Thursday, March 31, 2016

Caen (1977)

Caen (1977)


5.11111 out of 10 with 9 ratings
Board Game Rank: Not Ranked
War Game Rank: Not Ranked


This game is part of Excalibre’s PANZER BATTLES AND SIEGE SERIES (PBSS). The games in this series features a common four (4) page series rulebook and generally a four (4) page game specific rulebook, of which one page is the cover. The games of this series feature simple rules that are a quick study and low counter density. Most games feature step reduction and have substitute counters included in the counter mix.

CAEN 1944 features an 11x17 map and 100 counters. The units are divisions with some brigade/regiments. Several units have step reduction.

From the rules introduction:
After the Allied landings in Normandy in 1944, the main concern of Eisenhower was to expand the bridgehead and bring in supplies and new units. Ike thought Montgomery should have made more rapid progress in his attacks on Caen. One thing slowing down the British and Canadians was the preponderant numbers of SS and regular Panzer divisions facing the British along the Caen position.

Turning slow progress into a partial tactical victory, Montgomery held down this large German armoured strength while the Americans broke out on the other flank and cut off a large number of German troops in what became known as the ‘Falaise Pocket.’ In this game the Allied objective is to accomplish what Montgomery did only much sooner. The Axis objective is to stop the Allies in their tracks and destroy Montgomery's army group.

From the design notes:
Caen is truly siege warfare with Panzer and armoured divisions leading the siege. The massive number of German Panzer and SS divisions employed at Caen were able to stop Monty cold for weeks.

This game uses a very complex sequence of play to bring in all the elements of the campaign.

In general, the SS was usually better equipped and stronger than a comparable Whermacht(sic) unit. Some SS units in this game are weaker than one would expect, this was due to the immense difficulty in reaching the front intact and because of Allied air harassment or they were being rebuilt when thrown into the campaign.

Caen helped the Allies tie the Germans down, but it would have been an even bigger victory for them if Monty had reached Falaise sooner. Now it's your turn to try or try to stop him.

By today’s games standards the complex sequence of play referred to in the design notes is a very relaxing stroll in the park.

Other games in the PBSS include: Caen 1944, Crimea 1941, Sidi Rezegh 1941, Cassino 1944, Ancient Conquest, Atlantis 12,500 B.C., Crete 1941, Edgehill 1642, and Tunisia 1943.

  • Designer: R. J. Hlavnicka, Dennis P. O'Leary
  • Publisher: Excalibre Games, Inc.
  • Year Published: 1977
  • Number of Players: 2 - 2
  • Manufacturer Suggested Ages: 0
  • Playing Time: 120
  • Subdomain: Wargames
  • Category: Wargame, World War II
  • Mechanic: Hex-and-Counter, Secret Unit Deployment
  • Alternate Names: Caen




7 out of 10
Always enjoyed this game as it truly places pressure on the players to do better than history. In one game the panzers actually made it to the beaches! The British have to attach themselves to the German units around them and never let go.

(5.12) UP

5 out of 10
Good old school slug-fest fun. Pretty evenly matched sides, at least during the first half of the game.

5.5 out of 10
First play was rather bland. Must try it again.
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