Axis & Allies: D-Day
List Price: $40.00
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It's the morning of June 6, 1944. As Allied forces prepare to storm Normandy's beaches, the fate of Europe is in your hands! In honor of next year's 60th anniversary of D-Day, Avalon Hill will release Axis & Allies D-Day, a new, stand-alone extension of the classic strategy game Axis & Allies. Axis & Allies D-Day will allow players to recreate the largest amphibious invasion in history.
Axis & Allies D-Day features detailed game components including a new blockhouse piece, an extra-large game board, and original artwork commissioned exclusively for the D-Day game box. Other elements of this new Axis & Allies variant include a card deck with three card types -- Orders, Tactics, and Fortune -- to add depth and complexity to play. Order cards determine play sequence and break turns into distinct phases; Tactics cards offer players varied strategic opportunities; and Fortune cards add an element of unpredictability.
Axis & Allies D-Day begins as Operation Overlord, the invasion of German-held Normandy, is underway -- 130,000 soldiers of the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States are poised to assault Fortress Europe. You and your fellow world powers control their fates.
One player controls Germany, whose Axis forces have turned the beaches of Normandy into a near-impenetrable stronghold. Set to breach those defenses are the Allies: the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. The future of Europe and the world hangs in the balance.
If you have been thinking about getting into the Axis & Allies series, D-Day might be the place to start.
The game simulates the Allied invasion of Normandy beginning on June 6, 1944 known as D-Day. One player controls the Germans; the opposing player(s) control the Americans and the British. The Allies must establish a beachhead and completely eliminate the Germans in three key victory cities before the tenth turn expires. If the Germans are able to defeat the Allies on the battlefield (unlikely) or delay the Allies beyond the tenth turn (much more likely), the Germans win.
The game is very easy to learn, because each player simply carries out the orders described on the stack of "order cards" which are drawn in sequence every turn. And unlike most A&A games, the reinforcements you receive are predetermined by a chart, so you don't have to worry about spending and making money. The game also does a nice job of representing different aspects of the Normandy battle: there are paratrooper surprise attacks, air patrols, bombing raids, concrete blockhouses, amphibious assaults, inland battles, etc.
The game includes two decks of optional cards to spice things up after you have played a few games - tactics cards which can be used once per game to make special attacks, and fortune cards - which introduce a greater degree of luck.
D-Day is certainly not the best game in the A&A series. I find the game a little bit too rigid (no choices in reinforcement) and illogical (when the game ends, it's common to only have about 10- 12 surviving pieces on the board when you started with well over 100).
Still, D-Day is a respectable introduction to A&A. Its rules are much simpler to learn and the gameplay is more similar to the Revised version of A&A than the newer, battle-specific expansions (Battle of the Bulge & Guadalcanal - which are great, by the way).
Pick up D-Day if you are curious about Axis & Allies.