IN ENGLISH (link en español)
Normandy, the Beginning of the End is a tactical war game and the fourth installment of the renowned saga War Storm Series (WSS) in which players lead their troops through scenarios that take place on the Western Front from the early days of the D-Day landings until August 1944.
In this new title we have overhauled the Standard rules manual, now available in both languages, English and Spanish. We have reinforced the didactical aspect while maintaining the tactical depth that distinguishes the WSS saga. In addition, we have improved the overall quality of the components. All in all, we have created an excellent product at a very competitive price.
- The scale of the game is at the platoon level.
- Each unit represents a group of between 30 and 40 infantrymen and 3 to 4 crewmembers for heavy weapons (3 to 5 in the mechanized vehicle units).
- Each hex on the map depicts an area of 150 to 200 meters (roughly 165 to 220 yards).
- The game is divided into turns that represent about 12 to 15 minutes of action.
The game uses a system of simultaneous actions called "WE GO”, a turn-based and real–time hybrid where players will alternate the activation of units.
The heart of the WSS system relies on command and officers are the keystone of the game. Troop morale is also paramount and reflects battle in a more realistic way: units under our command in the roar of battle may or may not accept our orders.
The game is played on a set of modular isomorphic maps, which may be lined up by any of its edges. Normandy includes a total of 788 counters and markers: 260 3/4" and 528 5/8".
In Normandy, we will have at our disposal a wide range of counters representing platoons of a company.
For the American and French side, we will have 2 punchboards of counters available including:
- 61 platoons of armored vehicles.
- 66 platoons of artillery and auxiliary units.
- 3 aircraft units.
- 176 platoons with officers, infantry platoons and morale markers.
For the German Army, we have 2 punchboards available that will include:
- 62 armored vehicles platoons.
- 68 artillery and auxiliary unit platoons.
- 176 counters with officers, infantry platoons and morale markers.
On top of that, we will have an additional punchboard with 176 counters/markers to include game sequence/game control markers and special terrain features such as trenches, minefields, fortresses, bombardments, objectives, and so on.
Normandy prototype images in Sulker Youtube channel:
Some of you have asked to see the German and American platoon tokens in closer detail from Normandy. Here you can see them, on both sides.
The game includes the following set of scenarios but additional ones may be unlocked as the campaign advances. We will also be able to generate our own scenarios and play Normandy by using a point-based system that is detailed in the Exclusive Rules manual.
Download: in the following links you may download a reduced version of the Standard Rules manual in English and Spanish (disclaimer: the available document is not a final version. Slight changes in the wording and/or images may occur).
This is an excerpt of the manual, depicting only the first section of the Standard rules. Not a final version. Layout and graphic design may slightly vary. Rules are definitive and only minor tweaks may occur.
In addition to this Standard Rules manual, there is an Exclusive Rules manual for this new theater of operations in Normandy to include landings, battalion officers, paratroopers, reconnaissance missions, amphibious forces and bocage landscape, among other things.
Below you may find examples of some officers and a platoon counter with their traits and attributes:
In the manual we will find lots of examples such as the following one. A German company, comprised of three platoons and an officer; two of them with 1 step already lost are under attack by an American company:
In this other example, a German anti-tank PAK 40 75mm platoon opens fire against an armored M4A1 platoon and another HMC M8 platoon, both American:
PLAY LISTS: TUTORIAL
To make it easier to learn the WSS game system, we have uploaded a set of videos created by EDC on their YouTube Channel:
- Intro to Normandy and components.
- Counters and Markers details. Spotting and Line of Sight.
- Game Sequence and Phases: Command, Initiative, Activation and Markers Removal.
- Routed Units and Rallying.
Also, on our web page you may find a set of articles that deal with different mechanisms of the game, from an enjoyable perspective. The following links provide additional information: in English and Español.
This expansion, designed by José Manuel Moreno, adds two new game modes: solitaire and semi-cooperative. We may play with 2 different levels of difficulty and 2 levels of autonomy, depending on if we want a smoother gameplay or a totally independent AI.
AitS seamlessly integrates with all the titles of the saga; with those already published and for those to come in the near future, since it uses the same set of standard rules of the War Storm Series. Also, it adds some new rules such as fog of war or events for the initial deployment of troops.
