D-day At Omaha Beach Rules of Play Table of Contents

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Omaha Beach

Rules of Play

Table of Contents



2.1 The Map 3

2.2 The Playing Pieces 4

2.3 The Cards 6

2.4 Charts and Tables 6




5.1 Landing Checks 8

5.2 Landing US Units 8

5.3 Placing Units in Beach Landing Boxes 9


6.1 Reading the Fire Cards 9

6.2 German Fields of Fire 9

6.3 Resolving German Fire 10

6.4 Disrupted German Units 10

6.5 German Artillery Fire 11


7.1 Free Actions 11

7.2 Conducting Actions 11

7.3 Action: Move One Hex 12

7.4 Action: Climb a Bluff 12

7.5 Action: Climb a Cliff 13

7.6 Stacking Limits 13

7.7 Disrupted US Units 13


8.1 Units Eligible to Attack 13

8.2 Attack Weapons 14

8.3 Resolving an Attack 14

8.4 Conducting a Barrage Action 15

8.5 Naval Fire Markers 15


9.1 Revealing German Units and Depth Markers 16

9.2 Adding Depth to German Units. 16

9.3 German Reinforcements Triggered by Events 16

9.4 German Tactical Reinforcements triggered by a WN Depth Marker 17

9.5 Releasing Kampfgruppe Meyer 17


10.1 Clearing Beach Obstacles 17


11.1 Heroes 17

11.2 Headquarters 18

11.3 Generals 18

11.4 German Fire against Leaders 18


12.1 US Control 18

12.2 German Communication 19

12.3 US Communication 19


13.1 Catastrophic Loss 20

13.2 Determining Victory 20


14.1 Changes to German Fire 20

14.2 Optional Early Implementation of German Actions 20



16.1 Re-Occupy Action 22

16.2 Re-Supply Action 22

16.3 Redeploy Action 22

16.4 Reinforce Action 22

16.5 Mortar Action 22

16.6 Patrol Action 22

16.7 Artillery Fire Action 23

16.8 Advance Action 23

16.9 Ambush Action 23


17.1 Infantry and Leader Two-Hex Movement 24

17.2 Tank Road Movement 24

17.3 Artillery Barrage Action. 24


18.1 Establishing a Command Post 24

18.2 Command Range 24

18.3 Capabilities of Command Posts 25


19.1 Establishing an Engineer Base 25

19.2 Engineer Range 25

19.3 Capabilities of Engineer Bases 25

19.4 Beach Obstacle Demolition 26


20.1 Catastrophic Loss 26

20.2 First Victory Check 26

20.3 Second Victory Check 26


21.1 Scenario Set-Up 26

21.2 Scenario Victory 27


22.1 Effective Allied Bombardment. 28

22.2 First Wave Tanks Land Safely 28

22.3 Rangers reinforce Pointe du Hoc 28

22.4 Improved German Reaction. 28


23.1 German Armor Set-Up 29

23.2 Armor Reinforcement Appearance 29

23.3 German Armor Field of Fire 29

23.4 German Armor Actions 29

23.5 German Armor Movement 30

23.6 US Actions Against German Armor 30

23.7 Victory Point Adjustments 30


Designer’s Notes 31

Credits 32

Introductory Scenario: Easy Fox 32


D-Day at Omaha Beach is a solitaire game simulating the twelve momentous hours on June 6, 1944, when US amphibious forces assaulted a stretch of sand held by German forces on the Calvados coast of France – a shore that would ever after be known by its code name: Omaha Beach. Of the five beaches assaulted by the Allies on D-Day, Omaha was the bloodiest and the hardest-won. For several hours on that June day, the fate of the invasion hung in the balance. Ultimately, despite the failure of the Allied invasion plan, the heroism and initiative of the US soldier prevailed and a viable beachhead was established.

In D-Day at Omaha Beach, you control the US forces assaulting the beach and struggling to gain a foothold on French soil against unexpectedly strong German resistance. The game system controls the German forces that oppose you.

D-Day at Omaha Beach features several unique game mechanics to …

control the German forces in an unpredictable but coherent strategy,

create varying situations every time you play,

portray the differing battle conditions on the beach and inland countryside.

At the start of play, each turn of the game represents fifteen minutes of real time. Then, when the focus shifts from the battle for the beach to the US move inland, the time scale expands to 30 minutes per turn and rules are introduced to allow for additional US and German tactics.

DDOB for two players: D-Day at Omaha Beach also provides an engaging cooperative simulation for two players. Each player directs the units of one US division: The 1st Division landing on the eastern half of the beach and the 29th Division assaulting the western half.


