Scenario Review – Canal de la Haute Colme

Canal de la Haute Colme is an early-war scenario for Memoir ’44, and was published in the Equipment Pack.  Like many of the scenarios from the Equipment Pack, it has some problems.

In conjunction with an evening attack by the 11 Schützen, the SS-Regiment “Leibstandart Adolf Hitler” moved forward to try and break the French line around Dunkirk, splitting the 225th and 341th Regiments. But crossing the Canal de la Haute Colme turned out to be a nightmare: although stretched thin, French forces had deployed along all possible crossing points. The spirited German assault was blunted as night fell.

The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn and you are in Command. The rest is history.

As an official scenario, the map is not available online.  Here’s a bad photographCanal de la Haute Colme

The Germans have a distinct advantage on their right flank, where the French only have two dug-in infantry units to defend a river crossing.  If the Germans can push through at that point, then more than likely the game is over since the entire French baseline is an exit zone. However, the battle is not likely to start on that flank, as the Germans have a number of vulnerable units jammed up on the baseline on their left lank, within easy fire range of the French.

This is a very challenging map for the German player, because their force is just not quite enough to really force a crossing.  Given average cards and hands for both sides, the French should mangle the Germans on the approach and easily pick off any stragglers that make it across the river.  This doesn’t mean that a German win is impossible – it’s just really unlikely.

Many unbalanced maps are still fun.  Omaha Beach comes to mind.  I’ll play Omaha over and over as Americans, because every time you play, it feels like victory is just out of reach.  This map does not really capture that same feeling, because the nature of the obstacles and the force disposition is such that the scenario never really feels possible for the Germans.  Furthermore, the French player doesn’t really have all that much to do.  Most of his or her units can sit right where they until the end of the game, and fire upon the Germans as they advance.

It’s not broken, but it’s also not all that interesting.

General Evaluation – 2/5 – This map left both of us with a distinct feeling of meh.

Balance Evaluation – French favored – DoW Online has it at 60/40, which might be a bit generous for the Germans.

First-Turn Win Possibility – None – This is a slog map.

Plink-Fest Danger – Moderate – As crossing the canal is so dangerous for the German, he or she may be tempted to use Armor and Artillery to wear down the French before committing to the engagement.  The German player may also be tempted to pull back after a failed attempt at a crossing.  Neither of those scenarios would result in a terribly interesting game.

 

 

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