Archive for the ‘Tide of Iron’ Category

Tide of Introductions

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Well, the news is out, the 5 finalists have been chosen for the Tide of Iron introductory scenario competition. There are some interesting scenarios there, if you haven’t seen them yet, visit the Fantasy Flight Games website for details.  I’ll be playing all of those this weekend and hope to give some good feedback to the authors…and of course, my nomination for the winner!

While my scenario didn’t make it, I can understand why. It is a little too advanced for an introductory scenario (which was the aim of the competition) and it does take a little longer than 45 minutes to play (another caveat). But I think it does well as a beginners scenario after a few basic scenarios are under your belt. For the Tide of Iron fans, my first scenario offering – Crossing the Moselle.

Painting the Allies

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

Painted Tide of Iron figures
When it came to painting the Tide of Iron figures, I knew I was in for the long haul. After painting the Memoir ‘44 armies, I knew what to expect. I began with the Germans. Spent what seemed like weeks working on them. But time was short, I had to get the Allies in action and couldn’t leave them unpainted. So after a quick trip to my local hardware store I came up with a plan, the quick and dirty guide to painting your Allies! I would make a tutorial, but it is so easy, I can describe the whole process right here.
Step 1 – Prepare your figs for painting (clean them in soapy water, allow to dry then using a glue gun, mount them to some nail heads…see my regular painting tutorial for more details).
Step 2 – Spray paint them with Krylons Olive Drab spray paint! Let dry
Step 3 – Using flesh colored acrylic paint, paint the faces and hands. That’s it!
Of course, if you like, you could go on to do the rifles a dark brown and give them some black boots…but that’s it. On the gaming table, you would never tell the difference in time spent between the 2 forces. One other trick for the Tide of Iron fans…use a Kahki color for the elites smocks to quickly tell them apart from the regulars at a glance. Have fun!

Memoir ‘44 vs. Tide of Iron!

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Ok, I generally don’t like getting into debates about apples and oranges but I see that this topic has reared it’s ugly head again at BGG. I really don’t see a comparison with these two except for the fact that they are set in WWII.

I love them both! And see them more as appropriate in terms of scale and scope. Here, in my opinion are the strengths of each in comparison to each other.

Play Duration – Memoir ‘44 wins!
It can play out in half an hour to an hour…but to be fair both sides need to be played so double the time. Tide of Iron is a longer game…but that’s not necessarily a negative. I have a games room where I can leave a game for weeks if need be. So we can always come back to it. In the end, time isn’t really a factor for me but it may be for others. The big advantage with a shorter game is that, if you are having a rough go of it, at least it will be over soon!

Game Play – Tide of Iron wins!
I (feel) have far more control over my own destiny in ToI. I decide which units to move in what combination (why didn’t I try to supress that MG before running my squad out into the open?!). While more involved, ToI isn’t so dependent on external factors like M’44 can be. There is nothing worse than needing a section to move and never getting anything to allow that. I just don’t feel like I am playing my game but rather the one dealt to me. This also strikes a major blow to my ego when I lose to players I know I can easily beat!

Tactics – Tide of Iron wins!
While not an exact simulation, ToI certainly better simulates real world tactics in comparison with M’44. Being able coordinate an attack with 3 units every time is more in keeping with how things do get done. There is a built in balance here as well. M’44 can take an unbalanced scenario and make it worse with an uneven distribution of cards (probe after probe gets met with attacks and assaults…that tips very quickly).

Unit Variation – Tide of Iron wins!
While subtle, the ToI units are at least varied. A Tiger is more powerful than a Sherman and you sense that in the game. M’44 does make up for this a little bit in some of the expansions, most notably the Pacific but visual aspects aside, M’44 gives off more of a chess piece feeling in that my rook is the same as your rook. I really like this aspect as I felt constrained in trying to incorporate some of my custom pieces into M’44…there just isn’t a lot of room to move there. Whereas, in ToI, it is fun to integrate them.

