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Tide of Iron: Designer Series is a hard cover book containing 20 brand new scenarios designed by some of the best wargame designers of our time. This includes 12 scenarios that only require the base game of Tide of Iron, seven that require the Days of the Fox expansion, and one epic sized scenario that requires two copies of Tide of Iron.
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John O'Haver PhoDOGrapher
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Vance von Borries, a Louisville native and long time friend, is one of the contributing designers. Richard Diem, a long time play tester for Vance and my regular war game opponent, were asked to play test the scenario. Although I am not a big fan of the game system, I considered it an honor. I dutifully played the developing scenario every weekend for a month or so to the exclusion of the games I normally play with Richard. Richard, having more time available, tested the scenario with Vance on the week days as well. I must say Vance demonstrated his depth of historical insight in his chosen scenario topic and the scenario should present a challenge to both players.
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Christian Letourneau
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scribidinus wrote:
Vance von Borries, a Louisville native and long time friend, is one of the contributing designers. Richard Diem, a long time play tester for Vance and my regular war game opponent, were asked to play test the scenario. Although I am not a big fan of the game system, I considered it an honor. I dutifully played the developing scenario every weekend for a month or so to the exclusion of the games I normally play with Richard. Richard, having more time available, tested the scenario with Vance on the week days as well. I must say Vance demonstrated his depth of historical insight in his chosen scenario topic and the scenario should present a challenge to both players.


Did the experience make you take a new look at the system or has your opinion of it stayed the same? Just curious to see if a good scenario could reedeem the game in the eyes on a friend of mine who also doesn't like the system a whole lot...
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John O'Haver PhoDOGrapher
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Duguayduguay wrote:
scribidinus wrote:
Vance von Borries, a Louisville native and long time friend, is one of the contributing designers. Richard Diem, a long time play tester for Vance and my regular war game opponent, were asked to play test the scenario. Although I am not a big fan of the game system, I considered it an honor. I dutifully played the developing scenario every weekend for a month or so to the exclusion of the games I normally play with Richard. Richard, having more time available, tested the scenario with Vance on the weekdays as well. I must say Vance demonstrated his depth of historical insight in his chosen scenario topic and the scenario should present a challenge to both players.


Did the experience make you take a new look at the system or has your opinion of it stayed the same? Just curious to see if a good scenario could reedeem the game in the eyes on a friend of mine who also doesn't like the system a whole lot...



Just so you know, Vance, Richard and I are all grizzled cardboard chit pushers in our late 50s. Speaking just for myself, the big box 'o' toy minis games has no inherent appeal to me as a war gamer even though I prefer tactical scale games like ToI. This opportunity to play ToI a lot and for free came about when I was looking for a new tactical scale WWII war game for myself so I was very interested in comparing it to my recent experience with Combat Commander and Memoir' 44 (BTW, I wish I had two sets of the card board chits from Overlord. I'd use them instead of the minis) and the older tactical games I cut my teeth on like SL, ASL and Panzer Blitz/Leader. My comments (quoted below) are based on this play test experience and are mine alone. I am not qualified to speak for Vance von Borries or Richard Diem.

From my original game comments:
Quote:
"In my opinion the rules in TOI governing gaining and keeping initiative, gaining command points, the purchase and the use of the combinations of the multiple Strategy card decks, all the stuff that you need to think about that is not on map, are game sub-systems that detract from the immersiveness of the combat portion of the game."


I "feel" like I have to take my eyes off the battlefield action too much when playing ToI as compared to some other tactical scale games.

That said, Vance seemed to enjoy the opportunity to step outside his own work to do this project utilizing his depth of historical knowledge at operational level to create a tactical scenario. In a sense this was a treat. As I understand it at any given moment he has 3 years worth of work on his own games in progress. He seldom gets to "play" his own designs let alone learn other people's designs and contribute. Richard will play anything once and most anything over and over until he finally wins. Richard and I had a good time learning the game system fairly thoroughly and testing the scenario. For me the ToI system is work. The payoff, the gaming bang per unit of gaming effort, isn't there for me. Your smileage may very well be different.

ALL THAT ASIDE, you know just the fact that they could pull this off, getting 20 famous designers to contribute to the scenario collection says a lot. If you like the game system, you'll find the scenario Vance worked up a challenging one for each side.
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Christian Letourneau
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Thanks for the insight. I, for one, very much like the system but find the scenarios lacking actually. My friend and I are also wargamers of old and we have played our fair share of SL/ASL and the Operational Series from The Gamers. As for my friend, he also doesn't like the scenarios but at the end of the day, he can't get past the minis and the simplicity of the game (what he calls the toy factor). I don't agree with him but despite many arguments, I just can't convince him to play the game again. When I heard about the Designers Series, I got very exited about finally being able to play a system I really like using top notch scenarios (allegedly for now...). Not so for my friend however. That's why I was interested in how you viewed the game after this experience. I can't wait to play those scenarios and I hope to be able to convince my friend to give it a go.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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