The fog of war creates an environment on the battlefield where the player will have to use Intelligence Reports extensively as the main source of information.
This expansion may be used to play single scenarios in solitaire mode as well as in a 2 player semi co-operative mode against the AI, in which both players will have a common goal but the system will evaluate each player´s achievements.
AitS may be used with every scenario on every available title, or for generating your own. You will be able to play any scenario in solitaire mode, co-operative mode (2 players against the AI), or even competitive 4-player mode (2 vs 2).
The expansion enables you to design giant maps to play your friends on!
For further details on this expansion, please check this link.
- Normandy, the Beginning of the End and all the unlocked Stretch Goals.
- Pack Normandy + Alone in the Storm expansion with all the unlocked Stretch Goals.
- Hero Pack: you will get a copy of Normandy, the Beginning of the End; a copy of Alone in the Storm; ALL the stretch goals unlocked plus; all the XL FOREX map boards and your portrait will be customized in one of the Officer game counters.
- Store Pack.
- Big Store Pack.
For further information about Add-ons, please check the FAQ.
How to add an Add-on to your pledge?
Go to your pledge, use the "manage my pledge" button and manually add the amount of US$ for everything you would like to add. When the campaign is over, we will do a Pledge Manager that lets you confirm all of the details of your pledge.
- A dice tower: designed by the winner of several CSR Awards, Nicolás Eskubi: +$6 dollars each.
- A counters tray: we are designing a tray to store the counters and markers in a tidy shape! You can use it for Normandy, AitS or any other game in your collection! The first prototype has the size of an A4, between 1 to 2 cms depth, but we are still in the development stage, trying to adapt it to other sizes. We can't disclose much more yet. Each try costs +3$.
- A set of extended maps (20% bigger) compared to the originals, 2mm thickness built with FOREX material. It will include all the maps: 4 big maps plus 4 half-sized maps: +20$. The XL FOREX map set will include terrain overlays that match the larger size of the hexagons that come in this set. ALL unlocked maps are also included.
- Alone in the Storm Expansion: if you don´t need the entire pack, you may get the expansion as an add-on. To do so, please use the PLEDGE LEVEL "Thanks" and set it to +42$. Remember this expansion may be used in conjunction with any WSS title.
- Pack of 3 "Alone in the Storm" expansions only for stores. If you have ordered the STORES or BIG STORES pledge, you can include it as an add on. $88 for every 3 AitS expansion kits.
- ADD-ONs for stores: stores that have ordered the STORES or BIG STORES pledges can also order whatever ADD ONS they like. For every 3 units that are ordered an extra one will be added. That is to say, if a store orders 6 trays of tokens they will receive 8 for the price of 6.
- Twitter (exclusive): by sharing this tweet with your friends 300 times AND reaching 300 followers on our official Twitter account we will give all backers 2 additional exclusive scenarios.
- Facebook (exclusive) UNLOCKED!: by sharing this post 300 times and reaching 700 followers on our Facebook page, we will give all backers this isomorphic half-sized maps of Mortain.
- BoardGameGeek (exclusive) UNLOCKED!: by reaching 300 fans we will give all backers this set of 4 customized coasters. We all need a drink while gaming! BGG link.
- $24K (UNLOCKED): we include a half-sized maps of Saint-Lò, an enclave in where converged telegraph and telephone landlines, and that had two bridges over the Vire, that made this city one of the first objectives of the Allies on their advance to leave the bocage area. The Battle of Saint-Lo involved the 352th Infantry Division and the 3rd Fallschirmjäger Division on the German side, and the 29th, 30th, and 35th Infantry Divisions on the Allied side.
- $28K (exclusive SG, UNLOCKED): with this exclusive SG, we facilitate the transportation of about two infantry companies. Use them to expedite your deployment to the area of operations, but keep in mind your transported units can´t open fire.
- $32K (exclusive SG, UNLOCKED): only for backers! Two new companies, one per side and their officers, based on historical events: American Rangers, leaded by Captain Goranson and Sergeant Lommel, both decorated for heroism in Normandy. On the German side, Company H from the 352th Division, commanded by Hauptman Spranz, member of the 914th Panzergrenadier Regiment) and Company I, leaded by Unteroffizier Wabersich, member of the 916th Panzergrenadier Regiment.
