On 6 June 1944, the western Allies landed in Normandy, and after bloody fighting, gained a lodgement in Nazi-occupied France. Caught off-guard and crippled by both Allied air superiority and Hitler's interference, the Germans under Field Marshal Rommel nevertheless put up a ferocious defense that threatened to turn the hedgerows of Normandy into a WWI stalemate. Only after three bloody months did the Allies shatter the German defenses, breaking out to overrun France, Belgium, and parts of Holland. Yet, despite horrible losses, enough Germans escaped the "Pocket at Falaise" to halt the Allies at the German border. The dark summer of 1944 would be followed by an even darker winter.
The Dark Summer: Normandy 1944 is the latest in Ted S. Raicer's WWII operational series that began with The Dark Valley: The East Front Campaign 1941-45. The game uses a chit-pull activation system that determines both the order and type of each sides' actions during the game's ten action-packed turns, covering June 6 to August 21, 1944.
The Dark Summer: Normandy 1944 is a game of moderate complexity, but nevertheless covers all the most important elements of the campaign. There are rules for the D-Day Landings, untried German strong-points and Ost battalions, Allied tac-air and carpet bombing, Allied artillery superiority, German nebelwerfer and flak guns, Allied naval support, the conquest of Cherbourg, exiting and re-entering the map, and variable entry and possible delay of both side's reinforcements.
A game on an epic campaign that is playable in a single day's gaming and with a small footprint that will allow it to be left set-up for solo study, The Dark Summer: Normandy 1944 is a must-have for fans of WWII operational games, the "Dark" system, or students of the campaign for northwest Europe.