Blogger of Normandie is an independent fan blog, and not directly related to, controlled by, or representing the views of Devil Pig Games, their staff, related companies, holdings, or individuals.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Sorry for the Delays

Updates are going to be slow coming. I’m taking much longer to recover from surgery than expected. Aaaannddd… One of computers went down, so some files will have to rebuilt from scratch. So, I think it will take about a month to catch up on everything.

Sorry HoN fans.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Captain America

I’m having surgery this week so I may not post much after today. So I wanted to get this posted, even though it’s not 100% done.

Enter Captain America… I mentioned that I was planning a few superhero add-ons for HoN, and this one was first. He’s probably overpowered for the point cost, but he was drawn up originally last year well before I had much play experience.

You can get the PDF here: HoN Captain America PDF

Captian America Rec Front

Art by Alex Santaló

Special Rules for Cap Ap’s Shield

Captain America is equipped with a shield that uses
a special “blast pattern.” Instead of firing the player may choose to have Captain America throw his Shield. After declaring that you are using the shield place the blast pattern on the center of the space occupied by the Captain America, and point it in the direction of your choice. All units covered even partially by the blast pattern are affected by the shield.

The shield’s blast pattern is blocked by obstacles that block Line of Sight. It is also blocked as soon as it passes through the center of a space occupied by a vehicle.

Any infantry unit under the blast pattern, automatically receives a Two Suppressed markers, no die roll is necessary. Vehicles cannot be affected.

In order to throw the Shield into a building, Captain America must be in one of the spaces adjacent to an opening indicated by the red bands, and pointed at by arrows. All units in the building are affected by the Shield.

That is all.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Heroes of Normandie the Review

Let’s start here, I’m a huge fan of Heroes of Normandie and may be somewhat biased, but That said I’m going to be as honest as possible.

Quick Score for those who don’t want to read.

Graphics and Art: 10

Rules and Mechanics: 10

Manual Clarity: 6

Game Play: 10

Setup time: 6

Overall: 10

And now the full Review:

First the good:

Starting with the art: Alex, Clem, and Yann, have done a great job creating a unique and pleasing to look at art style. From the caricature heroes to the hand drawn style token art, all of the art comes together to form a very unified style. That when you see it if says that’s “Heroes of Normandie.”

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Next up is one of the most important things for a game to have: good, easy to learn rules. The rules for HoN are fantastic, quick, and simple. Once you learn the somewhat arcane language of the symbols you can quickly determine anything from short-range line of sight, to combat strength. The only draw back of the system is there are symbols and icons everywhere, from the terrain to the unit, to equipment tokens. It can fee a bit busy at times.

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Second the Mixed:

The rule manual, wile the majority of rules are very easy to learn, some of the minutia can be a bit obscure. The manual is laid out in turn order which is good, although seems to throw some folks off. But if you know what phase of the game your in it pretty easy to find what you need. Also the improved version 1.1 rules clarify some of the murkier points. Download it here: http://www.devil-pig-games.com/en/downloads/

Another point of confusion and possible table arguments is Line of Sight at long-range. While the Devil Pig guys did there best to make things as clear as possible, there are still times when it can get quite confusing. This is really a problem at ranges greater then 7 which is likely why long-range shots get an automatic penalty (to discourage you from making them). The problem is at long-ranges a shot could appear to be crossing between to different squares. In that case players have to decide which square the shot passes through. If one would create a substantial advantage for either player, you can see where an argument could arise.

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Finally the Bad:

Setup time, this is a common complaint with large war games and it’s pretty much unavoidable if you want customizable units, and maps. On average it takes 20 minutes to set up a medium sized game approximately 300 points. So HoN may not be your lunch break game of choice. On the bright side play time once you set it up is less than an hour for that size of game.

Overall:

As a fan of the game since the Kickstarter launched its hard for me to find fault in it, and while it has minors flaws here and there overall it’s a great game. I cannot recommend it to war-game fans enough. Let me finish by saying to the hardcore historical fans, don’t be turned off by the cartoon heroes, you don’t have to play with them. The scenario generation rules allow you to play “historically accurate” engagements. That are just as fun as those with over the top heroes.

