Playing Undaunted Normandy with… kids! Part 2 – The Boardgames Chronicle

In my first article I described how I introduced my sons and cousin to the wonderful world of Undaunted: Normandy. To recap, during the School Holidays our cousin, Milosz (13 years) was spending a week with my family. My sons, Nathan (8) and Jacob (7) were of course overjoyed. I was also glad as Milosz is definitely the most pro-boardgames person in our extended family – and to appreciate it, he got Undaunted as present form us!

Of course, the plan was to put this gift to the table immediately, while he still spends his time off in our home. What we planned worked wonderfully – not only we had a chance to spend great time together but also – at least I think – bring new adepts to the wargaming hobby! Let see together reports from two more scenarios.

First things First

Before jumping into the second part of the article – which will cover actual session report – some brief introduction to the game for those who are not familiar with it (are there any wargamers like this? 🙂 )

Undaunted: Normandy is a deck-building game that places you and your opponent in command of American or German forces, fighting through a series of missions critical to the outcome of World War II. Use your cards to seize the initiative, bolster your forces, or control your troops on the battlefield. Strong leadership can turn the tide of battle in your favor, but backless decisions could prove catastrophic as every casualty you take removes a card from your deck. Take charge amidst the chaos of battle, hold fast in the face of opposition, and remain undaunted.

Sounds like a fun! Believe me it is! So now let me move to actual scenarios.

Scenario 3: Raid across the Canal

Assault to the Vire-et-Taute Canal; Vire-et-Taute Canal – 16 June 1944; On 16 June, the 30th Infantry Division finished clearing the area north of the Vire-et-Taute Canal. That night they dug in along the gentle slope leading down to the bare and watery no man’s land along the canal. The Germans mounted a counter-attack that evening, making a raid across the canal. It was driven back by massed infantry fire.

Scenario book

Victory Conditions:

  • Whoever controls 6 objective points first.

Just to remind everybody, we decided to play usually in teams of two which allowed everybody to have a fun from the game. Undaunted: Normandy does not provide official Team variant but we were creative enough to put it in place 🙂

You can click on each image to enlarge it.

Full set-up for Scenario 3. This time Natan could not play so I had to take the command of defending Germans while duet of Milosz + Kuba coordinated American advance.
Close-up on the board. Germans have points in front of them but on pretty untenable terrain (stream). American have couple of point sin Vicinity (and immediately start with 2) but they will be target to Wehrmacht MGs.
What a crazy and exciting game it was! German of course rushed forward to take bridges; While it was easy to scout them, control was completely different story. What is worse, US troop quickly gained another 2 VPs and only control of objective in upper, right part of map separated them from victory. But courageous German Scout managed to pin enemy and German riflemen, with last, incredible feat of will, took control of final bridge!

Scenario 4: Behind Enemy Lines

Assault to the Vire-et-Taute Canal; Vire-et-Taute Canal – June 17 – 6 July 1944; 16 June was followed by a lull for the 30th Infantry Division, while it waited for the arrival of more men and equipment. Over the next three weeks, the division’s activities consisted mostly of vigorous patrolling and active defense. Daylight reconnaissance was impossible because of the vast open spaces, and the short summer nights left only an hour for exploration. Many of the patrols made during this period were unsuccessful, but on a number of occasions US forces successfully penetrated German-controlled territory and raided key locations.

Scenario Book

Victory Conditions:

  • Whoever controls 5 objective points first.

This time we played in full squad, 2 vs 2, with me more controlling flow of the game rather then doing the actual moves. Everybody was excited because for the first time we were supposed to use Sniper!

The initial forces disposition for Scenario 4. I am playin with Natan as Germans (in the middle) while Milosz and Kuba leads US troops (attacking from both sides)
A close-up on the battlefield, with all units clearly marked.
In order to win Germans had to take the building next to a deadly Sniper. US troops on the other hand, would need to control one of the bridges. Both sides were advancing under heavy enemy fire.
In the end, after some exciting turns of events, Natan bravely charged forward, taking the Church. US troops were 1 (one!) card form winning but that was not their day.

Summary

Playing Undaunted: Normandy with young adepts of boardgames was a fantastic experience, and in multiple dimensions. We had a great game to play, with easy rules to learn but not so simple to master, beautiful graphics and interesting story. We could spend time in family atmosphere, with everybody taking part in the fun (playing in teams!). And it was also good lessons for kids to win and lose with dignity and respecting the others (not so easy in this age!). Highly recommended!

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