Author Topic: Heroes of Normandie  (Read 6325 times)

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Offline Arctic Blast

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Heroes of Normandie
« on: July 26, 2014, 11:06:15 AM »
Here it is, my promised post...about a week after it was promised. Yay?  :buck2:

Heroes of Normandie is a fairly easy tactical WW2 board game that was designed to be an encapsulation of what you'd expect to find in a WW2 movie. It's also pretty much a tactical minis game, only the minis and the need for collecting and painting the things is replaced with tiles that are ready to go.



Every single bit of info you need is on the tiles. Bottom left is movement speed. Bottom right means that if this unit is hit, it flips. If that symbol were a skull on a red background, it would die upon being hit. The icons down the right side indicate that this unit can engage in melee (and get a bonus) and lay down suppressive fire. There are quite a few other special unit icons as well. Along the bottom are the combat modifiers. The big 5 is the unit's defense value, and the orange shield it's on indicates that this is an infantry unit. The +2 to the left on the orange means it gets a +2 to the die roll against infantry. The +1 on the...I dunno...is that maroon?...indicates +1 against light vehicles. The X on the gray means it cannot attack heavy vehicles without special weapons. Heavy vehicles also have different armor ratings on different facings, and vehicles often have multiple weapons systems as well. Here are a few more :



For the tank tile, the numbers for the main gun are in the bottom left, and for the machine gun are in the bottom right. The MG42 team has to set the gun up on the tripod before it can even fire. The question mark on the back of the Bazooka team means that it can be concealed (not every unit can do this). I won't go into everything else, but this gives a pretty good idea of unit variety and skill variety.

The same 'everything is on the tiles' is also true of the boards and the overlay tile pieces. Cover bonuses, movement modifiers, concealment icons, and indications that something blocks or limits line of sight are all indicated on the board and terrain. Buildings and wrecked vehicles also have damage numbers which, when exceeded, remove the main structure from the board (in the case of buildings, this can create rubble). Again, look at the back side of that tank tile. It blocks line of sight completely (the red triangle with an x. If there was a number there instead of an x, it would reduce fire attempts against a unit on or behind that tile by the number indicated.) and can be destroyed with 3 points worth of explosive damage.

Combat is simple. Roll a die, add the modifier you get for attacking whatever type of unit you're attacking, and check it against the target's defense number + die roll. Done. If suppression is the result, put one or more suppression tokens on the target, each giving a -2 modifier to basically everything that unit does. Move on.

At the start of the game, you'll begin with a certain platoon tile or two (if playing scenarios) or a number of points for unit buys (if 'rolling your own' scenario). The platoon tiles are basically punch-board frameworks that give a certain number of starting units (indicated on the center), with slots to add additional gear. Platoon tiles have a cost, and so do the smaller add-on pieces you can add to them. These can add grenades, Panzerfausts and other support weapons, they can add officers, they can add Hero or other individual squad units (like the one pictured above), and they can add vehicles. You always start with at least one Platoon tile and then move forward from there.



Once the army is bought, the individual units in the platoons are placed on the board. Support tokens for things like grenades are added to units within the platoon that they were purchased for. If all of the units in a platoon are killed, the frame is handed to the opponent and flipped, and the point total indicated on the other side are scored by him.

Once you're in the game, you need to issue orders. See that star symbol in the upper left of each of those platoon tiles? That's one order. Officers always add more (check out the Oberleutnant, just below the tank in that tile sample picture). Other units and bonuses can also give you additional orders. The total number of stars in your force equals the total number of order tiles that you can place each turn. You choose which units the order tiles go to by placing one on each selected unit upside down, so that your opponent can't see them. Each order tile is numbered, and orders are given to units in numerical order. There are also optional Bluff tiles which can be mixed in, and certain bonuses purchased for platoons give extra order tiles as well. No more than 10 numbered order tiles can be had by a given side. As you lose officers and platoons and the like, you'll lose order tiles as well. Each star that goes out takes a tile out of your selection as well. So command units being removed is reflected in the game. Each ordered unit can either move/assault (if its capable of an assault action) or fire.

