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Dear Mum, glad you're not here. I'm on the beach near Cherbourg and under enemy fire. I'm no strategist and I know that soon I and all my units will die. The controller of the German forces knows exactly what he's doing: at one point I thought I might have won the battle, but my forces were soon overwhelmed by the superior opposition. Why they put me, a novice, in charge of the invasion force, I'll never understand; all I know is that I never stood a chance. . . .
.

 
   

 

 
Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Battle for Normandy
1983 Strategic Simulations, Inc.
Programmed by Tactical Design Group
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the first issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (May 1985).
 

BATTLE FOR NORMANDY
US Gold, 14.95 cass & disk, keyboard only


O Large, absorbing war game packed with detail
.

Never mind all those history lessons, you can now re-enact D-Day for yourself -- you can even be driven off the beaches and lose the Second World War.

You command 33 combat formations, which you have to deploy on the beaches of Normandy and use them to establish the beachhead from which you can strike inland. You have 18 American units which can be landed at Utah and Omaha beaches, and 15 British units to be landed at Gold, Juno and Sword beaches.

The Normandy area is represented by a map made up of hexagons on which are marked the terrain, forces, bombardment line, and reinforcement entry hexagons - the units are indicated by small, rather unclear symbols.

It's possible to move in any of six directions from each
position. At the top is the sea, the patches of four dots
are the beaches, and the letters US, G, and B mark
the positions of American, German, and British units.

There is only one landing point at each beach, and this means congestion easily builds up if you don't move your forces quickly. Next you have to drop your three airborne divisions and allocate importance to fuel, general, combat, and amphibious supplies, which your forces require once they have landed. You will also have to allocate 'air interdiction' which will hamper the movement of enemy forces.

Most of your time is spent moving your forces and either attacking or defending the Germans. This is the most important stage, and victory or defeat will be determined by your combat points, fatigue, leadership, air and naval support, and attack or defence strategy.

This main phase of the game is repeated with both sides battling for supremacy during the 24-day period of the campaign. The Germans can be computer controlled, or you can have two players fighting it out.

You are given the option to change the game ratings, but if you leave them as they are you will have to play the expert game.

BW
.


To start with this wasn't as compelling as
Combat Leader (reviewed elsewhere in this issue), but my feelings changed once I

got into it. Invading Europe to liberate France soon proved to be absorbing. The presentation, as with most US Gold titles, is excellent. Being able to change the difficulty levels means you can go on for hours, or even days.

 


Charting the Battle

The instruction booklet contains copious charts to help you plan your actions. It also provides you with information on the weather, and how it affects your transport, and expenditure of supplies, which are limited and must be planned ahead in order not to run out.

The all-important effects of combat points, air and naval strength, interdiction, and strategy, are also detailed, and constant reference to these is necessary. Lastly, there is advice on the game ratings and the effects of the terrain, truly a comprehensive list.
.

 

I became thoroughly engrossed in retaking France and it is easy to play this game for hours on end. There is always plenty of opposition, and the variables built in to the program mean that no two games will be the same. One criticism is that all the figures can be confusing at first, so

a careful read of the instructions is essential. The card showing the map and unit roster is helpful and well explained.
.

 

 
PRESENTATION
ORIGINALITY
86% Long instructions, charts and helpful separate card.
50%
Oldest of scenarios but different implementation.
GRAPHICS
HOOKABILITY
42% Confusing forces symbols but a clear map and colour scheme.
44%
The complexities are daunting unless you persevere.
SOUND
LASTABILITY
36%
Noises of engagement and alarms.
83%
A single game can offer hours (or days) of absorbing play.
VALUE FOR MONEY
74% Expensive but worth it for war gamers.

 

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (17 May 2001)

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