Category Archives: Tide of Iron

Games for the Holidays

It is time to start thinking about what to get that wargamer for the coming holiday season. In light of that, I have some suggestions based on the games I have played and enjoyed. Here I break them down in terms of what that special someone likes and what they will likely want next.

Let’s start with those who have yet to play Memoir ’44, my suggestion – Memoir ’44! It’s a great game that will provide hundreds of hours of entertainment for 2 players.

Ok, ok….if you are on this site, chances are you know about Memoir ’44 so let’s see what is a good idea after that. There are a lot of expansions that I can suggest here but it would take up the whole post (see the Supplies page for ideas there). So my recommendation for the M’44 fan is the – Memoir ’44 Campaign Book:Volume I. This one adds 50+ new scenarios and ties them together in campaigns and Grand Campaigns. The Normandy Campaign is playable with just the base game of Memoir ’44 (authored by yours truly).

For more Memoir ’44 players, try the Overlord expansion. It allows up to 8 players and makes for a different play. You’ll need any one of the Battle Maps to accompany it for the full experience (Hedgerow Hell or Tigers in the Snow or the new Sword of Stalingrad).

For those M’44 players who want to get a little deeper into wargaming I strongly suggest Tide of Iron. It’s a much more challenging game but with more control, it feels a lot less random than M’44. If they already have Tide of Iron, and enjoy it, I recommend any of the expansions that have come out, they are all good (see the Supplies page for more). Tide of Iron also has more of a multi-player support with up to 4. Be warned though, it is more time demanding than M’44.

For something different yet still accessible I really enjoyed a couple from the Axis & Allies series. Axis & Allies:D-Day introduces wargame sequences through the use of cards. While Axis & Allies:Battle of the Bulge has a fluid front and deals with the classic wargame problem of supply. Though these games have a limited replay value (not scenario based) they are still a great addition to any collection.

Looking for a good multi-player wargame? I would suggest the following…

Conquest of the Empire is set in ancient Rome and is a fun classic that offers two ways to play (Classic and II). The components are amazing (and right now, the price is amazing!).

Viktory II is another excellent multi-player game that is in the vein of Risk but plays out much better.

Well, that about covers off what I would suggest for the game players holiday wishlist.

Tide of Iron – Artillery Upgrade

Artillery CrewAs many of you know, I am a gunner (artilleryman) and I really like the way that TOI handles artillery fire.  The Call for fire might be a bit high but reflective (many a fire mission can go astray with bad comms…and this is WWII!).  Spotting rule…all good and correct.  Drift…exactly.  My beef comes next…firepower.

So I’ve gone through all the steps to call down fire and all I get is 4 dice…to suppress!!  What, am I calling down a guy with a grenade launcher?!

It just doesn’t make sense!  If a single mortar (let’s even assume it’s a fair sized mortar) gets 4 dice to suppress (without having to jump through the fire procedure) then why would artillery ordnance only get 4 as well?  One can only assume that you would at least be calling down a battery of guns. For a main killer in WWII, this branch is owed it’s due in this great system…otherwise, the artillery deck goes often unused.

Haus Rule – Artillery attack values equal card value +2 dice (wide blast included).

Exit Hex – the Clog

I’ve run across an issue a few times now that is more prevelant in Tide of Iron but does at times occur in Memeoir ’44 as well.  Some scenarios will have an ‘exit hex’.  The point here is to get some of your units off in order to score points.  Sounds easy enough.  But both my wife an I have developed a ‘clog’ strategy to this end.

The ‘clog’ is simply a matter of putting units in such a was as to prevent the exit of a unit often with your friendly units camping out on the exit hex.  This forces your opponent to muster the firepower to knock that unit aside before it can exit.  While sometimes it may be a slight delaying tactic at other times, it may cost the game.

Admittedly, this does seem to occur more in TOI than M’44.  There are two reasons for this.  One, in TOI, more than 1 unit can occupy the exit hex which results in more units to eliminate to clear the hex and two, TOI seems to have a more restricted exit policy in that only a couple of hexes actually qualify as exit hexes.  M’44, for the most part, has exit hexes as the entire back row.

I put the clog strategy into action not long ago in the TOI scenario competition winner, Blood on the Mountain (good, solid scenario.  I can see why it won!).  My American forces were relentlessly being hammered (and a devastating un-observed artillery strike!) but I was comforted in the fact that there was a time limit and all I had to do was hold a couple of key hexes.  While I lost the majority of my forces, I carried the game due to the Clog.

I’m curious as to what other gamers think about the exit hex dilemma…thoughts?

The Desert War Heats up!

Tanks clash!I’ve been in a bit of a scramble all this weekend preparing for our gaming session. We had completed the base set of scenarios for Tide of Iron (and a few user designed ones…the competition voting ends soon!) and with the new Mediterranean expansion just around the corner for Memoir ’44 I really wanted to crack open Days of the Fox and get into it.

My problem has always been I want the full kit before I start playing (I still remember back to Battle Cry when I read the rules and though…”oh, I have got to paint these figs first!”). This can sometimes delay the playing. Fortunately with Tide of Iron, the figures are few and I could paint them up in a fraction of the time. Of course, I had to make my terrain as well!

However, yesterday I ran into a new problem…I needed Pz IVe’s! So ironic how I was just mentioning how the M’44 tanks could easily be converted. So I worked feverishly yesterday to get them prepared for Operation Crusader, the Days of the Fox tank battle. While I lost the battle, I managed to get them done on time and into play. They acquited themselves well scoring a few knock outs. There are a few new vehicle images in the gallery.

Days of the Fox is an excellent Tide of Iron expansion. I really enjoy the figures (no doubt those 88’s will be in action as guns for the Memoir ’44 desert battles as well). With the prices set to rise on the Fantasy Flight Games, fans of WWII gaming would be wise to grab a copy of both the base game and the expansion.

Tide of Introductions

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.