One of the best things about going to GenCon this year was the opportunity to meet new people at the gaming table. On Thursday night at the Fantasy Flight Games industry demo event, I got to meet Chris Mitchell and Cliff Roach of Villainous Lair Comics and Gaming (www.villainouslair.com) in San Diego (pictured above, with Cliff on the left). They joined me to give Tide of Iron: Stalingrad a workout.

We set up the first scenario, “Iron Horsemen.” The scenario is relatively small, with only four mapboards and ten squads per side. It’s specifically designed to introduce players to the unique aspects of city fighting, TOI style. The objective of the scenario is to control two out of three command objectives. It sounds easy, until you notice that the third objective is a building smack dab in the middle of no-man’s land.

Play developed with both sides securing the objectives closest to their start positions, but Cliff’s Soviets won the race to the middle objective. Chris moved his Germans cautiously through the buildings south of the objective and opened up with a pair of strong combined fire attacks. Unfortunately, the dice refused to cooperate. As shown below, the results of the fire were less than gratifying. (Legal note: 1A Games does not accept any liability for game results achieved through the use of official TOI dice. Roll at your own risk!)

First shot - Stalingrad demo at GenConSecond shot - Stalingrad demo at GenCon

However, Chris did not let a couple of bad rolls stop him. He kept pouring on fire as the casualties racked up for both sides. Ultimately, it came down to a final desperate German assault on game round five, in which the Soviets managed to barely hang on for the win. Nevertheless, Chris walked away with honor, declining the opportunity to blame the dice as a lesser player (such as myself) would have.

However, Chris did not let a couple of bad rolls stop him. He kept pouring on fire as the casualties racked up for both sides. Ultimately, it came down to a final desperate German assault on game round five, in which the Soviets managed to barely hang on for the win. Nevertheless, Chris walked away with honor, declining the opportunity to blame the dice as a lesser player (such as myself) would have.