Flexibility – Tide of Iron wins!
I like the configurable board. While authoring some M’44 scenarios I found it difficult at times to make the situation fit the confines of the board. ToI allows for a variety of configurations that are more applicable to the situation on the ground.  I also really like the ability to ‘bid’ for initiative, that really adds to the experience.

Historical – Memoir ‘44 wins!
I’m not talking about the historical background writes ups, they are both fine. I’m talking more about the historical scope. ToI seems to be by it’s very scale confined to actions that could’ve occurred almost anywhere in WWII. Things like delaying actions, assaults, meeting engagements etc… While M’44 has that grander overview of the situation. You feel more like you are in a specific theater dealing with a particular situation.

So there you have it. My take on the comparison between the two. For me, they really more compliment each other. When I want to play a quick game that is grander in scale, nothing can beat Memoir ‘44. If I want to get into the nitty gritty mechanics of battles, Tide of Iron really fits the bill (if you really want a game to compare this to, take A&A minis…ToI beats that hands down!). I look forward to continue playing both and bringing more to each of the communities!

Starting out with Tide of Iron

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Tide of Iron was certainly a different game than Memoir ‘44. The rules, while still very straightforward, were more involved. They were easy to understand and well written but I can see how things could be misinterpreted (as you may note from some of the posts on BGG). The key then in my mind was to start off simply. Unlike Pegasus bridge as the introduction to Memoir, I found the first scenario in ToI to be too involved and knew that not only would I miss out on some of the rules, I thought there was a very good chance that I would completely lose my wife. To get things off on the right foot, I did some research and have found that the play path I prescribe will make the Tide of Iron experience a much more enjoyable one.

Here is what I recommend to players just starting off…

New Player Scenario 1 – Infantry
by Scott Roberts
An excellent and light introduction to the game that just uses infantry (it’s enough to have to learn in the first go). Scott also points out some of the aspects of the game to be sure to try as well as a reminder of some of the rules to pay attention to. From here you can move on to…

Breaking the Line
by Unknown (this is an official ToI scenario from the Fantasy Flight Games website)
Introduces some specialized squads and some defensive works. You also get exposed to the Strategy cards here. While perhaps a bit of an unbalanced scenario, for the first play and this early in learning the game, you might not see the best strategy. An excellent progression that still keeps you to infantry.

Chain of Command
by Unknown (again, another of the official scenarios from FFG)
Introduces vehicles without having to worry about the transportation aspect just yet. Good solid scenario that will give you confidence in using your infantry by now with the addition of the halftrack and it’s capabilities.

From there, we started in on the scenarios that came with the game confident in our knowledge of how the game worked. We never did get around to the other introductory scenario by Scott but it looks like a good one as well.

Happy Gaming!

New site, new game

Friday, June 27th, 2008

I’ve had Tide of Iron for well over a year now.  Being a WWII European Theater fan, I just had to get it.  I just never got a chance to really get to it.  The last year has seen me very busy with Memoir ‘44.  First it was the Air Pack then…well…some things, I just can’t talk about…yet.  So it kept me busy.

I finally got a chance to take a break (I’ll be back!) from Memoir and dive into the Tide…and swept away with it!  Tide of Iron is a great game!  This has all of the action.  I plan to write a more detailed review shortly and include a suggested path of scenarios for beginners to take.

I was also very happy to discover all of my 3d terrain and custom vehicles are very applicable to Tide of Iron!

With the new Trucks and Halftracks that come with the game I decided to revise my Camouflage Vehicle Painting tutorial so it will be a little bit longer.  But, as a bonus, I figured out the quickest and easiest method to paint your allies stuff.  More on that soon as well.

And of course, as some of you may notice, the site is now based on Wordpress.  It was an easy upgrade that I should have done when I revamped my site at the start of the year.  Well, better late than never.  Now you can register and comment directly on my site.  I am still cleaning up some of the links…so if you notice something not working, let me know.