Axis & Allies: D-Day
|Publisher(s)||Wizards of the Coast|
|Skill(s) required||Dice rolling
Axis & Allies: D-Day is the fifth version of the strategy board-game Axis & Allies, released on June 11, 2004 as a celebration of the 60th anniversary of D-Day during World War II. It lets 2-3 players recreate Operation Overlord or D-Day scenarios during June–July 1944. It was designed by Larry Harris and developed by Mike Selinker. The game won the Origins Award Gamers’ Choice Award 2004.
USA and UK land troops at Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches while Germany tries to push them back and keep control of the cities Cherbourg, Saint-Lô, and Caen. If the allies haven't captured all three cities within ten turns, Germany wins. The allies start with no victory cities in their possession.
Mike Selinker, the developer of the A&A games, said: "The original Axis & Allies board game was strategic. D-Day is tactical. D-Day is shorter and 'tighter' than the original game, and is also a bit less complicated."
Instead of purchasing units, players get them by placing units on "Reinforcement Charts" and then moving them to the play board. The play board also has unit silhouettes which shows how you should set up the game, instead of charts with lots of numbers. It makes the game a lot easier, less complicated, and less time consuming. With the help of paratrooper planes and amphibious assaults, the allies send over troops to breach the Atlantic wall. A new unit is the Pillbox, a little fortress with artillery inside that fires at troops about to land on the beach. Otherwise, it is all the original pieces without chips for indication of multiple units. In order to deal with the possibilities of excess amounts of units, an 8-unit limit has been enacted so that territories do not become overcrowded.
Play balance and strategy
||This article possibly contains original research. (September 2007)|
Axis & Allies: D-Day is initially a challenging game for the Allied player. The Germans have more units and more firepower. Taking and holding all 3 of the strategic objectives (Caen, St.Lo, and Cherbourg) unopposed for one full turn is difficult. Between two experienced players, the Allied player has decent winning chances, but the Allied player must use his or her forces skillfully. An experienced Allied player will utilize his or her fighter planes to pin down/strafe German units trying to move toward the front lines. An effective Allied strategy involves focusing on seizing the central strategic objective St.Lo first. The St.Lo first strategy requires clearing Omaha Beach quickly, then moving directly to St.Lo with combined American/Anglo forces. An Allied line can then be extended from St.Lo toward Caen. After a St.Lo-Caen line is reinforced, then Cherbourg can be picked off, as the Germans have difficulty reinforcing Cherbourg. For players who still find the German side consistently victorious, an option to improve play balance is to add some Allied bombers, reflecting the overwhelming historical Allied air superiority, e.g. adding two Allied bombers to the two the game already provides.
German strategy and tactics are straightforward. Maintain infantry alongside tanks to absorb casualties. Keep at least one anti-aircraft artillery piece in any territory with two or more units to discourage Allied bombings and strafings. With respect to each of the three strategic objectives, determine early on where the defensive lines or positions will be, and concentrate forces along these lines in such a way as to fight on the defensive. If the dice allow the Germans to bring in many reinforcements quickly, then expand the defensive lines beyond the strategic strongpoints. If a buffer is formed in front of an objective, the Allied player will have to attack recklessly to seize the strongpoint.