Tide of Iron Wargame/Weekend

So, yes. Back from Penang. Had the great laksa and Hokkien Mee. Met the geeky friend and talked endlessly about movies. Watched MUALLAF where the whole hall only consisted of 6 patrons while the telephone booking confirmed that all allocated seats are fully booked. Did lots of traveling, eating, family reunions, dining and partying (and of course, ahem, the usual party stuffs). And there went the weekend.

And also, yes, the TIDE OF IRON wargame is now in da house. It’s a scenario based, World War II game. With little miniature soldiers, tanks, vehicles and a configurable terrain map, it sounded like an excellent game and we decided to give it a try.

Together with my old pal Chyn where we always try new games, we had a run at it and tested the game. Here is the test results. We played the AT BREAKING POINT SCENARIO where the Germans are to break the American defense line and occupy at least 3 hexes designated by the scenario rule book. The American has lots of soldiers well positioned behind razor wires and some also deeply entrenched, plus they have reinforcements, which gives one a feeling of an unending supply of soldiers defending the line while the Germans had a lot more elite troops plus one Panzer tank. I played the German side and Chyn played the American side.

In general, the production quality of the game pieces are very high. The boards and markers are thick and solid and the plastics are also solid and nice. The little miniatures are also very well made. However, the only problem is that it is very troublesome to put the miniature solders into the holes on the based to form a squad and one has the feeling that the little plastic is going to come off soon. Other than that, the quality of the materials and game pieces are superb.

The rules of this game is a lot more complex compared to other lighter games such as Risk. There are many different rules governing each turn and action, and different rules applicable to different troops and terrain type. One needs to really study the rules properly and in advance before play to save time. There are some confusing thing about the rule but some checking on online forums will clear the clouds.

In the game with Chyn, I deployed my troops as per the instruction in the scenario book and after Chyn set up his American defense line, it looks like an impossible job to break the line, what more with his mortars and high terrain line of sight, which enhances the attack range of his troops, and of course, the endless reinforcement.

I deployed my troops to the right flank with the normal troops leading the way and the machine gun troops and elite troop trailing behind. The Panzer tank followed behind the flank too and the troops are moved so as to take advantage of the terrain to provide as much cover as possible.

I divided another troop to attack on the left flank as well, mostly made of normal troops and a mortar troop. At round 3, the fire action is inevitable and I was subjected to heavy fire from the American troops as I have had to get out of cover to be able to have a shot at the line. I concentrated my fire to break a hole in the defense line and hoping to punch a weak point there for my troops to move in but there is just too many soldiers and every time I punch a hole, the reinforcement team plugged it.

Many German dead bodies lie outside the fence as a result and the Americans again deployed more reinforcement troops and used their strategy cards to cancel the effect of my strategy cards.

With my attack line on the right side thinning, I had to use my left division to attack but it is too late. It is impossible to break through and after 2 hours, we stopped the game and had a post mortem.

In the post-mortem, Chyn pointed out that I should have used my main troop to attack on the left where I can get a lot of terrain cover from the forest instead of leading the troop in the open on the right side. Basically, it is better to reverse the troops in the game. Plus, because of the forest cover, it created a natural narrow window from which the Americans can fire on me, and because of the narrowness of the terrain, the huge American troops’ effect are limited because of the stacking limit of the hex and the other troops will be put to waste while I concentrate the firepower of the elite German troops and the Panzer tank and break the line there. Like this there is probably a better chance of winning.

So at the end, we thought we really needed to read the rules more carefully and familiarize ourselves more. We look forward to more game sessions in the future, trying out many other scenarios.

More about the game here, including the Rulebook download and scenarios: TIDE OF IRON

Here is one review: Review

Here is another excellent session report: Session Report

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3 Comments

Filed under Games, Tide of Iron

3 responses to “Tide of Iron Wargame/Weekend

  1. Hi Ho —

    Good to see you and your significant other again in Penang.

    Re your new game: hmmmm, seems like all the games you like involve having to strategize… ;b

  2. fallingstones

    hi ytsl. it was good to see you and your family too and looking forward to your next trip back to penang!

    yes, there is a tendency to like strategy related games but most of the time i just laze around it and lose the game. haha.

    take care and have a safe trip back to hk.

  3. Hello. Seeing as you are a keen boardgaming enthusiast; I thought you might be the person to ask my question (which I’ve asked a few ppl with no joy).
    In the 1970s sometime, a company called ‘Jedko’ based in Melbourne, Australia released several WWII boardgames. I didn’t discover them until 1987, but one in particular – ‘Russian Campaign’ – remains to this day my favourite boardgame. It starts just as ‘Operation Barbarossa’ did; Axis get their turn first then Reds & each turn is two months. Almost every Axis piece is a Corps (which can stack 3 high) but most Soviet pces are Armies (stack 2 high). It is brilliant, and was updated sometime in the 90’s to potentially include Turkey & a few other things. I am trying to track it down (my copy is past it’s ‘use by’ date AND I think it might be viable to put it onto PC). So far, all I’ve found out is that the game & possibly Jedko as well were bought by a large U.S. company around 2000 – poss. Avalon Hill. However they seem to be just sitting on it – I fail to see why they don’t re-release it, even if it’s just an exact copy of the last Jedko edition (boardgame).
    The other two Jedko games my friend & I owned were ‘Fortress Europa’ (I thought that was a failure – recreation of the ‘second front’, pieces were Divisions or Rgts/Bdes) and ‘African Campaign’. The latter was quite good. I like boardgames also – spent countless hours with ‘Squad Leader’ & Napoleonic games too. Strategic/operational-level games are what I love in particular – anything before 1946 AD.
    If you have heard anything of what is happening with ‘Russian Campaign’, or if it is on sale & if so where; I would be in your debt if you were to let us know.

    Yours faithfully,
    James Ingle

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