Thoughts From The Gameroom

The ramblings of a Euro-gamer from South Dakota

Tide of Iron–Chain of Command

Posted by sodaklady on June 16, 2007

I taught Tide of Iron to my daughter, Cori, today and was not TOO surprised to find that she liked it.  I could tell from all the enthusiastic yelling when she won a battle and the equally enthusiastic cussing when she didn’t—that only happens when she’s having a good time.

 I started with the Chain of Command scenario,  me taking the Americans for the first time in 4 plays.  She did very well and picked up the tactics quickly, even offering advice to me in the final turns as I tried to get at least ONE damned half-track across the board.  This is a tough scenario for the Americans and, as in every other play, they lost.  She parked a couple of newly-recruited squads (one with a machine gun) on the flippin’ bridge and I couldn’t get across on that side of the board.  The other side of the board was full of squads and a total no-go.

 To my total surprise, she wanted to play again, this time as the Americans.  We took a break and set them up again.

 Her strategy was to target the machine gun crews and the anti-tank crew.  This worked very well as she took out the anti-tank crew with one roll, the machine gun crew with 2.  There were many times when she hit nothing but she hit often enough that I was hard-pressed to keep a full squad anywhere on the front lines.

 Throughout the game, I managed to use all of my command to reinforce with a 4-infantry crew, a 2-infantry/mortar crew and finally another 2-infantry/machine gun crew to replace the one she’d killed off.  Needless to say, I wasn’t spending any command on initiative.

 At the end of round 4, with all of my squads either fatigued or pinned, she drove one of her half-tracks along the German’s right flank and parked it between the double-hex trees and the building beside the forest.  I didn’t have enough command to take the initiative from her and at the beginning of turn 5 she continued moving the truck towards the boarder, having to stop on the edge of the board—one movement point away from 2 VPs.  Unfortunately for the brave Americans, I rolled well and heavily damaged the truck—tires destroyed, engine blown to hell, armor in shreds and even did damage to its gun.  NOW there was serious profanity, especially when I pointed out that if she’d stopped on the bridge, she’d have gotten +1 cover.  It probably wouldn’t have mattered, but it’s the possibility that it might have that really twisted her tail.

 This is a fun beginning scenario, but definitely much easier to play the Germans who are still undefeated, much to Cori’s disappointment.

 A couple of things we learned: 

 1.  It’s fun to shoot at the handicapped vehicles.

2.  Don’t forget the bridge offers cover.

3.  Shooting at the squad with a medic specialization is bad Karma.

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4 Responses to “Tide of Iron–Chain of Command”

  1. ekted said

    How long are your games taking? Use Suppressive Fire vs Medics. 🙂

  2. sodaklady said

    For this scenario, which is the only one we’ve played so far, I’d say 1 1/2 -2 hours if you’re teaching the game but maybe an hour if it’s just intense play.

    Don’t mess with Karma, man. 😉

  3. SusanR said

    So, how many mothers play wargames with their daughters?? 🙂 How old is Cori, if you don’t mind me asking?

    I really enjoyed your ToI review on BGG because it told me exactly what I needed to know which is that I’m not ready for this game yet. I’ve dipped my toe in the wargaming pool but the games that I’m enjoying (all the Commands & Colors series) are because they don’t overwhelm me with too many choices. I still have a soft spot for BattleCry because it is the first wargame that I ever tried and actually liked.

    Have you played any block games yet? I tried Wizard Kings once a long time ago and it was okay but a little much for me at the time. We have Hammer of the Scots and Crusader Rex and I want to try them now. I wonder how they compare in complexity to Tide of Iron.

  4. sodaklady said

    Well, we’re definitely not The Brady Bunch around here! 😀 Cori is 24 and is very busy so the fact that she’s suggested we play twice since our initial game says a lot for it.

    As for being overwhelmed with choices, I just read your review of Pillars of the Earth and that sounds like it has more choices per turn than ToI does. I think it might actually be easier since you’re not really making choices; you’re deciding on a strategy and ToI gives you the ability to put it in action. From your closing comments about PotE, I’d say this is just the type of thinking and planning that you’d like.

    I have Crusader Rex which I haven’t played yet. It seemed a complicated set of rules to teach my husband at the time, but since he’s taken so well to C&C: A and ToI, maybe *that* will be my next war game. 😉

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