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Subject: Falling in love again with an old flame rss

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Paul Bradshaw
England
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Just got back into this one thanks to BGG ( it had spent too many years sitting at the bottom of a pile of games gathering dust). It covers a fascinating chapter of WWII namely D-Day and the subsequent push towards the German border, and through it's gameplay offers different challenges to both sides.

For the Allies initially it is all about establishing that all important initial foothold and not being pushed back into the sea; spreading out from the beaches to free them up for the all important reinforcements; holding your own in the bocage against often bigger forces whilst attempting to take Cherbourg without major costs.

Achieve this and then the focus shifts towards an actual breakout of the Cherbourg / Carentan / Caen / Avranches peninsula, by which time the replacements and reinforcements should be flooding in. Growing Allied superiority should allow the focus to further shift towards organising a number of pushes towards the Reich. The most difficult one will be clearing key defended areas along the North coast which will further enhance your supply opportunities if successful; that said at times it will be in your interest to simply bypass some enemy units in defended locations leaving them to twiddle their thumbs and sit the war out (or forcing your opponent to bring them out of their bunkers and fight on your terms if he is really desperate). A successful push on this front will put your opponent on the back foot as the potential for you to do a flanking northern manouvre on the Westwall will become an increasing reality.

You should also establish a strong central push from the Normandy region towards the Westwall that crosses the Seine and Marne rivers. It is here that you may well have to mop up some of the stronger retreating German elements from the fighting in Normandy, or face a likely second line of defence if your opponent is well organised. This should also help provide a central rebuttal to any concerted 'Bulge' push offered by the Germans. The reinforcement track itself will allow you to open a southern front near the Swiss border through dictated placement, which in turn will encourage your opponent to consider spreading his hopefully meagre forces. Upon reaching the Westwall you should identify the chinks in its armour and exploit these, strong stacks will need to be established to counter the defence modifiers offered by the wall.

As for the Germans the initial phase in many ways is key. The overarching goal is to keep the Allies hemmed in and if possible to take beach zones to prevent the landing of reinforcements. Man and defend Cherbourg to deny further Allied supply benefits and pose that potential threat to their landing zones - essentially make Cherbourg a potential pain in the neck. You will also need to use the strategic movement option to draw in your premier units (panzer, ss panzer, infantry) into stacks that will provide a barrier in the Normandy region. * STACKS ARE ESSENTIAL TO THE GERMAN PLAYER AS THEY ARE REALLY LIMITED BY MOVEMENT PENALTIES * It is a good idea to create panzer stacks early doors as they can have quite a significant impact if used selectively. When the odds are stacked in your favour actively opt for an offensive approach and when possible use the movement option following victory to hopefully deny key space. Equally, if you need to stand firm against an onslaught then make sure you occupy bocage regions to gain the defence benefits. Draw in all your units that are in the Brittany region bar the required number of Volksdeutsch units to hold the fortified ports (this forces the allied player to at least consider whether he needs to take them).

If the almost inevitable breakout occurs then the German player needs to adopt a proper defensive strategy to better facilitate their potential for securing victory. Secure your key North coast ports where possible with stacks of three Volksdeutsch; keep an eye on the Nijmegan / Arnhem area as this is a route for a potential flanking manouvre. It may well be a good move to establish a second line of defence down the Seine River - linking Le Havre / Rouen / Paris / Troyes. Unit wise placements can be staggered as the zone of control rule will always come in to effect. Once this line is breached then I do think the Westwall itself is your last line with which to stem the tide, particularly if you use / utilise the benefits of the terrain available. If you can afford to do so place one or two reinforcements at the south end of the Wall to counteract what is to be a less likely flanking move on the part of the Allies. Sadly, from a German perspective I have yet to play a game wherein the Bulge option makes much of a difference for them.

Hey ho. All in all a very accessable and playable game that has easily digestable rules that pretty much allow you to jump in confidently early doors. I even like the die rolling rules in the activation phase as for me they factor in issues such as leadership dithering / proaction and even more nebulous issues such as weather etc..... that factors against the more simplistic you go I go approach.
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Steve Duke
United States
Georgetown
Texas
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Nice report!
There is a Vassal module for this if you are interested in playing online. Drop me a note.
My copy of this game has survived my many game sale purges over the years. It is a clean, fast playing game.
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Mark Swenholt
United States
Plano
Texas
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If either of you guys are going to BGGCon we could arrange for a F2F play. I live in the DFW area so bringing my copy is easy.
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Barry Kendall
United States
Lebanon
Pennsylvania
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When it was published, I passed on this as the cookie-cutter unit strengths struck me as ahistorical.

A couple of years ago someone gave me a copy at a miniatures-con flea market just to get rid of it; it was complete except for having no counters.

The "standardized" unit strengths actually proved to be an advantage as I was able to devise units from other sources and play the game.

Though it can't be called a "simulation" of war in 1944 Europe, it's a pretty good game and moves along nicely. Thanks for shining a light on it.
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Thomas Ryan

Silver Spring
Maryland
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I really like the dice rolling for turn. It adds a level of surprise that enhances the overall fun of the game.

Fast paced, simple rules and a level of unpredictibilty all make for a recommended game.

Good review of your strategies for both sides.
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Martin Smith
New Zealand
Wellington
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Quote:
Nice report!

Quote:
Good review of your strategies for both sides.


I agree with the above comments. This seems more like a Strategy article than a game Review, as such.

But either way, a good contribution to BGG - and an encouragement for me to get my copy out! Thanks.
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