18 December 2008 | Tide of Iron

Storming the Beaches of Normandy Part 1

Read Normandy expansion designer Robert Kouba's design notes

by Robert A. Kouba


Tide of Iron: Normandy is the first “campaign expansion” to be released for Tide of Iron. At the outset of the project, there were several features that I envisioned would be part of the expansion. Below is an explanation of these key features and what makes this a campaign expansion.

Expanding the Core Game

One of the original goals of this campaign expansion was to “expand” the core set. While Days of the Fox is technically an expansion, the terrain does not blend with the core game which brings players to the decision of which terrain boards to use. Normandy scenarios were specifically crafted with a goal in mind that a significant portion should use both core set maps integrated with Normandy terrain.  Along with giving more options to the designer when creating scenarios, I like that designers of “homebrew” scenarios have a larger pool of compatible maps if they purchase the expansion.

“Campaigning” for the ExpansionAfter being assigned to the project last year, Normandy was originally envisioned as a small expansion that would come in a smaller box size. However, it was decided that there were three benefits to making it just the same size as Days of the Fox. First, we could include just as many map boards as DotF. Second, we could include twice as many cards as well as a good portion of plastic since the only new pieces of plastic are the new tanks. Third, and most important, we could increase the amount of scenarios included in the expansion from six to eight. This was a necessity since, from the beginning of the project, I wanted to include a system of extended play that uses linked scenarios which players can play through at one time or over the course of a number of sessions.

This campaign system was originally going to be a bit of a side item. However, as the project progressed, it seemed that this system of intertwined scenarios was shaping up to be much more than that. The campaign idea was always for one side to play a specific unit or division through a series of scenarios instead of just playing a series of matches. This way, a true story could be told.  Doing this would make you care about your units, as the surviving few gain experience moving on.

I decided to let our scenario contributers and consultants-Dana Lombardy and Bill Jaffe- tackle the task of developing the four campaign scenarios which needed to be stand-alone as well as have the ability to show a historically accurate progression of a particular unit. After presenting me with several options, it was decided that the 29th Infantry Division would be the focus of our first campaign.Appetite for DestructionI always found it interesting that in violent Tide of Iron tank battles, your surroundings do not change. I was hoping to change this a little by including destructible terrain. Buildings in Normandy can by destroyed and infantry, if not killed by the falling building, can cower in the rubble. Tanks can breakthrough hedgerows and allow infantry to spill through to turn the tide. Artillery can crater the ground and block movement.

Hopefully this transforming terrain will allow for more out-of-the-box thinking as well as provide an added layer of realism.


Stay tuned for the second part of Rob's in depth look at the Tide of Iron: Normandy campaign expansion.

To view the full set of rules for the Tide of Iron: Normandy campaign expansion, visit our support section.



Discuss this article
in our forums!

Back to all news