- $36K (UNLOCKED): a new component to tailor your own scenarios! A three-level hill to widen the options of the isomorphic map boards.
- $40K (UNLOCKED): two additional scenarios linked to Hauts Vents to create a mini-campaign and increase the number of scenarios included in the base game to a total of 15!
- $45K (UNLOCKED, exclusive SG): only for backers, two new American and two new German companies. By increasing the forces available, you will be able to set-up bigger combats! In the German side, two Ukranian companies deployed in France, part of the 439th Ukranian Ost Battalion. In the American side, troops from the 16th Regiment part of the "Big Red One" Division, with Lt. Jimmie Monteith commanding the well-known "Easy" Company and John Joe Pinder, member of Fox Company. Both Heroes of Normandy!
- $50K (UNLOCKED, exclusive SG): if you're a backer, congrats! Now you can recreate larger-scale landings since we are adding a new beach half-sized map which fits with the rest of the isomorphic maps.
- $55K (UNLOCKED, exclusive SG): in this SG exclusive to backers, we are adding landing boats (x16) to the American army. Your troops will be able to take first class to Omaha beach.
- $60K (UNLOCKED, exclusive SG): reinforcements are here! We're adding two American companies and two German companies to the fight, only for backers: two German mechanised infantry companies, complete with MGs, and the half-track Sdkfz 251 D 'Hanomag' on the back. They belong to 304th Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment from the 2th Panzer-Division. For the American side, Sargent Carlton W. Barret commanding Baker company as well as Walter D Ehlers leading Easy Company, both belonging to the 18th Regiment of the 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One).
- $65K (UNLOCKED): new terrain elements to personalise the battlefield. With these you'll be able to get much more out of your boards.
- $70K (UNLOCKED, exclusive SG): the 30th Infantry Division (Old Hickory) arrives to Mortain on the 6th of August. On that same day, Berlin perceives a 'grand opportunity unlikely to present itself again' and sends four Panzer divisions on the offensive. We include 3 linked scenarios for campaign mode to relive those intense encounters characterising Germany's Operation Lüttich, whose objective was to race towards the sea to cut off American supply lines.
- $74K (UNLOCKED, exclusive SG): your request for reinforcements is approved: we're adding two German and two American companies in this exclusive SG. On the American side, Easy Company of the 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, led by Lt. Winters as well as Lt. Charles N Doglopper in command of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 82nd Airborne. The Germans get reinforced by two companies of engineers belonging to the 709th infantry division and 709th pioneer batallion under the command of Major d.R. August Hornung.
- $76K (UNLOCKED): 3-scenario Easy Company campaign. D-Day started the night before the landings with the Airborne assault over Normandy. Their mission consisted of paving the way for the invasion, taking bridges and crossroads as well as preventing German reinforcements from arriving to the beaches. In these three connected scenarios you'll be able to relive the fights that took place that night, staking American paratroopers against German defenders.
- $78K (UNLOCKED, exclusive SG): Backers will have the option to add events to their games if they wish. They will receive the rules along with a table of 15 event tokens. These events, which could be good or bad, will be chosen randomly when there is a '12' for an attack roll. Effects will be applied immediately on negative events.
- $80K (UNLOCKED): For the AitS expansion, we'll include a 16-turn cardboard track for each side and a 'The End' token for the scenario generator in any War Storm Series game. Plus, we'll include 5 Rhino tokens for the Normandy game that are placed together with the Tank Commander to mark American tank companies. This accessory was used beginning August 1 1944 to destroy the Bocages. In addition, we'll include 16 'Bocage Destroyed' tokens. In the special Normandy rules, we will be able to use these tanks to clear the way through the Bocage. Also included will be Obers. Rudolph commanding a company of Jagdpanzer IVs - German tank hunters. Oberscharführer SS Roy Rudolph (12th Abt.) was considered the best Jagdpanzer IV commander, achieving ace status with 36 kills in total. This fame was acquired in the first days of the fighting in Normandy. In the Emeville area in July 20, 1944, he single-handedly knocked out several American Shermans. On August 10, he went into action against the First Polish Armoured Division, knocking out eleven Polish Shermans with only seven casualties in his platoon. On December 17, 1944, Roy was killed in action during the Battle of the Bulge, shot by a US sniper while surveying the battlefield from the cupola.
