game 13, The Sickle-Cut campaign, Assault on the Wattenberg scenario

This is a tough scenario for the French as they only have four Command to the German six. Their advantage is that the Germans must get the objective at Mount Watten as one of their medals.

I was able to get an Elite Infantry unit as reinforcements, while Don got a non-elite infantry unit. My plan was to pull back to Mount Watten in the center, man the front edge of the woods on the left, and move the artillery forward on the right. I wanted to move the infantry out of the towns behind the canal as soon as possible, before the German artillery started tearing them apart.

My plan largely succeeded, in that I made the Germans pay dearly to cross the canal while my infantry retreated. I was able to counter-attack back into the towns twice in order to pick off units, before retreating back to the woods or the hill. The game ended in an Allied victory 6-4.

Final Tally

The final count for The Sickle-Cut campaign was Allies 23-16, giving the Allies a Major Victory, adding two more Grand Campaign points. When the dust settled, the Allies had won 66-51.

Summary

The great thing about this campaign is that you can see that it has replay value. At the very least you can take the other side with the same opponent and get a fresh perspective (and I am sure a completely different campaign). In addition, the choice of the last campaign to play adds further variation.

It is clear from the play that the single worst failure the Germans can have is to fail to win the Airborne Operations campaign. Losing that means losing all armor reinforcements for the remaining campaigns. That really hurts. Had Don realized the significance of that first campaign, I think he might have played his reserves differently.

All in all a great set of linked games; exactly what I want in gaming. It does not completely negate the players from making last-turn suicidal attacks (I did it in the Valkenberg Airfield scenario), but is a lot better than a steady diet of one-off games all the time.

I hope you've enjoyed this series. Next I think we will return to DBA for a bit. Don and I have both collected some armies, including some HOTT armies.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Memoir '44 - The Fall Gelb Campaign (Part 5)

The Sickle-Cut campaign

Don, winning the last campaign, chose this as the final campaign in the Grand Campaign. When asked why he chose this, he said that it looked like the Germans had more of a unit advantage in the scenarios than with The Crossing of the Meuse campaign.

If the Germans win this campaign, we will fight the final scenario, Dunkirk, which grants the winner an additional Campaign Victory Point (like Bodange did).

Game 10, The Sickle-Cut campaign, Bouvignes Bridgehead scenario

This scenario is interesting in that it has a wall of hills with a cliff on the river side. This severely restricts the mobility of the French to reinforce any attacks coming across the river. I had two choices:

  • Try and oppose the crossing of the Meuse River at Bouvignes and (West) Dinant for as long as possible; or
  • Line up all of my units on the cliff and blast the Germans once they crossed.
I chose the latter strategy. As this seemed like a good scenario for using reserves, I applies a token when I was able to roll up an armor unit for reinforcements. Don received an elite infantry unit for his reinforcements. He also found out that he is out of armor reinforcements for the entire Grand Campaign because of the loss of the Airborne Operations campaign.

My plan was to move all of my infantry and tanks onto the cliffs and rain metal down on the Germans as they attempted to cross and after they succeeded. This left two units hanging, giving the Germans easy victory points. I was able to execute my plans and basically stopped the Germans cold at the river, except on my left flank, where they assaulted through Houx Island with the elite infantry. Don's artillery tore up my infantry units, one by one, but he lost units faster. It ended in an Allied victory 6-4. I was unable to destroy a single Panzer unit.

Allies 47-39

Game 11, The Sickle-Cut campaign, Battle of Flavion scenario

As an all-armor battle, this was going to be interesting. Plus, this was going to be the first chance for the Germans to score objective points by killing Elite (Heavy) French armor units.

Although I was outnumbered in units, I did not feel I could afford to use a reserve token. Further, I rolled infantry, so I definitely did not want to throw them into this scenario, which promised to be a little more fluid than those with infantry and artillery. Don chose to use a reserve token as he had rolled an artillery reinforcement.

Due to my winning the last scenario, I was able to move first. I knew I wanted to attack one flank or the other, and my first choice was the German right flank, but Don had placed his artillery unit there and I was not going to go near it, if at all possible. So, shifting to my right flank it was. After the card deal, however, I could see that it was going to be more of using the center section, as I started with the Assault All in Center and Armor Assault cards.

I started by moving my French elites away from the left into the center and moved one armor on the right to use a Recon 1 on Right card, getting more center cards. I then sprung the trap and assaulted with five armor in the center and destroyed three German armor in a single turn. I spent the rest of the game chasing down two more to win the game, 5-2. (The two units I lost were not elites, so they yielded no objective points.) As I had destroyed five Panzer units, I gained an additional objective point.

Allies 53-41


With only 11 medals available to the Axis in the two remaining scenarios, the Axis have to win big to stay competitive in this campaign. If they lose this campaign, not only will they lose the Grand Campaign, but the Allies will have changed history and the debacle at Dunkirk will have been averted!

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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").