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Scaling cliffs, assaults and moving DIRECTLY into bunker and/or building hexes and suggestions to improve the "Bloody Omaha"scenario

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We replayed the "Bloody Omaha scenario" the other day and came up with some issues/questions we had overlooked previously. I wonder if anyone can help us out:

The scaling cliffs operations card used in that scenario (1st one from the Normandy campaign book) says, among other things, that units may not use this movement (+3 movement points for climbing directly onto a level 2 hill from level zero, which is normally prohibited) to assault. What we were not sure about is the following:

Although the card is clear on the fact that it's not allowed to move up onto a level 2 hill from level zero and then still assault, is it nevertheless possible to assault a unit in a bunker or building hex, and then if you win that battle to move into the now vacated hex, even if it's a bunker or building hex? The card says it's not allowed to DIRECTLY move into a bunker or building hex, but movement after a succesful assault seems like a special kind of movement to me. For example, it's not susceptible to OP fire....

Oh and I thought I'd read this in the FAQ somewhere (but couldnt find it anymore anywhere): Is it correct that (attacking) units in op-fire, obviously living up to the other conditions required, particpate in supporting fire during assaults?

Hope someone can help me out.

On a side note: The "winning"strategy for the Americans is to NOT move if the Germans put a number of units in op-fire on the first turns and then to combine fire and reduce the numbers of Germans before advancing thereby staying on the beach relatively long. I don't know about you, but in all beach invasions I've read about or seen on TV it was imperative to get off the beach as soon as possible. It's highly common for an officer to come forward and yell: "If you wanna stay alive, get the H*** off this beach!" In other words, this type of play seems highly unrealistic to me. I therefore propose the following:

Use the "Massive confusion"operations card for this scenario (for the Americans only) which disallows the use of combined fire. I'd make the following addition for this particular scenario: US units may not use combined fire WHILE ON A BEACH HEX.  (Let's just say that once they get off the beach they'd be able to coordinate their actions better, if only for the reduced amount of incoming fire). The "new"interpretation of the "naval bombardment card"(it allows you to try it once EVERY ACTION turn and not (game) round, which makes it much more lethal and common to succed should offset this drawback. If you fell this is not enough, you might allow US AT squads to have concussive firepower against bunkers.

 

Wonder what other players think of this!

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As far as I know the limitation in scaling cliffs mean that you can not assault from the beach, though you can move up the cliff and then assault the bunker.

If you assault a bunker and win, you can move the surviving unit into the bunker. The bunker is a hextype not a location within a hex.

If you spend too long on the beach I think you will loose the scenario by running out of time.

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Hefsgaard said:

As far as I know the limitation in scaling cliffs mean that you can not assault from the beach, though you can move up the cliff and then assault the bunker.

If you assault a bunker and win, you can move the surviving unit into the bunker. The bunker is a hextype not a location within a hex.

If you spend too long on the beach I think you will loose the scenario by running out of time.

Hmm, I didn't understand the first part of your answer that way.

As for the second part: yes, you don't want to stay on the beach too long, but 7 turns seems ample time ( i think we've played this particular scenario about 5 times.....)

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And german strategy is of course to put only some units into OP-fire and keep most of the rest out of sight until the US makes the big shot to clear a bunker and Then move a new squad into it ;-)

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Hefsgaard said:

And german strategy is of course to put only some units into OP-fire and keep most of the rest out of sight until the US makes the big shot to clear a bunker and Then move a new squad into it ;-)

SOME units into op-fire yes, the rest out of LOS I'm not so sure about: the fewer German units you put in the front-line the easier the US can use concentrated fire against the bunkers and still have units left to possibly already move forward in relative safety...

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I've asked the questions formulated in this thread to the FFG staff. I'm hoping to get an official answer soon.

 

On a sidenote, Am I the only one who doesn't like the fact that the most sensible thing for the Americans to do on the first two turns or so is to stay on the beach and combine fire, whereas this defies all logic? I'm surprised there haven't been any more responses to this thread. I also feel the suggestions I came up with are quite worth examining and trying out, in all modesty...