- We just couldn’t let so many backers, so much feedback and so much support go unrewarded. So, we want to give all of you who have backed this amazing project a GIFT. We are going to unlock ALL stretch goals to $100,000 right now!
It’s time to reveal ALL the stretch goals we have prepared for Normandy, the Beginning of the End:
Exclusive for backers:
- 2 replacement officers from Easy Company: Sgt. Carwood Lipton and Sgt. Joe Toye.
- 2 German replacement officers.
- John E Butts leading a Company from the "Tough 'Ombres" 90th Division.
- 1st Lieutenant Ralph A.Kerley from the "Old Hickory" 30th Infantry Division.
- 2 German motorized companies, with MG support.
- 4 Partisan companies, with their leading officers.
- A mini-campaign about partisan activities in France.
And for retail version (and backers too):
- Another group of linked scenarios to be played as a campaign.
The game is scheduled to be delivered in September 2018.
This project is US-Friendly, EU-Friendly, Australia-Friendly, and Canada-Friendly, and therefore no additional charges or fees will apply due to taxes or customs. Since the dimensions and weight of the final boxes may slightly change, shipping costs will be calculated during the Pledge Manager where we will try to adjust it as much as possible. Below you can see approximate shipping prices that will be confirmed in due time. Requesting a reimbursement for your pledge once the campaign has finished will incur fees and expenses.
The game shall be available for Italian backers by means a Giochistarter campaign. For Giochistarter backers shipping costs are specified on their web page.
Draco Ideas wants to express its deepest gratitude to these stores which are supporting us in our new endeavour:
- Nicolás Eskubi: co-author of Normandy, the Beginning of the End and also in charge of graphic design. Nominated 8 times and a four-time winner of the renowed Charles S. Roberts Award, being the only Spaniard who holds such a prize. Some of his works are A Victory Lost (MMP), Fire in the Sky (MMP) Decisive Campaigns: The Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris (Slitherine/Matrix Games). He is currently working as a graphic designer at Multi-Man Publishing.
- Juan Carlos Cebrián: co-author of Normandy, the Beginning of the End. Regular contributor of magazines such Líder and Alea. Author of modules for ASL (The Spanish Civil War) and Lock´n´Load (Dark July) and also co-author of former WSS titles: A las barricadas!, La Bataille de France 1940 and Paths to Hell.
- José Manuel Moreno: author of Alone in the Storm. He has designed several solitaire modes for published games. Most recently, he has developed solo rules for Onus! and the solo expansion for the acclaimed saga Napoleonic 20.
- Jaime Devesa: a keen and altruistic translator of countless games into Spanish. An avid gamer since 15 (and that was long ago!). An everlasting English student. His first wargaming experience was a total blunder: Empire in Arms was not the right title to start out with!
- Javier Romero: content generator and community manager. Recently, he has participated in the crowdfunding project for the bestseller Apocalipsis Z.
- Juan Manuel Sáenz: footage-editor of the WSS game system videos. Graphic Designer, 3D Animator and creator of the EDC Wargame YoutTube Channel in the WWII and the Spanish Civil War.
- Draco Ideas: an enthusiastic board game publisher that owes much of their success to platforms like Kickstarter. Their titles are ONUS! Rome vs Carthage, 2GM Tactics or the wargame España 20 in Spanish, part of the Napoleonic 20 series from Victory Point Games.
We hope we didn’t forget anyone! We would like to thank everyone that helped playtest this game over these past years and those who helped spread the word.
Risks and challenges
The art or final design of components, add-ons and stretch goals may vary slightly.
Prior to this project we have successfully completed 4 crowdfunding projects on Kickstarter and we have delivered the games on time or very close to it. We have also learned from these experiences. The Timeline for Normandy includes some leeway for "any unforeseen problems" and we feel confident we can deliver on schedule.
- (44 days)