D-Day at Omaha Beach includes the following components:

Game map

352 playing pieces

One deck of 55 cards

Charts and play aid cards

Rules booklet

Color example booklet

Historical Study Booklet

No dice are used in DDOB.

If your game has any missing or damaged items please contact: Decision Games, Customer Service, PO Box 21598 Bakersfield CA 93390 or online at www.decisiongames.com. For rules questions send an SASE to Game Questions: Omaha Beach at the above address. We also post errata and rules updates on our website.

2.1 The Map

The game map portrays Omaha Beach, a nine-kilometer stretch of the Calvados coast of France, where the battle occurred on June 6, 1944. The map portrays the tidal beach, the pavilion (a hard-ground shelf) running along the top edge of the beach, bluffs separating the pavilion from the high ground, four draws (valleys) penetrating the bluffs and leading inland, and the interior high ground of villages and farmland. The beach, pavilion and draws are collectively referred to as the low ground. Much of the high ground is distinguished by bocage ancient berms with high hedges dividing the region into small farm fields and providing excellent defensive terrain, to the disadvantage of the American invaders.

The map is presented from the perspective of the invading US forces with north at the bottom edge. A boundary line divides the map into east and west sectors – the nominal operational areas of the US 1st and 29th divisions.

A hexagonal grid is superimposed over the terrain features to regulate the placement and movement of US units. Each hex represents an area 250 meters across. The map’s terrain is identified in the map’s Terrain Key.

German Positions. Many hexes contain German positions. There are two general types of German positions: Widerstandsnest positions and reinforcement positions. Every German position appears in one of six colors –used with German fire cards to determine which German positions fire each turn. German units are placed only in these hexes (unless you are playing with the optional variant rule, German Armor).

German Widerstandnests (WN). These prepared defensive positions are occupied by German WN units at the start of play. Each WN position has an historical identification number.
Some of the WNs occupy two hexes (for example WN 62 in hexes 0812 and 0912), separately identified by an N or S with their ID number.

WN positions with an artillery symbol or an “88” symbol receive WN units capable of artillery fire at the start of play.

Most WNs are located along the bluffs and slopes overlooking the beach. Exceptions include WNs 67 and 69 located inland in the village of St-Laurent; nonetheless they operate as WN positions and not as reinforcement positions.

German Reinforcement Positions. These positions may be occupied by German reinforcement units entering during play. Most reinforcement positions have an ID letter/number consisting of a Zone Letter (from A to G) and a Reinforcement Priority Number (from 1 to 11), used to determine when and where German reinforcements appear.
Blank reinforcement positions. Some reinforcement positions have no ID (for example, hex 1014). Such positions may be occupied by a German unit when a tactical reinforcement is triggered (9.4) or, by a German action in the extended game.

Direction of Advance. Some reinforcement positions have an arrow used for the advance action (only in the extended game).

Unoccupied German positions possess no inherent strength. However, in the extended game, an unoccupied German reinforcement position may ambush US units.

German Fire Dots and Fields of Fire. The hexes surrounding each German position contain fire dots matching the position’s color. All the fire dots emanating from a single German position are collectively referred to as that position’s field of fire. The fire dots represent three levels of fire against US units:
US Beach Landing Boxes. A row of boxes facing the beach hold US units about to land at Omaha Beach. Each box is identified with the initials of its historical beach code name and a unique number (such as DW1, for Dog White 1). US units in Beach Landing Boxes are committed to land in the beach hex each box points toward.

Exit Hexes. Map-edge hexes with roads leading off the map are identified with a letter from A to G. German positions trace communication to exit hexes. You may earn victory points by moving your units off the map through exit hexes.

The Turn Track. You record the passage of turns, and of time, by moving the turn marker along the turn track at the end of each turn. The track also indicates game events such as tidal changes and event deck shuffles. You place US units on the space of the track corresponding to their turn of entry, until it is time for them to enter play.

Time Scale: The turn track covers a twelve hour period beginning at 0615 hours on June 6 1944. The first 16 turns each represent 15 minutes of time. Beginning with turn 17, each turn represents 30 minutes.

The Card/Phase Track. As you draw cards during each turn, place each card in the box matching the card’s function, for reference during the turn. At the end of each turn, remove all cards from the track and place them in a discard pile, off-map. The order of the track outlines the sequence of play for both the basic and extended game.