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Hefsgaard said:

And german strategy is of course to put only some units into OP-fire and keep most of the rest out of sight until the US makes the big shot to clear a bunker and Then move a new squad into it ;-)

Which is completely contrary to the events of the actual battle. When I play a battle I like to recapture the feel of the historical fight. While play balance wise this is undoubtedly one of the better scenarios I've played, the feel is just plain wrong...

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I agree that this scenario seems to fail in capturing the chaotic and incredibly dangerous situation that the landing American forces would have been subjected to in reality. 

I have only played it once, but the Germans (forced to deploy in the bunkers and entrenchments atop the cliff) were reduced to tatters by turn 2 following repeated concentrated fire from the Americans who did not move a single unit at all.  The concussive ability of the shermans made the Bunkers the worst place for any squad to be placed and as a result their powerful 'beach defence' machine guns hardly took part in the game at all.  

The way I see it, the Germans need to pull back out of line of sight in order to avoid this...defies the whole point of the scenario in my opinion.   

In the spirit of what this scenario is attempting to recreate, concentrated from units positioned "on the beach" needs to be limited for sure. 

 

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I have not played this scenario yet but it seems you guys are making some very valid points. For one thing I kind of disagree in giving tanks the concussive bonus against bunkers. These bunkers had feet worth of concrete protecting the troops inside. Tank fire would only chip away at it right? The real way to clear troops from them was by close combat like you see in the movie Saving Private Ryan. Concussive worked fine for the base game when it was only used versus fragile homes, but when bunkers were introduced I think FFG dropped the ball here. Personally I would not allow concussive against bunkers.

Seems to me the smart thing to do to make this scenario feel right would be to change the operations cards to give the defenders a better advantage. And if this results in many US casualties then good this is the right feel. Offset this by giving the US a few more sqauds. Make it bloody in other words.

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Unfortunatley I do not at the moment.  It is not covered in the official FAQ and when I last scanned through the RCD doc I did not see it addressed in there. 

I have seen posts on BGG that state bunkers ARE immune to concussive firepower but exactly what the "official" stance is I do not know. 

@Lebatron...I would have to agree with you on the sturdiness of the bunkers.  I am currently reading 'Citizen Soldiers' by Stephen Ambrose (Note: I am aware of the controversy that has surrounded his works at times) and he tells of one German concrete gun emplacement that withstood repeated direct artilery hits that did little more than dent the exterior.  It still stands to this day.  I am sure that the beach bunkers would have been of similar robust construction.

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I can not find any refference in the Normandy rulebook that allows for the use of concussive firepower vs. bunkers, and of course it is not mentioned in the core rules as bunkers did not exist yet then.

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Hi

I sent these questions to FFG back when Normandy came out:

Normandy: Are bunkers vulnerable to Concussive Firepower? I would think that they are.
Neither Bunkers nor Supply Depots suffer from Concussive attacks.

Normandy: Are supply depots vulnerable to Concussive Firepower? I would think that they are not.
Neither Bunkers nor Supply Depots suffer from Concussive attacks.

The answers are in Italic.
 

Klaus

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nath: said:

 

I have only played it once, but the Germans (forced to deploy in the bunkers and entrenchments atop the cliff) were reduced to tatters by turn 2 following repeated concentrated fire from the Americans who did not move a single unit at all.  The concussive ability of the shermans made the Bunkers the worst place for any squad to be placed and as a result their powerful 'beach defence' machine guns hardly took part in the game at all.   

In the spirit of what this scenario is attempting to recreate, concentrated from units positioned "on the beach" needs to be limited for sure. 

 

 

 

My point exactly! BTW, Concussive firepower DOES NOT work against bunkers, only against pillboxes and buildings! (Often forget this myself too, for what it's worth...)

