Turning Tide

Turning Tide Design Notes
with Mike Haught

Wow, D-Day,… where to start? Wayne and I were thrilled when this project came across our desks. We both set about pulling apart our old D-Day books and meshing them into a single book. Then we started adding web lists and a few new previously unpublished lists as well. We soon realised that one book couldn’t contain awesomeness of this magnitude, so we decided to split it into two 200-page books.
 
My main focus was Turning Tide, while Wayne tackled Earth & Steel. In Turning Tide we have included all of the Allied forces you have come to know and love in D Minus 1, Bloody Omaha, Monty’s Meatgrinder, Villers Bocage, and Cobra. We’ve brought all of these lists into line with our current books, adding easy-to-use company diagrams, updated points, and fixed a few small errors here and there.

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We also added several of the most popular web briefings. On the British side this includes the 4th Canadian Armoured Division, the Commandos, and the Churchill tank squadron. For the Americans we’ve added a new Ranger formation based on the fighting in Brittany, a 6th Armored Division variant, a light tank company, two new rifle companies, and the unique Task Force A.
What’s Changed?
Turning Tide and Earth & Steel gave us the chance to update all of the old forces and bring them into line with current forces.

Company Diagrams
The most obvious change for these old forces are their new company diagrams. Beginning with Cobra, these new diagrams have made it a lot easier to design your force. In the Normandy compilations we updated all of the old lists with these new diagrams, making it easier for players to put together their armies.

M12 155mm SP guns
Updated Platoons
There are a few platoons throughout the book that have received a little attention. This was done based on current research, new diagram formats, and player feedback. One prime example of this is the US Parachute Rifle Platoon, which underwent a slight change in Hell’s Highway from 12-man squads to 8-man squads. We’ve replaced the old diagram with this new one, making sure that players can still field their platoon with 12-man squads if they wish.

New Options
We’ve added some new options for platoons, such as the new DUKW trucks. While some of these options have been around for a while, we’ve highlighted them in the platoon diagrams.

British Page Fan
Points
As you will have no doubt noticed, we’ve had a play with the points in the compilation, bringing them into line with what we’ve done in the mid-war compilation books. Things like half-tracks and MG teams have been reduced in points, as well as a general reduction in points for command infantry teams for gun platoons. This last change was due to the fact that a command team in charge of a bunch of gun teams isn’t really a proper infantry team and thus should be pointed accordingly.

Staff Sergeant Lafayette Pool Painting & Modelling
We have collected all of the painting and modelling pages dealing with British and American forces from the older books and put them into Turning Tide so you have them all in one place. We’ve also included a handy page in the British section covering all the information you’ll need to add markings to your British vehicles.
Histories & Maps
The histories and maps from the earlier publications as well as brand new ones will help readers follow the story of their favourite Allied formations in Normandy and Brittany.
British Page Fan
British & Canadian Forces
In the first half of Turning Tide, we feature British and Canadian forces that were involved in the battle for Normandy. There are, of course, many other countries and forces that were involved, but alas we couldn’t include them all.

New British Forces
The British section includes several new forces that are new to print. These include the 50th ‘Tyne and Tees’ Division, the 4th Canadian Armoured Division, and the Churchill Tank Squadron. We’ve also updated a few older lists to make them a bit more competitive and exciting to play, such as the Motor Company.

Breaching Groups
Perhaps the biggest change in the British section is the Breaching Group. Following the assault divisions of the 3rd and 50th British, 3rd Canadian Divisions were the bunker-busting, mine-clearing, engineering tanks of the 79th Armoured Division. These tanks fought scattered across all three British and Canadian beaches in small task-organised breaching groups specifically built to breakthrough the German fortifications.

British 25 pdrs and 5.5" howitzers
In the older publications players swapped universal carrier sections to field these engineering tanks. It was at bit difficult and not exactly clear what and when you could swap out, and their rules were scattered across several books. In Turning Tide we’ve collected all the rules into one section and revamped the swap-out procedure trying to make the swap-out process much more clear and obvious.

