A modification to 1A Games "Tide of Iron" by Stefan Sasse (Manuel König)
- Phase Order
- Status Phase
- Action Phase
- Rules of Engagement
- Designer’s Notes
- Unit statistics and models
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Skirmish Maps / Scenarios
Welcome to the “Skirmish Mode” modification to 1A Games’ beloved board game Tide of Iron! In this guide, you will find all rules necessary to play this modification with your group with minimal effort. There is no need to create new tokens or figures; they will only be used in ways unknown to your current game experience. A printout of this booklet is all you need in addition. Should you not possess the expansions “Days of the Fox”, “Normandy”, “Fury of the Bear” and “Stalingrad” as well as the “Map Pack”, you will not be able to enjoy all parts of this modification.
The basic game principles shall be explained in short: instead of playing set up scenarios, players have full control over what units they will use and in which composition these units will meet their enemy on the battlefield. The players start the game with only a limited number of units and will purchase new units over the course of the game. The objective is to gain a tactical advantage over the battlefield, which is represented by victory points. If one side ever hits zero, it loses. Every player owns headquarters where new units can come into action that also serves as a reinforcement zone in which killed units are replaced. Additionally, players will accumulate experience by killing enemy units. This experience can be used to gain access to doctrine abilities, which allow unique abilities. Every side chooses one doctrine in the beginning of the game.
Every player starts with 3 squads with Regular Infantry in his Reinforcement Hex, one with an Engineer and one with a Recon specialization.
Every player receives three random Doctrines and chooses one for use in the game, the rest is discarded. For more information, see the “Doctrines” section.
Both players toss a red and a black die. The higher number on the black die determines starting initiative, with the red die as a tie-breaker. The higher roll gains initiative in the first round.
- Set the Victory Point markers for both sides at 10.
- Place your Reinforcement Mat in a convenient space your opponent can’t see (like the inside of the box).
- Give every player 2 FP (see “Gain Resources” below).
The game consists of two phases, which will be described in greater detail shortly:
- The Status Phase, in which units are purchased, Victory Points acquired, and organizational matters resolved.
- The Action Phase, in which units are activated.
The Status Phase consists of the following parts:
1) Move units on the Reinforcement Mat
Every unit on the Reinforcement Mat is moved one space to the right. You can find the Reinforcement Mat later in the document, after the Doctrines.
2) Adjust Victory Points and gain resources
Victory Points: The Skirmish Mode is a game of tactical supremacy. Should the total number of controlled VPhexes ever be greater than that of the opponent, this side has tactical supremacy. The side without tactical supremacy loses as many VP as the difference between the held VP markers is, up to a maximum of two points (e.g. if one side holds two, the other side one, the latter loses one point). Once one side has no VP left, the game ends.
Resources: The currency for unit purchase is Command Points (CP), granted at the beginning of every Status Phase. Players also capture Fuel Points (FP) that are indicated by the FP markers on the field. The total amount of CP per round is 16, but it’s reduced by one for every Unit Point (UP) worth the army has to a minimum of 8. As long as both sides have 10VP, they also receive a minimum of one FP per round. Every round, 1CP must be placed in a “Tank Pool”. CP in the Tank Pool can only be spent on Tanks.
Unit Points: Infantry, Trucks, Halftracks and AT guns take up one UP each, and light tanks take up 2UP each, medium tanks take up 3UP each and heavy tanks take up 4UP each. No player can ever have more than 24UP on the board at any given time. There is no limit to the number of units on the Reinforcement Mat (see below).
3) Purchase Units
At the end of each status phase, players may purchase new units secretly.
Infantry: Purchased infantry (Regular, Elite and Officers) may be divided into several squads bought in the same round or put aside the game board to be implemented in squads purchased later in the game. (Example: You buy one Squad base (2CP), 4 regular infantry (1CP), one machine gun (2CP) and three elite infantry (2CP). You set one regular infantry and one elite infantry in the quad base, along with the machine gun. The other three regular and two elite infantry can be set aside to be put in an additional squad base later.)
Tanks: Some tanks can only be purchased with the according Doctrine; see there for more information. Tanks require the appropriate Vehicle Level (see below) to be purchased.
Vehicle Levels: Commanders aren’t able to call upon heavy weaponry from the start of every battle. Instead, they need to dedicate some time to get the logistics in place. This is represented by “Vehicle Levels”. At the beginning of any given game, no vehicles or AT guns may be called in. At the end of the Purchase-Units-step, a player may spend CP and FP to advance his Vehicle Level by one (only once per game round). On Vehicle Level 1 (2CP/2FP), trucks, halftracks, AT guns and light tanks be called in. On Vehicle Level 2 (3CP/6FP), medium tanks may be called in. On Vehicle Level 3 (3CP/10FP), heavy tanks and Katyusha/Panzerwerfer may be called in.
Limits: Players can only purchase something when the limit isn’t reached. Limits are:
- Specializations: Divide the tokens evenly between the players: the availability of tokens defines the build limit.
- Vehicles and equipment: Limited to the plastic available and the Tank Level researched.
Placement of purchased units: Newly purchased units are placed on the -1 space of the Reinforcement Mat.
4) Change Initiative
Unlike the base game, there is no bidding for initiative. Instead, changes after every status phase between the players. Skip this step in the first round.
5) Remove Tokens
All Fatigued and Pinned tokens are removed and Disrupted tokens are turned on their Pinned side.
6) Place units in Op-Fire-Mode
Every unit on the board is placed in Op-Fire-Mode. This is explained later in the Action Phase.