There are also cards. Prior to the game starting you'll build a deck of cards. You start with 72 per faction (each gets their own deck. They're quite similar, with some distinction for specific unit types and things like the Americans getting air support cards that the Germans don't have access to) and need at least 40. Scenarios give you specific cards to pull from the decks, but custom deckbuilding is also an option. These cards can usually be played in a specific phase indicated on the card for bonuses, to cancel something out, or to alter modifiers for you or the opponent. It's a bit of a pain in setup to dig out specific cards, but it adds a nice element. You start each turn with 4 in your hand, drawn from the shuffled deck that either you or the scenario has built for you.

Once you're done with order tiles, you enter the Support phase. Every unit which didn't have an order tile assigned to it is allowed a free move (but cannot assault or fire), and you refresh your hand of cards. One Suppression token is removed from each unit which has at least one assigned to it, and a few other cleanup actions take place. Move on the next turn.

It's a fun game which manages to contain most of the nuts and bolts of a good tactical game into a game that makes it all flow very easily. I've read a number of complaints about the rulebook, but I found it to be fine. It's ordered a bit strangely, but I didn't have any real issues picking up how the bulk of the game works. There are a number of special ability icons and the like to learn, but the back page of the rulebook has them all outlined clearly which page numbers for details on how they work. Scenarios also often contain the sort of story events which can pop up in Lock n' Load games, so I liked seeing those added here. The game right now contains the U.S. and German armies and a book of ten or so scenarios, after which you can build and play custom games. There is a metric crap-ton of other material on the way. Commonwealth forces, all sorts of additional unit sheets, scenario boxes with new units and terrain, terrain board expansions, more vehicles, specialized units...a ton of stuff. I sense a lot of money is going to be vanishing from my bank account.

The rules and a print n' play demo are available from the developer site : http://www.devil-pig-games.com/en/downloads/

Oh, and some of the hero units are...interesting.



Oddball is in the base game box.  :)




Offline TacticalWargames

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Re: Heroes of Normandie
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2014, 01:11:18 PM »
Saw an expansion advertised today funny enough.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1538673930/shadows-over-normandie

Looking forward to the PC version.

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Heroes of Normandie
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2014, 01:54:18 PM »
^^^^^^^^
WE HAD THAT FEATURED IN GARPA TWO WEEKS AGO!!
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Offline Arctic Blast

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Re: Heroes of Normandie
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2014, 04:26:22 PM »
I came very close to throwing down at a lower pledge level and just adding all of the HoN stuff...but exchange rates and shipping made that a no go. I'm pretty confident that buying the scenario packs as they release will end up being cheaper.


Offline Arctic Blast

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Re: Heroes of Normandie
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2014, 08:24:58 PM »
Just a quick update : this game is awesome.  ;D

Since I've had a few previous examples where early thoughts on a game quickly changed (looking at YOU, Galaxy Defenders...), I figured I'd mention that I still really like this one. I like it enough that I've purchased the US, German and Commonwealth army boxes, plus every unit add-on that has been released at retail. With all of that stuff coming in, I've had a chance to play skirmish in both 2 player and 4 player games, and it works very well that way. Pick a point total and custom build your forces out. You don't NEED the extra stuff, but more options are better...right?  8)

Offline Nefaro

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Re: Heroes of Normandie
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2014, 09:49:18 AM »
Just a quick update : this game is awesome.  ;D

Since I've had a few previous examples where early thoughts on a game quickly changed (looking at YOU, Galaxy Defenders...), I figured I'd mention that I still really like this one. I like it enough that I've purchased the US, German and Commonwealth army boxes, plus every unit add-on that has been released at retail. With all of that stuff coming in, I've had a chance to play skirmish in both 2 player and 4 player games, and it works very well that way. Pick a point total and custom build your forces out. You don't NEED the extra stuff, but more options are better...right?  8)


I've been curious about this game but know nothing of it's mechanics.  Now I must investigate further.