GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!
7,872 Supporters
$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
21 Days Left

Support:

Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Tide of Valor: The Normandy Campaign» Forums » General

Subject: The Normandy Chronicles - Chapter 2 rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Steven Cunliffe
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
Hitting the Beach
Soon after The Fires of Midway was completed the discussion was started about what my next game WWII game for Clash of Arms would be. Of all the struggles we discussed, Normandy was chosen based on its importance and popularity as a subject matter. However, using Normandy as a setting for a board game opens up a Pandora’s Box of challenges as it has been done literally dozens of times and before I could really begin sitting down to work on the game I would need to sift through the entirety of the invasion to discover what I could craft into a workable board game.

Ask a dozen historians to describe what the invasion was and you might get a dozen different answers. For instance is the Normandy conflict about….
… the paratroop landings of the American 101st & the 82nd and the British 6th Paratroop Divisions?
… the D-Day landing themselves and the bloody battles of Omaha and Juno beaches?
… the British battle against the 21st Panzer Division and the beachhead conflicts?
… the paratrooper vs. fallschirmjäger battle for Carentan?
… the drive up the Cotentin Peninsula to take Cherbourg?
… the brutal grudge match between the 3rd Canadian and the 12 SS Division?
… the British push to take Villars Bocage and the ride of Tiger ace Michael Whittmann?
… the American drive through the hedgerows to capture St. Lo?
… the Panzer Lehr counterattack near Desert?
… the epic series of British offensives to dislodge the Germans and take Caen?
… Operation Cobra and the American breakout?
… the German counterattack at Mortain?
… the German encirclement at Falaise?
… or is the battle about the conflicts between the various commanding generals on each side and the challenges they encountered keeping their armies supplied?

So where to start? Ideally it would be wonderful to do cover the entire campaign from beginning to end in all its glory but if I wanted to be brutally honest I would say that only certain parts of the campaign meet my threshold of what it takes to be a good board game.


Setting the Standard
For me a two player board game it has to provide a reasonable chance to win for both sides to win, a set number of strategic options, and be consistent with the designer’s vision of the campaign. Normandy is about scale, the movements of armies punctuated by brutal battalion & regimental level combats. So from the start of the game I wanted the scale to be on the corp to army level with the ability to “focus in” on smaller engagements.

While the paratroop landings were fascinating from a historical standpoint they served a secondary role to the main action of the campaign. The engagements in the early morning hours were small scale, squad and platoon level firefights that were very disorganized. The airborne combats played a role in setting the stage for the campaign, but they were not the deciding factor.

The landings themselves were far more extensive but were not really an equal contest. Only one of the five beaches was ever really in doubt. However, I would not want to personally build a two-player game around the beaches as the Germans for the most part were holding fixed positions without many real maneuver options. I wanted to include the beach landings in some way but I did not want them to be the entire focus of the game.

The battles on the American drive for Cherbourg were also one-sided affairs and while the Germans put up a good defense they never really stood a chance. The assault on Villers -Bocage is one of the most intriguing battles of the theatre but was also a bit too small in scale to base a strategic campaign around. And unfortunately for the Germans they were finished one Operation Cobra started, their spirited attack at Mortain, while valiant, was never going to stop the Allies.

For me Normandy is most interesting during the ferocious German defense before the capture of St. Lo and Caen. It was the time in the campaign when Germans demonstrated the greatest strength. While they were strategically on the defensive for the entire campaign, there were times in the struggles for Caen and St. Lo when the Germans were able to launch strong operational and localized counterattacks. In both sectors the defenders were able to take advantage of the terrain to foil Allied efforts and inflict heavy casualties.

The challenge when crafting Tide of Valor would be to translate the historical realities of the campaign into a fun and exciting game!
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Will Miner
United States
Germantown
Tennessee
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I,am on the edge of my seat reading so far,do go on,don,t stop now!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Houghton
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi Steven.

All sounds good.

Like you, I too like cards and die rolling. While I appreciate the Combat Commander system of having the cards also produce die roll results, I'd prefer to keep the two separate.

From a personal point of view, I hope that you'll keep some (perhaps a lot) of the Stalingrad game in your new one. For me, the card play in that game remains a real stunner. Superbly designed and functional yet good to look at. I also liked the leaders growing in status thing, and the depletion/reinforcmeent rules in that game. Also the areas of combat cards (the Station, the Grain Elevator etc) were great in that you could recognise them from documentaries on the battle, and get a real feel for the rattenkrieg!

In fact, to tell the truth (and I am in no way trying o undermine your new venture!)I would have happily bought some extension scenarios/games using the Stalingrad system.

So my plea to you is that when you have developed Tide of Valor, and I am sure it will be great, think about the possibility of add-ons for those of us who just can't get enough, but would like to see different cards and battles, within your new game system. Hell, it may even mean less work for you and more income! But I know those things aren't dear to your heart!

Good luck. I'm getting out Staligrad today to play with my 18 year old son.

Apologies for my prattling on at length!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Cunliffe
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
Colin,

I hope you had a great game of Stalingrad with your son! In my reflection of the game, I would have to say that THOS was very special and one that I will probably not be able to replicate in the same way again.

For Tide of Valor I can tell you that the Combat Card system will be expanded to allow players the option to purchase units of their choice. I am also putting more emphasis on the actual nitty-gritty of combat which means a lot of small combat maps and more unit choices, the American Forces have 16 different types of combat counters alone!

Pictures will be coming soon.

Steve
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Colin Houghton
United Kingdom
London
London
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Steven

All sounds good. yes, I can see that THOS was a one-off spectacular success. Let's hope ToV will also be another (but different)spectacular success!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Steven Cunliffe
United States
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
Colin, you have deal!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.