7) Squad transfers
You may transfer figures between Squads in the same hex. You can transfer troops between squads regardless of specializations. On the Reinforcement Hex, Squads may also enter or leave Transports; AT Guns may be attached to Halftracks or Trucks.
In this subsection, you will find all the rules that affect the resolving of an Action Turn. Rules that concern individual units or elements will be explained in the subsection “Rules of Engagement” after this subsection.
The Action Phase consists of two phases:
1) Take turns taking Actions until maximum number of Actions has been taken (see below)
Number of Actions: Every Action Turn you can take either one or two Actions. Every Round, you can only take a maximum amount of actions determined by your current amount of Unit Points (UP).
|UP||Actions / Round|
2) Retreat squads.
All units start with an Op-Fire marker. For one of your actions, remove the Op-Fire marker and mark the unit as fatigued after completing the action. Also place one Op-Fire marker from reserves in front of you to mark your amount of actions taken. If a fatigued unit gains an Op-Fire-marker (e.g. through the effect of the Veteran NCO Specialization), do not remove the Fatigued marker. This indicates that the unit can shoot with the newly gained Op-Fire, but can’t be activated.
Action selection: The following Actions are available when you activate a unit. Additional explanations are concerning only those Actions that changed from the original rules.
b) Concentrate Fire
c) Fire and Movement
e) Sprint (see below)
f) Fatigue Unit
h) Special Action (e.g. such that are granted by Doctrines)
Under certain circumstances, units may spend the movement points they gain from an Action for purposes other than movement. These purposes are described below.
Reinforcement Mat: Units on the spaces 0+ on the Reinforcement Mat can be activated as if they were on the board. When they enter the game, Infantry gains an additional +4 MP if they sprint, and Vehicles gain +6MP for each space on the Reinforcement Mat over zero. Units from the Reinforcement Mat always begin their movement in the Reinforcement Hex but are only placed on the board when they are activated for the first time. Transport units may consider units in the 0+ spaces of the Reinforcement Mat as on the Reinforcement Hex (see below).
Units may be fatigued on the Reinforcement Mat as part of the Fatigue Action without having to enter the Reinforcement Hex.
Reinforcement Hex special rules: Transport units that start their activation in the Reinforcement Hex can take any number of Squads from that hex up to their Transport value with them, even if those Squads did not enter the Transport in a previous action. Trucks and Halftracks may likewise attach an AT Gun without having to spend MP.
Spending Movement Points
Movement Points may be spent normally for movement purposes during Advance, Fire and Movement, Assault and Sprint Actions. However, there are other purposes for which MP can be spent.
Cautious Approach: An Infantry squad may receive a penalty of -1MP during an Advance Action or Fire-andMovement-Action. They then receive +1 cover during their movement. Not cumulative.
Conquering Objectives: Resource Points and Victory Points can be conquered by spending 2MP with a squad in the hex. They do not change ownership by simply having a unit in the hex in the Status Phase.
Concealment: Squads may Conceal themselves for 3MP if in cover providing terrain. They may move over terrain not providing cover for the double MP cost without revealing themselves. If they enter a hex containing an objective, they must reveal themselves, thereby being subject to Op-Fire.
Engineers: Engineers in the Skirmish Mode possess more skills than in the base game.
a) Building: They may build several obstacles and covers for a certain amount of MP, exposing themselves to Special Opportunity Fire (see below) in the process. Building fatigues the Engineer Squad. Engineers may always choose to enter an Entrenchment, Trench or Pillbox after building it.
They may not build anything on hexes containing CP and VP.
|Razor wire, or clearing it||1 MP|
|Repairing a crater||3 MP|
|Repairing a vehicle||3 MP|
|Tank trap, or clearing them||2 MP|
|Lay Mines (costs ½XP), or clearing them||4 MP|
|Lay S-Mines, or clearing them||4 MP|
|Lay charge, or clearing it||2 MP|
b) Repairing: Engineers may repair damages in the road and on vehicles. To do this, a single Engineer squad needs to spend 3MP in the same hex as the damage. A crater or lightly damaged marker is then removed, a heavy damaged marker flipped to its lightly damaged side.
Every additional squad of Engineers in the same hex may provide 4MP to the building or repair process. This exhausts the unit as if it was taking part in Combined Fire. Building or repairing subjects the Engineers to Special Opportunity Fire.
Medics: Medics can heal squads.
Squad Transfer: You may also transfer as part of your movement: every figure exchanged between squads in the hex costs 1MP. This can be part of a Movement- or Fire and Movement-action.
Sprinting: When a Squad performs a Sprinting Action, it gains an additional 4MP. The Squad cannot spend movement points for any other purpose than movement and cannot attack. It is subject to Special Opportunity Fire.
Whenever an enemy has concluded his action turn, you may order Squads to Retreat. They will instantly run along the shortest possible route to the Reinforcement Hex. This may trigger enemy Op-Fire along its path.
Fleeing Squads are marked by turning them on the side.
You can also order a Retreat of any unfatigued Squad as an Action.
Retreating Squads are also harder to hit; they may turn up to two dice from 6 to 5 or from 5 to 4. Retreated Squads can be reinforced in the next Status Phase. Pinned and Disrupted Squads keep their status until reaching the Reinforcement Hex. When they are hit with Suppressive Fire during their Retreat, they can still be Disrupted or Routed.
Squads can decide to retreat after the last action of the Action Phase has been taken.
Opportunity Fire is weaker than in the original rules. Units using Opportunity Fire cannot Combine Fire, suffer a -1 range penalty and cannot gain the range bonus for Close Range (even if the target is in an adjacent hex) when using Opportunity Fire. Enemy units can trigger Opportunity Fire only once during their activation instead of once per hex.
