At the crack of dawn I began the setup of GMT’s Normandy ’44 (this was, of course, done while listening to Manic Street Preachers new album Postcards From A Young Man). I will play the Allies and my friend C-J will play the Germans.
As always it will be a bit hard to play the game until you gotten a few turns under your belt.
Setup time for the campaign game is approximately 2 hours for one person. If both players are present the time ought to be half that. The setup is made easy by the fact that each counter has it’s start hex printed on it, and that the hex numbers on the map is darker for each hex that contains a unit at start.
I really like the game size, with only one map, and a manageable amount of counters.
Remember to click on the images if you want to enlarge them.
The first turn – June 6
The first turn has a special invasion phase that sets the game in motion. The air landing for the allied troops went above average while the beach landings went average.
The Germans pressed the 507th to retreat. The British 8/3 regiment was also pushed back. The allied made good headway at Gold and Juno beaches.
The allies were overall satisfied with the outcome of the first turn.
Second turn – June 7
The weather was overcast 3. The allies continue to chew on the German defenses. In the pictures below the units marked with regroup is the ones that landed this turn.
The 12th SS Panzer arrived as reinforcements and took up position in Caen.
Third turn – June 8
The weather was overcast 3 again, alas. As you may gather from all this weather talk the weather is important in the game. It controls how much replacement units each side get and how important the allied air superiority is. During clear weather there is a chance that the German will suffer a severe shift on the CRT while attacking (as specified by the Jabos table).
The Germans made a bold attack on the Gold/Juno positions using the 21th panzer divison. Panzer Lehr entered from the south and took up position a few kilometers south of the line between Caen and beyond Bayeux, threatening both the Omaha and (somewhat) the Gold positions.
[I think I’ve made some mix up with the photos here. Something just doesn’t add up. Sorry about that.]
Fourth turn – June 9
What? Overcast 3. The weather is stable over France. The allies rolled many 1s during combat this turn. Rats. No progress will be made by troops that can’t roll sixes.
Fifth turn – June 10
At last the clouds clear. We hope for the Jabos to hinder the Germans this turn. The Americans made a nice DH (defender’s halved and has to make a long retreat) attack at Montebourg.
Sixth turn – June 11
Weather was clear again.
After the sixth turn we made a break for the evening. Sleeping and resupplying.
Turn seven to fourteen (June 12 to June 19)
The Sunday fighting continued at a steady pace. I wont go into to much detail. We reached turned 14 before we had to call it quits. We had then played for twelve and a half effective hours. So my estimation is that you need two whole days to complete the campaign game if you know the game system.
This was a nice little game. During the game it is a bit hard to know if you are (as the allies) making the progress you should.
The importance of the weather makes the game dynamic and gives it some kind of “ebb and flow” feeling.
The construction of the CRT and that combat strength cap at 18 points makes the shifts to the CRT very important. You must set up your plan so that you can get shifts in those areas you want to make most progress. And as some shifts for air power is dependent on the weather you can not underestimate the importance of the weather, but you also get shifts by artillery support from your HQs, etc.