Product: Frontline D-Day is a card-based, World War II infantry tactics game for one or two players. Cards (165) represent terrain, individual soldiers and vehicles, and actions. Cardboard counters are used for turn, equipment, and damage markers. Everything comes in a sturdy, bookshelf-style box with dynamic cover art.
Gameplay: Players command a squad of British, American, or German soldiers from June 6, 1944 to Operation Market Garden (“A Bridge Too Far”) in September. There are 20 historical scenarios that can be grouped in several ways to be played as campaigns. However, the game also allows for random play, with the player or players drawing terrain cards, and assigning their own units.
Variety and options are the game’s strengths, with action cards giving firepower bonuses and terrain affecting combat strength and providing cover opportunities. The number of variables also gives the game a pretty steep learning curve, but once players have run through a few games, the rules and structure become second nature.
The rules are clearly written and the example game at the end of the book is helpful for clarifying game play. Note that there are errata and clarifications available from the publisher’s website, www.dvg.com.
The game includes a strong set of solitaire rules, and includes a deck of cards that defines the opposing force’s actions.
Marketing: Squad-based war games were a staple of the old school board game world — think Squad Leader — and the model has been popular as turn-based and real-time strategy computer and video games. Frontline combines many of the best attributes of previous titles into an intuitive and fun game that melds playability with historical accuracy. It should appeal to gamers with an interest in WWII.
Keep a box open at or near the counter so customers can see the quality of the components. You could even have a game laid out as an example; it doesn’t require a lot of room to play. Demonstrate that it can be played fairly quickly, without the need to block off several hours (or days) and keeping kids and cats away from large maps and hundreds of counters.
Group it with war games as well as card-based titles.
Models, posters, or videos of D-Day-related subjects could also help make sales. If your store carries models, consider the crossover appeal. Most modelers are interested in military history and many have played wargames.
Most of all, emphasize how much fun the game can be. The game may seem complex at first glance, but the mechanics are relatively simple to master. The variables and ability to play outside of the scenarios also make it more interesting.
Remind buyers that although the game is designed to be played by two players, there is a good solitaire option as well as guidelines for up to four players.
Product: Frontline D-Day
Publisher: Dan Verssen Games
Stock No.: DV1-007
Availability: Check with your favorite game distributor
Fun, fast paced game
Sturdy packaging and components
Balance of playability and history