Gaming the Day of Days

In my previous blog, I discussed my preparations for our big D-Day beach assault game, which was held on June 5th, 2024, almost 80 years to the day after the original landings. Thanks to a swift delivery from Sarissa Precision, I managed to build all the extra landing craft we needed.

There were still a few last-minute preparations, such as finishing the construction of a Sarissa bunker. This was going to be our main bunker objective on 'Point de Ad Hoc' for the Royal Marine Commandos to storm, as it controlled the gun battery at Sur-Ville and could be used to call in indirect fire. 

I'd built the boards we were playing on for a Salute game back in 2014, Caesar's invasion of Britain. These would be repurposed for the beaches of Normandy.

My friend Sam R also came to the rescue by printing out several FT tank turret bunkers, Czech hedgehogs and Tobruk MG emplacements from Trenchworx, which really helped set the scene.

With the Sarissa MDF, the Trenchworx 3D prints, some Warlord/Italieri gun emplacements and every bit of trench I could find, we were ready to populate the board. 

Our initial plan was to do a 2 to 1 odds beach landing scenario based on the ones in the Bolt Action Campaign D-Day: Overlord book.

We initially planned one large table and two smaller tables, but three of our players dropped out at the last minute, so we had to rethink and drop one of our smaller tables (a fight for a town involving Fallschirmjäger and Allied paratroops).

Our main board would combine the Assault on Pointe du Hoc (Scenario 13) and one of the main beach landing scenarios (Scenario 15, Red Queen beach). The second game would be the Merville Gun battery assault (Scenario 4, renamed Sur-ville for our game) and would have direct consequences for the beach assault.

For our main board, we have 3000 points of Allied troops coming down on the beach, facing 1500 points of combined defences. Point de Ad Hoc's command bunker was the key objective as it was the site of the German observer (controlling the battery at Sur-Ville), and while it was operational, it gave all bunkers +1 morale!

The landing craft started in deep water turn 1, moving to light water turn 2 and finally landing on turn 3. All the German forces were to be inexperienced.

In my next blog, I'll discuss how the game went and also talk openly about what went right and what mistakes we made. Hopefully, this will all be an inspiration for your future games. If we can do it, I'm sure you and some like-minded friends can do a game like this as well, or a lot better.

So, with our preparations complete, play began! Would the paratroops attacking the battery at Sur-ville manage to silence the guns? Would the commandos manage to storm point de Ad Hoc in time? Would the landing force manage to wipe out the German defenders? Only time would tell.

We will be rerunning the scenario again in the near future as the three players who missed out want to play our scenario again. Who knows? We may need more boards if we have even more players joining us.


Looks like a great game. Only it is a pitty people donn’t know anymore how the AT Bunkers were placed. At the photo I see the AT Bunkers, crossfiring te beaches, placed with the protection wall for the guns against enemy fire from the sea at the beaches, not at the seaside but at the landsite. Easy target for the assaulting troops.

H.J. Vink

Excellent set up! I look forward to the game report.


Interesting choice to do this with Bolt Action. But even more interesting to reflect that a similar looking game could have been done with company or battalion level rules. I sometimes wonder if all this ‘scales’ stuff affects what we do as much as we like to think. Looking forward to the next instalment!


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