Picture taken directly from Fantasy Flight Games' ToI website.
So we got our first game of Tide of Iron in tonight, and here's a short tiny review.
This game is fantastic, and I'm not just saying that because I played the Americans and the first scenario is horribly lopsided to help me win (which I did). We pretty much learned the game as we played, as my newly-discovered disdain to read 40+ board game rulebooks has developed very strongly.
This resulted in much slower first rounds but much quicker later rounds. We picked up on the basic mechanics once we were able to figure out what the tactical differences between different types of units actually meant in play. It was extremely exciting, for example, when I learned about how awesome my machine gunners were in oppressing fire mode on the defense in entrenchments. Another example is how terrifying one tank can be to any kind of forward resistance I was trying to put up to slow down his troopers. Tanks flatten troopers in an interesting way. They slow them down without doing damage when they move through enemy trooper hexes. Good thing I had officers in that hex and they were able to raise the morale of those troopers can get them moving again!
Alas, the heroic tank did its best to take out my mortar crews in a heroic (horrific?) suicide run straight at my lines through thick razor wire and planted himself right next to my horrified mortar crews. One was taken out, but in the process I used every unit I had in three separate attacks to combine fire, and ultimately four machine gun crews and a lot of average G.I. Joe's were able to take it out. Fantastic.
I am so excited now to play more of this game. I haven't done any investigating at this point, but ideas of much bigger games or even 3 or 4 player scenarios are running through my head, hopefully there are rules out there right now for this type of thing!