Due to the forced lock-down, my boardgames hobby turned into online Vassal plays as well as solo sessions with my favorite titles. I play couple of them concurrently, and just recently I finished another exciting and close struggle from the Normandy landings, playing D-Day at Omaha Beach.
This classic is not only the #3 in the wargames ranging on boardgamegeek (see HERE) but also the top solitaire game of that type. In my opinion this is fully deserved as we have here a real jewel, allowing us to simulate the fateful day of June 6th 1944 on the most bloody beach. A great replayability, couple of scenarios, extended variants allows us for hours of play.
For all those who have not played, some more information on the game mechanics based on the developer website. The player controls the US forces landing along the five mile stretch of Omaha Beach on D-Day and their desperate struggle to establish a viable beachhead. The game covers the entire first day at a time scale that varies from 15 minutes per turn (during the initial landings) to 30 minutes per turn later in the day. Units are companies and include assaulting infantry, engineers and amphibious tanks. The game system controls the hidden German defenders in their “Widerstandsnest” resistance points, revealing the defenders and their reserves as the American survivors of the first landing waves make their way up the bluffs. Rules cover amphibious landings, German fields of fire, artillery, tidal movement, and intangibles such as US leadership under fire and the initiative of the American GI. One map, two counter sheets, 55 cards.
I decided to play this time the smallest and quickest scenario – “Easy Fox“. Pretty short as we have only half of the beach here and only first 16 turns (full game have 32 turns and both parts of the beach). By no means this is and easy scenario – well entrenched Germans, with multiple reinforcements points, two-hex bunkers, which with depth markers can target 4 units in one shot. Let us see!
In order to make this session report easily readable and following the saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” I put all the action into four groups, each of them lasting 4 turns and presented using the gif – so you can easily track the progress of the campaign hope you will like it!
Turn 1-4 (0600-0700 AM)
Main actions of Turns 1-4:
- very rough landings for my troops (1 tank left)
- steady fire from Widerstandsnests decimates my forces
- still, thanks to Hero I manage to get to WN61 and eliminate depth marker and disrupt position
- so far almost nothing landed on right side of my sector of the beach
Turn 5-8 (0700-0800 AM)
Main actions of Turns 5-8:
- WN61 (orange) finally captured!… but not without dead US hero
- the dreaded, 2-hex WN62 (green) is partially cleared but still it is a tight fight
- Wehrmacht is getting ready for my eventual breakthrough – a lot of German reinforcements / deep markers arrives
Turn 9-12 (0800-0900 AM)
Main actions of Turns 9-12:
- WN60, 61, 62 and 64 captured – what a relief! That is a huge difference for future turns and creates local US troops superiority
- HQ and Gen. Wyman landed, greatly enhancing US Troops actions capacity
- However, 7 German reinforcements are now in place to prevent further progress
- And the dreaded, two-hex Widerstandsnest 65 (red) is still in place!
Turn 13-16 (0900-1000 AM)
Main actions of Turns 13-16:
- On right flank, C1 and C2 reinforcements points are finally captured now by my two leaders
- However, on the left flank the attack on A3 reinforcement point stalls as the troops there are really well entrenched and require flanking
- In the end game finishes in US defeat, but a marginal one – I got 8 out of 9 required points
That was so much fun – and at the same time, so challenging play. At some moments in time I felt like being overwhelmed and then a hero would appear boosting the morale. Man, it probably was like this in reality – a tremendous effort from US troops with individuals motivation others. I think I will follow the suit and play now a full beach scenario with 16 turns. Not yet an extended version – a time for this will come later!