Other Tracks and Boxes

German Artillery boxes hold artillery units in positions off the map but within range of Omaha Beach. Each box identifies the on-map German positions that observe for each unit.

German reinforcement boxes hold German reinforcement units of three types – tactical, division and Kampfgruppe Meyer – for selection as called for by game events. A fourth reinforcement box – German Armor – is used only if playing with the optional German Armor rules.

German depth boxes hold German depth markers of three types – WN, building, and mobile – for selection during play.

The US Infantry Loss Boxes for the 1st and 29th divisions hold US regular infantry units eliminated during play.

The US Command Post Track holds markers showing the command range of US regimental command posts (used in the extended game only).

The US Engineer Track holds markers showing the operational range of US engineer bases (used in the extended game only).

2.2 The Playing Pieces

The 352 playing pieces consist of units, representing specific US and German military forces, and markers, placed on units, tracks or the map to denote information or status. The features of US and German units differ. For example, only US units have steps and only German units have an unrevealed side.

2.21 US Units

Sample US Infantry Unit
Sample US Tank Unit
Division. Every US unit is attached to either the 1st or 29th division. Units with the 29th Division are a lighter green color than those with the 1st.

Designation. The military designation of the unit identifies the unit’s formation and parent formations, included primarily for historical interest.

Steps. Each US unit possesses one to four steps, indicating the unit’s overall manpower. US units lose steps as a result of combat losses. Units representing regular infantry companies start the game with three steps, units representing artillery battalions start with four steps, while all other formations start with just one or two steps. A unit with one or two steps has one counter with one or two printed sides. A unit with three or four steps has two counters, with two printed sides on one counter and one or two printed sides on a replacement counter, distinguished by a dark green band. Only one counter for a given unit is in play at one time.

Attack Strength. A quantification of the unit’s fire power in combat, used when attacking German units. A unit’s strength is reduced as it loses steps.

Weapons. US units possess various weapons and equipment used when attacking German units.

The US Weapons Chart lists all the weapons and equipment possessed by all full-strength infantry units, and by all other US units regardless of strength. Weapons for these units are not shown on the unit’s counter.

An infantry unit that has lost steps loses some of its weapons and possesses only those listed on its counter.

Range. US units capable of attacking German units from non-adjacent hexes have a numerical range, representing the maximum number of hexes from which the unit may fire at a German unit. A range of U indicates unlimited range – the unit may fire at German units anywhere on the map (within the restrictions of 8.12).

l u s Target Symbol. A selector used to randomly determine which US units are hit by German fire or are the subject of an event or other game function. A black target symbol indicates the unit can control adjacent hexes. A unit with a white target symbol controls only the hex it occupies (see 12.1).

Arrival Turn and Location. The turn in which the US unit enters play is shown along with the Beach Landing Box in which to place the unit on its turn of entry. Units without a turn of entry are placed in beach landing boxes during set-up.

2.22 German Units.

Sample German WN Unit
Sample German Reinforcement Unit
Division. German reinforcement units belong to one of two divisions, differentiated by the color of the unit symbol; yellow for the 716th division and grey/brown for the 352nd division. Units in the 352nd division may also be recognized by their regiment (the rightmost number in the unit’s designation). Units designated 916, 915 or 352 are in the 352nd division. Units in regiment 726 are in the 716th division.

Strength. A quantification of the unit’s ability to defend against US attacks.

US weapon requirements. A representation of the defensive tactics of the German unit, expressed in terms of the weapons that, if possessed by US units attacking the German unit increase the liklihood of US success. See the US Weapons Chart for explanation of abbreviations.

Artillery Caliber. The largest artillery piece possessed by a WN unit (88, 75 or none), used when conducting an artillery fire check.

Reinforcement Type (T, D, M, A). Identifies the reinforcement pool in which the unit starts the game – tactical, division, Kampgruppe Meyer or armor.

2.23 Unit Types.

US units:

*Tank, self-propelled artillery and self-propelled anti-air units are armored.

German units:

2.24 German Depth Markers. Depth markers are placed beneath German units on the map. Together, a unit and its depth marker represent a formation at its full strength and fully deployed. A unit without a depth marker is understrength or is not yet positioned to maximize its combat effectiveness. Depth markers are placed face down (unrevealed) and are only revealed as required by US actions against the unit with which it is stacked. When the depth marker is revealed, its strength and attributes are added to the unit. German depth markers are never placed on the map on their own, they only appear with German units.
Depth Type. Identifies the type of German unit with which the depth marker is placed:

WN –WN units

Building –reinforcement units in building positions

Mobile – reinforcement units in non-building positions

Armor – armor reinforcement units, in the optional variant only.

