Tuesday, October 02, 2012

S&T Cobra D+1 Scenario

This is a scenario for the Strategy and Tactics Edition 251magazine game "Cobra", which is itself a remake of the old classic SPI game "Cobra". The original game came with an expansion which covered the actual D-Day landings as well as the build up before the actual Cobra breakout. The magazine game re-presented this expansion in a more integrated format.

The problem with the expansion I have found however was that it was very difficult to get a historical or close to historical result for the landing, usually as a result of the beach combat table being very prone to dice luck (or not) as well as the movement sequence on the first turn not really making the actually allied advance inland on the 6th of June readily possible.

This scenario attempts to portray the situation at midnight on the 6th of June, effectively starting the game at D+1, or game turn 2. This allows for a battle of the build up from a solid historical base. Units are positioned as far as know to there locations at the start of the 7th of June, 1944, with historical loss levels.

The scenario creates the issues and opportunities that both sides faced on the 7th. The germans can hurl the 12 SS at one selected target, either the 6th Airborne lodging, or the Sword beach units and cause potentially considerable damage in spite of naval and air support. However, this risks leaving units to the west dangerously unsupported, and a major danger of a breakout east of Bayeux. In reality the safe course is to break up the panzer divisions and brace the damaged infantry divisions with them.

Around Omaha and Utah, containment is the word of the day, falling back to Carentan whilst trying to bring in more reinforcements.

On the allied side the days aims are to link Sword with Juno and remove the remnants at Douvre, whilst building up the British lodgement and attempting to link with Omaha and strengthen the 6th airborne. Omaha needs to slowly expand to allow more units to land. Likewise Utah needs to consolidate and land fresh infantry divisions to begin the drive to link to Omaha and also cut the peninsula.

Game Start
The game starts with the start of game turn 2. All rules for the expansion (i.e. the Build Up scenario are in effect). Weather for this turn (only) is fixed at Overcast. All invasion beach hexes have been captured by the allies.

Extra Rules
The following house rules I have found work well with Cobra.

14.6.5 Defensive Shore Bombardment
The allies may use defensive shore bombardment to help defend against axis attacks. Shore Bombardment defends at the same ranges as per offensive shore bombardment. However, only 1 shift can be gained from defensive shore bombardment  and an NSP expended on defensive shore bombardment cannot be then allocated in the Allied player turn to offensive shore bombardment.

14.5.2 Carpet Bombing The carpet bombing rules in Cobra don't really make sense as they disallow the allies attacking hexes being carpet bombed nor advancing into those hexes in the mechanized movement phase. Serious carpet bombing was almost always accompanied by a subsequent ground attack. The aim of the carpet bombing was to exploit through that area, the problem however being the inherent destruction caused to the road net. Therefore the following replaces 14.5.2
Allied units must attack the hex which is carpet bombed, irrespective of the carpet bombing result. No additional air power points may be used in this attack. In addition, one shift to the left benefitting the defender occurs, simulating difficulties in attacking through the churned up terrain. The allies may advance after combat into the carpet bombed hex if vacated, but no further irrespective of the result. During the subsequent mechanized movement phase, the carpet bombed hex costs 7 movement points for mechanized units or 4 movement points for infantry to leave. In addition, no road if any in the carpet bombed hex exists for that turn into or out of it.
If the the hex being carpet bombed is city hex, no exploitation from the hex is allowed.
Setup
The following lists the setup of units for the Cobra D+1 scenario. Units marked with a * have lost one step. Map B Locations are on the "Invasion" map (i.e. the map with Cherbourg and the landing beaches on it, whilst map A locations are on the "Breakout" map (i.e. the classic Cobra map covering the southern part of Normandy). Maps locations are on the S&T Cobra maps.

US

UnitLocationNotes
1st Infantry DivisionB3319*Omaha Beach East - Effectively has 1 regiment non-effective after landing
4th Infantry DivisionB2215Landed Utah - moved inland mainly wheeling north
29th Infantry DivisionB3118*Omaha Beach West - one regiment down due to landing losses
505/82nd Airborne RegimentB2016St-Mere Eglise
507/82nd Airborne RegimentB1815*Badly scattered and in swamps
508/82nd AirborneB1917*Badly scattered and in swamps
501/101 Airborne RegimentB2217
502/101 Airborne RegimentB2215*Badly scattered - Predominantly most of serials landed on northern side of Utah lodgement
506/101 Airborne RegimentB2218
2+5 Ranger BtnsB2816Point du Hoc - In reality only a few companies landed here, the majority landed on the west end of Omaha beach. 