We’ve given you the option to field breaching groups in your force. Think of a Breaching Group as a golf bag. When you’re stuck up against a sand bunker (or a German HMG bunker), its time to use your sand wedge (an AVRE in this case). Then when you’re stuck in the rough (minefields), you’ll switch to the appropriate Iron (or Sherman Crab mineflail tank). If your opponent has no fortifications, you can put all of your special clubs away and pull out your trusty 3-iron (a platoon of DD Shermans) or your 3-wood (four M10C 17pdr self-propelled anti-tank guns) to slam a long distance fairway shot (a Tiger IE). Then mount up in your golf cart (Kangaroo APCs) and you’re on your way to the next battle.

“Whatever you need, whenever you need it” is the motto I just now made up for the Breaching Group. No British Rifle Company player should leave Britain and storm the shores of Normandy without it!

American Page Fan
50th ‘Tyne and Tees’ Division
Players can find the 50th Division in Villers-Bocage. The force’s organization reflected the division’s actions during the battles of Falaise. In Turning Tide we’ve taken this force and combined it with its web briefing version and added it with to the 50th’s sister assault divisions, the 3rd British and Canadian Divisions.
 
Churchills
Treadheads out there will be pleased to know that we’ve included the Churchill Tank Squadron web briefing in Turning Tide. You can field your Churchills as a normal squadron or you can upgrade them to Guards for +10 points per platoon, making them difficult to get rid of them. You can also upgrade their armour to make them extremely hard to kill, such as in the case of the Churchill VII’s Front Armour 13!

Defrocked Priests in action The 4th Canadian Armoured Division
Turing Tide features the famed Desert Rats from Villers-Bocage as well as the popular 4th Canadian Armoured Division from the website. These two divisions give players the chance to re-fight the bloody battles in the hedgerows of Normandy and make a drive to capture Caen or close the Falaise Pocket.
Motor Company
One significant change in Turning Tide was the Motor Company. Having played motor companies since way back when, both Phil and I were particularly interested in spicing up their Late-war cousins. So we put our heads together and gave the list’s support options a bit of an overhaul.
 
The historical purposes of a motor company were to secure ground won by the division’s tanks and protect it from an armoured counterattack. To do this the motor boys were given a sick amount of firepower from machine-guns to anti-tank guns. We shifted the focus of the motor company to match its mission, giving it a lot more punch against an enemy attack. Ever needed twice as many 17 pdr anti-tank guns to deal with enemy tanks? I know I have. Well, wish no more! The motor company now has a second option for M10C 17-pdr self-propelled guns, making it extremely well-tooled to face enemy tanks, especially those heavy Panthers and Tigers out there with up to eight 6 pdrs and eight M10Cs.

American Page Fan
American Forces
The second half of the book is devoted to the American forces in Normandy. From the first beach assaults to the breakout operations inland, you will find all sorts of interesting American forces to field. In addition to the classic American forces, such as the Assault Company, we’ve added several new forces including a new Ranger battalion variant, a light tank company, two new rifle company variants, and Task Force A.

Turnbull
We’ve had a lot of feedback concerning warriors and we’ve put those conversations to good use. The most obvious example of this was Lieutenant Turner Turnbull, who was universally regarded by the player community as too powerful.
 
We’ve taken the opportunity with Turning Tide to adjust his special rule slightly. Instead of allowing his whole platoon to re-roll misses in defensive fire, he now allows only Rifle/MG teams in his platoon to re-roll misses. While still powerful, this prevents players from attaching bazookas and LMGs to his platoon and making it impossible for anything to successfully assault.

Turner Turnbull
Ranger Battalion (Brittany) Rangers
In Turning Tide you can field the Rangers as they landed in Normandy or as they fought in Brittany. If you chose to head inland with the Rangers in Brittany, you’ll get a lot of heavy support, including a Ranger Cannon platoon, tank destroyers, and plenty of artillery among other options.
  
