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