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Gamers Sticking Together: The D-Day Project


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Revision Log
1 October 2009page first published

10,431 hits since 1 Oct 2009
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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Michael S. Curry of the Central Illinois D-Day Society writes:


My name is Mike Curry.

I have been gaming for 20 plus years, and there has been a consistent circle of friends who have been gaming with me.

We formed a group - the Central IL. D-Day Society - based on building projects related to the events of D-Day. All of this got started when a good friend and I talked about building a Big D-Day Game and came up with the idea of doing Easy Green Beach. My friend liked the story of Cota.

As time progressed we, being the group, met and painted discussed the board and so on.

I was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor, which had been treated throughout the year with medicine, and everything seemed to be going well. However, it turned out a year later that I needed to have it removed, I was in danger of loosing my eyesight. My wife and I went up to Mayo Clinic and we had an operation to remove the tumor, which didn't go quite as planned, and I ended up staying in the neurosurgery wing for nine days. In that time, I had an escape - Joeseph Balikoski's Omaha. I absorbed the book and read the book faster than ever have (partly a side effect of removing the tumor).

After I got back home and was back with my friends, we continued working on the board.

After some time, another accident hit the group. Tim Stear our sergeant-at-arms, was in a bad auto accident. Two of us were now off work, but still able to devote our time to this project. Things continued to move forward.

A couple more months passed, and another serious problem hit the group. Jeff, our master figure painter, collapsed at work. It turned out that he had a large brain tumor. He went through surgery and had some trouble. But, like a trooper, he held tight to the group and helped where he could. The group even had a small benefit for Jeff and had our first playtest for the Easy Green board, raising $300 USD.

Mike, the owner of the local hobby shop (Just For Fun), held an awesome con for Jeff, called Jeff-Con. People donated minis to sell for Jeff or donated directly. All total, the game shop raised $1,500 USD. It was great to be a part of a hobby that rallied like a family.

In the meantime, I had been plugging the board and the group. We put it up at the local con. We also heard from our local museum, Lakeview Museum, and they were kind enough to display the board for a month for the education of the public. I went to the museum on Sundays and spoke with the public about the board, and the the contributions Ameican, British and Allied vets made to the success of D-Day. It was a great success. We then contacted the National D-Day Museum, and got lucky and met a new friend, Walt Burgoyne. He invited us to come down to the Heat of Battle III convention. We had a great time and met a lot of new friends.

The board

The board is handmade, built with old fashioned craftsmanship. It is built to last. It is the only board I know of that is built to be played hard on. The museum was worried about breaking it, and I laughed and said there was nothing on the board that could not be repaired easily.

Here are some stats. It uses the FoW system:

  • 12 U.S. boat sections
  • 3 companies of Festung Germans
  • 16 DD tanks
  • 2 dozer tanks
  • 2 scratchbuilt D7 engineering dozers
  • 10' x 4" wide obstacle belt
  • 1 Beach House Mansion (the same one that Bingham took)
  • 8' of German anti-tank ditch
  • 8' of cobblestone road
  • 1 scratchbuilt house for observation
  • 8' of self-cast retaining wall
  • over 12 sunk landing craft
  • 2 LCT (Lindberg model)
  • 2 AOP Mustangs
  • 3 P-47 Aircraft

And, thanks to my wife, we have a nice website:

Here is Walt's email, if you would like to speak someone outside of the group for an objective opinion:

Here is an interview I did for NOLA News, when I was at the Heat of Battle III convention.

Please feel free to contact me anytime if you have questions:

309-304-4548 home
309-339-1284 cell phone