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Subject: Memoir '44 - A Wife, A Cobra and Mr Borg with his Vodoo Doll rss

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This is the 8th report in a series as I attempt to play through Memoir '44 with my wife. She is an avid gamer but more a card & euro player.

These sessions not only try to outline the results of the battle, but aim to highlight her approach and her understanding of the strategy as she gains experience. Hopefully someone else may find them useful if they attempt to play Memoir with their significant other.

#8 - Operation Cobra



Round 1

Patty - Axis
Neil - Allies

The allies started with a 'Recon in Force' order and picked off a German Infantryman or two and took the forest on the right flank.

The Germans responded with a 'Move Out' order and returned a similar result as well as forcing the infantry in the right forest back. The Allies responded by re-taking the forest and mobilising an Armour Unit.

The Germans had waited long enough and decided to use their own 'Recon in Force' order. Minimal but effective casualties were inflicted in the centre and left flank but chaos was about to reign on the German right. The Armour unit that had moved out of the hedgerow on a previous turn, moved into close assault with the Allied Infantry. They eliminated 1 unit before assaulting a 2nd and causing serious damage.

Believing the left a lost cause the Allies kept the heat on the right. The HQ of both sides seemed little interested in the Allied left (no orders were available) and a war of attrition begun on the Allied right.

A major battle took place between the Allied Armour and German Panzer unit, deep in German held territory. Either the armour was super thick or the gunners were poorly trained as the Germans scored 1 hit from a 6 dice attack (armour assault) and the allies faired even worse scoring 1 hit from 10 attempts (over 2 turns). The Germans did manage to push the Allied Armour back 4 spaces) and by then the Germans had done enough.

The Hedgerows had helped win the day and secure a German victory 5 medals to 4.

The Return Leg

Patty - Allies
Neil - Axis

The return leg was a bloody battle on all fronts. The Allies kept picking off infantry in the centre and moved some of their left sided infantry to the safety of the woods.

The Germans had similar success but on the flanks. This was followed up with an early 'Air Strike' resulting in 4 units (including an armoured unit) being eliminated in the centre-left area in and around the forest.

The Allies pressed on the right and a German unit soon fell, allowing the Allies to take part of the Hedgerow. Although they paid with some losses, one unit got 'Behind Enemy Lines' and was able to eliminate another German Infantry Unit before pushing on to take the village of Marigny.

The Germans mobilised the Panzers in the centre and brought the right sided armour forward. The Allies suffered on that flank as a result and were forced deeper into the woods.

But things had still gone well and the Allies found themselves with a 4-1 lead. Just when it seemed they could not fail, HQ told them to hold in the centre, the area that held most of the Allied forces.

The Germans sensed their enemies hesitation and pushed on their right. With decisive attacks the Germans had levelled the score at 4 medals each. Thankfully the Allies had managed to mobilise their central armour and came charging after the Panzers. It was with horror that the tank commander looked up after the smoke had cleared to discover they had only taken out 1 of the 4 Panzer figures!!!

The Allied Armour took a small hit from a German Infantry Unit that had come from the German right flank, but nothing major. A brief lull allowed Allied 'Mechanics' to come and tend to the injured Armour Unit (it was the only central command card the Allies had). Just 1 dice needed to show a tank or star to repair it and allow them to roll on into Saint-Gilles, thus winning the battle and scenario! Just one…just one. Despite the odds (a 1 in 81 chance that I wouldn’t roll a tank or star) all 4 dice showed infantry or grenades!!!!!

The armour unit sat motionless! At this point I started to wonder if Richard Borg had a voodoo doll of me somewhere and was spending a lazy Monday poking me in his den with Days of Wonder stick pins! Oh the Pain. devil

The scenario was over with a tied medal count of 9 medals each. But Patty had scored 2 extra casualties to win by the narrowest of margins and take her overall lead to 2.

Final Result - Tied at 9 Medals each (Patty held +2 casualty count).

Scenario Count - Patty (5) Neil (3)

What did Patty learn – This was her first big tank battle and it helped reinforce the importance of Armour Assault moves. Several times she had decided to keep her distance and not moved into Close Assault range. Operation Cobra also reinforced the nasty nature of Hedgerows and how important they are as defensive positions.

What Did I Learn – I have upset the Memoir Gods somehow and need to buy a new set of dice. Patty is now fully up to speed with the rules and I will change the nature of these sessions to focus more on the scenarios we undertake.

Operation Cobra - This is probably the best scenario we have played from the base book so far. Both sides have considerable forces in all sections, reducing the chance of redundant Command Cards for much of the battle. The terrain is varied and the hedgerows require a high level of technical skill to attack them effectively and to defend them. The forces are varied and although there are plenty of armour units, they are essentially useless against the infantry in the hedgerows. Instead they are best used to take long distance pot-shots and they need to inch up slowly in order to charge the villages and any other units that leave the protection of the hedgerows. In short Operation Cobra is an excellent scenario, offering variety and close finishes.

Edit - Added Scenario Map
 
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Barry Kendall
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I got a copy of M'44 when it first came out just in time to take it on vacation. We played 18 games of Cobra--EIGHTEEN--all ending in German victories, and I don't even mean close victories. We kept changing sides just to see if we could crack the thing, but no luck (we had discovered early-on the vulnerability of the American infantry on the left to an early German armored attack--out in the open and no room to retreat).

I taught the game to a friend and after the Pegasus Bridge intro scenario, he wanted to try Cobra. And he wanted the Americans. I tried to dissuade him but he insisted.

And won, handily, something like 5-2.

Granted, the Germans got some poor cards, but as M'44 players know, the cards tend to even out.
 
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CanCon, BunnyCon...BorderCon!!!
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Re: Memoir '44 - A Wife, A Cobra and Mr Borg with his Vodoo
I'll admit that the Allied Infantry on the left are poorly positioned.

I have found 2 effective opening moves to help counter this. If you have a Move All Left or Move 3 Left, get those guys into the woods for some protection. They are as good as safe for at least 1 turn as the armour can't move more than 1 space out of the hedgerow on their first move. Once they get mobile they will then lose 2 dice against the units in the woods.

But perhaps even more effective was the game I outlined above. I used a Move All order in the centre and charged the Axis Infantry in the near hedgerow. After taking out 2-3 figures in the first turn the Germans have some serious thinking to do. If they go for the easy kills on the left with the armour, I am going to finish the Infantry in the centre off, take the hedgerow and have the entire middle of the board open to me.

It's a very effective move.
 
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