Special Opportunity Fire
Some Actions subject a Squad to Special Opportunity Fire. One enemy squad within range and valid LOS may fire at the Squad, losing one die for every hex distance between them above the first one. (Example: A squad of regular infantry three hexes from the engineers may fire with two dice, because two of the dice are subtracted for the distance. Should the squad have already lost two soldiers, it can’t fire since it only has firepower of 2 and loses 2 dice due to the distance.) Only one squad can use this opportunity fire, and only the squad closest to the target may fire. If several squads are in equal distance, their owner chooses which one will execute the opportunity fire.
Killing enemy units is awarded with Experience Points (XP) which can be used for purchase of Doctrine abilities.
Every Regular Infantry is worth a quarter XP, so a full squad of Regulars awards one XP (Squad Bases don’t award XP). A Machinegun, Mortar, Elite soldier, Officer, Specialization or Truck are worth a half XP. All other Vehicles award XP according to their armor class: Light awards 1XP, Medium 2XP and Heavy 3XP. It is recommended to count the XP by using the killed enemy figures as reminder and simply giving them back when using up the XP. British or Russian troops can be used should too many figures be needed for new purchases. XP can be used to buy doctrine abilities as specified on the doctrine card.
Rules of Engagement
This section collects all new rules regarding attacking.
Cover providing terrain: Units in Entrenchments, Pillboxes and Trenches in Cover Providing Terrain can’t gain more cover than the highest bonus provided (Example: A Trench in a forest hex doesn’t grant 6 cover, only 4.
However, the forest grants two cover against ballistic fire). Likewise, armored Vehicles in Cover Providing Terrain can never enjoy a larger amount of cover than the highest bonus provided (Example: A Truck in a Rough tile gains one cover, a Panther still has only three armor).
Elite Infantry creation: Every time a Squad kills any enemy unit, it receives an Elite Infantry in exchange for a Regular Infantry, if able.
Obstruction: When an attack is Obstructed, any attack dice receive -1 (before Aiming).
Range: There is no long range. Units can only attack in close and normal range.
The following section collects all new rules regarding damage.
Damage to terrain: When conducting certain Area Attacks (see Doctrines), great damage can be done to the terrain. Such attacks create a crater on normal terrain (never in cover providing terrain) when at least two hits were scored. They create a breach in a hedgerow when at least two hits were scored which were not canceled by the hedgerow’s cover dice, and they destroy a building under likewise conditions. This is indicated with the Terrain Damage trait.
Destroying pillboxes, trenches, entrenchments and buildings: When one or more explosive weapons (tanks, artillery, mortars or artillery/air attack) attack a pillbox, trench or entrenchment and score more hits as the pillbox, trench or entrenchment provides cover (5/4/2), then the pillbox, trench or entrenchment is destroyed and a surviving squad pinned (disrupted if already pinned, routed if already disrupted). (Example: Two Crusader MKII combine fire (6 dice) against a squad in an entrenchment. They score three hits. Three hits exceed the cover provided by the entrenchment; therefore, it is destroyed. The squad negates two of the hits with its red cover dice, therefore suffering one casualty and becoming pinned.)
Charges laid by engineers automatically destroy pillboxes, trenches or entrenchments in the hex.
Heavy damage: Instead of being immobilized, heavily damaged vehicles must double their MP cost for movement.
Suppressive Fire: Only MG can fire Suppressive Fire. This includes all Tank MG as well as the LMG and SMG specializations.
Transport damage: A Squad in a Transport that gets destroyed suffers 4d close combat damage.
Attacking: AT Guns can only fire on targets in their firing arc (see diagram left). When disconnected from a Truck of Halftrack, you must decide in which direction they are facing (see Tank rules below).
Movement: AT moves according to Tank movement rules, even when only changing the facing on its hex. (That means that in order to face in a different direction, an AT Gun must conduct a Fire-and-Movement or Advance Action).
Targeting AT: AT are considered Infantry for purposes of being attacked.
Transport: Anti-Tank-Guns (AT) may be moved by Trucks or Halftracks. To do so, a Truck or Halftrack in a hex with an AT must spend one MP to attach the gun to it. Following this move, the Truck or Halftrack simply takes the AT with it. To disconnect the AT from the Truck or Halftrack, no MP must be spent; the AT is Fatigued in the process, however. If the Truck or Halftrack carrying an AT is destroyed, the AT must roll for Transport Damage. Alternatively, an AT gun may spend 1MP to disconnect from or connect to a truck during its activation when conducting an Action that grants MP.
Crew: Every AT comes with a squad of crew. Use Regular Infantry of an unused faction for these. Crew moves automatically with the AT gun and can be targeted by all kind of attacks. You can also Retreat an AT gun crew, which is refreshed automatically at the reinforcement hex. New AT crew can also be purchased for the price of Regular Infantry for deployment by Halftrack. In the Status Phase, any squad in the same hex as the AT gun can convert Regular Infantry into crew, even if this would create a new crew squad. If only two crew members remain, the AT gun operates as if Lightly Damaged. If only one crew member remains, Heavy Damaged penalties apply. These penalties add up with those the gun itself might have suffered (Example: A Lightly Damaged AT Gun operated by one crew member receives -2MP and -2 cover and attacks only with half firepower). Crew does not count as a unit for all purposes of unit or hex limits. AT gun crew cannot perform any other actions except movement (e.g., Sprinting or Retreating) and gun operation, i.e., they cannot fire upon enemies without their AT Gun, participate in assault battles, capture points, etc. If the AT Gun is destroyed, the crew gets destroyed along with it automatically. Crew does not take up Transport space and can be transported additionally to other squads.
