In preparation for the upcoming HMGS-PSW D-Day Plus 70 regional convention on June 14th, Daniel and WR have been playing out some Omaha beach landing practice games using Flames of War Ver3.0. Our Flames of War games are a bit different since WR’s WWII collection is all 20mm (1/72) vs. the normal 15mm scale for Flames of War (FOW). This leads to some minor basing adjustments for the infantry teams and the occasional but rare rule tweak allowing for the larger 20mm miniature scale. With that said, the planned doubled sized scenario for Omaha Beach will include Easy Green, Dog Red and Dog White beach landings plus a weak appearance of Kampfgruppe Meyer, German bicycle platoon, stray French Resistance infantry teams with “special champagne bottles”, the deadly naval gunfire spotter plane buzzing overhead, and maybe a very lost American paratrooper squad or two.
6/10/14 Note: Updated with additional photos from 2nd scenario test game and final design for scenario terrain map below.
Sandwiched between tall bluffs on either end, a five-mile stretch of Normandy coastline was designated Omaha Beach near the center of the Allied D-Day landings on June 6th, 1944. Landing at Omaha was the relatively fresh US 29th Infantry (Blue and Grey) and the veteran 1st (Big Red) divisions. With British and Canadian troops landing on beaches to the left and other US landing at Utah Beach to the right, the Americans at Omaha met with the highest rate of casualties of the day with some 3,000 falling in the French surf and sand.
At Omaha beach was a mix of recruits and older veterans in the German 352nd Infantry Division. Dug in and positioned in a wall of pill boxes, bunkers, gun pits and trenches, the Germans met the US assaulting infantry with a storm of MG42 machine gun, artillery, mortar and rocket fire. For the US, little went right as landing craft drifted off course and special floating DD M4 Sherman tanks were swamped and sank offshore. Only through improvised efforts and a slow, methodical pace under withering fire did the American infantry finally make it through the German lines to control the beach by the close of the day.
Omaha Beach aerial view. Welcome to Bocage country…..
WR’s bocage terrain is ready. WR’s has 50 feet of the hedgerow terrain ready for those Normandy FOW scenarios. The Omaha beach scenario only has a few pieces along the back edge of the tabletop.
Some maps to set the stage and overview for the Omaha scenario.
BIGOT Omaha Beach map East section. Click to enlarge. Note the “bocage lines” behind the beach.
BIGOT Omaha beach West section. Click to enlarge.
Omaha beach Easy Green. Click to enlarge.
Omaha beach Dog Red. Click to enlarge.
Omaha beach Dog White. Click to enlarge.
Since the Flames of War Omaha beach scenario is serving as the basic design I have provided links to their scenario material. Battlefront’s Flames of War links on Omaha Beach. Bloody Omaha, and FOW Easy Green scenario.
Below are some WR’s scenario testing photographs taken during a recent test of the basic scenario workings and using WR’s 20mm WWII collection. Note that the setup to closer to the historical strengths compared to the FOW Easy Green beach scenario. and only WN 66 is involved for this scenario test. The full scenario will be a double sized table (12×6) and include WN66, WN67, WN68, WN69, and WN70 positions, some Kampfgruppe Meyer platoons, and of course enlarged platoon count of American forces. Scenario will last for 12 turns but we only played 10 turns with all the carnage during the play test.
Final design for scenario terrain on tabletop.
Map Legend for Omaha beach scenario terrain map.
Overview of the eastern test section of Omaha beach D-Day scenario. WN 66 in foreground, WN 68 (unoccupied and not involved for scenario test) in distance. Tabletop is 6×5 feet.
Determining the depth of the sea and surf zone for the tabletop board. Determined the sea zone will be 10″ and the surf the remaining 2 inches. Then 7 inches of beach sand to the shingle/sea wall.
Western flank of D-3 draw at Le Moulins. WN 68 atop buff is empty for now of its defenders. Minefields and anti-tank defenses await.
WN 66 on eastern flank of D-3 draw. Still have to place the 50mm bunker.
WN 67 with its static rocket launchers. the full scenario will have six launchers. These rockets dealt death all day in our scenario test. Daniel will priority target with NGF next time.
Close up of the seawall defenses with 50mm in open bunker. Testing space of infantry team bases for fit behind trench work ( I used an American team… ironic?).
WN 66 occupied with defending infantry after “improvements”. American flag is objective marker.
Test scenario play. American infantry being shot up on the open beach.
One DD tank bogged down in surf line. One failed to land for three turns but none swamped or sank. Two on the beach engaging the HMG tobruks.
View from the buffs at WN 66. The German garrison is slowly being reduced during every American shooting phase.
After bogging once on the seawall shingle, one DD tank enters “France” after the engineering dozer tank. Barbwire is crushed. German garrison is testing platoon morale… and holding.
P-47 filling in for the Naval Gun Fire (NGF) P-51 stand. Pilot view of the action below. Behind the P-47 is a weak American Boat Assault platoon is being wiped out by the last German WN66 defenders and the 50cm AT bunker.
Having breached the wire, the American infantry is clearing the minefields for the DD tanks. German WN66 garrison is basically wiped out now. Only the company commander and his 8cm mortars in tobruks are left. German reserves finally arrive in distance and suffer losses from the NGF.
Minefield gapped…. ready to surge forward as scenario called on turn count. End of turn 10 shows no American teams in range to seize the American objective.
Scenario seemed to work so far with no major issues. Another dry run next week for final tuning and written compilation (and posting on WR) of the scenario rosters for both sides. Scenario is scheduled for the HMGS-PSW regional convention on June 14th. Details can be read on the HMGS-PSW site: HMGS-PSW. All are welcome to join Daniel and WR at the French sea-shore on June 14th.
Update 6/10/14: Second scenario test game photos below:
Second test scenario. After the preliminary bombardment completed, a P-51 NGF flys overhead as Americans land on the beach. Three boat assault groups and some DD tanks landed in 1st wave. Other DD tanks failed to land this turn.
P-51 NGF flys over to direct the bombardment of the German open bunker rocket batteries. Lucky ranging in causes lost of two rocket open bunkers.
Seafront German platoon taking lots of firepower from the landing Americans. One team lost by Preliminary bombardment.
First ashore and promptly pinned down with losses on the sand.
American objective in WN 66 as the German grenadiers keep down. Note the two tobruk 8cm mortar pits.
With DD tanks charging the wire followed by a boat assault group, the Americans try to seize the seashore position. The 50mm KwK was useless….except once when the crew defended their bunker from assault.
The lone German platoon commander with panzerknacker counterattacks… he didn’t last one round of combat. But the 50mm KwK bunker won their fight against some American infantry.
Taking the seashore position, the American DD tanks and engineers push forward as MG bullets take their toll.
Lucky roll, minefield gapped. “Forward men” shouts General Cota somewhere on the beach.
Braving the fire from the WN 66 and charging up hill past the destroyed HMG tobruks. Dozer tank clearing the AT blockage.
American engineers gunned down on the slopes as the early reinforcement Grenadier platoon arrives behind WN 66. Daniel tossed in the game and plans another tactic for the big convention game.
End of scenario with American infantry huddled behind the sea wall. Omaha beach looking bad in this sector.
Second scenario went fast… Daniel learning the ropes of Amphibious assault. This Saturday HMGS-PSW convention game should prove to be an exciting game with twice the action, terrain and miniatures.
Map showing casualty clearing stations on D-Day. Also shows the front lines.
Cheers from the warren, with a glass of French wine in paw, as I find my General Cota miniature team. The Americans will need him……