Sunday 22 February 2015

Heroes of Normandie

A boring day so decided to play around with my new boardgame, 'Heroes of Normandie' from Devil Pig Games. The spelling is correct as it's of French origin. The game is squad level WW2 based, with the inclusion of 'cinematic characters' (the titular heroes), which originally put me off the game when it was on Kickstarter.

Purchased while up in Keswick, it was the weight of the box that attracted me, as it nearly strained my arm when I tried to single handedly take it from the top shelf! This compared favourably to a number of more expensive big box games in the same section of the shop, which were a lot lighter and rattled quite a bit!

The box was chocked full of content, 6 double-sided terrain boards, Die cut counters galore (full colour and double sided), a rules book, scenario book, wooden activation markers and dice. Extremely impressive and a long way from the 'Ye Olde' Squad Leader' days.

The hero caricatures should be familiar to any one who has seen a 60's or 70's war movie, at least three of them being based on 'Kelly's Heroes', the not particularly serious military bank-heist film..

As a play-test I tried a solitaire run through of the first scenario which only required a couple of terrain boards and a handful of units. By the end of the game, I had developed a good handle on how the game flows. I did make a number of mistakes but they were balanced out between the sides.

First couple of rounds were jockeying for position as the random location of the prize information is not yet determined.

Each unit takes an early casualty, with the Americans fortunate not to take another casualty, having just the right card to mitigate it, The suppression could have been trouble, but we were at the tail end of the turn and both sides get to remove a single suppression for free between turns.

The Germans hit paydirt as the secret info drops right next to them. The American assault repeatedly failed against the Germans. Both sides now receive a light vehicle each, which is going to be of more use to the side with the prize.

The final killer combo of cards saw the German APC rush off the board, interestingly I couldn't find any rules for reversing vehicles, so double moved it off.

Once past the initial teething troubles I started to enjoy this game. Without the cards then I feel it would be a bit formulaic, but probably a good game in it own right. Combat is simple and quick to resolve, and abilities are well marked on the counters and in the rules.. I'm already looking to purchase the D-Day expansion, which is currently cheap on Amazon.

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