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Subject: Just opened the box and... rss

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Christian Langer
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Surprisingly my copy of Normandy arrived at my FLGS today and so I had the pleasure to open the box just a few moments ago.
Unfortunately I can't post pictures at the moment, so sorry for that.
I just had a quick look through all the components and the rules and here are my first impressions and especially my issues...


There's a lot that you get with the Normandy-Expansion.Very promising looking boards, rules for changing weather and for destructible buildings. The campaign also looks very cool. Your units gather experience and get awards for each battle.
You can now use an optional rule that gives each player a commander-in-chief (e.g. Monty, Patton, Wittmann,Model) and a number of leadership decks to choose from.With a new specialization token units can be equipped with demolition charges that can be used to destroy buildings and pillboxes or apply losses to units.
All in all I'm quite excited about everything I've seen and read so far, BUT...

One thing that really annoys me is that FFG changed the artwork of the map boards. I've been afraid of this ever since I read that they are going to release a map pack and now my fears have become reality. They've made the boards darker so that the colours won't fit to neither the base game nor the Days of the Fox Expansion. And I don't think that the visual result was worth it. On some spaces it's hard to see the center point at all. This won't of course affect gameplay in any way, but nevertheless I'm far from pleased about this.

Next thing is that IMO the figure of the King Tiger was made together with the tanks of the base game.It's definitely too large especially compared to a Panther. I really would have appreciated it if they had kept to one size now for all the figures that there are still to come.
And a last point:I think they misprinted the stats of the Stug III. It's listed with Armour: 5 which I can hardly believe, because that's also the armour value of the Panther. A Stug III had 50mm max. armour, a Panther up to 100mm. And the new M10 is listed with Armour: 4 and its historical armour was 51mm - so I think armour value 4 should be more fitting for the stug as well. Perhaps they gave the 4 to the M10 because of the open top and the Panther still has the Thick Armour bonus, but still it doesn't feel right from my point of view.

As you might have noticed, I'm a bit disappointed (well, I paid about 60 Euros for it). Nevertheless I really think that this is a cool expansion and it has a lot to offer and I'm sure that I'll have a lot of fun with it and TOI in the future (in fact I'm going to do a demo at my FLGS this evening). But somehow I imagined that my opening of the box would be more satisfying...
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Barry Doyle
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Boy howdy - I can't say that I'm disappointed at all. The maps are beautiful, done by the artist who did the DotF boards. I think the DotF boards were superior to the original, and these are just as stunning. I'm guessing - and hoping - he'll be the artist from now on.

My only gripe, and it's a very minor one, is that there are full page ads for other FFG games in both the rules and campaign books. I hate ads in "official" game books, but that's just me. If you're going to advertise anything, I feel it should be related to the same game.

Other than that, I'm stoked to hit the beaches tonight!

Hurry on, boys!

-B
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Bonaparte
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*%*#@%*(*! Why is my copy from Amazon postponed until January.
 
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Barry Doyle
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I'm a weak, weak man. I couldn't wait, so I cancelled my Amazon order and ordered direct from FFG - even paying for second day air.

I'm such a loser...

... but a happy loser.
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James Reynolds
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Cornicer wrote:
I think they misprinted the stats of the Stug III. It's listed with Armour: 5 which I can hardly believe, because that's also the armour value of the Panther. A Stug III had 50mm max. armour, a Panther up to 100mm. And the new M10 is listed with Armour: 4 and its historical armour was 51mm - so I think armour value 4 should be more fitting for the stug as well. Perhaps they gave the 4 to the M10 because of the open top and the Panther still has the Thick Armour bonus, but still it doesn't feel right from my point of view.


I think that maybe the Stug III has a higher armour b/c its lower profile makes it harder to hit. Plus checking wikipedia it says that Stug III had up to 80 cm of armour.
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Christian Langer
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Quote:
I think that maybe the Stug III has a higher armour b/c its lower profile makes it harder to hit. Plus checking wikipedia it says that Stug III had up to 80 cm of armour.


Well, I thought about the low profile as well and by now I've read that the armour was increased during the war from 50mm to 80mm. And as TOI is set at 44+ I can now understand the stats.

And once again about the new maps, Barry: I'm not disappointed about the artwork itself. It's very well done, the maps look great. But I still think that it wasn't necessary to make them darker than the original maps just to sell the new map pack.

Edit: just had a look at the pictures posted here... the maps look much brighter than mine. Either it's because of the flash, or mine are unusually dark...
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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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Cornicer wrote:

And a last point:I think they misprinted the stats of the Stug III. It's listed with Armour: 5 which I can hardly believe, because that's also the armour value of the Panther. A Stug III had 50mm max. armour, a Panther up to 100mm. And the new M10 is listed with Armour: 4 and its historical armour was 51mm - so I think armour value 4 should be more fitting for the stug as well. Perhaps they gave the 4 to the M10 because of the open top and the Panther still has the Thick Armour bonus, but still it doesn't feel right from my point of view.


I don't have the expansion so can't compare stats as directly, but I'll say this in defense of the StuGIII: It had an low silhouette for an AFV and small to boot. The Hetzer was even smaller, lower, better sloped armor, and still packed a 75mm gun.

...I don't even have Days of the Fox yet, but, man, it's all I can do to resist these new expansions!
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Barry Doyle
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Cornicer wrote:
And once again about the new maps, Barry: I'm not disappointed about the artwork itself. It's very well done, the maps look great. But I still think that it wasn't necessary to make them darker than the original maps just to sell the new map pack.