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Some notes:

Now there were some misprinted items, but these will be corrected for the retail version, so I’m not letting that effect my review. Also a major compliant of US backers of the Kickstarter was the packing and shipping was not up to par, and there some damage. But this was beyond the control of the creators, and will not likely be repeated.

That is all.

If you have any specific questions or concerns, please comment, and I’ll do my best to address them.

Test PDF for the Duplex Drive

I have put together a test PDF file for the M4 Duplex Drive tanks for all you print and play fans out there. I don’t have a lot of the token art so there’s not a lot of included equipment, but you can always use the 3rd Armor stuff included in the main game. Or take them stock and save a few points.

The fronts and back are on separate pages, and I recommend printing on Avery 8.5 x 11 inch sticker sheets. And be sure to disable all scaling options (i.e. fit to page)when printing.

Direct Link (right click in IE and select save target as): M4 Duplex Drive PDF

M4DD Punch v1

That is all.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Sherman Duplex Drive

This is a work in progress, much as the actual Duplex Drive tanks were that day 70 years ago when they hit the water just of Normandy on June 6th 1944. While the “Donald Ducks” had a disastrous time getting shore on Omaha beach that day. They actually faired much better on the other for beaches with the majority of tanks making it ashore. While they faced little resistance on Utah beach the British and Canadian forces found them quite handy, Without them it’s possible the infantry casualties along those beaches would have been as bad as those on Omaha.

Below you’ll find my art for the DD, as well as the initial HoN style token front. (I’ll have the back done up in a couple days.)

M4 DD close upM4 DD

Expect to see a full squadron for the 70th Tank Battalion, who supported the 4th Infantry on Utah Beach, sometime this summer.

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That is all.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

D-Day 360 from PBS

The US PBS has yet another great D-Day special on, it you live in the US or have access though some other means you should check it out.

That is all.

V1 Launch Site (Draft)

After a suggestion on the DPG forums I spent some time mocking up a V1 launch site for HoN. The 6x2 terrain tile has a V1 on a concrete launch rail, and all the pertinent icons. Currently I only have the front side, and the V1 is designed to just sit there and be an objective. Given the nature of the weapon, and the size of HoN engagements it wouldn’t make sense to have a launch-able one anyway. Eventually the back will feature a destroyed V1.

V1 site

Any comments welcome.

That is all.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

A Maus that Roars…

I recently posted the T28 draft which showed off a huge American tank that never really saw action, but does make for great what if scenarios. Today I bring you the German’s idea of a super tank the Flak Maus 88mm Zwiling. A monster tank that never actually existed. While the Russians captured two Maus tanks in various states of competition. A Flak Maus was never build, and may have been completely apocryphal. But man did it sound cool, and so I bring it to you to fight the imaginary battles the the Nazi engineers could only dream of.

Flak Maus  Flak Maus Blown

Recurit Flak Maus

The Maus was an impressive vehicle with over 400mm of armor at its thickest point, making a frontal assault nearly impossible, but certainly suicidal. The imagined Flak Maus variant featured two 88mm cannon each capable of providing as much firepower as a single Tiger I tank. The Maus did have it’s flaws though, with light rear armor, an underpowered engine, and a extremely limited turret rotation. The Maus was very vulnerable to a rear attack.

One final draw back of the design was the lack of any machine gun to provide anti-personnel fire support. Instead the Flak Maus featured a 50mm coaxial cannon similar to a Pak 38. This was to allow it to engage smaller targets without having to expend the more costly 88mm ammunition. Compared to the actual Maus with its 128 and 75 millimeter guns the Flak Maus actually feels under-gunned, which is likely why one was never built.

A PDF version will be available for download in the near future.

That is all.

D-Day’s Sunken Secrets

The US Public Broadcasting System and NOVA have a 2 hour documentary special on the D-Day Invasion. And the archeological study of the remains left behind in the waters of Normandy.

Note: You may not be able to view this video outside the US without a proxy server.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Demonstration of Power

I’ve mentioned that I’d like to create some custom vehicles, units, and maybe even terrain tiles. I have years of experience with Photoshop and Illustrator, and hope to be able to match the HoN style. Clem himself has given me some tips and help with the graphical style.

