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Next Wave - Kickstarter Bonus Booklet

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Advanced / Optional Rules Introduction

Tide of Iron has some of the most committed fans in the wargaming industry. When we launched the TOI Next Wave Core Set on Kickstarter last year, it was gratifying to see the wave of enthusiasm and support that we received from the fans. It has been a pleasure getting to know you and seeing your contributions to the game. It has always been our motto and goal to “listen to our fans”.
The booklet that you're holding is our effort to live up to that goal. TOI was designed to have a very simple set of core mechanics in order to make the game accessible to players of all ages and levels of World War II knowledge. That simplicity is one of our favorite things about the game. However, many of the fans wanted more; more detail, more tactical options, and more complex rules.
This booklet is broken into two pieces. The first is a set of advanced and optional rules that you can add to your games of TOI. Each one adds a certain amount of difficulty, and can also change the balance of some scenarios. We've tried to identify which side in a scenario might benefit most by each optional rule. Use at your own risk! Make sure that all players are happy with the rules that you choose to use before the game starts. It’s also important to note that these are not the only ways to address the complexity of World War II tactical combat. TOI fans have been creating content such as optional rules and scenarios for years now, almost since the moment the game was released. If you feel that your home gaming group has a better house rule for a situation, keep using it. In many ways, TOI belongs more to you fans than it belongs to us.
The second half of the booklet is a collection of eight new scenarios, ranging from Dunkirk, to the Eastern Front, to Anzio, and to the Battle of the Bulge. We hope that you enjoy them as much as we have. Finally, we have to give a huge amount of credit to our playtesters who have done so much to make TOI as good as it can be. Thank you all for your fantastic work.
Bill and Craig


FLAK 36 AT Gun

The dreaded “88” was not designed as an AT gun. Instead, it was a heavy anti-aircraft gun pressed into service for antitank operations. Its mount was not designed for rapid movement. As
such, a FLAK 36 unit may not take an Advance action unless it is entering or exiting a half-track.

Balance: Favors the nation which does not possess FLAK 36 AT guns.

British Tanks versus Infantry

The British 2-pdr AT gun was never supplied with HE rounds.
In addition, the Crusader Mk. II and Matilda Mk. II only possessed one machine gun for anti-infantry use. Reduce the infantry firepower of the Crusader Mk. II and the Matilda Mk. II by 2. In addition, remove the “Concussive Firepower” ability from both tanks. This rule is recommended for use with “Matilda Mk. II Heavy Armor” below.

Balance: Taken by itself, this rule hinders the British in scenarios which include enemy infantry.

Matilda Mk. II Heavy Armor

The Matilda II’s frontal armor of 78mm was over twice as thick as that of the Panzer III. Add the ability “Thick Armor” to the Matilda Mk. II.

Balance: Favors the British in scenarios with the Matilda. We suggest giving the FLAK 36 AT Gun the “Penetration” ability as described for the M10 Tank Destroyer.


During WWII, most trucks lacked radios, and drivers were not trained to call for artillery. Trucks cannot establish LOS for any purpose, and may only occupy friendly objective markers.
However, friendly units being transported in trucks may establish LOS as normal.

Balance: Favors the nation with the fewest trucks in the scenario.


Engineers tended to carry extra hand grenades and explosive charges into combat. Therefore, engineer squads receive +1 firepower, in addition to any other modifiers, when assaulting units in buildings or pillboxes.
In scenarios with the “Lay Smoke” Operations card, an engineer squad may place a smoke marker in any adjacent hex as well as its own hex.
In scenarios with the “Lay Mines” Operations card, engineer squads may place minefield markers in building hexes, representing explosive booby traps. In a scenario which uses multi-level buildings, each minefield marker must be placed on a single level. Minefield markers may be placed in multiple levels of the same hex. Remove the minefield marker after resolving its attack.

Balance: Favors the nation with the most engineers in the scenario.

Mortar Crews

In addition to their primary weapon, mortar crews typically carried small arms for self-defense. When defending against an assault, each mortar crew may contribute 1 firepower to the defender’s attack strength.

Balance: Slightly favors the nation with the most mortars in a scenario.

Mortars Firing Smoke

Mortar crews were also supplied with a quantity of smoke rounds. In order to fire a smoke mission, a mortar crew must be activated with a Concentrated Fire action. After choosing a target hex, but before rolling any dice, the active player must announce that the mortars are firing smoke rounds. He may use combined fire as long as all of the participating figures are mortar crews. The active mortar crew uses its suppressive firepower, while any supporting mortar crews use half of their suppressive firepower.
The active player then rolls the dice for the smoke mission: die results of “5” and “6” hit at normal range, while rolls of “6” hit at long range. Smoke rounds have no effect against units in the target hex; but if at least two hits are scored, place a smoke token in the target hex. If no hits are scored, the smoke attack was ineffective and no smoke marker is placed. If only one hit is scored, roll a red and a black die to determine drift. The black die determines how many hexes the smoke drifts (“1”or “2” = 1 hex; “3” or “4” = 2 hexes; “5” or “6” = 3 hexes) and the red die (together with the north directional marker) determines the direction in which it drifts. All other rules regarding mortars (Limited Choice of Actions, Ballistic Fire, Minimum Distance, No Opportunity Fire, and No Mixed Fire) still apply.

