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Subject: American failed raid on Cherbourg! rss

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Michel Sorbet
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"A son seul aspect n'est-on pas terrasse? Nul n'est assez hardi pour l'exciter" Job 40:28
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Welcome to all of you!

After four Dragon Wargames (Ardeny 1944, Wiedeń 1683, Kircholm 1605 and Kreta 1941) I decided to try something else.

Normandie 1944 is a game from the Vae Victis magazine, that I bought in the late 90’. I never had the willingness or the need to assemble the game but lately I was really motivated to do so.



I must admit that playing this game was a real challenge! Pasting and cutting the counters was not a problem (I pasted many other games before), the real issue were the rules and the accuracy of the counters.

When I found the errata I shook my head – there were so many mistakes in the rules and in the scenarios that I can hardly imagine, that the game was actually playtested... And even after applying them I still found some mistakes and ambiguous things especially in the scenario lists. Furthermore there was the issue with the wrong stacking values on the majority of the counters.

What a horror!

I am a stubborn person so finally, after many changes to the game components, I was ready to play. I decided to try the shortest scenario: The Drive On Cherbourg.



The game is being played only on a part of the map and simulates the battles fought by the American troops landed at Utah Beach to capture Cherbourg. The game can last not more than 4 turns so it is a very quick one.

Here are the victory conditions for both sides:

The American player scores a victory:
• Strategic: if he controls both hexes of Cherbourg at the end of Turn 2 (the historical objective)
• Operational: if he controls both hexes of Cherbourg at the end of Turn 3
• Marginal: if he controls both hexes of Cherbourg at the end of Turn 4 (the historical result)

The German player scores a victory:
• Strategic: if he manages to get a unit into 0617 (Utah beach is destroyed) and retains control of Cherbourg and St-Vaaast-La-Hogue
• Operational: if he controls both hexes of Cherbourg at the end of Turn 4 and two divisions (one of which must be 17SS) are in supply to the south map edge.
• Marginal: if he controls both hexes of Cherbourg at the end of Turn 4

TURN 1

The sky was clear so the Americans got a fighters unit.
The used it for a tactical interdiction mission so the German units had their movement points halfed fo that turn. Not a good thing for them, as they desperately need their reinforcements near Cherbourg as quick as possible...

The games starts with the Americans establishing a solid bridgehead.



A quick attack pushes back the first German line.



TURN 2

No fighters for the Americans this turn so the Germans manage to bring their reinforcements to battle. The US offensive on Cherbourg continues though.



They push very hard forward and manage to occupy one of the two hexes of Cherbourg! Unfortunately for them, the German stack 0321 resisted the assault so the Americans in Cherbourg will be without supply!



TURN 3

Americans try hard to destroy the defence south of the city but all this is in vein as they leave their rear lines exposed. The Germans pass through the marshes and cut the American supply lines to Utah beach!!!



Literally the whole American army is unsupplied. There is no chance of changing it too.. A real fairytale gone bad! The only thing that the Americans will play for is avoiding a defeat on turn 4.

TURN 4

The Americans just sit and wait as the Germans attack furiously in Cherbourg. The Americans take two step losses but they prevail!



End of the game!
As no side controls both Cherbourg hexes the fight ends in a draw...


CONCLUSION:
A fast and interesting play. The whole game took me not more than 1,5 hour. Most of this time was spent on browsing through the rules and the errata.

The American side made two major blunders. The first one was not securing the Utah beachhead – the sole American supply resource. The second was not taking St-Vaast la Hougue – it would have given them a second supply source.

The Germans have given up the first Cherbourg hex way to easily. At the end they were only one attack short of winning but it was to late...

Very enjoyable play!
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