Sunday, 23 November 2014
Heroes of Normandie
Last month I picked up a copy of Heroes of Normandie, the board game from Devil Pig games. I'd spotted this at SELWG and foolishly left it on the shelf while I wandered round...when I came back it had gone but I then found a slightly cheaper copy via Ebay from a supplier who coincidentally are based just a few miles from home [ Eurotrash Games ] and was able to pop by and pick it up a few days later.
I haven't had a chance to play it yet but thought I'd share a bit about the game. The (very heavy) box comes with 6 double sided map boards and a host of counters for a platoon level WW2 game. The components are very nicely illustrated and the style is quite 'cartoony'. Given that the fact that the game includes a character called Oddball and a scenario entitled Saving Private Rex [the General's missing dog!], it's clear that this isn't a game that takes itself too seriously.
Counters depict infantry sections or vehicles with reduced sections or a destroyed version of the tank or vehicle on the reverse. Similarly the building counters have a ruined version on the reverse.
The squads are either pre-designed to fit in with the scenarios that come with the book or can be built using a points system. Players can buy additional equipment or troops or special abilities depending on whether officers are present. During the game each player also has a hand of 4 cards which give extra orders or bonus actions and can be played to enhance their turn. The game comes with German and US squads but there are a host of additional sets available here or via assorted online retailers.
During a turn each player has a number of orders that can be given depending on the make up of his troops and places a counter face down on each ordered counter as well as a 'dummy' counter to confuse the opposition... I find this usually confuses me just as much as I forget who I've given orders to!
The designers have tried hard to make as much info available on the counters themselves, reducing the need for other markers and playsheets.... in theory everything you need to know is shown on the counter. It does make the counter very 'busy' though and a bit confusing. I'm hoping this will become clearer with play.
The game looks fun and seems like an ideal game for an evening when the thought of setting up lots of terrain is a bit too much...a bit like Memoir 44. The map boards already come with a lot of the terrain pre-printed on them (trees, hedges etc) with only houses and bunkers etc to place meaning that set up should be pretty quick. I'd guess squad building could be a bit more time consuming but the scenarios look like a good way to get to grips with the mechanics before delving into this aspect.
Once I get a chance to actually play it I'll post some feed back on how good it actually is!