Note: Smoke created from mortar-fired smoke missions lasts as long as smoke created by any other means. That means that the smoke is removed during the Status Phase of the next game round.

Vehicles transporting at guns

  1. Loading an AT Gun onto a Transport: The British player takes an Advance action to load the squad and the AT gun onto the Bren carrier. This costs the entire movement allowance of the squad and may trigger OP Fire from enemy units. The British player places the AT gun and the squad next to the 2 off-board indicator and places the 2 transport marker next to the Bren carrier. The squad and AT gun are both then fatigued. Next, the British player takes an Advance action to move the Bren carrier, which is then fatigued.
  2. Infantry Exiting a Transport: During the next Action Phase, the British player activates the squad to exit the Bren carrier, spending 2 movement points. The squad may be targeted by OP Fire during this action. The British player retrieves the squad from the 2 off-board indicator and places it in the Bren carrier’s hex. The squad then pays its 2 remaining movement points to enter the dunes hex. The AT gun remains next to the 2 off-board indicator because it is still on the vehicle.
  3. AT Gun Exiting a Transport: Later, the British player takes an Advance action to move the Bren carrier into a hex that contains a fresh British squad. The British player then activates the squad and the AT gun with another Advance action to unload the AT gun from the Bren carrier. The British player removes the 2 transport token from the Bren carrier and retrieves the AT gun from the 2 off-board indicator and places it in the Bren carrier’s hex. This costs the entire movement allowance of the squad and may trigger OP Fire from enemy units. The squad and AT gun are both then fatigued.

Mortars firing into Woods

During WWII, soldiers found that an artillery barrage could be even deadlier in the woods, as a tree hit by high explosive rounds would burst into a spray of deadly wooden splinters. The cover normally provided by woods terrain is reduced to 0 when a woods hex is the target of a normal or suppressive attack from a mortar crew or Artillery Strategy card, and any entrenchments and trenches in the hex provide one less cover die.

Optional Vehicular Transport Rules

Note: The following section contains optional rules which can be used to supplement the equipment movement procedure outlined above.

An equipment unit may be given an Advance action to load into a vehicle with the transport trait. The transporting vehicle, equipment unit, and a fresh friendly squad must begin the action turn in the same hex. The squad must expend all of its movement points in order to load the equipment unit onto the vehicle and may enter the vehicle at the same time, but is not required to. Fatigue the squad and the equipment unit and place the unit(s) to be transported next to the corresponding off-board indicator token. Place the corresponding transport marker next to the transporting vehicle.
An equipment unit does not count against the vehicle’s transport capacity, but a vehicle cannot transport more than one equipment unit at a time. If the transporting vehicle is destroyed, both the squad and equipment unit are also destroyed. The squad which originally loaded the equipment unit is not required to remain with the equipment unit during transport and may exit the vehicle at any time according to the rules for transporting squads in vehicles. Both entering and exiting a transport may trigger OP Fire attacks.
The equipment unit may be given an Advance action to exit the vehicle. In order to unload an equipment unit, a fresh friendlysquad must be present in the hex. The friendly squad may be, but is not required to be a passenger in the transporting vehicle.
Place the unit(s) to be unloaded in the vehicle’s hex and fatigue them. If the vehicle is now empty, remove the transport marker from the vehicle. An equipment unit can never be unloaded into a hex that it could not otherwise enter, or be unloaded in such a way that it exceeds the stacking limits for the hex.

Unit Restrictions: The Flak 36 AT gun may only be towed by half-tracks. Bren Carriers may only tow the M1 57mm AT gun and QF 6-pounder AT gun.

Inherent Crews for Equipment Units

In order to greatly simplify the rules for equipment units, treat them as having inherent crews. Thus they may take Concentrated Fire, Advance, and Prepare OP Fire actions just like any other unit, regardless of the presence of other friendly units in the hex. They are still prohibited from taking Fire and Movement or Assault actions. In addition, when taking an Advance action, an equipment unit’s movement cannot be increased by any unit’s special abilities or card effects.
Equipment units may be attacked with suppressive fire as if it were an infantry squad. During an assault, equipment units only add 1 firepower to the defense strength of the hex. In addition, if the defender loses the assault, the equipment unit may not retreat from the hex. Instead, if a squad advancing into the hex removes one figure of any type, the active player may take control of the equipment unit and may use it normally as if it owned the equipment unit. If the active player chooses not to take control of the equipment unit, it is destroyed instead.

