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This two-player card game recreates the drama of the day Allied soldiers went ashore in occupied France, 6 June 1944. Each of the historic landing beaches -- Gold, Juno, Sword, Omaha and Utah -- is represented by its own card, as are the defending German divisions and attacking Allied units. The Allied player must marshal his resources to gain and secure control of every beach by day's end: one run-through of the beautifully illustrated 110-card deck.
The tension in the game increases with each card thrown, like the build up in a close baseball game. At first it seems the Allies have resources to meet every crisis across the beachheads, but if a key airborne division gets scattered across the countryside, allowing a counterattacking panzer division to slip through the perimeter, everything can change instantly. And an Allied unit committed to one beach, where you might find the defense isn't as strong as you thought, can't be called back in time to rush to the true danger zone. Both players must constantly be thinking ahead, looking for ways to best utilize their cards several throws down the line.
Lightning War D-Day is another outstanding war/card game from Dan Verssen. It is similar in card format and ease of play to its brother game Lightning Midway. I bought this game along with Lightning Midway with the hope it was as advertised: simple, fast playing and exciting ala European style games. It is as good as advertised.
The rules are on the front side of a single sheet of paper with a diagram of the correct card layout on the opposite side. Yes, the instructions could use more examples and a little more elaboration but they are fairly clear and can be deciphered with minimal effort. The cards are divided into Beach cards, Event cards, Force cards, Turn cards and two Country cards. The two Country cards summarize the turn sequence and are just basically play aids. The beach cards are laid out between the players- Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword in geographical order.
The objective is to capture as many of these beaches as possible using the Force and Event cards within the five turn game. Each beach has historical Allied and German Force cards assigned to it. These Force cards are shuffled and placed faced down on the opposite sides of their beaches. All the beaches are unoccupied and uncontrolled in the beginning. The German player goes first and moves from beach to beach left to right starting from Sword and ending at Utah. Each player on his turn has a choice of either attacking or activating (turning over) a card at the active beach. The German player can only activate units on his first turn since attacks can only be done with previously activated Force cards, however special conditions on certain Force cards may allow attacks on the same turn of activation. Then the Allied player goes next, starting from his left to right, from Utah beach to Sword beach. When the German player is done, the next Turn card is turned up. Note that since the players move opposite each other from beach to beach this results in a counterclockwise movement around the beaches.
Attacks succeed when the point values of the attacking units plus supporting Event cards exceed the values of the defense (ties favor the defense). If there are no activated defenders the top force card is removed from the inactive reserve defense forces. If there are no inactive defenders, the top Force card from an adjacent beach is removed (attacker?s choice).
On the first turn the Allies are given an attack handicap but by the fifth and last turn they have the attack advantage. The biggest advantage the Germans have is the ability to transfer units from one beach to another by playing two special Event cards. The Allies are stuck at their assigned beaches and cannot transfer to other beaches as was the case historically.
Victory is determined by the number of beaches controlled by the Allied player. A beach under control means that no German Force cards are remaining at that beach at the end of the fifth turn. The Allies holding all five beaches is a decisive victory. Holding four out of five beaches is a historical Allied victory. Anything less are levels of German victories.
Like Lightning Midway the game plays quickly- in thirty minutes to an hour. The battles require interesting choices of resource allocation and thinking ahead. The Allied attacks and German counterattacks grind down both sides and holding the beaches can be desperate for both sides. I look forward to the next game in the series: Lightning War on Terror. I hope Dan Verssen continues with more games. I can easily foresee an extension of this game system to other battles: Guadalcanal, Bulge, Market-Garden for example; and to other eras: Waterloo, Gettysburg, etc. Keep 'em coming! This series is a great way to play several games in the same time it would take to play a more complex game of the same battles. They give much of the same historical feel and factors involved but at a much lower investment in time and money. This is a great game and game series for veteran and new gamers interested in a quick playing, exciting, war and strategy card game. This is THE BEST of the simple war games out there. I highly recommend it.