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At the 7th attempt, I finally won a game of Combat Commander. And sweet it certainly was, I did not forget the lesson I learned against Michael_Olsen on VASSAL and once the bulk of my force on the left side mopped up the two objectives by the woods path I forged on, mocking the russian militias lack of range and firepower as I easily exited the map, rubbing Assault Fire into their noses for good measure. What had been a steady chipping away of the large VP deficit suddenly became a well within reach target, while the Russians were desperate for time triggers, and dismayed at the lack of them With a pile of reinforcements sat in the buffer I knew I had a chance, but it was a risk, at that point, the time track had 3 slots left for sudden death, and I would be hoping a large reinforcement force would be able to gain the rest of the VPs while avoiding another 2 time triggers.

It was a risk worth taking, as they quickly moved in and dispatched the straggling unit that had been hiding in the building on the german side of the map all along, during the ensuing battle a young cadet Dietel emerged to lead the melee assault and cement his place in Combat Commander german history. To her dismay, a russian unit was also discovered walking wounded, but he was thrown literally into the lions den surrounded by the reinforcement block and shot to smithereens.

Suddenly, the movement cards began to flow as the german force once again moved up the map, quickly via the road, without any concern for being in range of the outgunned russians. As an extra buffer to the probability that I would be able to gain elimination VPs to secure a win, the threat of russian surrender suddenly loomed large as well.

Momentum was slowed somewhat thanks to some crafty placement of wire by the soviets, and by the bravery of a russian unit running full pelt down the road in full view of heavy machine gun fire which brought him crawling onto the ground, he bravely soldiered on hex by hex until he reliberated two control points, and the russians briefly led again, by just a point

But time had not been kind, and it was just a formality once the germans finally broke free of the wire and entered the house just across from Objective 5. At that point, the VP lead and initiative card was secure and the russians were 1 elimination from surrender, a series of Routs caused all kinds of problems with overstacking as well, but the russians bravely held on, until finally the HMG proved way too strong and cut down the final casualty required for the russian white flag to raise

Victory was mine, at last !!!!!!

This game has me by the scruff of the neck, I can't get enough of it. Every game is gripping and tense and a rollercoaster of swings and turns,one way and the other. I definitely feel like once it "clicks" you see and understand the genius of it, and understand where the game is trying to put you and what its trying to represent and how. Its Knizian in its mastery, and its a shame that it seems to be easily misunderstood. Even the "friction with contact" discussion seems to fade away upon reflection, I find that direct contact with the enemy and how the events and interchange between everything in the game connects gives an incredibly rich portrayal of shit going down just at the points when I imagine things pretty much should. And when you start to see how the seemingly random things occurring dovetail into the bigger picture of what The Jensens have portrayed here. Its just magick.


Aside from the brief report, some associated updates

- having now played Scenarios 1, 3 and 4, it seems Scenario 2 should be the natural next step. Probably on tuesday or wednesday this week. I quickly checked out the playbook and admit I was a bit confused about the bocage /hedge rules. Cover and move of "2", how does it work when the hedges are all along hex edges though? (I'll look at it in detail tomorrow, I'm quickly posting this report before being coerced into non gaming duties).

- the missus is still liking it, but did slightly have the sour face on towards the end when I think she realised time was not coming to her rescue, and that suddenly I was in charge, and her forces seemed puny and unable to find a way to come up with a way to win (I assured her there were indeed several, admittedly low probability), and the way she talked about it reminded me a lot of the first time I played 4 years ago, when I had not yet "got it". Trying to force the game and the action to be something its not, more akin to other kinds of wargame abstractions, and then the feeling that there are long drawn out exchanges of futile fire, breaking, recovering etc etc. For me those periods represent a complimentary ratcheting of the tension and a lovely counter point to the chaos running riot at other points in the story. Because that is what every game seems to be providing, in spades. EXACTLY as it says on the tin. Believe the hype, but please do try to push past your preconceptions and doubts in your first game(s).


- Finally, after getting to a point now where I can set the game up and play mostly with a decent sense of how to do it, and reaching an awe struck point where I realise this is basically all I want to play right now, I tinkered with a change to my username to represent this seismic shift in my priorities (and sure, I have gotten the bug with a few games before and gone hard after them, but this one feels ... different, in a good way, a great way), so I have been looking at a promotion with a snazzy new look to represent this new gaming world I've opened

how about this?


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Chick Lewis
United States
Claremont
California
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Felicitations on your well-earned win.
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Jim Ransom
United States
Jacksonville
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There are two kinds of ships: Submarines and Targets.
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Bojack Commander!
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Paul Trad

Alexandria
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Your wife doesn't like losing; my kind of girl!

Many newish players malign the Ruskies. It seems she already understands that exiting for VPs is key to CC and mass factions generally.

There is a way to approach a fire position with mass troops you may also want to explore using multiple moves on one pulse. This draws out the deadliest fire and may even exhaust the op fire on the first / least critical move. Done right, op fire loses much of it's allure.

The thing about CC, and combat discussions in general, is that one technique fails in certain places and succeeds in a slightly different one. Many attribute this to luck, where subtle differences actually cause the variation. This can be fascinating or frustrating!

Setup is about half the battle.
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Mark Buetow
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McHenry
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Move! Advance! Fire! Rout! Recover! Artillery Denied! Artillery Request! Command Confusion...say what?!
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Gunderian007 wrote:
Setup is about half the battle.


Knowing is the other half.
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Russ Williams
Poland
Wrocław
Dolny Śląsk
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Malacandra wrote:
Gunderian007 wrote:
Setup is about half the battle.


Knowing is the other half.

And execution is the third half!
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Paul Trad

Alexandria
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Half Man, Half Bear, Half Pig

Man/Bear/Pig is out there!
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Michael Olsen
Denmark
Ringsted
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russ wrote:
Malacandra wrote:
Gunderian007 wrote:
Setup is about half the battle.


Knowing is the other half.

And execution is the third half!


4th half: Adaption. If you can not adapt to the situation you will loose CC:E games.
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Steve Duke
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Georgetown
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and the other half, if you give up in your head, you will lose...
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