Bolt Action Campaign D-Day US Sectors

In early 2021 Warlord Games picked up D-Day again and supplementing D-Day British and Canadian sectors campaign book with the US Sectors.

Bolt Action - D-Day: US Sector

With 160 pages and a RRP of 20 GBP (roughly 25 EUR) Campaign D-Day: US Sectors marks the third and final instalment of Warlord Games D-Day trilogy. While the British and Commonwealth forces landed in Gold, Sword and Juno pushed towards Caen, the US Americans did so on the beaches Omaha and Utah and moved towards west and south from there, beginning with Carentan and further liberating the coast line and attacking armed forces along the Atlantikwall. The US-Sector book covers the actions of the US forces in the summer after D-Day, until August / September 1944.

It was written by Gareth Walsh and Mark Barber, with the Battle of Graignes material written by Francesco Bambina. Mark Barber wrote already the Anglo-Canadian part of the sectors, along with other campaign supplements for Bolt Action like Battle of the Bulge or Battle of France.

The pre-order bonus miniature with this book is Robert Capa. Not a soldier or legend of Bolt Action, but a Hungarian-American war photographer, who was the only civilian photographer to land on Omaha Beach on D-Day. He was attached to the 16th Infantry Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division and shot a set of pictures known as the "Magnificent Eleven".

Bolt Action - D-Day: Anglo-Canadian Sector

What is it about?

Beside Operation Overlord itself, Omaha beach is inarguably one of the most known theatres of war of the second world war. The US Americans landed there and on Utah beach, the most western sections of the landing zone on D-Day. Supported by other parts of the armed forces, like the US Airborne, who landed in Cherbourg and secured the routes for the US forced would advance from Utah beach. In addition to securing the bridge head and pushing forward into France, the liberation of the Cotentin Peninsula was key to stabilize the landing zone and supply lines, along with not giving the enemy the opportunity to gather.

But as the name of the book, with D-Day sells it a bit short, it is not just about the landing, but the whole Operation Overlord / Battle of Normandy, so the time frame the authors are covering here is June 6th until end of August / early September of 1944. And due to the focus of US sectors and ongoing theatres, this ties in the US American forces, the German army and French partisans mostly, with even covering the British SAS in France, who supported along with the American OSS the French Maquis during the landing in Normandy for operations and acts of sabotage behind enemy lines.

Bolt Action - D-Day: Anglo-Canadian Sector

First Impression

At 160 pages a bit thinner than the British & Canadian Sectors book, but still quite impressive. The US sectors book makes more use of maps at first sight, to give you a better orientation of the action, as they are not just landing and heading towards Berlin, but connecting towards the other forces landing in the North and pushing up from the Mediterranean. Production of the book is well done. Proper binding and print. The campaign content is clearly structured over multiple chapters, along with chapters for the new lists and units. All this of course supported by Illustration from the Osprey publications and "in game" footage supplied by Warlord Games.

In direct comparison with the British sectors, this book has a lot of similarities. Among the new units you will find the chaplain and intelligence officers in here as well, along with some special rules for fortification, dug in and such, that are covered in the Anglo-Canadian book (among others). And that is valid, as first of all - it is part of the same operation, so the overall conditions are very similar, "just" US Americans fighting instead of British and Commonwealth soldiers. And for the second reason, I guess they wanted to make sure, that you can use the content of each book without the other and as such "sacrificing" a few pages for repetition, to make them stand-alone is fair. Especially as the price is reasonable and there is still a lot more content in here for collectors / sake of completion.

The book provides mostly for the US Americans and their allies. So you will see Armoured Infantry and all the matching units (Infantry Squads, Mortar Squads, Infantry MG squad, all riding M3 halftracks) and smaller support teams in here. There are new US Airborne units, mostly exclusive to the theatre selectors in this book, and in addition to the lists from France and the Allies new units and rules for the French Partisans, mostly acting from Paris with Jedburgh Team, Maquis, Molotov anti-tank squads and Paris Police Prefecture Squad. Again, not that much new content for German players. From the look and feel a bit better than British & Canadian, as you have access to some of occupation forces like Kriegsmarine Offiziere, Alert Battalion Paris, Paris Alert Security (both inexperienced troops that were forced into German service), the interesting addition of German double agents (double agents, not double-0 agents, that's British only) who can irritate enemy NCOs, and rather unagitated new transports / vehicles with the Panzer I Ausf. C and a horse wagon (not really what you'd expect on late war). Yet the book gives you lists and units for the 16th SS Panzer Division Götz von Berlichingen, who was stationed in southern France, and Fallschirmjäger, who happened to be stationed in the same area but closer to the Normandy and as such participated countering the early landings of the Allied forces, covered especially in the Lion of Carentan theatre selector.

As for theatre selectors, a lot of lists (the guys at easy army will be busy), as the US Army alone has a list for the 2nd Armoured Division "Hell on Wheels" in Normandy (called Bloody Gulch) and several late war lists, like US army weapon platoon, mortar platoon, MG platoon, late war US Army anti-tank company, field artillery, US Army rifle company, US Army cavalry reconnaissance troop of 1943 to 44 and the late war US Army mechanised tank destroyer platoon. The partisans receive two new as well, covering the Maquis and the later Paris Uprising. For the Germans it is a late war anti-tank company, a late war Panzergrenadier Heavy Reinforced platoon, the 116th Panzerdivision Panzergrenadier Reinforced Platoon and two themed lists with the Defenders of Cherbourg 1944 and 325 Sicherungs-Division / Defence of Paris.