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I agree about the bunkers. They were so massive as to be able to withstand naval bombardment as well as airstrikes which explains why it took demo charges and engineers as well as close assaulting infantry to finally clear them out. So I don't think a Sherman 75mm round would do anything at all. Maybe a Smoke round or HE round aimed exactly at the openings might explode on the interior causing some casuaties or disruption briefly but it wouldnt be long before the MG42s were firing again. If anybody has played Medal of Honor, remember how the MG42 position keeps getting remanned after being shot with your sniper rifle. And thats not even in the bunker. Plus there was a lot of German mortar and light artillery fire being directed onto the beach by those same bunker officers. Which explains 700 dead US soldiers in the first wave even with the cover of the beach obstacles.

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This scenario "demands" a game mechanic (or operation card) whereby any unit on the beach wanting to fire has to pass some kind of leadership or courage test or something.  Stepping onto that beach I am sure It would have been a natural instinct to try and make yourself as small and as inconspicuous as possible. 

The feeling of exposure and vulnerability would have been almost overwhelming I am sure. 

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I think this scenario and other beach ones should be using the massive confussion opertation card (for the attacker) and in the special notes say that troops on beach hexes are governed by this card, that sould help re create some of the mayhem on the beach.
 

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Lebatron said:

Sure do those two things yourselves because guess what you are never going to see FFG change this.

 

I'm afraid you're right. Next time we play this scenario we will play it this way. Same goes for the hedgerows. As for " Omaha"  it's not that the scenario isn't balanced, it's just that it doesn't feel right. So when you do tinker with it, you do have to make sure to keep the balance right...Perhaps giving the Americans 2 more demolitions specilization tokens will do the trick....

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Lebatron said:

 For one thing I kind of disagree in giving tanks the concussive bonus against bunkers. These bunkers had feet worth of concrete protecting the troops inside. [...] Personally I would not allow concussive against bunkers. 

In the TOI rule book, page 40: 
Concussive Firepower: When a tank attacks a squad located in a building or pillbox, the tank receives +3 firepower and +3 range.

I dont have "Normandy", but apparently it does not says anything about it. So, I believe then what matters is the oldest rule cited above, the "veteran rules".

 

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In the BGG forum I recently posted a house rule regarding flamethrowers. Here was the question by Ismael Descolado.

"In the BLOODY OMAHA scenary (Normandy Expansion), the bunkers are located in level 2 terrain. My opponent did attacks using FLAMETHROWER from the beach terrain. I did not think it right..."

My response.

"According to the rules I see no reason why your opponent could not attack your bunker at level 2.

But in reality flamethrowers actual effective range was about 50 feet or less horizontally. So no, I can't see a flamethrower successfully attacking a bunker 80 feet above. I could see one shooting up one level but not two. Apparently this was overlooked when writing up the flamethrower rules and it would make an excellent house rule. Since I never played that scenario yet or ever came across a similar situation in other scenarios, the problem never occurred to me. Thanks for bringing this up so that I can have this house rule in place before we ever get to this scenario. "

I though you guys may be interested in my consideration of this problem and my suggested fix for it.

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GusXokleng said:

Lebatron said:

 For one thing I kind of disagree in giving tanks the concussive bonus against bunkers. These bunkers had feet worth of concrete protecting the troops inside. [...] Personally I would not allow concussive against bunkers. 

 

In the TOI rule book, page 40: 
Concussive Firepower: When a tank attacks a squad located in a building or pillbox, the tank receives +3 firepower and +3 range.

I dont have "Normandy", but apparently it does not says anything about it. So, I believe then what matters is the oldest rule cited above, the "veteran rules".

 

I tentatively agree with Lebatron about this. There are pillboxes and then there are PILLBOXes. My point is that some of the beach emplacements could withstand single round naval gun hits of much higher caliber than a 75-90mm, direct fire tank round.

I think emplacements should be categorized into levels of fortification (ex: Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, etc.). This would allow concussive fire and naval bombardment while also providing uncertainty. The level would remain concealed until the pillbox was hit. After that, the Allied force could refocus fires and redirect attacks based on the new knowledge.

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