28 October 2008 | Tide of Iron

Re: Force Details

From: Corey Konieczka, ToI Development Staff, FFG H.Q.

This week we’ll be talking about some of the many units found in Tide of Iron. Each game is crammed full of a variety of infantry, ranging from machine gunners to officers and elite infantry. In addition, each nation receives a wide range of vehicles, including transport trucks, half tracks, and of course tanks. Each of these units has a variety of abilities and inherent advantages for us to explore.Regular Infantry:Let’s first take a look at the standard American Infantry. Although they are the weakest unit in the game, the inherent advantage of regular infantry is that there are lots of them. Adding regular infantry to a squad is the best way to allow the squad to take additional casualties before being eliminated. Another good use of regular infantry is to draw enemy fire away from your more powerful squads. Using regular infantry as your front line will often save the lives of your elite and heavy weapons squads.Machine Guns:A glance at the Machine Gun crew’s stats will immediately make one thing apparent. Machine Gun crews have a special ability: Rapid Op Fire. In a nutshell, this allows them to sit in a defensible position while on Opportunity Fire and fire at every opposing squad that comes into range. This alone makes Machine Gun crews vital for holding back advancing soldiers.The major hamstring of Machine Gun crews is their Heavy Weapon trait. This trait prohibits them from moving and attacking in the same action and prevents them from being assigned a specialty token (Such as anti-tank or flamethrower).An interesting thing to note about MG crews is that they take up 2 slots in a squad base. There are many implications of this, including the fact that if the squad takes casualties, the entire machine gun crew can be removed as a single casualty. Put another way, a squad with two regular infantry and a machine gun crew would be completely eliminated by only three casualties, instead of the usual four for a squad of four regular infantry.Tanks:To demonstrate the vehicles in the game, let’s compare two of the tanks found in Tide of Iron. Compared to the Tiger I, the Sherman M4A1 is a tin can on wheels. While they both share many of the same traits and abilities, the Tiger is simply a bigger beast.The Sherman has 4 armor versus the Tiger’s 6 armor and its Thick Armor ability. The Tiger also has longer range and the highest firepower out of any unit in the game. So how is it fair that the American Sherman has to fight against the unstoppable Tiger I? The answer is it’s not fair, it is not supposed to be fair and head to head, the Tiger will win any day.The Sherman does have a few small advantages though. First off, the Sherman is faster than the Tiger and can outrun and outmaneuver it. Second off, in most scenarios the Americans get about 2 Sherman Tanks for every Tiger the Germans get. Combining fire with their tanks is the American’s best hope for taking down a Tiger I. (Note that this isn't an advantage that is inherent to the Sherman - the scenario designers simply do not consider a Sherman and a Tiger to be identical, as indeed they are not.)You now have a brief taste of some of the many units found in Tide of Iron. As you can see each unit has inherent advantages and disadvantages to be exploited. By using diverse units and abilities, players will soon be creating and taking advantage of the many of the synergies found in Tide of Iron.

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