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Subject: D-Day Dice preview: Way to Hell expansion rss

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Emmanuel Aquin
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And now, ladies and gents, here comes the Way to Hell!

Just like the War Stories expansion, this is another "modular" expansion, containing 3 independent mini-expansions to be added at your leisure.

Servicemen is a series of cards representing individual soldiers you encounter on the beach. Shuffled in a face-down deck, you can draw 1 when you obtain a "Special Find" RWB. Each Serviceman has 2 or 3 dice results printed on its card (like "Blue 1 Soldier", "Red Courage", "White Tool"). These are the Serviceman's contribution to your Unit. During any Phase 1 (rolling the dice), you can discard your Serviceman to add his results to your Final Tally. Simple, no? Of course, there are a couple of alternate ways offered in the rulebook to use the Servicemen differently (what's a game without optional rules?).

Special Missions are just that: things your Unit is asked to do by your commanding officer. They are presented on cards in a face-down deck (if that's not original, I don't know what is!). At the start of the game, draw 2 Special Missions and choose 1. The Special Mission must be fulfilled in order to win the game. It consists of things to find during the game (usually a mix of Specialists, Items and resources, but some missions also ask for specific RWB bonuses or dice results). For example, "Doc Eugene Roe's Errand" asks for the Medic, Dexedrine and 3 Stars, and "Ernie Pyle's Report" asks for the War Correspondent, the Combat Photographer and the Field Radio.

If any of these card is unavailable on your Battle Map, it automatically becomes available (which can be turned to your advantage). Once a Unit has all the elements to fulfill the Special Mission, it must sacrifice them. In return, it receives a Battlefield Promotion (which usually grants an Award of your choice and other benefits).

And last, but not least, the eponymous Way to Hell, which tells the story of the landing crafts that landed the soldiers on the beaches. This expansion is quite different from all other ones in that it's not added to the game, but before the game. It plays like a mini-game, which serves as a prologue to your regular D-Day Dice game. Let me explain:

First, choose your Battle Map (it needs to be a "Beach" Battle Map, like Omaha Beach). Then, place the "Sea Battle Map" (included in Way to Hell) under your Beach Map, so that it is adjacent to the water sectors at the bottom. On this Sea Map, each Unit will place a Landing Craft token. In each Landing Craft there are 30 Soldiers + some of the Unique Specialists from the regular Battle Map (depending on the Map). For example, if you play with Omaha Beach, you must split its Unique Specialists (Captain, Lieutenant, Combat Photographer, Messenger & Decoy) between all the boats. These will be passengers.

Then, every turn, players roll dice and advance their Craft toward the beach. The catch? The dice you roll don't tell you what you obtain this turn, they tell you what you lose. That's right! Every turn, you must balance your rolls so you won't lose too many Soldiers, or too many Stars (which leads to the death of your passengers), or too many Tools (which can destroy your Craft before it reaches the beach), etc. Think of it as "reverse D-Day Dice". And be careful of RWB bonuses, which are now your worst enemies! Oh, and there's also Shelling, which happens every turn and can really decimate your crew if it lands in your sector (each sector has a "shell number", kind of like Catan, to determine who gets the shaft every turn).

When (or if) the fragile boats reach the upper sectors of the Sea Map, the troops can disembark and move to the beach. Your surviving Soldiers are now your starting troops (overriding what's written on the Battle Map). Passengers that were killed are now considered "dead" and can't be recruited.

Had enough? OK, I'll shut up for now. Next time, I'll present the smaller expansions, including the BGG Promo and the Kickstarter exclusive.



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Doug Click
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I like the sounds of these three modules. The landing craft's battle to get to the beach sounds like a great addition, but it will make the game much harder if you don't do very well. Take too much damage during the sea voyage, you'll never get off the beach...
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Emmanuel Aquin
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The idea of Way to Hell is to make you sweat a little before the beach. During playtest, Units that arrived safely on the beach usually did OK. Obviously, the trick is to get to the beach.

That module adds maybe 10-15 minutes to the game. And it's fun enough to be considered a "mini-game" in itself, so you can play a couple of Way to Hell games to warm you up before the main event.
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Doug Click
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Yeah, it sounds like it would add some sweating to the game. I will look forward to more information on this one as it gets closer to release.

The other two modules look great also. I like the idea of having special missions included to spice up the base game.

I am really looking forward to seeing this game on Kickstarter... one of these days.
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