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The Tide at Sunrise
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Tide at Sunrise continues the philosophy that began with A Victory Lost. Using tried and true mechanics but with some major twists, Tide at Sunrise will be a major test of player skill that is rarely seen in the wargaming hobby. Here, the base system is little more than the tried and true game from SPI called Napoleon at Waterloo. But not all is at it seems.

Here is the sequence of play:

Japanese Player Turn

  • Naval Phase
  • Transport Allocation
  • Movement Phase
  • Combat Phase
  • Replacement and Recovery

Russian Player Turn

  • Colonel Akashi Secret Operations Phase
  • Transport Allocation Phase
  • Movement Phase
  • Combat Phase
  • Supply and Recovery Phase

After the completion of both Player Turns, victory points are determined and, if the Japanese have not won a sudden death win, play continues to the next turn.

The game focuses on two aspects of the actual event. Players have to manage their armies using an abstract logistical system called “Transport Points” in the game. The Japanese Transport Points are an abstraction of the merchant marine force that the Japanese had available in 1904 and 1905. This can be disrupted from Russian naval activity. The Russian Transport Points are an abstraction of the rail capacity of the newly built Trans-Siberian Railroad. Weather can affect this total if there are heavy snows in Siberia. Colonel Akashi can also stir up trouble and reduce the available Russian Transport totals with sudden strikes and riots in the Russian heartland. Both players use these points to bring on new forces and to replace battlefield losses. Finding the right balance of the two uses is key to being successful in the game.

Secondly, players must find the delicate balance between defending and attacking on two separate fronts. How much defends and attacks towards the all-important port of Port Arthur and how much attacks or holds the tough mountain passes of Manchuria - the key to the open plains to the north – where terrain is less defensible and victory points are everywhere.

Victory in the game is determined by success in the naval war, the capture of key terrain objectives and enemy losses.

Click here to see Adam's Blog entry!

Game components:

  • One 22” by 39” full color map
  • 140 1/2” land formation counters
  • 44 1 1/4” by 5/8” ship counters
  • 16 page full color rulebook

Game summary:

  • Playtime: 3-5 hours
  • Complexity: Simple
  • Solitaire rating: excellent

Game scale:

  • Turns: 12 (each turn represents one month of real time)
  • Counters: Divisions and Brigades for the land units, Capital Ships for the naval units
  • Hex scale: 10 kilometers

Game Credits:

  • Designer: Yukihiro Kuroda
  • Developer: Adam Starkweather
  • Graphic Artist: Niko Eskubi

Click here for the TAS Optional Naval Rules!

Click here for the TAS Naval Map (color version)!

Click here for the TAS Naval Map (B&W version)!


Add Review
mark ballard says...

Wow! What a nice product. Missing some rules for the naval game! Where are they? Please help!

James Burton says...

I think the land war portion of this game constitutes a well designed game with high replayability. Both the Japanese and Russian players seem to have different possible options, tempered by the random effects of the naval combat charts. The map is really stunning, and the rules are generally clear. The rules take probably less than an hour to learn, and it's a great game to introduce new players to the hobby, or for experienced players with only a few hours to enjoy a game. However, I, personally, do not think that it's appropriate to release a game without all the rules, or to call those rules optional. (my opinion) I wish the naval rules would have been included in the original purchase.

Andy Field says...

I agree with the other reviewers I've been waiting for Tide at Sunrise for over a year, and it looks good. But I was disappointed that the naval rules are not inclusive and seem to be a separate download. How soon will we be able to get them?

Tom Swider says...

Seems like good bones on the game. Like others, I was concerned about the naval rules. My larger concern is that despite multiple attempts to get clarification on what hexes are actually in play (not quite clear when you look closely at map and rules), that nobody has answered my question. Otherwise, I would rate the game higher. [Ed: Adam informs us that Tom's question has been answered.]

Mike Willner says...

I got the game for the simplicity, the high solitaire rating, and the topic. I'm sure there is a reason, but I'm wondering why it was published without the naval rules but with a full set of naval counters.

Mike Ollier says...

I got this after the map download and rules were available for the naval game. Perhaps because I did not have to wait, I found this game to be excellent without reservation. It truly is a game you can pick up quickly and yet have lots of critical decisions to make in terms of game play. In contrast to many games, I got a lot more out of it than I had to put into it in learning the rules. It is an interesting and fun game on a fairly rare topic in gaming circles.

Giuseppe Gessa says...

Very nice game, well done. Simple, nice, fast and fun. But i give 4 stars, not 5, because the naval rules and the naval board were not in the box. After having o pende the box i scratchef my head to understand what the naval counters were for...

The International Game Series (IGS) affords players the opportunity to experience fantastic game titles from around the globe.   Games cover time periods from the Middle Ages to World War II.