Balance: Slightly favors the side with the most equipment units in a scenario.


Pillboxes and Bunkers

Pillboxes and bunkers were often constructed with reinforced concrete. As such, a squad occupying a pillbox or bunker which is attacked by suppressive fire treats all morale results as “pinned” results and can never be disrupted or routed. However, if such a squad loses an assault while defending, it is still required to retreat according to the assault rules. In addition, pillboxes and bunkers are treated as vehicular targets for the purposes of normal fire. This means that units with the anti-tank specialization receive the increased range and firepower bonus when firing at pillboxes or bunkers, even when using suppressive fire.
Example: An American anti-tank squad with four elite infantry figures makes a suppressive attack against a German squad of regular infantry figures which occupies a bunker in clear terrain that is three hexes away. The American player rolls 11 attack dice, 8 for the elite infantry figures plus 3 for the anti-tank specialization. The attack is also counted as normal range, requiring a 5 or 6 to hit. The American player rolls 5 successes, and the German player rolls 2 successes, so 3 hits are applied to the German squad. Normally, that would result in the squad becoming disrupted, but due to the bunker, the squad merely becomes pinned. Also note that if the American squad did not have the anti-tank specialization, it would not have been able to fire at the pillbox at all.

Balance: Heavily favors the defending nation in any scenario featuring pillboxes or bunkers.

Optional Wadi Terrain Rules

Wadis, or dry stream beds, were a common feature on North African battlefields. The following optional rules can be used to simulate wadi terrain by using crevasse hexes to represent wadi terrain. Several overlays with special wadi terrain have also been provided for use by players who wish to design their own scenarios that feature both crevasse and wadi terrain. Unless a scenario specifically states otherwise, crevasse terrain is used by default. These rules may also be used to enhance the realism of the balka terrain rules from Fury of the Bear if both players agree on their use. Designer’s Note: The following rules are partly based on the multi-level buildings rules in the Stalingrad campaign expansion and will add some complexity to the game.


See terrain section: Wadi.

Wadi Bridge

See terrain section: Wadi Bridge.

Wadi Entrance

See terrain section: Wadi Entrance.

Wadi Terrain Effects on LOS

See terrain section: Wadi Terrain Effects on LOS (DoF).

Wadi movement Examples

See Wadi Terrain Effects on LOS (DoF).

Line of Sight

Modified Plateau Rule

If a firing unit on an elevation traces its LOS to a unit behind a hill or multi-hex building of equal elevation, regardless of range, that LOS is blocked unless the unit is on an equal level of the intervening hill or multi-hex building, then blind hexes are created as normal.

Balance: This rule should enhance realism without affecting play balance in most scenarios.

Line of Sight (Wadis and Bridges)

See Wadi Terrain Effects on LOS (DoF).

Night Rules

Visibility at night varied greatly but here is any easy system to simulate average conditions.
On the first game round of a night scenario, visibility is limited to 2 hexes. In addition, all units in cover- providing terrain are concealed until they attack or support an attack. Any unit that attacks or supports an attack immediately loses concealment. In addition, any vehicle or heavy infantry weapon which attacks or supports an attack becomes visible from all ranges for the rest of the Action Phase.

At the end of the Status Phase of each game round, roll one die to determine visibility for the next game round:

Die Result Change in Visibility
1 - 2 No change in visibility
3 - 5 Increases by one hex
6 Increases by two hexes

Artillery and mortar crews may fire Star Shells instead of making attacks. When using an Artillery Strategy card, pay the command cost, roll to establish contact, and determine drift normally. Once the final target hex is determined, place a smoke marker in the hex. That hex and the six adjacent hexes are completely visible and may be attacked using normal LOS rules. When using mortar crews to fire Star Shells, simply place the smoke marker in any hex within the mortar crew’s normal range and within LOS of a non-fatigued friendly unit according to the rules for Ballistic Fire.


Limited Combined Fire

In WWII, individual squads of most nations were rarely equipped with radios, requiring units to remain within shouting distance. Thus, when declaring a combined fire attack, only units in the active unit’s hex may provide support for the attack.
If an officer is in the active squad, then units in adjacent hexes may participate in the attack. Soviet vehicles are also limited in this manner, but British, German, and American vehicles (which were amply supplied with radios) are not limited by this rule.

Balance: Strongly favors the Germans in a scenario involving Soviet tanks, or the side with the most officers in a scenario.

