Wednesday 12 June 2024

AAR: Juno Beach – Mike Red and Nan Green sectors

Hi folks,

Game three in our summer series of D-Day games. This time we went with the Canadians landing in and around Courseulles-sur-Mer. 

This was the first game we've played width-wise. Dave had a chance to test out his new 12' beach mat, while I used my newly produced (by Bren) sea wall. 

Map from (Not my image!)

As ever, the layout was our best approximation of the table using our available bits. We followed our usual routine of setting up in advance. Getting the table organised takes us three or four hours. The below images are from before we 100% completed things (missing some hedges and other bits). 

We were joined in this venture by 'Elvis', in Commando kit. 

The following day we finished the setup of the table and prepped some of the new additions to the game. The first was the use of a ribbon to mark the tide line. The plan was to advance the ribbon up the beach by a few inches every couple of turns. Any vehicle caught by the tide would be swamped and knocked out - which happened a few times to bogged-down tanks. The second different thing was that I was commanding the Germans rather than just umpiring. 

With heavier defences on this beach and the moving tide, casualties were high on both the east and west beaches. The extra cover and height provided by the town buildings posed a particular challenge - especially when occupied by a sHMG platoon. 

The landing sequence went along the lines of one turn every 5 minutes of real time. The DD tanks arrived on turn 1, Breaching teams and the first two infantry companies on turn 2, another two infantry companies on turn 5. Nothing further till turn 11, which we didn't get to. 

I mentioned casualties were high. To the left of the port was a bunker with a Pak43. It's A/T rating of 17 basically meant that no allied tanks would get a saving throw. Luckily for the attacking troops, it started the game pinned and refused to unpin for most of the game. Then it consistently rolled 1's for firepower checks, leading to a lot of bailed out tanks. The Germans also had several 5cm and 7.5cm guns, in both bunkers and in ringstands. 

This led to allied tanks prioritising shooting at anti-tank guns, leaving the machine gun positions active. Much to the detriment of the allied infantry. 

Of course, the Germans had no reinforcements while more allied units will eventually arrive. This leads to a gradual chipping away of their positions until a breakthrough is achieved. On the left of the port, this occurred when attacking infantry took out the HMG positions opposing them and advanced inland, starting to flank the defences. On the right, brute force got allied troops into the German positions. It's been our experience that once the infantry are in amongst the gun bunkers, it's all over. 

The task of getting tanks off the beaches was made difficult due to sea walls, which had to be breached. 

German gunners soon learned that their 5cm guns were useless against the front armour of the Churchill AVREs. 

On the right, allied tanks were making their way inland, supported by the remains of the assault platoons. On the left, tanks had just begun to get off the beach, and while some nasty street fighting remained, the majority of the German units had been broken up and routed. 

And all game, the tide kept rising. 

The game ended with the allies having gotten off the beach, but only capturing one of three objectives. In this case, we took the view that the Germans had delayed the advance more than had occurred historically - although that's not based on any real interpretation of time other than that we played for the whole day!

This was the coolest-looking table we've put together, and this was the hardest-fought game this summer. We're now planning Sword Beach for the end of this month. Omaha Beach will be last, in August. 


  1. Fantastic looking game James.
    The tide line is clever and shows how the German anti landing craft beach defenses were left high and dry. 😁

    1. Thanks Ben, we borrowed the idea from someone else so can't take credit. We've more evolution we'd like to do terrain wise, such as representing under water obstacles. At the same time we're a bit restricted due to the take down/setup/storage aspects.

  2. Fantastic looking game - wonderful table.


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