[My original Normandy ’44 AAR starts here, with links to take you through all the turns of the seven turn mini game.]
So I am now finished my latest game of Normandy ’44. Playing solitaire, it appears that my pro-Allied bias shone through, as their forces did better than the first time, to secure a win in the seven turn mini campaign game.
Part of the difference was that the Omaha led forces broke out earlier, and more successfully. Thus, they were able to establish a link with the other beaches. Probably the core reason was better die rolling. That, and foolishly trying to conserve German supply points on defense, so as to mount a more potent offense. It didn’t work. There were too many days of clear weather, and too few opportunities for significant attacks. It appears that prudent use of supply points on the Determined Defense table may be the most productive use for the German side.
From Utah, I tried a much more aggressive approach as the Allies, including several chancy 1:1 combats. While these paid off, the cost was that I came close to handing the Germans an automatic victory because of the level of Allied step losses that built up here and elsewhere. In other words, although the Allies won the scenario, it was close to a German win.
On the Gold, Juno, and Sword front, the Allied forces were more successful in driving the Germans away, into Caen. However, after that there were no serious attempts to take the city. It would have been a bloodbath, and given the casualties elsewhere, was not attractive. It felt better – for the Allies – to pin German defenders in the city, while trying to make headway on the flanks.
In face-to-face play with a live opponent, it would be interesting to see how somebody else handles the German defenses here. For example, given the strong defensive bonus, maybe you can hold the city with a lot less, and release resources to menace the Allies on the flanks. This may delay the inevitable surrounding and cutting off that Caen faces. Intriguing.
It’s been a thoroughly enjoyable and engrossing experience, cementing the game’s position as my favorite of the campaign. That having been said, I need to think about finding a slot to try out the whole, long campaign game.
End position, with the front line marked in red. The Allies never really came close to threatening Villers-Bocage, but made better headway in the west; they are just about to split the defense into two. And in the east, they have also stretched the German defenses.
Oh glorious Omaha! With a better performance here, the Allied forces are threatening to snap the defenses open. The Germans have some decent troops, but maybe too much terrain to defend. The British Mulberry is in place, and the USA one would have followed shortly. That relentless wave of reinforcements would surely overpower the defenders – unless the stormy weather can provide enough of a respite.
Things were getting very interesting around Caen. The Allies had broken out in the north-east, but lacked strength in depth. German forces (12th SS, 21st Panzer, and others) were still a potent attacking threat, especially if the weather turned nasty.