Recommend
114 
 Thumb up
 Hide
19 Posts

D-Day at Omaha Beach» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Incoming! - Should you get this? Oh-My-Yeah! rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: wishlist [+] Review [+] WW2-EUR [+] [View All]
Australia
Sebastopol (Ballarat)
Victoria
flag msg tools
That's Karl on the left. Eternity on the right.
badge
I love Melissa, but don't tell her. It's a secret if she can find this. Shhhhh....
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Incoming! - Should you get this? Oh-My-Yeah!



Introduction

Upon receiving this recently released game from my 2009 BGG Secret Santa I initially decided I would like to review it, but thought a review would be unnecessary as there were already “3” “reviews” on the Geek.

Further exploration and I discovered that two of the reviews compose a 2-part video review by Joe Steadman (Part One, Part Two). Now I suggest you watch it cause it has a lot of thumbs, but because youtube is blocked at work, I can’t! soblue

The third “review” by David Stoy is not so much a review but more of a “strategy guide” full of useful tips. It’s quite a nice read but I suggest you may want to play DDOB a few times first if you are like me and don’t want to ruin the “fun of discovering the tactics for yourself”

So, there is no real written review for D-Day at Omaha Beach. So, I’ve decided to write one!

Opening the Box

The box is not overly large, nor heavy. I find the colour and box art are acceptable, but not overly eye-catching. So, if you are a box-cover purchaser, I urge you to read on!

Upon opening the box I was delighted to find the following contents:

352 5/8" Counters – Two full counter sheets (mostly) double-sided. The US 1st and 29th Divisions are coloured in different shades of green for easy distinction. Functional and nice.



One 34x22" Full-Colour Game Map (gloss paper) – First impression of this Map was “nice, busy, egad I’m confused!” But upon playing DDOB I find that the map is very functional and easy to read. Also the legend in the bottom left corner a great blessing. You decide if you think it is beautiful or ugly if that matters to you.



55 Event Cards – Each card has three separate “sections” used for landing, events, and combat. Card deck gets shuffled during play. Are 55 cards enough? Yes they truly are, so do not be concerned at the size of the stack. The cards are used as “dice” if bombarding or checking for infiltration. No dice are required for actual assault combat.



Historical Study Booklet – This 16-page glossy coloured supplement is a wonderful read into the history of what transpired at D-Day. I have been informed that this was from a feature article in World at War magazine (No 3).



Player Aid Cards – 2 double sided full page “cards” of charts. Another “card” has sequence of play and some “rules” (priorities of German attacks and Reinforcements) on it. The later has been expanded by Michael Brugato, which I suggest you download and print here



Examples of Play Booklet – This is beautiful! An 8-page (glossy) colour supplement full of examples of combat etc. I almost found it superfluous as the rulebook was very clear, but if I did have any doubt on how something worked, these “examples” should easy any doubt. Just another great inclusion!



Rules Booklet – Well laid out rules booklet which is easy to understand. The actual ruleset is very crisp with minimal “exceptions”. This leads me into my next topic…

My Reaction

Overall this is a fantastic, high-quality, production by Decision Games. The addition of the “Examples” booklet and Historical Booklet just push it into the generous offering realm. After inspecting the components I was eager to look at the rulebook and learn how to play!

So I looked at the rulebook, did a quick 5-second flip through the 32-pages and closed it. 32 PAGES! That is too much! You see, I’m in the process of teaching myself ATS and I am hesitant to learn YAR (Yet Another Ruleset). So I shelfed the game and thought “I’ll try to get to it over the holidays”

Over the next few days I kept eyeing the box, itching to use those lovely components. So, while at work, in a bit of a downtime, I grabbed the Living Rules RTF from ComSimWorld. I then spent 5 minutes flipping through the rules and realised that I only needed to read up to page 20 to begin playing the first “half” of the Game.

So I half read and half scanned the rules and decided to start setting up as soon as I got home! As already mentioned, the ruleset is very clearly set up and I began playing even before I finished reading the rules. Once playing, I had to look up a few situations once they came into play (like German Artillery, Climbing Cliffs, Heroes, HQ and Generals)

So don’t be daunted by the rules. Just set up the intro scenario (on the last page) and start playing! Which is a good time for my next topic…

Playing the Game

DDOB comes packed with a few “scenarios”. Well, in reality there is only one Scenario, which is the “Extended Game”. The other scenarios are a “portion” of this “extended game”.

