MEMOIR 44 SCENARIO 101: JUNO BEACH
Memoir 44 is a tactical WWII game from Days of Wonder that successfully combines elements of both miniatures and board games. The game was designed by Richard Borg and uses his card-driven system of issuing orders to units on the board Featured in other games like Command and Colours, Battlecry and Battlelore). In 2010, DOW also launched an on-line version of Memoir 44 that mimics the board game perfectly.
Over the next few weeks I will provide you with my experience in playing Memoir 44 scenarios both at the tabletop and on-line, with my rating of the scenario and a few tips for play for both Axis and Allied forces. This week’s feature is the “Juno Beach” scenario.
Victory Conditions: 10 medals (4 medals can be achieved from temporary medal objectives)
Special Rules: fortified positions/beach movement/obstacles
Juno Beach is one of the main assaults that took place during the Normandy Beach invasion on the 6th June 1944. Canadian infantry, supported by special DD (amphibious) tank units mount an attack against a heavily fortified beachhead. There are 5 temporary victory markers that only the Allied player can score from; these are positioned in towns behind the beaches and on 2 strategic bridges. Barbed wire and tank trap obstacles are designed to tie down Allied forces on the beach, allowing Axis forces positioned in bunkers to pick them off.
This isn’t an easy one for the Germans. You really don’t have a lot of troops to deal with the invasion
force. You do have a single artillery unit on the back-line but its distance from the beaches makes it
ineffective and its position behind the rivers makes it hard to easily move it forward.
There are 3 objective markers on your left flank which makes that area a prime target for the Allies. Most of your defence is based on your right, so try and divert some of those units to the left flank early in the game to protect the bridges and to support the town of Vaux. One problem in doing this is having your infantry caught out in the open if the Allied armour is able to land and advance inland from the beach.
Use your infantry in the bunkers on the beach (next to the River Seulles) to target any armour that lands, if the opportunity arises. Also, if you draw a “Dig In!” card, use it to fortify infantry relocated to your left flank – the two hexes running between the river and Vaux have worked for me, creating a successful defensive line that harried Allied movement on the beaches.
Try to hang onto the town and bunkers that cover the beaches on your right flank. If you decide to reinforce the left, don’t strip everyone from there; use the infantry unit on the central hill and the one in the town (beside the bunker). If reduced in strength on centre/right flank, pull back to objective marker town hex of Courseulles-sur-Mer and attempt to draw the Allies toward your artillery.
Hit your right flank. The bulk of your objective medals are there, so it makes sense. The configuration
of the barbed wire and obstacles makes it difficult to move armour quickly off the beach and reduces your infantry’s effectiveness in attacking the bunker and the town of Vaux. So it pays to devote some of your infantry attacks to the removal of wire or, alternately, run your tank unit up the beach through the wire.
Use your infantry on the right to take Vaux as soon as possible. The bunker on the beach can wait. They are an annoyance and have no real ability to withdraw, due to their position with regards to the River Seulles. Once Vaux is secured you can direct fire on the bunker. Also, try to move the armoured unit that is in the centre (on the back line) to support the right flank. The left flank beach inhibits tank movement far greater than the left. The defence of the left by the German player can usually cope with one tank unit but not two.
Use your infantry on the left flak to fire at long range from the protection of the tank traps. The armoured unit that start there may not get much opportunity to engage as they are trapped behind the obstacles but they are a good deterrent for any assault that the Gemans may consider against the beaches. If the Germans are reduced significantly or move troops to defend against your attacks on the right, you may chance a direct assault on the towns and bunkers that defend the centre/left.
Rating of this scenario: 3 out of 5 stars.