This year D-Day fell on a Friday, which meant a beach landing game was in order. My buddy Joe and I spent the last month collecting bunkers, obstacles, landing craft, and other terrain items for the game. We formulated a plan and got everything ready for action. After it was all ready, I had seven dudes over for an epic night of beach landings.
How epic was it? About as epic as the song Primo Victoria by Sabaton. Before you go any further, I highly recommend playing this video, which splices Sabaton's music with documentary footage, so you can get into the epicness of this game.
In order to have a proper beach landing we had to have a few scenario rules. The rules worked perfect and were very thematic.
All line of sight to and from the bunkers was draw from the visions slits. The two large bunkers housed one MMG and the small pillbox housed an LMG. The center bunker was also a command bunker and had a 2nd lieutenant in it. The bunker had a command range of 12" like a tank. In addition to offering +1 morale bonus to all troopers within 12", the command bunker had a two man radio team that allowed it to give +1 morale to all other bunkers, as long as the command bunker was not destroyed. Bunkers were immune from artillery and indirect fire. Additionally the Germans could start the game with their infantry units in the bunker.
When shooting at bunkers the Americans always needed 6s on 6s to score a hit, unless they were at point blank range, then they needed 6s. If they scored a hit they killed on a six, like buildings. Bunkers could not be assaulted from the front. Bunker had to be assaulted from the rear. All assaults on the bunkers were treated like troops assaulting units in buildings. Troops assaulting the Command bunker had to fight the radio team, officer, and three man MMG team. Troops assaulting the other bunkers had to fight the gun crews.
When troops moved in contact with the wire they had to stop. The next turn they could either advance through the wire (but not run) or clear it. To clear the wire the unit had to issue down order (but required a moral test if they had pins). If the order was successful the wire was cleared. If troops were along the seawall they could not be seen by Germans on the bluffs.
The trenches offered hard cover to all troops in the trench and reduced all HE hits in half.
Dragons teeth offered hard cover and impassible to tanks.
Tank traps offered soft cover and impassible to tanks.
Each landing craft held one platoon of Americans. American players had to arrange the units in the order they intended to exit the landing craft. When a landing craft activated it was placed on the beach were the American play wanted the craft to land, he then rolled a D6. On a 1-2 the craft drifted to the left, on a 3-4 it landed were it was placed, on a 5-6 it drifted to the right. If the craft drifted the play rolled 2D6 to determine how far it drifted in inches. If it collided with another ship it went no further. If it went of the board it was delayed one turn.
After the craft landed the ramp came down and the unit in the front of the boat activated immediately. This order had to be a run order. German units on ambush could fire at the front unit when the ramp dropped. If they scored a hit the front unit suffered one pin and lost its activation for that turn. Units could not move through pinned units on the boats.
If a unit was stuck behind a pinned unit on the boat it could jump over the side. If a unit chose to do this it was placed on the board in the water at the mid section of the boat and could advance 6" toward the shore. Units in the surf could not run.
When the Americans had lost enough riflemen to form a new squad they could add a new order dice to their pool and bring them on from one of a deployed landing craft on the next turn.
The Americans had to destroy all the bunkers. The command bunker was worth 3 points, the MMG bunker was worth 2 points and the pill box was worth 1 point.
The game lasted six turns. At the beginning of the seventh we rolled a die. On 4+ we would play one more turn.
3 Squads of infantry (broken into two five man fire teams each)
1 MMG Bunker
1 Command Bunker
1 LMG Pill Box
1 Medium Mortar
1 Anti Tank nest
Gen. Dutch Cota (+5)
4 Platoons each with...
Mortar or MMG
2 Infantry Squads
The American naval fire falls on the Atlantic Wall with no effect. The Germans decided to keep all their units in the bunkers at the start of the game.
As the American landing craft drop their ramps the receive a hail of machine gun fire. Meanwhile Germans infantry deploy into their trenches.
German artillery finds its mark and takes out 5 of 9 units under the blast.
After taking hits from horrendous artillery the Americans storm forward.
On the far end of the beach another platoon of Americans move toward the right bunker.
German infantry continue to fire on the beach.
American boys storm forward.
Tragedy strikes in the form of misplaced US artillery fire. It end up being just as bad as the German fire and hits 3 of 7 units. At this point the Americans have lost a command team, half of two quads, two medics, an FAO, a bazooka team and an MMG to artillery fire.
The American assault beings to stall as most their units have three or more pins on them.
Very little movement can be seen on the beach.
Suddenly a new platoon arrives a rejuvenates the Americans. (About this time Colby showed up and there were so many dead americans dead we could bring on not just another squad, but a whole platoon)
The new platoon sneaks up behind the Sherman.
Troops on the beach continue to take German machine gun fire.
Seeing that the assault is stalling General Dutch Cota shows up (+5 officers) to motivate his men to get off the beach. (this was a last minute add to the game since the Americans were so pinned)
The first Americans reach the seawall.
The wire is breached and troops reach the second line of wire.
The German fire finds its mark and hits the Americans on the fall end of the beach.
Americans close in the command bunker.
Germans and Americans fight at close range.
US troops creep up the side of the command bunker.
The first Americans reach the trench and kill the first Germans.
Holes start forming in the German defense as time runs out for the Americans.
On the other side of the beach US troops breach the trenches.
After clearing out the Germans defenders outside the bunker troops assault the bunker, but are driven off by the Germans inside.
American troops begin to clear the trenches in all directions.
The last few defenders on the right hold back the last few Americans survivors.
Nothing stands between the Americans and the pillbox, except turn seven.
On turn six the Americans take out the command bunker.
Meanwhile the Americans on the right flank fail to take out the other MMG bunker.
The game ends on six with the Americans destroying the command bunker and clearing the trenches of most Germans. We played a what if turn seven and the Americans were able to destroy one more bunker, but officially the game was a 3-3 tie. One turn stood between Merica and victory.
This game was so epic. We had some great moments. In back to back rounds of German shooting American medics saved 6 of 7 killed, there were ferocious trench assaults, men jumping into the water, etc. The best moment was when we brought Gen. Cota onto the board. At that point Americans had suffered about 50% casualties and most units had between 3 and 7 pins on them. There was no more movement on the beach. Then Cota showed up and suddenly he got the men moving again (oh course he was a +5 officer). It was fun to watch men who had nothing left to give charge up the bluff with all those pins and assault the German defenders. Best part was how close it was. The Americans just made it on turn six and destroyed the command bunker. Victory came down to the turn seven die roll. Those are the kind of games I like to play, epic moments were its a nail biter down to end.
We already have plans for next year. D-Day will be on a Saturday and we plan on having a D-Day weekend of Bolt Action.
Did you have a D-Day game day? If so share your battles with us on the forum.