Attacking: Mortars fire twice in the same round and must target different hexes when doing so. Instead of Normal fire, Mortars may decide to fire smoke grenades. Designate target hexes within range and LOS of a friendly unfatigued unit, roll dice. When one hit is scored, place a Smoke marker in the hexes. No cover or armor dice are rolled for this attack.
Damage: Mortars may only lightly or heavy damage, never destroy, Tanks.
LOS: Mortars may fire on targets without having LOS as by the Ballistic Fire rules within Normal Range, but they then only score hits on 6.
Squad Composition: Mortar Squads can never gain, under any circumstances, Officers or Elite Infantry.
Armor: Armor is directional. When you attack a tank from the front, it gains +1 armor. If you attack the sides, it loses one Deflection (or Armor, if target has no Deflection), if on the rear, it loses one armor and two Deflection. You determine whether an attack comes from the front or the sides/rear by simply using the “Tracing LOS” step of the firing sequence: the hex the tank is directed at is “in front”, so if LOS is traced through it, the tank gains +1 armor. If LOS is traced from behind (opposite direction), it loses one armor. If LOS is traced through any of the other hexes, regular armor values apply. Ballistic attacks (such as mortars, artillery or air strikes) don’t use the directional cover. Instead, use the Armor and Deflection base values.
Armor Class: Tanks are divided into three armor classes: Light, Medium and Heavy. Depending on the armor class of the target, the firepower of the unit changes. Infantry is not subject to this new rule.
Attacking: Tanks may fire twice in the same activation: once with their primary weapon, and once using their MG (provided they have one, see unit statistics and keywords). Firing the MG gains them 3 firepower, range 5 against Infantry and 2 firepower, range 2 against Trucks and Halftracks. Tanks that have a turret can shoot on anything in Line-of-Sight; tanks that don’t have a turret need to turn to attack and can trace their LOS through the hex they’re facing. They can perform Fire-and-Movement, however. Those tanks (like the German StugIII) receive the new “No turret” trait. This rule is also used for AT Guns. Concentrated Fire Actions use the values in the “CF”-table provided at the end of the rules section. Fire-and-Movement and Combined Fire Actions use the firepower-values of the “FaM”-table provided at the end of the rules section. In both instances, Aiming is halved (round up). Tanks and Halftracks do not lose Movement Points for Fire-and-Movement-Actions. Tanks that perform a Concentrated Fire or Fire-and-Movement Action may be supported by half firepower of up to two adjacent tanks. These tanks are fatigued by this; however, they may have already been fatigued.
Cover: Any one infantry Squad in the same hex as a Tank gains +1 cover.
Incapacitation: Additionally to being damaged lightly and heavily, tanks may be Incapacitated. An incapacitated tank has its movement reduced to 0, but still has full firepower and armor. For repairs, incapacitation is treated as light damage.
Movement: The position of tanks matters. Movement is therefore subject to the direction in which the tank drives. As long as the tank follows the hexes through in the same direction, one MP is spent per hex as usual. But for every change of direction for one border of the hex the tank needs to spend 1MP (for example, if you want to turn by 180 degrees, you need 3MP).
This rule does not apply if the tank moves on consecutive road or rail hexes. A tank may also use reverse gear, driving backwards (and even changing direction). However, this costs +1 MP per movement (Example: driving backwards and turning one hex side costs 2+2=4MP). The values of the tanks reflect these rules by awarding more MP to them. Multiply every penalty or ability that affects a Tank’s MP (like Overrun) by three.
Tanks are considered either Driving or Standing still even outside their activation. After you activated a tank and spent MP, choose whether the tank stops or keeps driving. Use a token to indicate Standing tanks. Standing tanks are subject to all normal rules. Tanks that are Driving, however – and this also applies when being attacked by enemy op-fire during the activation – are harder to hit. Depending on their armor class, Driving tanks may turn two (Light) and one (Medium) attack dice from 6 to 5 or from 5 to 4 after dice have been rolled, but before the effects of Aiming are applied. Driving tanks cannot perform Concentrated Fire actions. They are considered Standing when they are heavily damaged. A Standing tank receives -3MP penalty.
Targeting Tanks: Infantry without the Anti-Tank-Specialization may only incapacitate tanks. MGs cannot damage tanks at all.
Targets that are attacked through hexes containing Smoke markers count as Obstructed. Units in Smoke gain
+2 cover. Assaults into Smoke hexes have their dice halved for both sides. LOS traced through two Obstructed
hexes is considered Blocked.
Doctrines are chosen at the beginning of the game. You get your corresponding doctrine card (see below), detailing the doctrine abilities coming with it. Every doctrine card is identified by its name and lists eight abilities you gain when choosing the doctrine. These eight abilities are locked at the beginning of a game and can’t be used unless the player has gained the total number of XP that is named with the ability (he doesn’t need to spend nor save them, just gain them total). You may use a counter of some kind to mark the progress you made in unlocking those abilities to keep score. Some abilities require the further use of XP, others are always active and require no further action from the player (they are called “passive”). Some abilities can only used by spending one of your Actions as a Special Action.
Tank Commander Doctrine
1 – Skilled Drivers (1XP)
Pay 1XP at the start of any Action Turn. For the remainder of the turn, all your Driving vehicles gain +1 armor. Not cumulative.
2 – Smoke canisters (1XP)
After being fired upon, a Tank may lay smoke to conceal itself. The player may spend 1XP and place a smoke marker in the hex. A player may also choose to do this during their own activation by spending 1MP and 1XP.
