I had originally purchased ToI to game with my brother-in-law and his son, both of home are interested in the bigger style games. They were down in Sepember, but I was unable to play much due to work demands. I am glad I finally did get this played!
We played the first scenario as a learning game and boy did we ever learn! The second turn we learn that you should bunch your units together for concentrated fire, on later turns we both realised that for the Germans to win they need to rush the barriers. I had thought that I was doomed by the third turn, Jay was pounding my units everywhere. My strength was that I had 7 reinforcements by the end of the 7th turn and two more to play on the 8th. My total count of units at the end of the game was 6, which means Jay had killed all my units at least once! Jay's advantage was that he got 2 initiative markers/turn and always went first after the first turn.
Suppressive fire works well, Jay used the staggered approach. What he would do is use either his mortar or his tank to supress a block and then hit it piecemeal with other units. When you first supress a unit, the next unit to supress them disrupts it and a third unit will cause a rout. This means it takes a minimum of three hits to kill a unit using supression and a maximum of 5.
The reason I think Jay lost was because he was agressive in the first 4 turns and then got too defensive as he realised I kept pulling units out as reinforcements. I think if he had maintained his agression he could have won on the 8th turn.
I like this game, I think it has plenty of replayability and is good to look at, I will take a picture from the next time we play to show you the immenseness of the board. The time it took for Jay and I to play, from cracking the box and reading the rules to taking the game down in about 3 hours. I think when we are both comfortable with the rules we can play it in about 2.
The downside of the game is that the pieces are a little hard to click together, it is fiddly in that respect. On BGG it has been suggested that you should drill out the holes a little, but others state you only need to wait and play the game a few times and they will click in and out easily. I guess I can wait a while...
I would rate this game a 7.5 out of ten after the first play. Once I am comfortable building units and the pieces click together, it could go up. If you are ever interested in playing it, the rules can be downloaded here