Normandy ’44 – Turn Five

Weather

Some respite for the Germans with Overcast – 3 Weather. Limited Allied airpower and no Jabos.

German Turn

The 12th SS tries to swing round at Caen to threaten the Allied flank. They evict the Canadian 2nd Armoured Division from Caen in a blow to the Allied advance.

Panzer Lehr forms up and attacks the forces heading south from Omaha. The Germans are, surprisingly, stopped by the rag tag bunch of defenders who give as much as they take from the crack attackers.

German forces take Caumont, while at Utah there is an attempt to thicken the line of defenders. There are enough troops, but the quality is poor. An attack by the German 709th Division to try and gain useful defensive territory gets nowhere against the US 9th Division.

Allied Turn

Welcome reinforcements land at Utah, Omaha, Gold, and Juno.

At Caen, the Allies regroup and counterattack. British 3rd Armoured Divsion plus helpers stand head to toe with the 21st Panzer, but despite losses on each side, both hold their ground.

British forces (Guards and 7th Armoured ) take Villers-Bocage.

South of the Aure, a determined defense stops the US 2nd Armored from making headway against Panzer Lehr. Similarly, another determined defense bloodies the British 50th Division in what it thought was a mopping up operation.

At Utah, concerted attacks in the north at last break the ring of defenders. The question is whether the Germans will be able to recover in time to set up a decent defensive line, further back. However, the Utah breakout south is halted by a superb determined defense by the 6th Fallschirmjaeger.

Rules Highlight

You will have seen references to determined defense in some of the posts. This is a Mark Simonitch trademark and  a rule that, in one form or another, has appeared in several of his recent WW2 designs. For certain combat results that would cause the defender to retreat, he may roll on the Determined Defense Table. Depending on the troop quality and terrain, the result may be no effect, a cancellation of the retreat, or a cancellation of the retreat with losses to one or both sides.

If you are the attacker, it’s not much fun seeing your forces brought to a shuddering halt by a successful determined defense. Of course, if you are the defender, you have the opposite sensation, having probably just rescued – at least in part – the situation.

On the plus side, it reduces attacker certainty. It also adds flavor and more demanding decision making. Risk the losses on the table, or take the retreat?

On the down side, it is fiddly and adds another layer to the combat rules.

On balance, I like it. However, it can be a drag in play if you have lots of eligible combats, each with a determined defense to resolve. I prefer it to the quality based swings in combat odds that the Operational Combat Series, for example, uses to inject chaos into combat. However, I cannot help feeling that there may be a sleeker solution awaiting discovery in the future.

And now for the pictures:

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It’s heating up around Caen. Notice the Werfer unit that is currently marked as “Moved.” It will be making mischief in the next turn. The Alies will be praying for Clear weather.

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At Villers-Bocage the lead Allied units are strong, but unsupported. The Allied units top right are those busy pinning the German defenders on the east flank of Caen.

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Omaha, where the Germans are digging in on one flank (east) and fighting on the other. Panzer Lehr and the units of 352nd Division have been pummeled but are holding.

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Utah, where the Allied forces have blown a hole in the defensive line in the north. In the South, apart from getting nowhere against the existing defenders, the Allies have to face the fact that there are more on the way. 

Replay Links

Turn 1Turn 2 – Turn 3 – Turn 4Turn 5Turn 6Turn 7Reflections

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