Sunday, February 11, 2018

Memoir 44 Battle of Arracourt

      Continuing on gaming with Memoir 44 and Peter Laing figures, I chose the Battle of Arracourt. So far the scenarios I've used consisted of infantry units with some armor support. This game has more armor; the US forces also have 3 artillery batteries.  It's a good thing I chose this scenario, as I barely had enough painted Peter Laing figures. If I continue to use this game, I will have to get painting more of the PL figures.

    By the way, instead of using the command cards, I chose to roll average dice and also rolled regular dice for initiative.

The scenario from the rulebook; the Germans on top.

The board laid out. In this picture the Germans are on the bottom.

The board from the German side. I think the Peter Laing figures look better than the giants that come with the game. 

The Germans prepare to attack.

The Germans assault the village of Bezange la Petite, which has an isolated American infantry unit. The infantry in the village knocks out two tanks, and with fire support from the artillery (in the foreground), eliminates the panzer unit.

In the Germans turn they continue the attack on Bezange. The Americans send two tank units to relieve the pressure, along with sending an infantry unit into Rechicourt, to provide fire support. 

One American armor unit destroys one panzer and makes the panzer unit retreat.

As the panzer unit falls back, another US armor unit ambushes it and eliminates the rest of the unit.

The Germans counterattack and destroys one of the US armor units. (As can be seen in the photograph,  there are a couple of very large German soldiers on the board. I used these for markers so I could remember which units were activated.)

The German attack on Bezange finally eliminates the US infantry in the village, and panzer grenadiers move into the village.

The US artillery unit in the foreground was moved forward early in the game. By moving this battery forward, it could fire on both villages in the center of the board. The battery opens fire and destroys one tank and makes the rest retreat.

The Germans start bringing more units forward to secure Bezange.

Meanwhile on the German left, the 111th Panzer Brigade struggles through the woods to get into action.

The US artillery fire eliminates another panzer unit.

The German right flank units launch a vicious assault on the two forward American armor units...

...and destroys both of them!

The right most US artillery battery opens fire on a panzer unit from the 111th coming through the woods, and destroys two of the tanks.

The center battery drives back a panzer assault on Rechicourt.

The German commander sends his panzers to try to deal with the pesky artillery.

The attack on the left destroys one gun and forces a retreat, however, in it's overrun phase, the German  fire does not cause any more damage. The German attack on the center battery misses the battery. The German infantry assault on Rechicourt forces the American infantry to retreat two spaces, which puts them between the artillery and panzer unit.

The center battery now brings the panzer unit under fire, which destroys it (and wins the game for the Americans).

The right hand battery gets its revenge on the panzer unit that attacked it, destroying the last panzer. Perhaps the German commander would have been better off attacking elsewhere. The Germans lost 7 units, the Americans 4. The Germans did seize two villages, but fell short of seizing Arracourt, it's objective.        

A couple of points. This is the first time I have used artillery in Memoir 44. As I have mentioned in other posts, proper use of artillery in wargames has been a weak point for me. In this game, the artillery dominated the game.  I actually marked the different batteries so in future games I can keep track of their success (or failure). I didn't realize how powerful guns were in Memoir 44 until this game. I had watched a video on Youtube of a Memoir 44 Pacific game. In it the Japanese were in fortified positions, the Americans storming the beach with flamethrower tanks and several artillery units. The Japanese player continued to leave the fortified positions and attacked the beach. To me it seemed like a mistake, even though I don't know the rules for this expansion.  However, at the end he explained that he tried to crush the beachhead before the artillery landed, where the artillery could take their time and pick off the Japanese at a distance.  After seeing how well artillery works, his tactics make more sense to me.

Another point that I found in this game. As usual, I was playing this game solo. By the end of the game, I found myself leaning heavily on the artillery and was excited at the successful center battery which was doing so much damage (which led me to mark the unit for future games). But something happened when I went to the German side of the board. I actually got frustrated about these guns, just like I would if I was playing against another opponent. This led me to attack the guns.  I found that, at least in this game, I really was trying to win for that side. I wonder if I feel this way in most games?


  1. Your PL figures do look more suitable with the small tanks and guns. Artillery in "modern" conflicts is an awesome force; I also found mortars to be very powerful when I first tried One Hour Wargames WW2 rules, so long as you have an observer to spot the targets. Glad I have never had to witness them for real!

  2. I would like to paint more of my Peter Laing figures, and I might paint the tanks, too. Reading up on it, it seems artillery and mortar fire was the main cause of casualties in WW2. In Memoir'44, unlike infantry and armor, line of sight rules don't affect artillery and terrain does not reduce it's effectiveness. There is no need for observers in this game.