Scott Wheelock
New Brunswick
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David Malki drew this!
I’m a recent Memoir ’44 convert, and have gotten into it in a big way, playing numerous games with my Geekbuddy, Eric, who introduced me to the game.

eric knox
Woodstock-1h from capital of NB
New brunswick
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I’d picked up the Campaign Book 1 when it was announced it would be going out of print, and while we’d played a number of stand-alone games, I was dying to try out a campaign.

That’s where the D-Day Supplemental came in. It looked like a great introduction to the campaign system, and was short enough that we could finish it in a couple of two-to-three-game sessions. The sands of Normandy were well-trodden territory, but they’d always been tense battles, so I was looking forward to the action.

Scenario #1: Pointe-Du-Hoc
I elected to play the German defenders, with Eric’s Allies storming the beaches. We began with the U.S. campaign. The Americans’ targets were German AA guns, hidden in orchards, well behind the defensive positions. The Germans, with four reserve tokens, were allocated two reserve units, and I (foolishly) decided to spend only one token, requesting an armour unit be sent to the field. The Allied special forces were bolstered by an additional infantry unit (costing one of their three tokens).

The Allies quickly deployed their reserve unit to my left flank, sending three units in to assault the bunker on the point. The German infantry and artillery put up a fierce defense, and two Allied units fell taking the bunker. The move was revealed to be a feint, however, as Allied troops in the center stormed up the cliffs. Another German unit fell, and a well-timed Infantry Assault card sent two Allied units a quick three hexes. Both orchards were occupied in one turn, and the AA guns destroyed.

Allies: Four medals (inc. two objectives); Axis: Two medals

Not a good start for the Germans, unfortunately. The reserve armour, according to the rules of the D-Day campaign, didn’t even get out of the staging area, despite repeated attempts. In addition, the Allies now had one bonus point (out of two) for seizing two of their objectives.

Scenario #2: First Wave at Omaha
The Allies had a four-point lead going into the second scenario. This one had to go better for my Germans, or the third scenario would be a mere formality. Reserve rolls granted the Allies a Rangers infantry unit, but Eric (for reasons unknown) refused the help. On the German side, just when reserve units would have been most welcomed, a flag & star were rolled, netting me some rather thin-looking sandbags, which were placed in the beachfront village.

The Allies moved quickly up the beach on my left flank, toward the D-1 opening and the tempting two-medal objective of Vierville-sur-Mer. In response, my entrenched artillery pounded them heavily, and German infantry made them pay for any ground gained. At the same time, the Allies made cautious advances in the center, and pulled troops from Fox and Easy sectors to assault E-1. Eventually, though the Allied Rangers were dispatched, infantry losses forced me to pull troops from the bunker at D-3 to defend Vierville. The allies swarmed in through E-1, sustaining heavy losses all over the beach (most heavily on the left flank). As the final Allied armour made a desperate play for Colleville-sur-Mer, my artillery bombarded their tanks, ending the fight.

Axis: Six medals; Allies: Five medals (inc. two objectives: one hex of Vierville and the beachfront town)

Although technically a victory, the Allies kept this fight even, losing by only one point, and, by virtue of gaining another objective, gaining the last bonus point. The total campaign score now stood at eleven to eight, and heroic measures were now needed if I wanted a German win.

Scenario #3: Utah Beach
Reserve rolls again favoured the Allies: an additional armour unit joined the fray in a landing craft, and I was provided with another armour unit (which would actually reach the front this time) and some more sandbags, which went to bolster the defenses occupying La Grande Dune. (This made for a total of only two reserve tokens used out of four, which taught me a valuable lesson about holding tokens ‘just in case’; on the whole, it’s a poor idea.)

I needed to keep the Allies to one medal to win the campaign (and to two to tie; a more realistic option). This was not to be. To make a long, sad story short, although my armour finally entered the fray on the third attempt, the allies punched through the German defenses with no shortage of speed, eliminating four units and moving an Allied armour unit off of the board at Exit 3 for the fifth medal. The German defense was spread out, uncoordinated, and ultimately insufficient.

Allies: Five medals; Axis: Two medals

U.S. D-Day Campaign: Final Score
Allies: Sixteen victory points total (inc. two bonus points from objectives)
Axis: Ten victory points total

A decisive, and deserved, win for Eric, and a rather humiliating, though thoroughly enjoyable, loss for me. The U.K. campaign awaits, and with it, the promise of a fierce German resistance. With a six-point deficit to overcome, the Commonwealth forces cannot be allowed to take even one objective!

But that’s a report for another session (coming soon).
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