“The Basic Game” entitled The First Waves, covers the first 16 turns.

The “Introductory Scenario, Easy Fox, uses just half the beach and focuses on the US 1st Division landing. It is, in essence, half of The First Waves. A good place to start and learn/practice the rules by just focusing on the one division.

Beyond the Beach is a special scenario coving turns 17-32, which has a set-up to “simulate” the first 16 turns. This uses the “extended” rules found in pages 20 – 26. The main difference here is that turns go from simulating 15 minutes to 30 minutes. So a number of changes are required. Also, there is the introduction of German Movement, Command Posts and Engineer Bases. So, there is a bit more “going on”.

And of course there is the full game, D-Day at Omaha Beach covering turns 1-32.

Playtimes are estimated (for experienced players) at 3 hours for the first half and 4-5 hours for the second half (or 6-8 hours for the full game). Expect your first “introductory scenario” to clock in around 3 hours.

In addition to the different “scenarios” there are four pages of optional rules covering: Effective Allied Bombardment; First Wave Tanks Land Safely ; Rangers reinforce Pointe du Hoc; and4 Improved German Reaction. Another optional variant covering German Armour almost creates a new “scenario” on its’ own!

There is even an optional “rule” where two players can play together, each taking control of a different Division working co-operatively.

So the conclusion is that there is quite a bit of life and depth to DDOB and it should take you quite a while to “play it all through”. But is it worth your time and effort to play? Which, again, leads to my next topic…

Is it any Good to Play?

YES! I found that playing DDOB was smooth and tense. The clean ruleset and order of play allowed the action to flow quickly. As I got more familiar with the order of play turns began to fly by.

Tense? Oh yes. Having your forces pounded on the beach scrambling for safety. It’s tense. There is also, at times, very little you can do as the narrative unfolds before your eyes. You see, before you get a hero, HQ or General on the beach, you only have 2 actions per turn!

Are you saying the game plays itself like B-17: Queen of the Skies? No. Definitely not. The two actions above are often gruelling choices. There are a number of free actions you receive, the most “decisional” being infantry’s self-preservation move. Which is dashing across the beach to the “safety” of the cliff/slope/bluff/seawall/shingle. (safety is such a relative term!)

Your free actions are primarily used to move, attack or barrage. Which, in the early portions of the game are used on either your tanks/artillery or to order those brave men who have completed their dash across the beach.

Two actions are not enough and it can be Analysis Paralysis time deciding who to act with and what to actually do!

I find DDOB completely engaging as it fills all my desires in a solitaire game.

So, what is my…

Conclusion

D-Day at Omaha Beach is a beautifully packaged and wonderfully executed recreation of the first 12 hours of June 6, 1944. I understand people play wargames for different reasons. DDOB covers most of these. It offers:

1. Historical Background
2. Quick Clean Gameplay
3. Meaningful, Agonising Choices

Being a solitaire game, the only thing it lacks is:
4. Social interaction

Although, there is the optional co-operative mode which I have not yet tried.

In a nutshell, DDOB will give you a greater understanding and appreciation for those men who stormed the beach on that fateful day. It will also give you an idea of the difficult command decisions the US Officers would have faced.

I highly recommend DDOB, which given time, I can envision becoming my favourite WW2 solitaire wargame.

For more information see: Decision Games Official Site

(images courtesy of the good folk at BoardGameGeek)
  • [+] Dice rolls
Excellent review! I already have it but this was a superlative effort. Nice.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tom Volpe
United States
Evanston
Illinois
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shake, shake,...shake...yep!

I think it's under the tree as I type this (just 8 more days).
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Hugh Grotius
United States
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Wonderful review of a wonderful game! One of the best solitaire games I've ever played.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kenneth Lury
United States
Blowing rock
NC
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
One of the best reviews I have read on BGG. Terse and to the point.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Drake Coker
United States
San Diego
California
flag msg tools
badge
This is my tank for Combat Commander
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the review... I've been thinking about this one.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Excellent review.

Are you sure about the map? To the uniformed it looks excessively busy to the point of confusing with all those colour diamonds.


4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Graham Lockwood
Australia
Blacktown
NSW
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
...even to people not in a uniform, it still looks excessively busy.

