Saturday, September 12, 2009

Walking On Omaha - Turn 2 Engineering Phase

Now for the engineering phase. This part is pretty quick and simple, but very important. You'll notice that the row of hexes one hex off of the low tide line (the one with water on one side), the one that has the mid-tide designation running through it, has obstacle markings in it. If you saw Saving Private Ryan, these were the bits that looked like giant jacks, such as children play with. These obstacles presented a dilemma to the Allies - they were a real problem for landing craft when the tide was high, as they'd run up on them and sink. That meant you didn't want to land at high tide, but instead at low tide, but *that* meant that you had about 500 ft of beach to move on with Germans shooting at you and no steel hulled landing craft to hide in for that distance. Once the tide rises to the mid-tide level on turn 7 (which also means you need to get your units up to that line by that time or they drown and are eliminated), you need to have "cleared" as much of the beach as you can so that your units aren't subject to mines as they land. Remember that starburst mine symbol on the landing section of the card earlier in the turn? That's why I mentioned it, and that's why it's important.

Even though clearing these obstacles required engineer units and was a difficult and lengthy process, it's very simple in the game. You simply place two Cleared markers per sector on any obstacle hexes that weren't potential targets of German Fire this turn. That means that either the color wasn't drawn in that sector, the color was drawn but there was only one counter on the position and it was a double square symbol, or the entire position was disrupted and couldn't fire even if you did draw it's color.

For the East sector, that means you can't clear a hex with a purple, green, or brown symbol (brown because that *was* drawn in the other sector, and the only hexes in question in the East sector would have been under fire from the West sector).

As such, there are only two hexes eligible, so we clear them. The counters are shown below.

In the West, the colors we can't use are blue, purple, and brown. We have four choices, and pick the middle two, one of which covers orange, red, and green, and the other red and green. Any units landing after turn 7 onto Cleared spaces will not be subject to mine explosions, and believe me they are not fun. However, as the game moves forward you'll find that the best way to clear the obstacles is to disrupt the German WN positions, which is very difficult to do with the two-hex positions until you root the defenders out. And you'll see how hard *that* is once we get to combat in a couple of turns.

Next, on to the US actions, where we'll see Preservation actions for the first time.

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