Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Last night I had a game of "Heroes of Normandie", a French WW2 board game. I am not usually a big fan of boardgames but we substituted 15mm figures for the standard tiles that come with the game, and this made it feel more like a REAL wargame!

The mechanics of the game took quite a long time to explain so we only had about a couple of hours of actual play - we did not get the game finished but my Germans were holding their own at the time we finished about 2145.

The scenario  was St Mere Eglise - the Germans had foiled the first attack by the US paras and it was night time. Five of the German units were actually bedded down in the streets of the town at the commencement of the game!

The US player had to sneak on through the surrounding bocage and assault the town. There were about twenty buildings in total, of which one was the primary target and three others were secondary targets - the US player had to capture the primary target and two of the three secondary targets to win the game.

The box that the game arrived in

The scenario book for the game that we played

This is "most" of the game board showing the town of St Mere Eglise that my German forces were called upon to defend against the US paras. The target buildings are marked with crosses - yellow at three corners for the secondary buildings including the church in the bottom left, and red for the primary target in the "centre de ville"

Two of the German units "asleep" in the shelter of the church at the start of the game. They had to remain abed until the first shots were fired, at which time they would, not surprisingly, arise from their slumber and join the fray!

An SdKfz 250 representing a PzKfw II that we did not have a model for. This may not seem a very impressive AFV for mid 1944 but when pitted against an all infantry force, its 37mm gun and twin MG's were pretty effective!

On the first move, this para bazooka team sprinted forward, took aim at the Panzer, and needing a Three to hit it, rolled a Two!

When it came around to the AFV's turn to return fire, it did so with the MG, needing a 2 to hit and kill the bazooka team - and rolled a Five - first blood to the Wehrmacht!

Two German scout units advanced out of the town to bring the fight to the enemy in the surrounding countryside. The US paras got first go but fluffed the dice rolling.

The Germans responded with grenades and wiped out the US unit with a perfect Six!

The Germans and US paras traded blows for a couple more turns but the US player had some unfortunate dice rolling and failed to inflict any casualties on the defenders. The Germans, on the other hand, continued to whittle down the attacking force. In the final move of the game, a German squad sprinted from cover and engaged the US commander figure - who had been injured in the jump and was being carried in a chair by members of his unit - a historical fact apparently! The Germans won the fight and the US group was pushed back - if we had carried on for another turn, perhaps the officer would have been eliminated?

A general view of the position as we finished the game - US paras can be seen in the countryside to the bottom and right of the picture. The German unit that engaged the US commander started at the position marked by the black Four to the bottom left of the picture and ended up adjacent to the green One, near the road.

The view from the German lines near the church, at the top right in the previous picture. These units had successfully engaged and eliminated two or three US squads in this area.

Now, I have been accused of always enjoying a game where I do well, so maybe that has coloured my judgement, but this game was good fun and I will be happy to give the system another try soon, which is good news for my opponent, as he has invested a small fortune in obtaining a plethora of map boards and scenarios using this system - watch this space!


  1. My tactics were not very good (US should really sneak more at the beginning & not take rushed bazooka shots at tanks & then stay in the open - that card I used would have allowed me to move into cover AFTER the shot - doh!). Also the dice were particularly unkind to me.

    1. Thanks for the comments Andrew - don't get many!

  2. And glad you enjoyed the game, Keith. Now need to start with the Dentist who also has lots of 15mm .... and Advanced Squad Leader with figures to follow!