Saturday, April 09, 2022

Undaunted: Normandy - Scenario 2: Montmartin-en-graignes

 I started solo playing Undaunted: Normandy again the last few days. I started it back in 2020 playing with my wife and once with Klund but, well, most of the world is aware of what sort of derailed people at that point.

I've been playing a few rounds of each scenario as I go.  I'm not very far along, but I've rediscovered my enjoyment of the game.

Scenario 1: La Raye I played three times.  The first two, the Germans beat the US so fast and so suddenly I thought there was something wrong with half my brain.  I pondered whether I'd inadvertently cheated playing solo, knowing what each side was sort of up to.  After all, I'm not using some set of mechanics to mimic an AI on the other side.  My simple rule is "the half of my brain that currently has initiative is the first to look at their cards and decide what to play for initiative."  It's not perfect - the second me can't completely forget what the first me did, but I generally have a plan before I look at the cards for each side, so I try not to cheat and I think I'm pretty successful.

So on the third play, the US tied up the center which is where the Germans were waltzing in the first two games.  Completely different experience.  Went for MUCH longer and the US had to really grind the left side of the board where the other victory points were to grab a win, and it came down to pinning [no more riflemen for one side] the Germans.

I've only played Scenario 2: Montmartin-en-graignes [looks beautiful on Flickr] once so far and the US won.  Photo below.  They split and went down both sides, staying heavy on scouts in the deck initially and keeping the deck small so the squad leaders could inspire to keep everyone in good cover.  By the time they got to the south end of the board, some bad rolls by the German machine gunners opened an opportunity to jump on the nest and pummel it into submission.  It's surprising how unlikely you are to roll an 8 or better with four d10 dice sometimes.  For the German part, they focused on the MG cards to keep suppression up, but might have been better with a bit more diversity for when things got close.

I did like that we GROUND through the fog of war cards.  I had a few turns where the US almost stopped for a moment just to grind them away when killing one surfaced another.  Made for a much more active deck and it might be what really won them the scenario. 

End of game - machine gunners popped off the board just for fun as the riflemen on the right already grabbed the one point they needed.  The push south started on the left and you can see the Germans went there, but then had to try and chase back to cover both sides with only one squad.

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