4 – Command Tank (1XP)
When purchasing a Tank, pay 1XP to make it a Command Tank. Put a VP token under the tank to signal its status. The Tank and all other Tanks in its hex or adjacent hexes gain +1 range and +1 firepower, the latter only if they are performing the „Combined Fire“-Action. Not cumulative. A destroyed Command Tank awards +1XP.
5 – Skilled Engineers - Passive
Engineer Squads gain +2MP to perform repairs.
6 – Skilled Gunners (2XP)
Pay 3XP at the beginning of your Action Turn. For the remainder of the turn, all your Tanks may perform a „Fire and Movement“-Action with their full firepower.
7 – Call in KV-2 - Passive
At any time, receive a KV-2 in your Reinforcement Hex. Pay the cost immediately. Limit once per Game Round.
7 – Call in SU-85 - Passive
At any time, receive a SU-85 in your Reinforcement Hex. Pay the cost immediately. Limit once per Game Round.
8 – Skilled Commanders - Passive
Tanks may now capture Command Points and Victory Points. They need to spend 6MP to do this instead of 2MP.
Assault Support Doctrine
1 – Call in Relief Infantry (2XP)
At any time, pay 2XP to receive one squad of Relief Infantry in your Reinforcement Hex. Relief Infantry is marked with the “Bronze Star” specializations from the “Normandy” expansion. It receives -1 firepower (to a minimum of 1) and -1 cover (to a minimum of 0). It can never gain any other specialization. Refreshed at the Reinforcement Hex for no cost.
1 – Incendiary Ammo – 1XP
Before rolling dice with an attack that uses only your Machine Gun, pay 1XP to gain +2 firepower vs. vehicles. You may lightly and heavily damage tanks and destroy all other vehicles.
2 – Call in Mortar Halftrack - Passive
At any time, receive one Mortar Halftrack in your Reinforcement Hex. Pay cost immediately. Limit once per Game Round.
3 – Grenade No. 73 (1XP)
When attacking with a Squad, before throwing dice against any Vehicle, spend 1XP to gain three additional dice and be able to damage and destroy Vehicles.
4 – Vehicle Repair (2XP)
During a Movement- or Fire-and-Movement-action with any of your Vehicles, spend 2XP and 6MP to flip a Heavily Damaged token to a Lightly Damaged token or to remove a Lightly Damaged token. Limit once per Action Turn.
5 – Valiant Assault (2XP)
At the start of your Action Turn, spend 2XP. All your Squads gain +2MP and +2 cover against Suppressive Fire for the remainder of the Action Turn.
6 – Railway Artillery (3XP)
As a Special Action, pay 3XP and choose a target hex in LOS of friendly unit, a hex adjacent to it and another adjacent to that one. Area Attack (5 dice), Terrain Damage on every targeted hex.
6 – Fragmentation Bombs – (2XP)
As a Special Action, pay 2XP and choose a Target Line. Area Attack (3 dice). Wide Blast Radius (2 dice).
Air Force Doctrine
1 – Gliders - Passive
You may purchase AT Guns and Squads for +1CP. Instead of being placed on the Reinforcement Mat, those AT Guns and Squads are delivered by gliders, able to be sent anywhere on the battlefield. After purchase, as a Special Action, choose any hex within LOS of a friendly unit, and roll for Drift. When the final hex is not a river, swamp, hedge or wood, place the unit in the hex. Otherwise, roll for drift again from that hex. The unit(s) arrive(s) fatigued.
1 – Reconnaissance Flight - Passive
For purposes of Ballistic Fire, you have LOS on the whole map. Hexes with Smoke markers are unaffected by this.
3 – Incendiary Bombing Run (3XP)
As a Special Action, pay 3XP to gain a bombing run with Incendiary Bombs. Target Line (4 dice vs. Infantry). Cover is halved (round up). Resolve attack.
3 – Strafing Run (3XP)
Before the first Action Turn of the Game Round, pay 3XP to gain a Strafing Run with 20mm cannons. Choose one map tile. Before the first action round of the following two rounds, perform one attack with 6 dice on any one target on the map tile.
3 – Dive Bombing Run (3XP)
As a Special Action, pay 3XP to gain a dive-bombing run with explosive bombs. Choose a target (5 dice, target loses all Deflection). Resolve attack. Terrain Damage.
5 – Emergency airdrop (2XP)
As a Special Action, once per round, pay 2 XP and fill up any one squad with regular infantry.
8 – Available Aircraft - Passive
Cost for Incendiary Bombing Run, Strafing Run and Dive Bombing Run are reduced by 1XP each.
9 – Air Photography - Passive
Your adversary’s purchases are public.
1 – Pedal to the metal (1XP)
Pay 1XP at the start of your Action Turn. All Vehicles gain +4 movement for the remainder of the turn. Not cumulative.
2 – Halftrack Sd. Kfz. 250 - Passive
Squads may fire out of halftracks, either as a Concentrated-Fire-action or Combined-Fire-action. They may also be set in OpFire-mode.
2 – Motorcycles (1XP)
At any time, pay 4CP and 1XP to gain a Squad with a Motorcycles specialization (use Mounted specialization markers) in your Reinforcement Hex. Motorcycle Squads gain +3MP, being subject to the same movement restrictions as Vehicles (no cover from cover providing terrain, no entering of woods, swamps or entrenchments, trenches and pillboxes). The Squad is Effective on Roads. The Squad enters the game immediately.
3 – Pak Ambush (2XP)
At the beginning of your Action Turn, pay 2XP and conceal an AT Gun. After, it follows the normal rules for concealment.