(Sorry , David, I just couldn't resist that one)

14 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
flag msg tools
badge
Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
promuso wrote:
...even to people not in a uniform, it still looks excessively busy.

(Sorry , David, I just couldn't resist that one)



Don't be insincere - you're not sorry at all you smart-arse git.

I hope I got the spelling right that time.

11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Australia
Sebastopol (Ballarat)
Victoria
flag msg tools
That's Karl on the left. Eternity on the right.
badge
I love Melissa, but don't tell her. It's a secret if she can find this. Shhhhh....
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
da pyrate wrote:
Excellent review.

Are you sure about the map? To the uniformed it looks excessively busy to the point of confusing with all those colour diamonds.


Well, that was my first impression too!

But upon playing on it, I found it very utilitarian and very clear.

The dots are the various German Position fields of fire, with different symbols representing intense, steady or sporadic fire.

So when it is the German fire time, draw a card, and e.g. all red/green/purple dots fire. So you check the intense dots (death line on the beach and some adjacent hexes) for units to reduce, then see if any other units in the field of fire match the symbol (e.g. circle) on the card. After a few turns it becomes lightning quick and very easy. The number and intensity of dots helps you when advancing to determine what might be a bad position to be "found" in.

So I'm sure.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad Richards
United States
Bellevue
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Love the review and agree with your conclusion. This may be my favorite solitaire game. For a solitaire game it really does feel like you have a lot of choices and options for your strategy. I have yet to win :)
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Christopher Schall
United States
Evans City
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great review! Fantastic game that is difficult but fun to play.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Adam D.
United States
Suquamish
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Very nice review. I still disagree about the board, however. Why not use a colored line around the affected hexes and only the half/full dots, leaving out the "normal" fire dots altogether. Would have led to a lot less clutter I think, but I haven't tried it so who knows?

thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brandon Pennington
United States
Springfield
Missouri
flag msg tools
designer
badge
If your orange juice doesn't burn on the way down, then you need more vodka!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Really if you try the game, the map isn't bad at all. I was in the group that thought it was crazy busy before I tried it. Sure it could have been executed a little better, but it is perfectly functional in its current form. I just wish there was a VASSAL module.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Butterfield
United States
Fremont
California
flag msg tools
designer
mbmb
Adam -- I tried your suggestion when the game was in development. The amount of overlap in fields of fire made it difficult to follow the outlines and the map looked busier than the dot approach I finally settled on, if you can believe it.
17 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Iain K
United States
Arvada
Colorado
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
Randy, as of this review, how many times have you played the game? Have you played each scenario? What are your favorites?

Never assume that the reviews posted in the forum are the only ones to consider. Many of us post our thoughts to the game's comment sections.

Enjoy the beach!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
clive holland
Thailand
wang nam khieo
nakhon ratchasima
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What an excellent review, I have been looking at this game for a while and was under the impression it was not that easy to get started and the rules were quite complex. I am now putting it on my list of games to buy. A pity you didn't post this a couple of weeks ago as I have just ordered Kaisers Pirates as a solo game, never mind this will be the next one I order early next year.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark V
United States
California
flag msg tools
mb
Randy,

thanks so much for your review! The only criticism I have of it is that you did not detail how the German parts are played in the main review, though you did address that somewhat in your reply above.

I do have this game and I have a few games back-logged that I want to play, so I am trying to figure out which one to dive into next. (Other candidates are Kaisers Pirates, Duel in the Dark, GolfProfi, Smoke Jumpers...). Your review is helping me on that front (no pun intended). I'm probably a "light gamer" and I've had all the same concerns as you about the perceived complexities of this game, glad you brought that topic up.

I also appreciate that you have noted items for download before playing. Thanks for those details. And yes, do come back and post here how you are doing with the game these days! Take care.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Australia
Sebastopol (Ballarat)
Victoria
flag msg tools
That's Karl on the left. Eternity on the right.
badge
I love Melissa, but don't tell her. It's a secret if she can find this. Shhhhh....
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Still playing Mark! I've actually downloaded the Vassal Module and get some beach action in during my lunch breaks Hopefully I'll have another "live" AAR posted shortly (but I've got a number of AARs back-logged and I may not get to it.

I'm still greatly enjoying the game, and am therefore having a hard time finding the time/energy to learn Fields of Fire. blush
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.