As many of you already know, the Tide of Iron: Next Wave Core Set is at the printer, and should be available at Gen Con. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be highlighting some of the new features and components that are included in the TOI:NW Core Set. Today our Product Manager, Bill S. Jaffe, will be walking us through the changes and additions to the components that you’ll find in the box.

As we started working on the TOI:NW Core Set, we decided to take a look at changing the plastic and the punch board counter mix. We wanted to update the components to provide a better value to our players and still support all the scenarios ever printed by FFG and 1A Games. I’m going to present the changes we’ve made and discuss why we made them. 

First I’ll go over the plastic components in the game. The first decision I made was to keep the number of plastic pieces the same for both sets. The only thing that changed was the mix of each individual piece within the set.I went through all the published FFG and 1A scenarios and broke down which figures were used in each scenario.

I was surprised to find that in many cases the totals never matched the total number of figures included in the box. Then I realized some of the extra figures were for the squads granted by reinforcement decks. However, I noticed that most scenarios used only about 60% to 75% of the available plastic so even those decks were covered. That meant that we had some leeway to add some extra value and excitement to the TOI:NW Core Set.

Comparison of German Figures in TOI Core Sets

Original TOI Base Set

 

TOI:NW Core Set

54 German Regular Infantry
12 German Elite Infantry
6 German Officers
6 German Mortar Crews
6 German Machine Gun Crews
6 Panzer IV Tanks
6 Tiger I Tanks
6 SdKfz 251 Half-Tracks
6 Opel Blitz Transport Trucks

 

48 German Regular Infantry
18 German Elite Infantry
6 German Officers
4 German Mortar Crews
6 German Machine Gun Crews
8 Panzer IV Tanks
4 Tiger I Tanks
4 StuG III Assault Guns
6 SdKfz 251 Half-Tracks
4 Opel Blitz Transport Trucks
10 Light Grey German Bases
10 Dark Grey German Bases

12 Light Grey German Bases
12 Dark Green American Bases

 

12 Light Grey German Bases
12 Dark Green American Bases

So let’s start with the German infantry. The major change was in reducing the number of German regular infantry figures by six and adding those six to the number of elite infantry figures was an easy first step. The Wehrmacht, even under the worst pressure, still managed to field many more elite formations and experienced fighters. The decision to reduce the number of mortar crews was based on the fact that they have not been used in large numbers in the current scenario mix. That left room for more vehicles.

I also reduced the number of Opel Blitz trucks by two. The primary reason is that during 1944 and 1945, the Germans rarely had enough trucks to transport their men unless the unit involved was an elite formation, such as panzer divisions. They also suffered from chronic fuel shortages so what little fuel was available was reserved for the panzers.

Finally, I looked at the mix of panzers in the box and decided to reduce the number of Tiger I tanks by two. That let me add two Panzer IV tanks to the mix. The Panzer IV was Germany’s most common tank and was more frequently encountered by Allied troops. The Tiger was rarer and the existing TOI scenarios rarely call for more than one or two Tigers because they are very hard to kill and can destroy almost any vehicle they face with one or two shots.

The StuG III assault guns were an easy choice since they were the backbone of most of the tank destroyer units that were attached to German infantry divisions. The StuG III was typically deployed in batteries of two, so I chose to add four to the Core Set since two batteries were a common deployment.

Comparison of American Figures in TOI Core Sets

Original TOI Base Set

 

TOI:NW Core Set

54 American Regular Infantry
12 American Elite Infantry
6 American Officers
6 American Mortar Crews
6 American Machine Gun Crews
12 M4A1 Sherman Tanks
6 M3A1 Half-Tracks
6 GMC CCKW 353 Transport Trucks

 

58 American Regular Infantry
14 American Elite Infantry
6 American Officers
4 American Mortar Crews
4 American Machine Gun Crews
10 M4A1 Sherman Tanks
4 M-10 Tank Destroyers
4 M3A1 Half-Tracks
4 GMC CCKW 353 Transport Trucks

12 Light Green American Bases
12 Dark Green American Bases

 

10 Light Green American Bases
10 Dark Green American Bases

For the Americans, the reductions were primarily due to the quantities needed for the scenarios. Yes, the Americans had tons of equipment to spare but individual units often lacked vehicles due to losses, maintenance, or they were just needed elsewhere. Adding four more regular infantry figures and two elite infantry figures allows for the manpower advantage the Americans usually had in most battlefield situations.

Reducing the total number of Sherman tanks made room for the M-10 tank destroyers that I wanted to add. Since American tank platoons consisted of five tanks, with ten Shermans you have two full-strength platoons or a reduced company. The four M-10 tank destroyers allow you to field the standard American deployment of two batteries of two TDs each, operating with tank or infantry platoons.

The reduction in the number of bases was a logical next step, since it both matches the new force mix in the TOI:NW Core Set while still supporting existing scenarios.

Ultimately, I think we succeeded in our objective of both providing a decent mix of forces while still delivering an affordable entry point to the TOI system for new players. Because I love to design my own scenarios, I wanted to give TOI players more tools for designing their own, and I think the TOI:NW Core Set is a great place for new scenario designers to start. 

TOI-NW German Tank Preview

German Tanks


U.S. Tanks

U.S. Tanks