L2 Design Group surprised a lot of folks by producing a new version of the classic Avalon Hill wargame Breakout: Normandy. Breakout: Normandy has been out of print for a few years now but is still a very popular game and still sees a regular tournament at WBC. Breakout: Normandy is a board wargame covering the first month of the Normandy campaign in WW2. It is an area movement game based on the system debuted in Storm Over Arnhem and recently seen in Monty’s Gamble.
The new L2 version of the game is known as Breakout: Normandy Deluxe Edition and was produced with the support of Don Greenwood the game’s original designer. Breakout: Normandy was one of those classic games that basically got everything right from the start. It was also originally produced with very nice components. So what does the new Deluxe Edition provide different from the original? Thankfully, besides simply getting the game back in print, not much. The map is 10% larger to accommodate the new 3/4″ counters and incorporates the first week of reinforcement displays. The map itself is the typical L2 heavy foldout stock. The counters are slightly larger but otherwise unchanged. The real change is in the rulebook. The rulebook is all new and is in full color and very attractive. The new rulebook incorporates all official errata to the original game and a few minor rules changes.
Don Greenwood describes the new rule changes in the excellent included designer’s notes. He has focused on the fact that after thousands of plays it became apparent that the Germans have a slight advantage in the game. He also does not like some of the tactics that have resulted. To address those he jettisoned the Victory Point for holding the Advantage. “To compensate the Allies for this loss as well as to address their earlier balance problems, Naval Bombardment Impulse join Air Bombardment Impulses in being ‘free’–which added a staggering 12 Impulses a game to the Allied ledger…. To complete the Allied Aid package, Weather Changes…were made less likely by eliminating their occurrence during air and naval bombardment. And lastly, players can no longer guard against weather changes by using the now non-existent End of Day dice roll modifiers.” That’s it.
If you are a Breakout: Normandy fan you will want this edition if only for the new rulebook. If you never played the game before and you have any interest in WW2 you should give the game a look. Highly recommended.