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Subject: Memoir 44: Operation Cobra (the luck of the draw) rss

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My first game of Memoir 44

My friend and I needed something quick to play before the rest of the group arrived; we thought Memoir 44 would be the perfect choice. We used my friends set, (mine still remains partially unpunched and broken in) and he is the one who was teaching me how to play. I had a rudimentary understanding of the game, having read the rulebook. Still my friend had 5-6 plays under his belt compared to my zero plays.

We sat down to play a quick game of Memoir 44. We wanted to do a scenario with some armor so after perusing the rules and scenarios booklet I chose the Operation Cobra scenario. We did a random draw for who was going to be the Axis or Allies. I ended up being the Americans and the more experienced player the Germans.
The terrain was laid out, the minis were placed and the action begins. We both drew our command cards and the carnage ensued. The beginning game was pretty standard, however I realized that the focus of my game should be on getting the 5 medals to meet the victory conditions and focus all of my efforts on the middle and right sections since both St. Gilles and Marigny fall within those two sectors. I chose to openly aim for the objectives and stay focused, eyes on the prize.

Bare in mind, I am not giving a fully detailed synopsis of the battle report, as I did not record every move and or event. I am just going with the main things that happened, memorable card draws, rolls, and maneuvers etc. things like flag rolls and subsequent retreats aren’t being tallied.

I was getting lucky with my card draws, In my starting hand I had 1 direct from HQ, Their finest hour, a Recon in Force card, a center section probe card to name the important ones. I chose the direct from HQ and activated several sections of center infantry to close and fire upon the center group of German infantry.
Within turn 1-2 I had neutralized the center German group of infantry and opened up a seam in the middle for my forces to advance. I had earned my 1st medal and only taken two casualties on the left flank. (The flank I had basically chosen to abandon and just leave my forces behind for defensive maneuvers). Next time around I drew yet another
Direct from HQ card and ordered 4 units on my right section. The 1 group of Sherman’s advanced with 2 groups of infantry. On the left section I put the casualty-laden group of infantry into the forest for protection.



After some decent rolling (I really rolled pretty well all game and had good cards)
I had reduced the infantry group near the Luzon River down to 2 infantry.

I took some heavy casualties on the left side and in the middle on the German phase as he played a counter attack card and ordered 4 units to return fire. When the turn was done the Panzers and Infantry on the left flank had wiped out 1 full unit of infantry earning the Germans their 1st medal. I had also taken heavy casualties on the right side having two of the 3 Sherman’s knocked out by the combined infantry firing.

Allies - 1 Medal
Axis – 1 Medal


As luck would have it, I drew a Mechanics and Medics card and was able to reinforce
1 Sherman to the wounded unit, bringing it up to two. It then proceeded to knock out the remaining infantry ahead of the Luzon River (there was only 1 left at this point) as I may have had a turn in between where we exchanged powerful but generally ineffective blows. After earning my second medal, I had to withstand the German players firefight card and took some more casualties on the left flank, having yet another unit reduced to 50%.

Allies - 2 Medal
Axis – 1 Medal



In the next two turns I played a Recon in force, and moved/fought with a unit in each sector, I believe I put the wounded unit on the left sector into the forest now as well to try to prevent the Germans from getting their second medal. After the probe where I shifted some center section infantry around I withstood some semi effective German rolling (he played an attack card and knocked out 1 infantry on the center section and anther one in the right sector). I decided to play their finest Hour card and ended up gaining two infantry and 1-tank orders for the turn. I used my tank orders on the right section and brought my second set of Sherman’s and 1 unit of infantry up on the right section to put fire on the remaining German infantry unit in the woods near the River. Meanwhile my wounded Sherman unit continued to fight with the centrally located German infantry that was in front of Monreul sur Lozon. After some nasty fighting I had reduced the right section infantry to 2 models and the center infantry to 3 models. The Germans fired back with both the particular units and moved their elite 4 model Panzer unit out of the back terrain in between the forest and Hedgerows. I believe I lost 1 model of infantry in the middle of on the right flank.

I had drawn an Infantry Assault so I moved all my infantry in the middle section up and began putting more fire on the center German infantry unit that was in from of Monruel.
He was reduced to one model in that space but his Panzers were poised to heap some devastation on my central placed infantry out in the open with no cover.
Card play slips my mind here but I know he caused 2 casualties on my right facing infantry group. He was now open to counter attack however and that’s exactly what I did. I played the Armor Assault card I had been sitting on for the better part of 3 turns.

I was able to get both full strength groups of Sherman’s in range to fire on the Elite Panzer unit and I was also able to get my wounded 2 model group of Sherman’s in on it as well.
Infantry would provide some covering fire as well. In two turns of combat I had only lost 1 infantry in the middle sector group and 1 Sherman from one of the healthy groups in the center, at the cost of all 4 of his Elite Panzers. Truly a devastating blow!

Allies - 3 Medal
Axis – 1 Medal



Seeing how the center was turning out and that I was pushing hard, my opponent (probably a little too late) decided to move his left sector Panzer group close in and assault my infantry in the woods/hedges. He also moves his left sector infantry up in addition to the tanks. He successfully wiped out the 1 wounded unit hiding in the woods there, and receives his second medal.

Allies - 3 Medal
Axis – 2 Medal



Choosing to press the attack even harder on the right and center sectors I played yet another recon in force card and moved my last healthy infantry unit on the left up some to draw some fire/keep his infantry busy as it was only a matter of time before his tanks broke through. So I then advanced my healthy Sherman group up into adjacent hex contact with the remaining infantry model ahead of the town of Monreul and the wounded Sherman’s followed suit. I got lucky and was finally able to knock out his unit in two turns time, but at the cost of losing one of my Sherman’s out of the two Sherman unit, leaving only one left.

Allies - 4 Medal
Axis – 2 Medal



Seeing a clear path to Marginy and my 5th and final victory point, the German player pulled out all the stops and countered with a Recon in Force himself. Moving his remaining right sector infantry group within 1 space of Marginy, he attacked with his remaining Panzer group (now stationed near the middle sector forest and missed with its attack roll) and he put some fire on my infantry with his left sector German infantry casing 1 casualty.

The path was open, it was there, and I rolled my healthy unit of Sherman’s right into Marginy securing the allied victory on the day.

Final Total:
Allies - 5 Medal
Axis – 2 Medal



It was a great game, hard fought and at numerous times I felt like he was going to pull 1 card and the tide would shift. But I think I played a solid game tactically by focusing on the center and the right flank. Both medal point cities were in the center or the right section. I did benefit from tremendous card draws, good card play and really good, high percentage rolls. My opponent cannot say the same, I am sure the next time we play it will be a much closer, harder fought game.
 
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Merric Blackman
Australia
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Excellent report!

Our game of Operation Cobra ended Axis 5, Allies 3... although the Allies reached 4 before losing possession of the town.

It's a very good scenario, IMO.

Cheers,
Merric
 
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Thanks!

Yeah, it was a blast. I am going to try to get my wife (the occasional gamer) to play this one with me.
 
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