2.25 Other Markers
2.3 The Cards

Every card in the 54-card deck is divided into three sections. A 55th card summarizes US actions and should be removed from the deck for reference during play.

During play, draw cards from the deck and look at the appropriate section:

The Landing Results section determines how US units are affected by amphibious landings.

The Event section generates an event based on the current game turn.

The Fire section is used primarily during the German Fire Phase to determine which German positions fire at which US units or perform other actions. In addition, the German Fire section is sometimes referred to during US actions, when resolving infiltration moves and barrages against German units.

A single card draw is for only one of these three purposes – ignore the other sections of the card. The rules refer to the cards by the purpose for which they are drawn: landing cards, event cards and fire cards.

2.4 Charts and Tables

The following charts and tables are included on player aid cards:

Amphibious Landing Tables

German Fire Chart

Terrain Effects Chart

US Weapons Chart

US Attack Chart

US Barrage Table

Summaries of Key Priorities and Procedures

German Action Summary (extended game)

German Armor Movement Map (optional)


Lay out the map so you are sitting along the north side, with the beach landing boxes near you.

Choose a scenario to play:

Easy Fox is an introductory scenario recommended for new players, using just the east half of the game map. Refer to the special set-up and rules on the back cover of this rules book.

The First Waves covers the first four hours of the invasion across all of Omaha Beach (Turns 1-16) and takes three hours to play. Use only rules sections 1-13.

D-Day at Omaha Beach covers the first twelve hours of the invasion (Turns 1-32). Turns 1-16 are played with the rules in sections 1-13 only. Then, turns 17-32 utilize the additional rules in sections 14-20. Playing time ranges from six to eight hours.

Beyond the Beach covers the 8-hour period beginning at 1000 hours on D-Day (Turns 17-32), when the US invaders are already ashore and beginning their move inland. Use sections 1-20, and the set-up rules in section 21. Playing time is four to five hours.

After you have played through the game a few times, you may wish to explore the optional rules and set-ups offered in sections 22 and 23.

Set up The First Waves or D-Day at Omaha Beach scenario as follows:

Prepare the German Widerstandsnests.

Mix together the 18 WN depth markers, face down.

Place an unrevealed depth marker in the following nine WN positions: 60, 61, 62N, 65N, 66N, 68N, 70, 72N, 73.

Place the remaining WN depth markers face down in the WN depth box.

Mix together the 18 WN units face down and place them on the map unrevealed, as follows:

Place the 2 units marked “88” on WN 61 and WN 72S. Stack units on top of depth markers, if present.

Place the 6 units with artillery symbols on WN positions 60, 62S, 65S, 68S, 70 and 73.

Place the rocket unit on WN 69.

Place the remaining nine units on the remaining WN positions.

Place the four German artillery units in their spaces in the German artillery boxes.

Separately mix together each of the following types of German units and markers, and place them face down in the matching boxes on the map:

9 Tactical Reinforcement Units (T)

11 Divisional Reinforcement units (D)

8 Kampgruppe Meyer units (M) and four mobile depth markers in the Kampgruppe Meyer box

20 mobile depth markers in the mobile depth box.

8 building depth markers

Place 8 US tank units without a listed entry turn in the Beach Landing Boxes listed on their counters. Place all other US units (except replacement units) in the spaces of the Turn Track matching the turn of entry shown on each unit. You may want to organize the units in each space into two stacks – 1st division and 29th division. If you are playing The First Waves Scenario, US units scheduled to enter on or after Turn 16 are not needed.

Place the Turn marker in Turn 1 of the Time Track, and the Phase marker in the first space of the Card/Phase track.

Shuffle the cards and place the deck face down beside the map, with room next to the deck for a discard pile.

Place all remaining markers aside for use later in the game.


DDOB is played in turns. Each turn consists of several phases, conducted in the following sequence. Move the Phase marker along the Card/Phase track to keep track of the current phase. During the course of the turn you will draw several cards, each for a different function. As you draw each card, place it in the appropriate box of the Card/Phase track, for reference.

I. US Amphibious Operations Phase

Draw a landing card and apply its results to US units in Beach Landing boxes in the East Sector. Then draw a second landing card and apply its results to units in Beach Landing Boxes the West Sector.

Land all units remaining in Beach Landing Boxes by moving each to the corresponding waterline/beach hex.

Take units in the current turn of the Turn Track and place them in the Beach Landing Boxes listed on the units.

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