1944 Bloody Omaha

Having played the official Omaha Overlord scenario, I wanted to try another version. This one is more complex, but I think it is much better.

Set up: long – 90 minutes
Game time: long – 90 minutes
Solo play: difficult – long set up time

Historical Background:
The 116th Regiment landed from Charlie sector to Easy Green sector, while the 16th Regiment landed from Easy Red sector to Fox Green sector. The 116th were reinforced with the elite 2nd and 5th Army Ranger Battalions along with Shermans of the the 741st tank battalion. Only five of the 32 amphibious tanks made it ashore. They were not seaworthy but in the calmest of water, and they easily were overwhelmed by the rough seas of the day. The 743rd Tank Battalion fared better, dropping their tanks off closer to shore. They landed 16 tanks opposite the Vierville draw, but lost 7 tanks while coming ashore. During the first hour, hundreds of Americans survived the distance from the landing craft to the tank obstacles. The problem then became where to go from there, as the tanks were to lead the way through the draws, holes in the seawall and bluffs that lead inland. General Norman Cota ditched that plan after he came ashore and saw the situation, and substituted one of his own; get men over the bluffs. Cota led his men to the village of Vierville and found it undefended, so he turned back toward the beach and captured many unsuspecting Germans who had their attention solely on the beach. It took engineers another eight hours to clear the draw (beach access) at Vierville. Movement on the beach was light until several destroyers risked running aground as they moved parallel to the beach firing their guns at gun emplacements on the bluffs.

Allies 12 Cards, move first; Axis 8 Cards

Conditions of Victory:
Allies: 10 victory medals. You also get a medal for every unit that exits the board at the exit marker.
Axis: 12 victory medals.
Colleville, St. Laurent, and Vierville are majority victory medals. Whichever side holds the majority of these cities gets a victory medal until the other side controls more.

Special Rules:
The hills along the beach are sea bluffs, Terrain 11.
The sandbags along the beach comprise a sea wall, Terrain 12.
Road rules, Terrain 42.
Anti-Tank infantry, SWA 5.
Mortars, SWA 6.
Engineers, Troops 4
Axis lay the Minefields.
Battle star is Heroic Leader General Cota, Actions 8.
German special forces armour are Sturmgeschuz III 75mm Assault Guns. Move 1 and battle, or 2 and not battle; fire 4,3,2,2 against infantry/ artillery and 3,3,3 against armour
Axis cannot play Air Power.
Destroyers: one in Fox Green and one in Dog White.

Scenario link

Set-up was really long – over 90 minutes! But I was playing solo, so I guess a pair (or two teams) would make much quicker work of it. Playing time was 90 minutes, which made the set-up time worthwhile.
I also spent a bit of time checking out all the rules and having the relevant cards available to check the details. This was really worthwhile as I had to pause occasionally to check what I could or could not do.

The Allies focussed on their right flank (Dog), but really struggled to get anywhere for a long time. They inflicted casualties on the defenders, but didn’t eliminate any units. After just seven moves the Americans were 5-0 down! But the weakened Axis units gradually began to fall and it was 6-4. But then the Heroic Leader was lost. However, an Armour Assault led to the complete collapse of the Germans on this flank and a 7-8 lead to the US.
The StuG IIIs joined the action and eliminated a US tank unit, leaving them with only one remaining to hold Vierville. At 9-9 it looked like the Allies were going to get the final meal for victory. Behind Enemy Lines almost did it – destroying two of the StuGs.
Then the Germans played the killer blow – a card they had been saving for the right moment. A devastating Artillery Bombard enabled four guns to fire twice each on infantry in the water. The overlap of fire meant some units were hit three times and, with flags not allowed, three US units were wiped out in one move.
So 12-9 to the Germans, but it was really quite close. An interesting and enjoyable scenario.

However, I would suggest some changes to speed it up and/or make it less complicated.
Roads: not really used, so you could save time by not laying them (the StuGs advanced an extra space on them, but that was the only time they were used).
Destroyers are not necessary – an added complication.
The anti-tank unit is nowhere near any tanks! Just have an infantry unit?
The Mortars have extra range when they don’t move (4 hexes), but most of the Allies are already within normal range (3 hexes), with just two landing craft as potential long-range targets (but why target them when you can cause more damage to nearer targets?). Just have an infantry unit?
So, you could really ignore the four things mentioned above to create a much simpler set-up and game.
Finally, I don’t see the logic of the Majority Victory Medal. The Germans hold all three towns at the start, and there is no way the Allies will capture all three without already having gained enough medals to win the game.