3 – Fast Deployment (2XP)
When purchasing a Tank, spend 2XP to instantly place it on the “0” space of your Reinforcement Mat.
4 – Tank riders - Passive
Your Tanks gain “Transport 1”. When the Tank takes damage, roll a die. On 5-6, the Squad takes the same damage and is fatigued. Infantry may capture points inside Transports.
5 – Covering Fire (2XP)
As a Special Action, pay 2XP to gain a Suppressive artillery strike. Target Line, Area Attack (5 dice, suppressive).
5 – Emergency repair sets - Passive
Every infantry Squad can repair vehicles as if they were Engineers.
1 – A tool for every job (1XP)
At the beginning of the Status Phase or as a Special Action, pay 1XP to receive a Specialization for any one squad not currently possessing one.
1 – Call in Crusader - Passive
At any time, receive a Crusader in your Reinforcement Hex. Pay the cost immediately. Limit once per Game Round.
2 – Camouflage specialists - Passive
Concealing a Squad now costs only 1MP.
3 – Paratroopers (1XP, 2CP)
At the end of Status Phase, pay 1XP and 2CP to gain 1 Paratrooper Squad. Target Hex, Determine Drift. If landing in River, Pond, Swamp, Hedge or Wood, roll for damage (3d6). Paratroopers gain -1 cover (to a minimum of 0) and can’t gain Specializations. Mark with “Silver Star” specialization from “Normandy” expansion. The Squad enters the game exhausted.
4 – Smoke wall (1XP)
As a Special Action, pay 1XP and put one smoke marker in each of three hexes of a Target Line.
4 – Commandos (2XP, 5CP)
At the end of the Status Phase, pay 2XP and 5CP to gain a Squad of Commandos. Commandos gain +1 cover. One figure in the squad is elite, one Officer. Commandos enter the game as per the Paratrooper rules above, but are not exhausted. Mark them with the “Medal of Honor” specialization from the “Normandy” expansion.
6 – Surprise Assault - Passive
When a concealed Squad assaults, the enemy does not throw any dice. Only one Squad may take part in the Assault, and the target hex may only contain one enemy Squad.
7 – Precise Bombing (4XP)
As a Special Action, pay 4XP and target any hex within LOS of a Commando or Paratrooper Squad or any Squad containing an officer. Perform an attack with 6 dice at Close Range (Area Attack) on the hex. Terrain Damage.
1 – Hit the Ground! (½XP)
Whenever one of your Squads is attacked, pay ½XPto gain +1 cover. Not cumulative.
1 – Block their way! - Passive
The MP cost for building Razorwire and Tank Traps is reduced to 0 and 1, respectively.
2 – Take the shovels! - Passive
Any Squad may build Entrenchments as per building rules.
3 – Signal Flares (3XP)
At the start of any enemy Action Turn, pay 3XP to set one exhausted Squad into Op-Fire mode.
4 – Hidden Mines (1/2XP)
As a Special Action, pay 1/2XP and place S-Mines or Mines, respectively, in any hex within LOS, except on CP or VP hexes or Road and Bridge hexes.
5 – Dig In (1XP)
At the end of one of your Action Turns, pay 1XP to dig in a Tank. The tank becomes immovable and gains +2 cover. You may spend another XP at the beginning of any of your Action Turns to dig the tank out. Mark the tank with a Disruption token as long as it is dug in.
5 – Safe Shelter – Passive
Your cover may never be reduced below half (round up) its value.
6 – Bring out the heavy guns! - Passive
Your Engineers may now build Heavy AT Guns.
1 – A tool for every job (½XP)
At the start of the Status Phase or as a Special Action, pay ½XP to exchange any Specialization with an unpurchased one. If you exchange a Cheap specialization into one that’s not Cheap, pay 1XP instead.
1 – Hand grenades (½XP)
Before performing a Close Range attack, spend ½XP to reduce the enemy cover by -2. Not cumulative.
2 – Double Time! (½XP)
Pay ½XP before the activation of any Squad to gain +1MP for the duration of the activation. Not cumulative.
2 – Panzerschrecks (1XP)
Before attacking pay 1XP to gain +3 range for an attack against a Vehicle with any Squad not containing an AT Specialization.
3 – Elite Mortars - Passive
Mortars attack three hexes instead of two and gain +2 range.
3 – Incendiary Mortar Support (1XP)
As a Special Action, pay 1XP. Target Hex. Area Attack, Ballistic Fire, Suppressive attack with four dice, -3 cover. If you score two or more hits, the enemy Squads retreat as per Assault rules.
5 – Field Hospital – Passive
Engineers may now build Field Hospitals (4MP, 2CP, mark with the appropriate tile). Field Hospitals provide an additional point to which Squads will Retreat (they automatically go the shortest route to either the Field Hospital or the Reinforcement Hex). Newly purchased units may not be placed in Field Hospitals, however. You may not reinforce your Squads at Field Hospitals if enemy units are three or fewer hexes away from them and have LOS with one of their units, even if that unit is fatigued.
7 – Lead by Example (3XP)
At the beginning of your Activation, pay 3XP and select one Squad containing an Officer. Up to two Squads in the same hex or an adjacent hex may move with the Officer’s Squad without being exhausted.
1 – Supply Truck - Passive
At any time, you may designate a Truck in at most three spaces away and in LOS of a CP to gain +1 Fuel income. The Truck can’t be activated again, but counts against your unit limit and CP income and can be destroyed regularly.
