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rasmussen81
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D-Day Landings: Omaha and Utah Beach Mon, 23 June 2014 18:49
Originally posted over on BGG, here is my first Session Report for the first time we played any of the D-Day Landings scenarios:

Because I had a chance to help with this expansion for Memoir '44, I got an early copy of it. I couldn't get everything organized to play a scenario on June 6th, but managed to pull three other people together last week and we played the Omaha and Utah maps.

I'll try to organize this Session Report in a way that will be helpful to other players who will be getting their copies of this great expansion in the near future, but if you have any questions at the end, feel free to post them!

Setting Up

These maps are HUGE!! My table wasn't big enough, so I got a sheet of plywood to put on top of my game table. It's a 4 foot by 8 foot sheet and these two maps fit perfectly, with room for a third map. When I want to play two maps that are offset, I'll have to try something new.

Laying out the maps was the easy part. They are paper, but lay nice and flat from the start. I had my figures out and setting them in the right hexes was easy, taking me maybe 30 minutes. I used after-market figures that I had painted for all Elite troops, to cut down on badges.

Reviewing the Rules

I was playing with two people who barely knew how to play Memoir '44. Two of us knew the rules and the other two needed lots of review. It was extremely important that I had all of my summary cards out so that they could remind themselves about the different units at a glance.

The terrain isn't too complex in this map, and the starting units aren't very difficult either, but you can end up with some interesting reinforcements! The rules won't be a problem for experienced players but it slowed things down to have new players. We still had a blast, but it would have been good to do a few practice games of Vanilla Memoir to lead up to this expansion, just to speed things up.

Playing the Expansion

First of all, this expansion is a blast! It was so much fun!!

As the Allies, we have a pretty straight-forward task: drive the Axis forces back from the cliff fortifications (Omaha) and push through the beach and off the road (Utah). Then head inland and start capturing towns! It's harder than it sounds.

The Axis have to hold onto the beaches for as long as they can and rush their reinforcements to the front line to shore up their beleaguered troops. Also not an easy task...

With a Breakthrough Deck for each map, we pounded away at each other for about 4 hours. I struggled to get off the Omaha beaches as German tanks and mortar teams followed the roads to the front line. Our forces in Utah captured the beach and pushed through the roads, picking up valuable medals, but then floundered as they tried to get further inland. German Big Guns blasted away at landing craft and Allied Rangers who were trying to land at Pointe du Hoc, while the battle ships did their best to lend support against entrenched German forces.

I failed to make any substantial progress off the beaches and the game ended with my troops in control of only one beach. My father-in-law held the Utah beach, but never made it out of that pocket, losing precious medals as he tried to cross the bridge. We lost by 4 medals but for a long time the German players were convinced they were doomed.

Final Thoughts

Following the recommendation we made in the Rule Book, we used dice to mark all of the units that were ordered at the start of our turn. We put dice with the Flag on units who could only move (On The Move orders), we put the Grenade on units who got full orders, and we removed the dice as we went through our turn. This helped us organize all of the units because with so many troops on the board it would have been hard to remember what was going on. Of course you can use any method you want, but you'll want to find some way of marking your units.

Now, about the game. This is Memoir '44 at its best!! Its epic scale made everyone feel like we were part of something important and the size of the map gave everyone lots of chances to make significant decisions. The reinforcement system is wonderful and added a lot of new units into the mix, but didn't break the game in any way. We all had a great time and we're looking forward to a rematch!
      
Vercingetorix1302
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Re:D-Day Landings: Omaha and Utah Beach Mon, 23 June 2014 23:23
Wow!
After such a report, I just can't wait to play a D-Day landing myself. But I'll have to wait until July 12th, when we'll have a go in Klundert.

Antoi, I'm already marking of the days ... Laughing
      
rasmussen81
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Re:D-Day Landings: Omaha and Utah Beach Mon, 23 June 2014 23:29
Vercingetorix1302 wrote on Mon, 23 June 2014 14:23

Wow!
After such a report, I just can't wait to play a D-Day landing myself. But I'll have to wait until July 12th, when we'll have a go in Klundert.

Antoi, I'm already marking of the days ... Laughing


You'll have fun! Cool

We only played Omaha and Utah, but it's wonderful knowing that we have so many other combinations to try with the double-maps before we have to repeat a set-up!! That doesn't even take into account all six of the single-map games that we can try! This expansion might be the only thing I play for a while... Very Happy
      
Achtung Panzer
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Re:D-Day Landings: Omaha and Utah Beach Thu, 26 June 2014 15:57
So using a Breakthrough Deck per map is the way to go. That helps as we've been thinking of using Overlord decks.
      
rasmussen81
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Re:D-Day Landings: Omaha and Utah Beach Fri, 27 June 2014 15:30
Achtung Panzer wrote on Thu, 26 June 2014 06:57

So using a Breakthrough Deck per map is the way to go. That helps as we've been thinking of using Overlord decks.


I'm sure you could manage with another deck, but the One the Move orders were key for both sides! Personally, I wouldn't play these without the Breakthrough decks but some people won't have a choice.
      
50th
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Re:D-Day Landings: Omaha and Utah Beach Sun, 29 June 2014 18:16
I am looking forward to getting this expansion. I wish they would sell the breakthrough decks separately now that they are needed for this expansion. I don't really want to spend a lot of money on another WW expansion. Thinking of using OL cards when I get my D-Day expansion.

      
    
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