I was eagerly awaiting that boardgames evening. I had opportunity to play Memoir’44 expansion – D-Days Landings already twice. First, we focused on the British sector of that titanic struggle – Juno and Gold beaches. Them commemorating 75th D-Day anniversary, we played Utah and Airborne sectors.  Now it was time for bloody Omaha and Utah – historically, most eventful sectors.

The expansion

Before going into the details of the session report, couple of words regarding the expansion – directly from the publisher:

Memoir ’44: D-Day Landings commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy on D-Day (June 6, 1944) with a set of six giant battle maps that can be configured and played on in small, medium and large set-ups.

The battle maps in D-Day Landings introduce the “Extended Breakthrough” format, with the maps being 23 hexes deep and allowing players to undertake battles on a scale and scope never before possible in Memoir ’44. The six maps consist of settings for American Airborne, Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach, and Sword Beach. Each battle can be played individually or assembled with its neighboring scenarios for double- and triple-map battles. With enough players (and enough components), you can link all six battle maps to form a giant board that recreates the entire Normandy coast!

So, just to give you some comparison with other Commands & Colors games. Ancients version map has around 120 hexes, with EPIC Ancients reaching up to 250. If you combine two beaches – as we usually play due to the lack of space (sic!) – you have battlefield spanning on 600 hexes! It is not surprising, that I always need to combine my two tables to be able to play the game…

The session report

We ended up playing the Omaha+Utah combined scenario with three players:

  • Marcin – Allies – Utah
  • Lukasz – Allies – Omaha
  • Me, Michal – Axis – responsible for the whole front
Initial set-up (click on the picture to open in the new window)

The game was very exciting while the strategy and maneuvers depths much increased. We have new units, some new special rules and what is most important – great historical set-up. A very interesting concept was introduced regarding the reinforcements. We roll set number of dice each turn and then see what will be available. Of course, German force will have to travel whole map to the heat of the battle while US troops were quickly available from the incoming landing crafts.

The focus of the game – as historically happened – was mainly on bloody Omaha; it is clearly visible on the below picture. Number of banners – which is equivalent of fallen units – speaks for itself.

The end-game situation (click on the picture to open in the new window)

However, on the Utah Marcin was gradually moving forward, crushing my defenses. He eagerly took 4 victory points for existing units but that turned to be fateful decision as he then lacked units to continue offensive. That gave me the needed respite and my Germans won in the end 28 to 18. We played whole evening, scoring in total 46 banners which I think was the longest and biggest Commands & Colors game I have ever played.

And one more thing – a visual depiction, using the map from vassal module, to present the extent of Allied offensive:

Graphical depiction of the Allied progress (click on the picture to open in the new window)

So far, we played three times a two-beaches scenarios. Now we are ready for continuation but wondering where will we find a place to have a whole US or UK sector (3 beaches) played? It will take huge amount of space to organize but we have no doubt it will definitely be a great fun!