This paper describes the development of a software simulation tool of discrete elements which has been developed for the purpose of investigating the dynamic response of multilayer sandwich structures that incorporate highly nonlinear crumple (buckling) elements. These structures are to be optimised as cushions in order to minimise the transmission of shocks when exposed to transient excitation, such as in a free fall. Presented results are for multilayer corrugated paperboard. A single layer was modelled as a nonlinear 2-DOF system with an additional elastoplastic element to reflect contact conditions. Numerical models of the platen and the exciter with either acceleration or displacement control were developed and applied to perform numerical compression tests of the sandwich layer at various strain rates to validate the model of a single layer. Sandwich structures were then numerically assembled and subjected to simulated impacts. The model predicted inter- and intralaminar forces, displacements, velocities and accelerations. The shock attenuation characteristics were obtained and presented as the time-acceleration-static stress maps. A postprocessor was developed to produce animations to reveal complex dynamic interactions within modelled sandwich structures.