I’ve owned Undaunted: Normandy for over a year but had a groundhog day experience with it: playing and teaching the first scenario, over and over, to new recruits interested in learning.

My opponent Jim in Undaunted: Normandy My opponent Jim in Undaunted: Normandy

With Jim here for over a week, we had a prime opportunity to change that trend. Our first game played was Tapestry, the very fine light civilization building game. After that I taught him Undaunted (with some rules mistakes) and that’s all we’ve been playing since.

Undaunted: Normandy is a deck building, scenario-based, tactical wargame set in Normandy after the D-Day invasion. Each scenario pits the Americans against the Germans. We’ve been playing through the scenarios sequentially with me playing the Americans and Jim the Germans. Our average play length is about 35 minutes. After six scenarios we are even at 3 wins a piece. Scenario 7 coming up is the first one with the entire order of battle available and looks like it might take over an our.

I was lukewarm on the game originally, but now I get why it is so popular. It also helps to understand that there are some non-obvious strategies involved because of the deck building. There’s also built-in asymmetry with these strategies when the stances are different between the sides (attacking vs. defending), even though the cards and unit capabilities are essentially the same between the two factions.