The liberation of Brittany is one of my favourite campaigns in the late war period. It was one of the critical campaigns in 1944, yet remains relatively obscured by Patton’s drive to the German border and Monty’s ambitious Operation Market Garden. It’s a shame too as the tough fighting in Brittany contained a lot of really interesting forces, including Task Force Sugar, a US Ranger formation.
6th Armored Division
The ‘Super Sixth’ fought alongside the 4th Armored Division during the Brittany campaign. They raced across the peninsula and reached Brest without meeting much resistance, thanks in no small part to Task Force A. They immediately set up a cordon around the city and fought a series of defensive battles against the defenders inside the city as well as the reinforcements outside trying to make their way in.
 
Unlike the 2nd and 3rd Armored Divisions, the 6th did not receive any 76mm Shermans until much later in the year, making them unique from the other divisions in Turning Tide. I have included them for the purpose of completeness, allowing you to field all of the major US forces in Brittany (you can use the 6th to field the 4th Armored as they were organised identically).
Medium Tank Company
Light Tank Company

Light Tank Company
Unlike the British who relegated their light tanks to occasional reconnaissance roles, the Americans still fielded the M5A1 Stuart light tank in full tank companies. They became critical to success in the breakout from the Normandy hedgerows where they could exploit open ground and bottle up retreating Germans into pockets.

Besides their historical importance, who doesn’t want to take command of 17 Stuarts? No one—that’s who!

Rifle Company
We’ve added a US Rifle Company to follow the two assault divisions from the beaches inland during Operation Cobra and the Brittany Campaign. Once the beaches were secure, the assault regiments of the 1st and 29th Infantry Divisions, as depicted in the Assault Company, reverted to their normal organization. However, they didn’t forget the lessons learnt on D-Day as they fought inland.

The Rifle Company allows you to play the 1st Infantry Division, giving you a solid force of Confident Veteran troops to fight on into Germany.

The 29th was sent west and encountered tough fortifications outside Brest. The division adapted and took on professional bunker-busting with extra pioneer and flame-throwers. A squadron of British Crocodile flame-tanks also reinforced the 29th, which will give your Rifle Company a decided edge as you smash through your opponent’s line. 

Rifle Company
Task Force A Task Force A
The last, and perhaps most unique, US force in Turning Tide is Task Force A. The US Army had been using Task Forces for many years. Built along the same lines as a German Kampfgruppe, these task-specific forces were organised with exactly what they needed. Task Force A’s mission was to secure all of the bridges in Brittany before the Germans could detonate them with explosives. To do this the task force was made up of extremely fast vehicles including M8 Greyhound armoured cars, M18 Hellcat tank destroyers, and mechanised riflemen and engineers. Normally task forces were disbanded as soon as they had completed their missions, but Task Force A continued to operate as a unit throughout the Brittany campaign with very successful results.

In Turning Tide, you can field this unique formation on the tabletop. With it you can take two tank-destroyer platoons, a first for US forces (in addition to the Rangers in Brittany, who also formed their own task force with tank destroyers).
Like the real Task Force A, this army is fast. Your vehicles will close quickly with the enemy, not allowing them any time to coordinate a defence. Not even heavy German tanks can stand in your way, as your tank destroyers will make quick work of them!

The task force found itself operating deep behind enemy lines and often received help from free French partisans operating in the area. You can field an FFI (French Forces of the Interior) company in support of your force. These resistance fighters supplement your force, freeing up your armoured cars and tank destroyers to press on.
American Page Fan
In Closing…
Turning Tide has been an exciting project to work on. With so many forces included in the book, players should be able to field forces from all across the frontlines from Normandy to Brittany. There are, of course, many forces, which for whatever reason, were omitted from this book. However, be sure to check out our website for a complete listing of additional web briefings.

I hope that you enjoy Turning Tide. I found each army in the book to be fun and exciting to work with and I hope that you do as well!

Special Thanks
On behalf of the studio, I’d like to take a moment and extend a very special thanks to all of the contributors, writers, proofreaders, and playtesters who worked on the original publications included in this compilation. I’d also like to acknowledge all of the people who helped with this current compilation. Without all of your hard work this project would not have been possible.

~ Mike.


Last Updated On Thursday, February 10, 2011 by Blake at Battlefront