Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Germans salvage their military reputation at Valkenburg Airfield

The week's commemorative refights of 1940 campaign battles from Memoir '44 finally saw a turn in favor of the Germans in the Valkenburg Airfield scenario from the Campaign Book.

This was aided in no small part by the absence of Game Shop Tony from the Allied High Command this day, being substituted by Game Shop Denizen Noob, who had a grand total of one previous game under his belt, the Unternehmen Niwi scenario mentioned yesterday.

Noob is quickly grasping the rules, but naturally is still climbing the learning curve tactically. I took the Germans largely to spare Noob the task of trying to master the Air Rules as well, but it didn't matter in the ended as the Germans never drew enough cards to make taking flight seem worthwhile.

The Germans opened the action with a quick strike against the Dutch armor unit and the nearby infantry, scoring kills and leaping out to a 2-0 lead. The larger part of the rest of the battle was the usual minor back-and-forth maneuvering often seen in Borg games as both sides made the most of their individual card draws but failed to create a coherent battle plan. Generally the Dutch closed the distance, but losses were fairly even, with the Germans scoring three more kills to bring the Dutch to the danger zone while the Dutch scored two kills in return.

Things were looking pretty peachy for the Germans until a late-game scare when the Dutch had a good turn that killed two more Germans and suddenly they were within striking range with a 1-figure German unit in the open and a vacant airfield withing striking distance.

It was just a scare however, as the Dutch advance also left a 1-figure unit within range and the Germans were able to scoop up their 6th medal with a close-range blast.

While not playing a formal campaign or Grand campaign at this time, by campaign game standards the Airborne Operation portion played so far would have ranked as a minor Allied victory. The Allies won three battles to one German win, but the medal scores were pretty close, with the total Allied count at 19 medals. They also scored two objectives in Operation Niwi which would have been a "0" on the "Objectives Points" track for a total of 19 Victory Points. The Germans scored 17 medals in their four games, plus three objectives (at Fort Eben-Emael) which are worth 1 point on the Objectives Points track, for a total of 18 Victory Points. Thus the Allies eked out a Minor Victory by Campaign Game Standards.

With their earlier victory at Bodange considered, the Allies have a small edge so far in the Pseudo-campaign, but there's plenty of opportunity for the Germans to make it up.

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