UK
UnitLocationNotes
3rd Infantry DivisionA3602Sword Beach - Advanced to Lebisey before successfully fending off 21st Panzer counter attack.
50th Infantry DivisionA3002Gold Beach - lead elements penetrated as far as the Bayeux-Caen Road before pulling back.
3/6th Airborne RegimentA3904
5/6th Airborne RegimentA3803
6AL/6th Airborne RegimentA3803
8th Armoured BrigadeB3820
27 Armoured BrigadeA3501
1SS BrigadeB3619Advancing on Port-en-Bassin
4SS BrigadeA3903Reinforced 6AB lodging after advancing across Pegasus bridge.

Canada
UnitLocationNotes
3rd Canadian DivisionB3302Juno Beach
2nd Canadian Armoured BrigadeB4320Juno Beach

German
UnitLocationNotes
1057/91B1816*Attempting to push on St-Mere-Eglise - battles of Chef le Pont causeways
1058/91B2015Attempting to push on St-Mere-Eglise from North with Stug IIIs.
6FJ/91B2119*Damaged in trying to advance on St-Mere-Eglise and also trying to disengage in early hours of 7th of June.
920/243B0811West Coast Division - largely did  not move on 6th of June
921/243B0917
922/243B2114Advanced on 6th to north of Utah. Arrived at night.
914/352B2817Based between Isgny and Carentan. Belatedly arrived near Omaha beach and partially engaged Rangers at Point du Hoc.
915/352A2903*Spend D-Day chasing phantom paratroopers south of Bayeux before returning northwards late in the day to be badly dealt with by advance from Gold Beach.
916/352B3119*Main defensive unit on Omaha beach. Defended well but badly damaged by end of day.
729/709B1807Cherbourg Unit
739/709B1309St Pierre Eglise
919/709B2214Defended Utah beach in part for probably less than an hour, then northern flank of Utah lodgement
731/711A4101Advanced from Trouville on D-Day towards 6th Airborne lodgement
744/711A4201Advanced from Trouville on D-Day towards 6th Airborne lodgement
763/711A4301Advanced from Trouville on D-Day towards 6th Airborne lodgement
708/716A3202*This appears a misprint as there is no record of a 708th regiment of the 716 Infantry Division. I have tried to place it where elements of the 736/716 were retreated to.
726/716B3520*Elements of the 716 were on most beaches from Sword to Omaha on D-day. This regiment defended the eastern end of Omaha beach through to the Bayeux sector. By the end of the day it appears to have fallen back to the north west of Bayeux after being damage somewhat.  
736/716B4420*Douvres fortified area - 736 was split 3 ways. Part was left north of the 6 Airborne lodging, remnants fell back west of Caen, and some parts retreated into the Douvres complex. Basically almost destroyed on D-Day. Hard to place in this scenario. 
FJTB1208Reserve unit in the Cherbourg peninsula.
1 Flak RegimentB3019
30 Flak RegimentB1509
32 Flak BataillonB2618
922 Flak BataillonB1208
100/21 Panzer RegimentA3603*Damaged from advance to coast at Lion-sur-Mur in the late afternoon. A combination of 6lb ATGs, Sherman Fireflys and Priest destroyed or damaged 40+ of the regiments tanks. Withdrew to north of Caen at end of day.
125/21 Panzer Grenadier Regiment A3704Recon batallion of 21st Panzer sent against 6th Airborne landing area early on the morning of 6th, drawing in more forces. 125 PzG regiment placed north of Caen facing 6th AB late on the 6th.
192/21 Panzer Grenadier RegimentA3603Advanced to coast with 100th panzer regiment. Took surprisingly few losses. Fell back to north of Caen at end of day.
30 Panzer Batallion A2402Misnomer. Should probably be 30th Regiment or 30th Mobile group depending on sources. Advanced to Bayeux area on D-Day from Coutances area. Elements present near Omaha beach, but not heavily engaged. Location is approximate at best. 
12/12 SS Panzer RegimentA3605Road march to Caen on D-Day. Preparing for counter attack on 7th/8th which never happened.
25/12 Panzer Grenadier RegimentA3404Road march to Caen on D-Day. Preparing for counter attack on 7th/8th which never happened.
26/12 SS Panzer Grenadier RegimentA3807Road march to Caen on D-Day. Preparing for counter attack on 7th/8th which never happened.
LXXXIV Corp HQA1606In St Lo. Did not move.


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