“Normandy” and “Alone in the Storm” (War Storm Series) “Normandy” and “Alone in the Storm” (War Storm Series)
“Normandy” and “Alone in the Storm” (War Storm Series)

The War Storm Series is a saga designed to simulate combats using heterogeneous weapons squads at the level of a platoon.

The games were originally created by Juan Carlos Cebrián and Nicolás Eskubi, being the latter also in charge of the graphical design, winner of the renowned Charles S. Roberts (CSR) Awards.

The saga is based in the principle of the “simultaneous execution”, or as it widely known “We Go”, a hybrid system of both, turns and “real time”.

It does achieve a medium level of complexity though it has a remarkable tactical depth. Even though is mainly designed for 2 players, it has a built-in neat solitaire mode that allows the player to compete against a genuine AI system.

The length of a game may vary depending on the scenario chosen and its scale, ranging between 1 and 2 hours.

Scale

The scale is set to represent a platoon and these units are equal to a group of between 30 and 40 servicemen. The weapons markers do represent groups of 3-4 of such type of weapons and their servants, which vary between 20 to 25 soldiers. The AFVs and Transports markers do represent groups of 3 to 5 vehicles with their crewmembers.

Each hexagon on the map depicts an area of approximately 150 to 200 meters (165 to 220 yards).

Gameplay is based in turns that roughly represent between 12 to 15 minutes of action.

Game System

The heart of the War Storm Series relies in the command, being the officers the keystone of the game.

These officers may activate units, coordinate assaults and movements, request artillery support and close air support missions or call for smoke screens, among others. They also have a real influence in the morale checks.

Another key point in this saga is the morale, which successfully transfers the effects to the battlefield, giving the game an unique depth and sense of reality. The platoons under our command won´t be only a group of soldiers obeying without hesitation our orders, but they may consider some of them extremely risky, forcing you to check the morale. Now, sending your men to cross a barbed-wire area or to start an assault in specific circumstances, might have an impact in your leadership.

The Board

The game uses isomorphic maps and each one may be linked with the others by any of the edges. This allows an almost unlimited number of combinations to represent any situation, including those designed by the players.

Replayability

Beyond the interaction between enemy forces disputing for a scenario and the evolving situations that might happen during a battle, War Storm Series implements a system that allows you to randomly select the officers whose abilities are not always equal and, therefore, the gaming experience varies every time you replay a scenario.

Titles of the saga

 

Normandy, The Beginning of the End (Draco Ideas 2018)

The fourth installment of the saga, meaning an independent title in the series.

It does recreate events related to the Normandy landings and allows the players to revive, at the tactical level, the most relevant battles on the D-Day, from the American beaches to the outskirts of Saint-Lò.

The Exclusive Rules are meant to properly depict the singularities of this theater of operations. Among the new set of rules, we may find landing rules; battalion officers; airborne units; recon units and amphibious forces.

This title also adds new units, such as Waffen SS (Infantry Elite units), Fallschirmjäger (Paratroopers) and troops of the Free France, along with Rangers and Paratroopers in the American side.

This title premiers an overhauled and updated Standard Rules manual that drastically eases the learning curve for those players being introduced to the saga. It incorporates a “point-based” system that allows you to come up with your own battles, taking its replayability to an unprecedent level.

Prototype photo

Alone in the Storm (Draco Ideas 2018)

This expansion, designed by José Manuel Moreno, introduces two new game modes: solitaire and cooperative. In the first one, you will be able to play in solo mode without swapping sides during the entire game. The burden of assuming the role of both contenders is not needed anymore.

You may also use this expansion with the predefined scenarios, so it will allow you to play them either in solo mode or in cooperative mode against the AI.

Alone in the Storm it does provide a set of markers and mechanisms that implements a genuine Fog of War as well as Intelligence Reports, brilliantly commanded by a neat AI system.

Additionally, it does include a Mission Generator tool, to increase even more the replayability of all the titles of the saga.

Paths to Hell (2016)

A title that retakes the battles of the Eastern Front, adding specific rules such as political commissar, recce motorcycles, flame-thrower tanks and railways.

La Bataille de France 1940 (2015)

It does recreate the most important battles in where the Blitzkrieg tactics were widely used in the Western Front during the invasion of France.

A las Barricadas! (2006-2015)

This was the first title in the series, depicting the fiercest battles between the Nationals and the Republicans across the bloody Spanish Civil War.

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