Monday, August 18, 2014

D-Day Landings: Sword & Juno Beach

I actually had to extend the table to get the map to fit.

Last night we got together and played some Memoir '44 D-Day landings. Now there are six very big maps in this particular pack and they can be played in a number of ways. We played Overthrough, a game type where you stick two of the maps together and play them as an Overlord game.  We put the Sword & Juno beach maps together which covered a goodly portion of the British & Canadian contingent on D-Day. 

Landing craft steaming towards the beaches

I didn't take enough photographs to be honest as I was too busy enjoying the game, but it was excellent.  Our main was two pronged, the 6th Airborne on the left were to hit the German artillery positions, while everybody else dashed up the beach as quickly as was humanly possible.  It wasn't a particularly inspired plan, but it seemed to cover the basics. 

General Kerrigan-Smythe-Williams examines some of the German heavy artillery

There were some additional wrinkles in this particular scenario, the number of victory points required was very high, twenty nine in total. However, there were a large number available for different objectives. Each cleared section of beach was worth two as were the German heavy artillery positions. There were also points available for bridges and control of the urban areas.  What was interesting about those from a game play point of view was that because the points were awarded to one side or the other, small moves on a big map could have big effects. This meant that the scores felt sort of "swingy". A small move suddenly take four medals off one side and give them to the other. 

General Du Gourmand studying his cards

I took command of the Allied Forces, wearing a beret plastered with every cap badge I could find, while Du Gourmand took up the cudgels as the vile and evil Hun. 

The Germans commanders study the situation

The Germans had a hard time of it as they were mainly reacting to our moves. The game stalled about half way through, the 6th on the left could not shift the German artillery on the left, while the right was starved of cards.  We were pushing well in the centre though, but it probably wasn't going to be enough. 


This meant that General Von Fatzington was able to get some of his armour reserves into the fight and stoutly contest our advances on the right. Herr General Deegan on the other hand was faced with a more solid advance commanded with commendable aggression by St.John-Boomington. A run of centre cards and a lucky airstriek certainly helped. 

And come to a decision.

One aspect of the game was that a little unusual was a sort of odd Yachtzee style mini game. Each player rolled some dice and was allowed move (but not battle with) a unit for each flag that he rolled. He then had to match the symbols rolled against chart, which granted him a steady trickle of reinforcements. This meant that not only were there new troops coming into play, but that clearing the beaches became a top priority as reinforcements normally deployed in the landing craft, but could also be placed on an uncontested beach. 

Hungarian commander TK studies where he is going to place his panzers

By half way through the game, despite being hammered by Du Gourmand and his pals, we managed to get the assault on the right moving, while St.John-Boomington cemented his gains in the centre. The paratroopers led by Sydney finally knocked out the German guns covering sword beach, but TK had managed to roll up some panzer reinforcements and delivered a brutal counter attack to the scattered paras. 

Du Gourmand delivers a pep talk 

We had been trailing the Germans for the entire game so far, but at this point we began to overhaul them. The centre of gravity of the engagement was beginning to shift - the Germans were beginning to focus on taking objectives from us rather than vice versa. 

Von Fatzington seems somewhat skeptical

Von Fatzington's counter attack on the right was cut off and wiped out by some decisive team work between Kerrigan-Smythe and St.John-Boomington. 

General TK seems unconvinced

TK was doing great execution on the German left as his panzers chased Sydney's paratroopers around the countryside.  They were mostly hunkered down in cover waiting for relief and trying to put some fire on the unstoppable German death tanks. 

General Sydney gets his paratroopers moving, while General St.John-Boomington pours reinforcements into the centre

But while TK was murdering paratroopers, Sydney co-ordinated with St.John Boomington who moved reinforcements in from the centre to allow Sydney to grab several objectives. This meant that they were able to put together a co-ordinated push on the beach. 

The final German bunker on Sword beach falls

The final score was 29-24.  Du Gourmand and Von Fatzington have been playing the maps as two player games and both said that the Overthrough game felt much more balanced as the larger board gave much more scope for the German artillery. We were lagging behind on victory points and only managed to overhaul the Germans by about two thirds of the way through the game. Not including physically setting up the board and a brief planning session (during which I may have described our plan as Operation "Get up the ****ing beach), the whole game took two hours and twenty minutes. 

A taut and challenging game, my thanks to Sydney, St. John Boomington and Kerrigan Smythe for keeping the faith and sticking to the plan and to TK, Von Deegan and Von Fatzington for a stout defence.  Du Gourmand remains, of course, my best of enemies. 

Having played two of the six maps available - I'm definitely interested in trying to whole shebang, though we will need bigger tables. And lots of them. 


  1. Cracking stuff, I'd love to try these scenarios!

  2. Conrad Kinch,

    I have considered buying this expansion set, and having read your blog entry I can see myself using it. Thanks for writing this report; it has helped me to see the maps in operation.

    All the best,


  3. Nice to see how well it works in multiplayer. Is the game similar in its mechanics to the C&C range?


  4. Well fought victory. Looking forward to trying the other set ups

  5. Great looking game and an evening of good fellowship!

    Say, are those bowls of chips and sausages objective markers? If so, I would order maximum effort to take the large plate of cheese and sausages on the left!

  6. Very atmospheric pictures.

    Regards, Chris.

  7. Cracker! That looks like so much fun!!

  8. Like you Conrad would love to play the entire invasion front. Very temped to acquire this expansion.

  9. It looks glorious! Bigger table? Perhaps even a bigger house.

  10. Great report and the game looks superb.

  11. War is a fascinating subject. Despite the dubious morality of using violence to achieve personal or political aims. It remains that conflict has been used to do just that throughout recorded history.

    Your article is very well done, a good read.