Memoir’44 – Breakthrough battles! – The Boardgames Chronicle

You know, I am of opinion that Memoir’44 is a game which with its expansions not only gets better, but also transforms into completely new experience. What recently drawn mine and my wargaming buddy – Lukasz – attention was Breakthrough format. Finally we can do deep raids at the enemy rear, try outflanking and other interesting tactics. Today I will have for Fellow Readers two very interesting but very distinct scenarios. Enjoy picture-rich session reports!


Other prominent Memoir’44 session reports:


Operation Crusader – November 1941

historical background:

The Marmaric Desert, November 19, 1941 – General Auchinleck orders General Cunninghamto launch the British Eighth Army into a massive offensive into Libya in a bid to destroy the Italo-German armored divisions and free up the garrison in Tobruk.

Over the next three weeks, over 700 British tanks face off against 240 German Panzers and 150 Italian tanks in desert battles around Sidi Rezegh and its airfield. The garrison in Tobruk even attempts a break out to connect with the Eight Army. After many engagements with varied outcomes, Rommel is forced to order the remnants of Panzergruppe Afrika to retreat toward Gazala, beaten not by his opponent’s strategy, but rather its overwhelming material superiority. Tobruk is free!

Session report:

Feel free to click on picture to enlarge it.

So I took the command of British forces while Lukasz decided to lead the defending Africa Corps. Tobruk is clearly visible in right-bottom corner. Due to lack of some terrain elements, we had to use snowy hills.
I admit, I had perfect cards, allowing me to reposition tanks quickly from center to left, overrunning the Italian position instantly. Lukasz responded with repositioning of Rommel forces on his left.
And then my British smashed at the hills. There was nothing Lukasz could do to stop the onslaught, nor to stop my relief force from reaching the besieged Tobruk.
Of course, Afrika Corps approached my attacking column, but was no match for material and numerical superiority of British.
Finally situation on the map. A slaughter of German forces and victory for Allies!

That was an incredibly painful scenario for Lukasz. I had cards, good rolls and forces to play with. The Germans were completely obliterated to the extent where – if historically true – the Africa campaign would probably already be finished for Rommel.

The Tatsinskaya Raid – December 1942

historical background:

Paulus’ 6th Army has been stuck in the Stalingrad pocket since November 27. Soviet Operation Little Saturnlaunched December 16, smashes through the front lines of the Italian 8th Army, letting several Soviet armored divisions roll through.

At the head of 24th Tank CorpsGeneral Badanov breaks through on a distance of 150 miles and reaches Tatsinskaya. His T-34s roll onto the airfield that is littered with Junkers-52 refueling to resupply Stalingrad and cause widespread havoc.

The Germans immediately counter-attack with elements of 11th Panzer and 306th Infantry Division. Despite horrendous tank losses, Badanov holds the airfield another 4 days before escaping back to the Russian front lines. The German efforts to relieve Stalingrad have been badly disrupted.

Session report:

Feel free to click on picture to enlarge it.

Completely different scenario – we moved from hot desert of Africa to a very cold Russian Winter. This time I lead the Wehrmacht Forces while Lukasz took command of raiding Soviet Group.
Pretty daunting perspective for the airfield defenders. The bunkers will not hold the enemy for too long…
And here they come – the Russian T-34s hit with full force my outnumbered defenders, overruning the airfield quickly.
Amassing my counter-attacking German forces took time…
But it was worth waiting for! I smashed and destroyed most of the left Soviet wing, even leading 6-2 in points. But that was only temporary.
After we killed most of our tanks, the game turned into long war of attrition – slightly too long for my taste. In the end Red Army prevailed, but losses on both sides were simply huge!

Very interesting scenario, with Russians quickly overwhelming the Airfield defenders and German Panzers coming to rescue them. I would probably slightly alter victory conditions for control of airstrip, giving 1 VP to Soviets every turn, so the pressure on Germans is much bigger.

Summary

The Breakthrough scenarios are true fun. Not only due to scale, number of units and depth of battlefield, but also thanks to the new deck of cards and much higher victory points threshold. We will for sure continue our games using that sub-system of Memoir’44!

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