The Anniversary

Today we celebrate the 76th anniversary of the Overlord Operation. The D-Day marked a turning point the history of World War II as the Second Front was opened. Thousands of soldiers from US, UK, Canada and other nationalities (including my countrymen form Poland!) invaded the shores of France. Men scarified their lives for freedom. On June 6th 1944 the greatest and most complicated amphibious operation in human history started.

To commemorate that monumental event I decided to spend couple of last evenings reenacting those events. As we are still confided to the virus-driven isolation, I went for the solo game. In my humble opinion, the best D-Day solo game…

The Game

What I had in mind was D-Day at Omaha Beach from Decisiongames. That great classic is not only the #3 in the wargames ranging on boardgamegeek (see ranking) but also the top solitaire game of that type. That jewel really deserves it.

Masterpiece of John H. Butterfield

This is first title in D-Day series and definitely the best, allowing us to simulate the fateful day of June 6th 1944 on the bloodiest beach. A great replayability, couple of scenarios, extended variants – and very, very difficult victory to achieve.

The Scenario

This time I decided to play full “First Waves” scenario – which covers both sides of the Beach and actions by two divisions. As it was some time since my last game – previously I did quick “Easy Fox” – I decided not to use the optional rules.

US Infantry troops landing and wading through the water on Omaha Beach (source: Encyclopedia Britannica)

The Report

It takes some time to play 16 turns on two sides of the map so I used Vassal as other family orientated games were occupying the table. Still, that was great fun! The Vassal module offers two types of the map – original one and alternate. The latter is in my opinion much easier to read so this time that was used.

Also, 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 gifs, dynamically presenting what was going on in 1st and 29th Divisions sectors. I hope you will enjoy it!


The initial set-up of The First Waves scenario – first tanks ready to land (click to enlarge)

Turn 1-8 (0600-0800 AM)

Detailed maneuvers of Turns 1-8 – EAST (1st Division) (click to enlarge)

Main actions turns 1-8 – EAST (1st Division):

  • The first landing was mediocre, with 4 tanks steps lost
  • A quick progression to WN61 grinds to a halt once the attacking units lose the required weapons; that Widerstandsnest will haunt 1st Division almost till the end of scenario
  • Fortunately, WN62 is quickly dealt with and mid-game only one part of it (disrupted) still survives; seems like a good prognostic for second part of the game
  • The attack on other 2 WN (WN64 and WN65) is very slow as most of the units are constantly drifted Eastwards
  • what is even worse, I got hero very, very late (turn 7) – but at least some progress was then possible as it can substitute almost every weapon
  • The losses for first 8 turns are significant – 23 steps
Detailed maneuvers of Turns 1-8 – WEST (29th Division) (click to enlarge)

Main actions turns 1-8 – WEST (29th Division):

  • The landing was good, with 1 tank (2 steps) lost and other three delayed
  • The WN72 is primary target of attack initially but most of the units who managed to destroy part of it are then decimated
  • Ranger climb the cliff but are unsuccessful in their attacks against WN73
  • The attack on WN66 and WN68 in the middle of the map is tedious and time consuming while the losses are piling up
  • The only long term strategy which could possibly break the stalemate is gen.Cotta moving to the loophole in the bluffs in the center
  • Loses during first 8 turns are very high – 33 steps
Situation mid-game (click to enlarge)

Mid Game summary: the landing goes really bad. Partially due to lack of luck (no heroes for so long) partially due to very accurate German fire in 29th Division sector. The only hope is in additional general and HQs – which hopefully will move things forward. Another good thing is that only 3 German reinforcements arrived so far. Let us see what happens next!

Turn 9-16 (0800-1000 AM)

Detailed maneuvers of Turns 9-16 – EAST (1st Division) (click to enlarge)

Main actions turns 9-16 – EAST (1st Division):

  • WN62 is finally dealt with, what a relief!
  • Appearance of Gen.Wyman and HQ really changes the dynamics of game; the fateful WN61 is finally crushed as well as WN60
  • This part of beach does not have cliffs nor bluffs, only slopes so progress forward inland is possible
  • In the end the eastern part of this beach will provide most VPs to me
  • The loses are tolerable – 19 steps
Detailed maneuvers of Turns 9-16 – WEST (29th Division) (click to enlarge)

Main actions turns 9-16 – WEST (29th Division):

  • On that front the situation is much more complicated; fortunately, in Turn 9 first hero finally appears!
  • Then HQ lands leading attack on WN66 and WN68
  • Gen. Cotta commands infantry (on bluff) and tanks (on beach) and using flanking maneuver crushes WN70 and WN71.
  • When I am pretty close to taking over Viervill-sur-Mer (G2, G3 and G5 points) a massive German reinforcements start to pop-up
  • What is worse, one of them appears on hex 1024 (red reinforcement point) which cuts my communication and all VPs gained by Gen.Cott; a counterattack on it is unsuccessful
  • Loses – “only” 18 steps but from Turn 9 I am on a verge of losing the game (1 more infantry reduced and I am at catastrophic losses)


Situation end-of-game – Allies got only 7 VPs (click to enlarge)
Situation end-of-game with marked VPs (green) and taken strong-points but in Field-of-Fire of Germans (red) (click to enlarge)


That game was exciting but also one more time helped me to realize the hell through which those brave soldiers had to go through and endure. The game is a very hard nut to crack, after finished game you just want to start it over in hope that this time we shall succeed. Great solitaire experience and IMHO perfect way to spend the D-Day Anniversary!