Tide of Fortune


From Waterloo to Belgium in the midst of another war: on the table is the old (1993?) 3W game, Tide of Fortune. It’s a two mapper of the campaign in the west (restricted to northern Belgium and the Low Countries) set in September and October 1944, which was when Market Garden took place.

Scale is 1-2 days a turn 3 km per hex, and units are brigades, regiments, and battalions. Most formations are made up of a division (or Kampfgruppe) with 2-3 subsidiary combat units, and occasionally supporting assets.

The design is by John Schettler, being a development of the Italian Campaign system used by Decision Games in several issues of Strategy & Tactics. The core idea is that each side has a supply of Command Points, and it must plan when and how to use them. The high bidder each turn gets the initiative, with the low bidder being forced to rely on reaction and spoiling impulses. But if you spend the CP to get the initiative in one turn, that may leave the opponent able to grab the initiative in the next. (Playing solo means the bidding becomes a bit more involved, as I guesstimate the ranges of suitable bids for each side, and use a die roll or two.)

It’s not too complex – way easier than OCS or GOSS – and that is a definite attraction.

There are some missing counters and essential (setup) errata, but the rules look generally OK – based on an initial read and online feedback. I have made up replacement counters and am part way through setup.

When the setup is complete, it will be time for a proper read through the rules. Then I’m going to try the Market-Garden scenario and see how I get on.