White Star Rising
Operation Cobra Expansion
Operation Cobra was the codename for an offensive launched seven weeks after the D-Day landings. General Omar Bradley’s intention was to take advantage of the German focus with the British and Canadian activity around the town of Caen. He wanted the American troops to punch through the German defenses that were penning in his troops, while the Germans were distracted and unbalanced by the Canadians and British.
Once a corridor had been created, then the First Army would advance into Brittany, rolling up the German flanks and freeing itself of the constraints imposed by operating in the Norman bocage countryside. The offensive started slowly but quickly gathered momentum, and German resistance collapsed. Lacking the resources to cope with the situation, the German response was ineffectual, and the entire Normandy front soon collapsed. Operation Cobra, together with concurrent offensives by the Second British and First Canadian Armies, was decisive in securing an Allied victory in the Normandy Campaign.
Operation Cobra began on 25 July, 1944 with a concentrated aerial bombardment from thousands of Allied aircraft. British and Canadian supporting offensives had drawn the bulk of German armored reserves. The general lack of men and material that was available to the Germans, made it impossible for them to form successive lines of defense.
Units of VII Corps, led the initial two-division assault while other First Army corps mounted supporting attacks that were designed to pin German units in place. Progress was slow on the first day. Opposition started to crumble once the thin defensive lines were penetrated. By the 27th July, most organized resistance had been overcome, and VII and VIII Corps were advancing rapidly, isolating the Cotentin peninsula.
By 31st July, the XIX Corps had destroyed the last forces opposing the First Army, and Bradley’s troops were finally freed from fighting in the bocage. Reinforcements were moved west by the Germans and launched vicious counterattacks, the largest of which was codenamed Operation Lüttich that was launched on 7 August between Mortain and Avranches. Although this led to the bloodiest phase of the battle, it was mounted by already exhausted and understrength units that had little chances of succeeding. On August 8th 1944, troops of the newly-activated Third United States Army captured the city of Le Mans, which was formerly the German Seventh Army’s headquarters. Operation Cobra transformed the intense infantry combat of Normandy into a rapid maneuver warfare, and led to the creation of the Falaise pocket and the loss of the German position in northwestern France.
White Star Rising Operation Cobra Expansion
The White Star Rising Operation Cobra Expansion is a 20 page booklet with 110 die cut counters presented in the zip lock bag. This expansion adds new countries to the counter mix that players can enjoy. The new countries added are;
Additionally, some additional counters are added for the United States and Great Britain.
The Scenario Booklet
As I previously said, the booklet is 20 pages, however that includes the nicely drawn front cover and rear page. The 18 pages in between are full of information designed specifically for the White Star Rising gamer.
The first page (actually page 3 of the booklet) contains a nicely detailed Table of Contents and Scenario Layout. The contents of the Operation Cobra booklet are;
- Cobra Campaign
- The Campaign
- Cobra Scenario 1
- Cobra Scenario 2
- Cobra Scenario 3
- Cobra Scenario 4
- Cobra Scenario 5
- Beyond Cobra: Nine Stand Alone Scenarios
- Mont Ormel Ridge
- Operation Totalize
- Mont Pincon
- Rolling Forward
- St, Lambert-sur-Dives
- Order of Battle (OOB) Formations
- Cobra and Beyond
The first five scenarios are combined to create the Cobra Campaign. The background for these scenarios is that they are based on the experiences of the American 2nd Armored Division during Operation Cobra in July 1944. The player commands a small portion of this division and must lead them through the first five scenarios.
The emphasis of the Operation Cobra Campaign in not just on winning, but also to preserve your core force from scenario-to-scenario. Each scenario not only contains its own specific victory conditions, but depending on how well a player does in the scenario will determine the number of refit points he receives for the next battle. The refit points allow the player to purchase new units that they can use in the upcoming scenario.
The last two pages of the booklet is devoted to some historical background information on Operation Cobra. You are introduced to the operations background, then on to the plan, how the attack was executed and finally the battles aftermath. It is a well written and concise summary of Operation Cobra.
White Star Rising Operation Cobra is not only an expansion, but it adds a new and different dimension to the White Star Rising game by introducing the campaign concept. By linking the 5 scenarios and adding the refit concept, you provide gamers with a different type of challenge than just playing a stand-alone scenario. There is a different type of strategy and tactics that a player will employ in a campaign than in a stand-alone scenario, because he needs to worry about the next game so that they can receive as many refit points as possible. So, it is not only about winning the scenario, it is about preserving your units from game-to-game.