Yours may be a bit darker, but I also lightened the photos some in Photoshop so I could avoid using my flash (and the glare). The photo of the box contents is probably closer to the actual color of my boards.

I know the maps in my original set look really light, even washed out - especially compared to the tiles, which are much darker than the boards. I was always a little disappointed in them.
 
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Marc Mistiaen
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igfa_277 wrote:
wikipedia it says that Stug III had up to 80 cm of armour.


Wow, now that's thick cool
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Barry Doyle
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FYI...

The official errata says the Stug and Jagdpanzer should both have an Armor of 4, instead of 5.
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Christian Langer
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Ha! I knew it!
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Just picked up a copy at my local gaming store in the UK. Got to say great comoponent quality - the boards seem even sturdier than the main game - almost like hardboard!

The minis are more detailed than in the main game - I especially like the level of detail on the british troops.
 
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Barry Kendall
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I was inclining toward asking if the StuG's armor rating represented the schurtzen skirts often added to the later models (especially in NW Europe '44) but the official errata negated that line of reasoning.

Out of curiosity, what's the armor rating of the Konigstiger? Does it have any restrictions on firing when on slopes or hills? The turret was hand-cranked and I've read in several sources that when the tank was tilted on a slope, it was physically impossible to train the turret "uphill" due to the weight.

Was hoping to see an upgunned Sherman 76mm miniature to distinguish this capability visually apart from a marker, but I guess not so. Maybe later. I still hope to see armored cav/recon represented at some point.

Sounds like a nice package; on the list. I'm looking forward to hearing how the system treats landing craft and beach assaults.

Originally it was reported that a Pacific module with Marines/Japanese would follow on ToI; I hope this holds true and helps account for my interest in the beach-landing rules.
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Barry Doyle
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Hey Barry,

There aren't any beach landing/assault rules, and no landing craft; the units start on the map. Hopefully they'll add some assault rules for the Pacific expansion.

There are some cool new rules, though - like destructible buildings, demo charges, and the cool campaign rules.

The King Tiger has an Armor value of 6, and Extra Thick Armor - you change two defense dice to a result of 6.

-Barry
 
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Kevin Duke
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Quote:
Was hoping to see an upgunned Sherman 76mm miniature



A Firefly or "Easy 8" would be distinctly different and very useful (and historically appropriate). Unfortunately, the "panzer bias" continues here, like it was with FFG's "tank museum" series. For some reason, different permutations of the most widely produced tank in history just aren't as interesting. (Anyone for a "Jumbo?" That would be useful in game terms too, wouldn't it?)
 
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Christian Langer
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Fireflies are part of at least one of the scenarios as far as I remember, but they aren't represented by special minis. They just get special rules (more dice against vehicles - I think 12, but I might be wrong here).
 
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Barry Doyle
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Yeah, I was really hoping for a Churchill or Cromwell. It would have been nice to see each current nationality get at least one new tank, instead of three German and one American (allied).
 
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Russell Bryan
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Cornicer wrote:
One thing that really annoys me is that FFG changed the artwork of the map boards. I've been afraid of this ever since I read that they are going to release a map pack and now my fears have become reality. They've made the boards darker so that the colours won't fit to neither the base game nor the Days of the Fox Expansion. And I don't think that the visual result was worth it. On some spaces it's hard to see the center point at all. This won't of course affect gameplay in any way, but nevertheless I'm far from pleased about this.

It would appear to the cynical that this was no accident:

http://www.funagain.com/control/product/~product_id=019946
 
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Kevin Goodman
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Colours aside, it seems like the map pack is meant to be like Memoir'44s Operation Overlord ... Huge scenarios! One of the maps in the new Designer's Scenarios book requires 2 copies of TOI, my speculation is that this Map Pack would suffice as well. Time will tell.

My main question about that would be scenario length, scenarios can be plenty long as it is.
 
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In regards to the Stug III G. Nope, I think they got it right. The Stug III G had 80mm of armor, so the value is justified. Also, the Panther has thick armor (benefit) and the Stud does not, so they got that right even though the values are the same. Thick armor gives you an instant save (except against the M10).

Hope that helps.
 
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Ray
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kduke wrote:
Quote:
Was hoping to see an upgunned Sherman 76mm miniature



A Firefly or "Easy 8" would be distinctly different and very useful (and historically appropriate). Unfortunately, the "panzer bias" continues here, like it was with FFG's "tank museum" series. For some reason, different permutations of the most widely produced tank in history just aren't as interesting. (Anyone for a "Jumbo?" That would be useful in game terms too, wouldn't it?)


The firefly was just a simple Sherman with a 17 pounder and a box at the back of the turret. Oh, and the hull MG was removed to make room for more of the larger 17pdr shells. I wouldn't call it "distinctly different", but the long 17pdr did stick out (no pun intended). The Firefly was converted from several models of Shermans, so if someone really wanted to, they could do the same to one or more of their TOI Sherman figures. It would be an easy conversion. Add the box to the back of the turret, remove the MG in the hull, and replace the short 75mm with a long 17pdr (maybe a hat pin would do nicely). Bingo, a Firefly.
 
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AnglePark wrote:
Yeah, I was really hoping for a Churchill or Cromwell. It would have been nice to see each current nationality get at least one new tank, instead of three German and one American (allied).


The Cromwell was late in the war so I can see why it was overlooked. But a Churchill tank would have been a very nice addition. Heck, with a Churchill and the beach boards, someone could come up with a neat little Dieppe Raid (AKA The Battle of Dieppe or Operation Jubilee) scenario.
 
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