1 – Redball Express (1XP)
At any time, you may designate a Truck for instant transfer. The Truck can’t be activated again, but counts against your unit limit and CP income and can be destroyed regularly. Any Squad can spend 2MP to move from any designated Truck to another; the Squad arrives exhausted.
2 – Rubber tires - Passive
Trucks gain +2MP.
3 – All or Nothing (3XP)
Once per Game Round, pay 3XP to remove an activation token from any Squad.
4 – Disrupt Supplies (1XP)
At the end of the Status Phase, pay 1XP to reduce one enemy unit’s MP by -1 (Squads) or -3 (Vehicles) for the upcoming Action Phase. Not cumulative.
5 – Propaganda (1XP)
As a Special Action, pay 1XP to choose any one enemy squad in LOS of any of your units (even when fatigued). Throw a die. On 4-6 (Normal Range) or 2-6 (Close Range), the squad instantly Retreats.
5 – Strategic Bombing (3XP)
At the end of the Status Phase, pay 3XP to revert any point to neutral. Throw four dice for Terrain Damage.
8 – Call in IS-2 - Passive
At any time, receive an IS-2 in your Reinforcement Hex. Pay the cost immediately. Limit once per Game Round.
This mod certainly has come a long way since it was first introduced. It was playtested very heavily, and each playtest is coming up with small or big variations eliminating certain problems. I want to discuss some of those below; first the real question – why this mod? I was dissatisfied with the vanilla game experience, I have to admit, which I often found to be static and whose gameplay depended too much on scenarios often featuring imbalanced situations to recreate historical ones. This is great for people who are into that, but I’m not. I want to play a game, not a simulation. Lucky for me, there was a game to lean on: the video game Company of Heroes, whose mechanics I used as the basis of this mod. Both sides have equal chances, and everything depends on your tactics and some luck with the dice. Plus, you get rid of the thousands of random card stacks that started to plague the vanilla version.
But why those changes and not others? First, there needed to be a buying system for units. This is obviously a major point, and early incarnations of the game incentivized the purchase of infantry over tanks, an issue that has been addressed by increasing the cost of infantry. Resources also were a problem. In earlier versions, you conquered them all on the map, but that led to the “one decisive battle” that we clearly wanted to avoid, which is why now a large part of your income is basically fixed. This allows for much more dynamic gameplay, hopefully aided by the map design.
But I did not only introduce new mechanics for the buying of units. Instead, the units themselves have undergone major changes since the first versions of the mod. An experience we had during our many test games was that no one bought tanks, because they simply weren’t worth it. This led to a number of rule changes. They got cheaper, then even more so (aided by a second resource, fuel). Their tactical value improved dramatically by letting them fire their MG separately from their gun. They got stronger against infantry, which was important.
However, they were – aside from their models – much more alike than I liked and didn’t really feel “tanky”, an issue I often had with the vanilla game as well. Therefore the movement and directional armor rules were introduced. While complicating the game a bit, they totally changed the feeling and value of tanks, and we have since become very fond of it. The same is true for AT guns, by the way, which are clearly designed to be already in position at the start of the game in the vanilla rules and required drastic rewriting to make them actually useful.
Many other changes are designed to promote a certain playstyle, and if you don’t like them, you can surely eliminate them. This applies to things like Suppressive Fire being only available to MG, or the mortar firing twice in the same round. These changes are designed for making the unit’s characteristics more distinct, and to make the game more dynamic.
The Doctrines, on the other hand, are more of a condensation than an expansion of rules. Working with the strategy decks from the vanilla game became cumbersome due to the physical cards on the one hand and the randomness of their arrival on the other. Double cards and useless stuff also made things murky and required extensive house rules. The Doctrines, on the other hand, fit on a small sheet and give very distinct advantages over other players – including the use of special units, which further enhances their characteristics and uniqueness.
My sincere hope is that you enjoy this mod, which in my eyes makes Tide of Iron a significantly more interesting game than being depended on scenarios that, most of the time, aren’t really that interesting to play with. If you have any suggestions or critique, write me an email (
Unit statistics and models
- Several units are normally stronger than their counterpart on the other side, e.g. the German machine gun. Since the game should be as balanced as possible, machine guns and AT guns always use the American stats. There are no MG-42, AT36 or ZiS-3 guns. Bren Carriers use the same stats as Halftracks, etc. Please refer to the stats provided with this rules booklet and don’t refer to the original values.
- The Soviet heavy tank IS-2 uses the Königstiger model with a Russian marker under it to differentiate it from its German counterpart. The German Panzer II uses the Russian T70 model with a German marker under it. Every side can only build two T-70/Panzer II. The Brummbär is represented by the sIG133-models from the Stalingrad-Kickstarter campaign or by Soviet KV-1 models with German markers. KV-2 uses the KV-1 model; SU-85 uses the SU-122 model. The Katjuscha/Panzerwerfer 42 use the model of a standard truck/halftrack of any allied faction not used. Mortar Half Tracks are displayed by a Halftrack with a mortar figure put on top.
- The expansions necessarily vary the number of troops at your disposal. Make sure before starting the game that every side has the same amount of infantry figures available (if you possess both Fury of the Bear and Stalingrad, you will have more Russian soldiers than German ones, and likewise with British for Normandy and Days of the Fox). If you possess enough British or Russian troops, you may for reasons of style use them instead of Americans or mix them up, but you may never exceed the unit limits above. British, Russian and American tanks are mixed regardless of the actual unit color for the squads; the Allies act in unity here and purchase their stuff among each other.
Frequently Asked Questions
- A rule’s wording is ambiguous, and one interpretation is gamebreaking.
When in doubt, always use the option that makes the most sense or produces the most fun.