US Sectors is a bit more economic with the use of Legends of Bolt Action. Of course, the most are US American, introducing 2nd Ltn John Butts, Staff Sgt Walter Ehlers, Ltn Col William Darby, Cpt Albert E. Basil and Major Charles D Johnston. Even a brit with the interesting nickname "Parachute Padre", Fraser McLuskey is introduced. As for the Germans, they have to make due with Feldwebel Max Kasseckert "Der Panzerknacker".

And then we have a bit of an oddity in this book. A new army list for the US Rangers, not just a theatre selector but a proper full ranger army incl. ranger units and theatre selectors (incl. pre-Normandy activities in Northern Africa and Italy). I am a bit surprised that this is not actually part of the Italian Campaign books, at least in this depth. As is the SAS in France, because the SAS is a special forces unit of the British Army and I would have expected these in the other book. But probably that one was already reaching maximum capacity at 216 pages.

  • Scenario 1: The Battle Of Graignes (The Road to Carentan)
  • Scenario 2: Purple Heart Lane (The Road to Carentan)
  • Scenario 3: Bloody Gulch (The Road to Carentan)
  • Scenario 4: ‘Lightning Joe’ and Cherbourg (Maintaining the lines of logistics)
  • Scenario 5: Battle of the Hedgerows (Bocage Country)
  • Scenario 6: Capital of Ruins (Bocage Country)
  • Scenario 7: Battle of Sèves Island (Bocage Country)
  • Scenario 8: Operation Lüttich (Bocage Country)
  • Scenario 9: Brewing Up (Behind Enemy Lines)
  • Scenario 10: Operation Wallace (Behind Enemy Lines)
  • Scenario 11: Liberation! (Behind Enemy Lines)
  • Scenario 12: Brest – The Assault of Fort Montbarey (Keeping the supply lines alive)

Bolt Action - D-Day: Anglo-Canadian Sector

How does D-Day US Sectors play?

From the variation of the scenarios, this is closer to the initial D-Day book than the British & Canadian Sectors. But covers a lot of variation. For example, the first scenario Battle of Graignes, the Germans are the attackers, and the freshly landed US Airborne has to delay them as long as possible. The next scenario is a glider attack and fight over the control of 3 bridges. From there we move towards city fights, with more and more ruins as the battle continues and turns the buildings into rubble. But the scenarios leave Caen and go more for the outskirts / land side, giving you temporary headquarters in farm houses and convoy attacks as mission objectives, until we head up to the finale in the Falaise Pocket.

Lots of different missions, for a lot of different armies / forces. It might be tricky for newer players, or those without a side board in their list, to cover all the choices or missions with appropriate lists, but I think the combination is entertaining. From my point of view, the biggest "surprise" or at least difference here is, that the Allied forces that are the active force against a defending / retreating German army.

Bolt Action - D-Day: Anglo-Canadian Sector

What's next?

Due to my schedule and move in the last year, this review was delayed the following campaign supplements were already released in the meantime. Warlord Games stays with Bolt Action in Europe and closes the gap between Northern Africa and Northern France by going for Italy as the next theatre of war and released the first book of the Italian campaign, Soft Underbelly. Starting with Operation Husky in July 1943 until the end of the year. There are rumours about a follow up book, covering the tough gut in additional to the soft underbelly. We're waiting for a confirmation.

Similar rumours are there for a skirmish Bolt Action supplement, called Raiders. Originally scheduled for the end of 2021 but then postponed. It's about commando or smaller military operations, like sabotaging hydroelectric plants in Norway and assassination attempts against Rommel in North Africa, to the defense of Pavlov's House at Stalingrad and covert landings in the Pacific and Normandy. It will be based on the classic Bolt Action system, but go more into detail, providing everything needed to recreate these critical operations. As such the book is said to cover scenarios, rules for both special forces and regular troops, and a new campaign system that adds a narrative element to games.

Bolt Action Campaign Italy - Soft Underbelly


As mentioned further above, if you have read / own the Anglo-Canadian book, you'll see the familiarities and repetition. For the players of US American armies, this closes the gap between the initial D-Day book and Battle of the Bulge. Especially if you are playing US Rangers, this is a must have due to the elaborate army list. Same goes for the very niche Partisans of France. In my opinion, for those this book is set. As for the Germans, I think this book provide a bit more value compared to the British sector one, as the Fallschirmjäger and Götz von Berlichingen are more interesting combat unit compared to the 12th SS Hitlerjugend (but I'm aware that there are fans of the Luftwaffe Field Division).

The scenarios are entertaining and for my taste a better mix than the British. Yet, these books don't cost 40 EUR, so if you are a collector, you can grab them without regret. Well-made and worth the read. It even gives you the rules for the Liberation of France (Maquis/Paris Uprising, 325 Sicherungsdivision), that happened in August 1944, but doesn't cover the scenarios for those. All in all it is broader content in terms of audience, as it not just delivers for the US Americans.

Obviously, as this covers the American sectors, you'll find a lot more publications on this. Beginning with Band of Brothers (especially Episode 3 in Carentan), Saving Private Ryan, a lot of Osprey books, CAM 001 - Normandy 1944, CAM 149 - Falaise 1944 and CAM 278 - Cherbourg 1944, or MAA 350 - US Army in World War II (3).

Bolt Action is a brand of Warlord Games.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

Posted by Dennis B.

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