Here is a sample of what I can do:

T24 Tortise T24 Blown

This is of course an unfinished concept and may need tweaks to the scale, stats, and art, but I hope it gives everyone an idea of what I’m going to try to accomplish.

That is all.

Achtung Cthulhu!

Achtung Cthulhu is is a tabletop RPG from Modiphius that blends World War Two action with the Lovcraftian world of Eldritch horror which so many gamers love. Kickstarter backers of Heroes of Normandie can get a taste of this world with the Achtung Cthulhu Module (AC Mod) for HoN.

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The AC Mod includes two punchboards and three map tiles. The punchboards include several characters from the AC world, like intrepid investigators and dark cultist Nazi officers. Also found on the boards are some of the Lovecraftian creatures that haunt the nightmares of us all, like the Mi-GO, or the Hound of Tindalos.

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The three map boards are really the highlight of the module. Featuring foreboding forests and a cemetery on the front and dark underground facilities on the reverse.

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These two very different map styles allow players to create a variety of scenarios, moving between above and below ground. The above ground tiles blend well with the tiles from the base game, allowing you to easily create larger battle fields.

As a fan of the weird war genera I’m quite enjoying the Achtung Cthulhu add on, and would encourage anyone with even a passing interest in games like Tannhauser or Incursion to give it a try. Especially since the awesome Tannhauser is long since out of production, and getting quite hard to find.

If you’re enjoying the AC Mod, be sure to checkout the upcoming Shadows Over Normandie, a full-fledged expansion for HoN featuring Modiphius’ Achtung Cthulhu world and characters. It should be available late this year (Winter 2014).

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That is all.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Our First Game

After Action Report:

We’re lucky enough to be some of the first in the US to get our copy of Heroes of Normandie from the Kickstarter. and tonight we played our first game. Just a small 200 point skirmish, so it was a quick game. Only about an hour to play, counting reading rules updates.

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By turn three it was clear the Nazis we’re going to lose, but not because of the U.S. had a superior strategy of tactics. Rather it was quite clear that the dice hated the Nazi scum as much as anyone. They put up a brave fight but the day destined to be won by the good guys.

End of report, nothing follows.

Just what is Heroes of Normandie?

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Heroes of Normandie (HoN) is a tactical scale (1:100 approx.) military combat simulation board game. While historically based in the battles and conflict of World War Two, HoN keeps one foot firmly in the realm of Hollywood and the great WWII movies of the ‘60s and ‘70s. Great movies like “Kelly’s Heroes” and “A Bridge Too Far,” these sources of inspiration bring a sense of action and pantomime to HoN; not often found in games firmly plated in a world where Nazi Germany and Hitler are just as we learn in the history books.

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Yann and Clem the designers have made great game blending the real world units and equipment of WWII, with the larger than life characters of Hollywood action movies. Even without the use of miniatures. HoN uses solely cardboard components and yet has more character and beauty than games costing many times more and featuring massive amounts of plastic. Although many might find the lack of minis a minus, they should consider the not only the cost savings but the space savings and ease of transport as well. And don’t forget that every unit has just about everything you need to know about it printed right on it.

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Quick combat, easy to remember rules, and imposable to forget characters, HoN has everything you need in a war-game. But if your taste is for more general “realistic” combat action, you can always leave the more Hollywood elements in the box. HoN has a huge range of customization options that allows for a wide range of play styles. Making HoN a World War Two game for just about any gamer, historical or Hollywood.

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To learn more drop by Yann and Clem’s Devil Pig Games: http://www.devil-pig-games.com/en/heroes-of-normandie-le-jeu/

Look forward to more HoN fans, we’re just getting started.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Coming Soon...ish

Coming soon, a blog devoted to Devil Pig Games' Heroes of Normandie.

We hope to have new Scenarios, Units, Custom art and Strategy articles. I'm also hopeing to post some how to for making tokens and the like. Things will take some time to get started, and I may have to work some things out with guys at DPG. But the next few weeks should be exciting,

For more about HoN see: http://www.devil-pig-games.com/en/