- What happened to the Command Phase?
It was just another term that terribly confused everything and wasn’t needed anymore since we lost the strategy decks.
- Can I purchase Tanks in the same round as I purchase the corresponding vehicle level?
No, since Vehicle levels are purchased at the end of the Purchase-Units-step.
- How long can I keep infantry figures without a base in my reserves after I purchased them?
For as long as you like.
- Can I switch figures between Squads in Status Phase when they are on the same space of the Reinforcement Mat?
- I don’t get how I transfer troops now during the game.
Suppose you move your Squad one hex to another Squad you want to transfer someone to (1MP). You then transfer one Elite Infantry (1MP) and move another hex (1MP). You moved two hexes and used up a total of 3MP.
- Can I swap figures between two full squads in the same hex in my Action Turn?
Yes, but you need to pay 2MP per figure that way.
- Can I move a Squad with an Officer into a hex with another Squad, use the additional MP from the Officer to transfer him into the other Squad and gain his movement bonus again with that Squad?
- When I have an Elite Infantry figure in a squad with a MG, the MG can use the effect of Aiming, right?
Yes, even if the Elite Infantry itself didn’t shoot.
- Can AT enter the game already attached to a Truck?
Yes. Either you buy them together with a Truck (or Halftrack) or you have one in the Reinforcement Hex.
- Do I get it right that I can basically do move my units around and reorganize them on the Reinforcement Hex without movement cost or penalties?
- Can I mix and match Elite Infantry and Officers? Like buying two Elite Infantry and one Officer?
- Can I put two MG or two Mortars on the same base?
- Do I understand this right – a Sniper has only one figure and is dead after one hit?
Yes, and you can’t ever reinforce his squad base. But he has eight range and still attacks with three dice, one which he can modify, plus he automatically camouflages and can be exchanged for an Elite Infantry when he kills a Squad, gaining Determination (1) and Aiming (1). Be sure to keep him well out of harm’s way.
- How does the NCO work, exactly?
After your Action, additionally to your Fatigued marker, the squad gains an op-fire token.
- How does Logistics work?
If a Truck is empty, you can move it during one of your Action Turns without it counting against your actions (neither the limit set by your Unit Points nor your limit for the current Action Turn).
- How does attacking Vehicles with infantry work now? I’m totally confused.
Infantry can’t damage or destroy tanks. However, infantry (not MG, though) can incapacitate a tank, rendering it unmovable. If your infantry has an AT specialization, it can damage or destroy tanks. Infantry can generally damage or destroy other vehicles, such as trucks and halftracks.
- Why would I want to immobilize a Tank? It can still fire with its full firepower!
Yes, but it can’t turn its better armored front toward you, may be immobilized in really inconvenient spots, be picked out by AT Guns and of course if the Tank doesn’t have a Turret it’s basically screwed.
- Why would I ever let my Tank halt and not keep Driving?
Besides that Driving Tanks only attack with half their firepower, heavy Tanks don’t get to turn dice which means they don’t profit at all from driving (being cumbersome as they are).
- The simultaneous fire of several Tanks is like an Assault for tanks, right?
Yes, but without the moving into the target hex and retreat of the target unit.
- Do Tanks supporting the fire of other Tanks need to be Standing?
Yes, because you can never half firepower twice.
- Ok, nice. So what happens when I drive one Tank in the rear of an enemy Tank and Combine Fire with another Tank in front of it?
This will make it necessary to make some room on the table for your dice. So, first, the Tank in the back fires its dice. The enemy tank receives -1 armor and -2 deflection. Then you roll the dice from the Tank in the front of it, cancel two of the resulting hits and throw one additional armor die. If any hits remain, add them to the hits from the Tank attacking the rear, and voilà, you got it. In case your Tank in the rear sucked at its job and your target has armor dice remaining, you apply them to your
frontal attack, of course.
- The whole business of transporting AT Guns with Trucks or Halftracks is terribly confusing.
Yes. In the Reinforcement Hex, you can attach the AT Gun to any Truck of Halftrack without MP cost, outside the vehicle must spend 1MP. There are two essential differences in what you can do: you can get the damn thing wherever you want Fatigued, or not. If you don’t want to exhaust the AT Gun, you need to disconnect it in its own activation, which means that the vehicle transporting it has to stand. If you don’t want the vehicle in the same space as the AT Gun, you may simply decouple the gun “on the drive” for no cost, but this exhausts the gun (imagine the crew assembling the parts that were just thrown out of the Truck or something).
- Does this mean that I can pick up an AT Gun for one MP, drive it somewhere, activate it and fire?
Absolutely. You’ll attack with half firepower due to the movement, though.
- So, if a retreating Squad is back home, when can I fill it up with figures from my reserves?
In the Purchase Unit step of the Status Phase.
- Can a concealed squad sprint?
- When Doctrine abilities state that you need LOS, must the LOS be provided by an unfatigued unit?
Yes, like with the Ballistic Fire ability of mortars. Remember that Recon provides LOS even when Fatigued, though.
- Do the Infantry Doctrine’s Hand Grenades work for Assaults and Tanks, too?
- Can the Assault Doctrine’s Incendiary Ammo also be used by a Tank’s MG?
- What happens when I conceal an AT Gun with the Mechanized Doctrine’s Pak Ambush and it’s not in cover providing terrain?
It will stay concealed until you attack with it, move it without spending +1MP per hex or an enemy unit is adjacent.
- Does the Assault Support Doctrine’s Mortar Halftrack fire twice, like a regular Mortar?
No, but it can perform Fire-and-Movement Actions.
Skirmish Maps / Scenarios