Wrecked Vehicles

Instead of removing destroyed vehicles from the mapboard, turn them upside down and apply the following effects to the hex: Wrecked vehicles add 1 to the movement cost of the hex for each wreck and still count against stacking. If the hex contains a road, units may not use the Effective Road Movement ability. If there are two wrecks in a road hex, the road cannot be used by any unit.
A vehicle in an adjacent hex may spend 3 movement points to move a wreck to an adjacent hex, and may then move into the hex vacated by the wreck. Tanks and other heavy vehicles can move any wrecked vehicle, half-tracks can move wrecked half-tracks and trucks, and trucks may only move wrecked trucks.

Balance: May strongly favor the defender in dense terrain such as woods or buildings.

Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot (AP-DS)

In 1944 the British deployed this round for use against tanks.
It was designed in two parts: a high-density tungsten carbide penetrator and a low-density alloy framework that was designed to separate shortly after leaving the barrel. This allowed the penetrator to impact a tank’s armor at a much higher velocity than was previously possible.
British 6-pounder AT guns and the Sherman V Firefly were the first units equipped with this round beginning with D-Day. In addition, all of the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division’s AT guns used discarding sabot rounds. Finally, the Americans began using their own version of AP-DS just before Operation Cobra.
Use AP-C munitions specialization tokens to represent AP-DS rounds. The unit gains +3 firepower against vehicles at normal range and +1 firepower against vehicles at long range. AP-DS rounds cost 3 command instead of 1. Follow the procedures for munitions specializations as presented on pages 13-17 in the Tide of Iron: Next Wave “Tools of War” or page 10 of the Fury of the Bear “Rules of Play and Scenario Guide.”

Balance: Heavily favors the Allies in late 1944 and 1945.

Optional Facing Rules

The following rules will increase the realism of TOI armored combat, but will definitely increase the complexity of the game. They are purely optional, unless their use is specified by a scenario.
Each heavy vehicle in the game must be placed so that it is facing one of the six sides of its hex. A heavy vehicle has four sides, each with a different armor modifier, defined by its position in the hex.
In order to determine the side that is struck by incoming fire, simply trace a line between the center dot of the target hex and the firing hex. The hexside that the line crosses determines the modifier which must be applied to the defending vehicle’s armor when rolling defense dice. A vehicle’s armor value can never be reduced below 1. If the line falls directly on the hexspine between two different sides, the attacker decides which armor modifier to apply. When subjected to an attack from an Artillery or Air Support Strategy card, a heavy vehicle MUST use the rear facing modifier of -1 elevation or higher. If the firer is at least one level above the

Facing and Movement

A heavy vehicle may rotate its facing in any hex, by any amount during its movement, without spending any movement points. However, after rotating, it must enter the hex directly in front of it. After entering the new hex it may rotate again.
When entering a new hex, the owning player must allow enough time for his opponent to announce any OP Fire attacks.
This also applies to rotating between different hex sides.
The owning player must allow his opponent enough time to declare an OP Fire attack between each facing. However, even though the opposing player may choose when to fire at the moving vehicle, he may still only make one attack per hex of movement. If an OP Fire attack causes a vehicle to stop in a hex for any reason, it stops immediately, without rotating further.

Example: The Sherman tank is taking an Advance action. The Tiger tank may fire at the Sherman tank at any point on the road before it reaches the hill with a flank shot, which allows the Sherman to use its full armor value. However, if it waits for the Sherman to turn at the building, it may fire immediately at the Sherman's rear arc, causing the Sherman to lose 1 from its armor value. The American player must give the German player an opportunity to announce the shot before he rotates the tank. If the Tiger fires after the Sherman rotates, it would be firing at its flank arc instead.

Turretless Vehicles and Facing

Vehicles without a turret are at a marked disadvantage when engaged in a mobile tank battle. Therefore, a turretless heavy vehicle such as the StuG III and the Su-122 incurs a penalty to its firepower depending on its facing and the relative position of its target, as shown in the diagram below. In addition, in order for a turretless vehicle to fire at a target in its rear arc, it must be given a Fire and Movement action and move so that the target is in a viable firing arc. This means that a turretless vehicle may never perform at OP Fire attack at a target in its rear arc. If a target falls in a hex that lies within two different arcs, the turretless vehicle must use the least advantageous arc.
Example: The StuG III has a number of targets available and some difficult choices to make. It can fire at Tank D and 1 to its firepower for the shot. It can fire at Squad B and lose 1 FP.
In order to fire at either Squad A or Tank C, the StuG must take a Fire and Movement action in order to rotate its facing so that the target is in a proper arc. Tank C is in its rear arc because even though the hex is within two different arcs, the StuG must count it as being in the least advantageous arc, in this case, the rear arc. If the StuG rotates 120 degrees to the left, it may fire at Squad A with a total of 4 FP (6 FP, plus 1 FP for the firing arc, halved for the Fire and Movement action).


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We must be very careful not to assign this deliverance the attributes of a victory. Wars are not won by evacuations. (in a speed to Parliament on June 4th, 1940)
British Prime Minister Winston Churchill