December 21, 2008

Tide of Iron Normandy Campaign Expansion


Oh boy oh boy, our favorite WWII gaming franchise just expanded again and our Hoilday Wishlist just got a bit longer. Tide of Iron is one of those board games where epic battles ensue over the tabletop. The bases that ship with the game allow for configurable squads, the decks include for custom abilities to be used in the ensuing firefight, and the rules balance the German versus American tank and infantry forces nigh perfectly. Epic, close battles are the norm, and fights usually go down to a few clutch moments or ingenious decisions.

Now enter The Tide of Iron Normandy Campaign Expansion [Amazon, Funagain], the second expansion in the Tide of Iron franchise ( last year's Days of the Fox brought the fight to the northern stretches of North Africa). This time FFG is doing something different with their expansion design philospohy. Instead of adding a separate tile set to the mix, Normandy has been designed to bring even more depth to the original tileset of Western Europe. The game ships with more board titles, more terrain pieces ,a nd more scenarios appropriate to that setting.

The expansion also includes numerous new mechanics which produce some added depth to an already engrossing tactical wargame game. Portions of the map will now alter state throughout the fight of the game: artillery will leave craters which can be used as cover for a surge of infantry, tanks can plow through hedgerows to open a new approach for infantry, and buildings can be destroyed, killing the occupants inside while producing rubble for cover in the explosive aftermath.

Fantasy Flight has also added optional gaming elements to use in the new scenarios contained within the Normandy Expansion, or use to outfit the older scenarios. A weather deck can be activated through random mechanics to create certain restrictions on movement and attack types (and will include hot weather cards to fit inside the framework of the Days of the Fox expansion, too.) Also new commander and leadership decks can be added to the game to tie historical figures and their strategtic and logistic perks to the forces of each side. So not only will you be deciding upon the composition of your army at the squad level, but you and your enemy will be able to customize your respective forces from the top down as well, if you chose to do so.

The added depth and the flexibility of having the ability to mix and max most of these elements is great stuff. This franchise only seems to get better with age.

Here are the official details for Tide of Iron Normandy:

"By the summer of 1944, almost every nation in Europe had fallen under Nazi occupation. To stop Hitler's invading forces and to free those countries under his control, Allied forces drew up plans for an assault, code-named Operation Overlord. In the early morning of June 6th, American soldiers landed in two separate areas of the 60-mile coastline of Normandy, France. The D-Day invasion had begun!

Featuring new tanks, troops, and terrain, the Normandy expansion builds upon and enriches the Tide of Iron base game by allowing players to recreate Allied beach landings against fortified German defenses."

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Posted by Critical Gamers Staff at December 21, 2008 2:43 PM

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