By Craig C. Robertson, Chief Game Developer, 1A Games

When you visit our booth at GenCon this year, not only will you get a chance to preorder the new Stalingrad campaign expansion, but you can also get a copy of the first two Tide of Iron limited edition promo cards: Supply Depot and Patched Up.

The first and most obvious purpose of promo cards is to get more players interested in Tide of Iron, but that is not the only reason we chose to design them. For us, promo cards are also a way of thanking all those TOI fans who have been waiting patiently for Stalingrad and the other new releases we are planning. We wanted to give players tools to add some variety and additional challenges to their games. We will also be using promo cards to highlight new mechanics from each new expansion.

When we designed the cards (yes, there are more than one, with more planned), we wanted to add some spice to existing scenarios without twisting the game beyond recognition. Thus, each promo card is an Operations card that adds a small advantage or additional goal for both sides. For instance, the Supply Depot promo card gives each player two command before the game even starts. This means that you can use Strategy cards during the first Action Phase of the game. Sure, it’s a small change, but it can have a serious affect on the game.

Photo of Supply Depot Operations card for Tide of Iron Next Wave

Supply Depot Operations card for Tide of Iron Next Wave

Likewise, the Stalingrad-specific promo card, Patched Up, gives each player a chance to acquire a new squad of infantry with the Unarmed restriction token. Restrictions are a new mechanic in the Stalingrad expansion that places a limitation on squads until the owner takes action to remove it. In the case of the Unarmed restriction, the squad won’t be able to perform any kind of fire action until it’s able to take the weapons from an empty squad base.

Photo of Patched Up Operations card for Tide of Iron Next Wave

Patch Up Operations card for Tide of Iron Next Wave

How Do You Get These Special Promo Cards?

If you pay for your pre-order copy of Stalingrad at GenCon, you will get the promo card Patched Up. You will also get free shipping for Stalingrad (just as if you got the game at GenCon) when the games arrive at our warehouse in September. If you buy any other TOI product we sell at GenCon, you will also get the Supply Depot card at the convention.

What If You Won’t Be At GenCon?

The Stalingrad promo card will be provided to your local game store. Just ask them to order Stalingrad for you when it is ready to ship in September and we will provide the Patched Up card for the store to give you with your copy of Stalingrad. The Supply Depot card will be provided as a special promotional item from time to time. We will have announcements and updates in the 1A Games email newsletter that will start going out in August. 

A Question of Balance

Although the cards are internally balanced (i.e., they give each side an identical benefit), that doesn’t guarantee they won’t unbalance certain scenarios. For instance, receiving two command for use during the first Action Phase of a scenario may be far more useful for one side than another. Also, certain cards like Patched Up will increase the complexity of a scenario by adding new rules. However, we have no doubt that TOI players are creative and resourceful enough to overcome the challenge.

Below are the official rules for using promo Operations cards in your games. These rules will also be printed in the Next Wave rulebook. We hope you have a great time using them to spice up your games. 

Limited Edition Promotional Cards

Occasionally, 1A Games will publish limited edition promotional cards. These are special Operations cards that may be added to any scenario, provided that all players agree on their use beforehand.

Only one copy of each individual promo card may be used in a scenario, regardless of how many total Operations cards are used. The cards are played during the Claim Cards step of game setup at the same time that standard Operations cards are played. The effects of the cards apply equally to all players. All other rules concerning Operations cards also apply to promotional Operations cards.

Please keep in mind that the use of these cards can seriously affect, even totally disrupt, the play balance of certain scenarios. In addition, they may increase the complexity of a scenario, and therefore increase the length of time it takes to play the scenario. Thus, we recommend using only one or two promotional cards per scenario. Promotional Operations cards are intended for social play only, and are not legal for official tournament play.