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Subject: How to play Combat Commander rss

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Mark Beyak
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I have played this game several times now and thought I would pass on some of my observations about it before it officially is published by GMT later this year.

I thought about writing an article about how to play “Combat Commander” and while thinking about the most important piece of advice I could offer anyone about to embark on their first scenario, I thought I really need to communicate “HOW TO” play the game. What I mean by this is the frame of mind one can get into while playing this game. I mostly wanted to discuss playing against an opponent, (as opposed to solitaire), and the effects of morale on the players.

“Combat Commander” (CC) is a game of skill. The more skilled the player the more often that player will win. That being said, there are random elements that affect the flow and direction of the game. The more a player learns how to manage that flow the better able they become to influence the direction.

From what I understand about the nature of randomness and random occurrences, it is inevitable that events will occur in clusters. The way this manifests itself in CC is a series of fortunate events and outcomes for a player. The fact that a series of fortunate events and outcomes has graced a player also means that a series of unfortunate results has just occurred to his or her opponent. I have found that, in CC, being on either side can, if you let it severely affect one’s morale. I am a fairly even level headed person, I think, most of the time. Just ask Chad. When I first started playing this game I allowed myself to be swept up in the drama of the game. I saw most everyone else also responding in a similar way! When on the receiving end of a series of bad outcomes I would feel very depressed and hopeless when considering my possibilities to actually win a particular scenario. This would cause me to make foolish mistakes and the situation could easily get much worse and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. On the other hand one can almost feel invulnerable when experiencing a run of good luck. Everything you try seems to work, (and you watch your opponents shoulders droop ever lower). This is also a dangerous time for the player. With this seeming invulnerability you may be tempted to try something very foolish, thinking that as the golden child you can accomplish anything. Well, you might, but if your string of luck doesn’t hold you can get severely spanked!

In summation, as you first start playing this game watch out! You may experience the same sort of emotions I described and they can lead to poor decisions which may start the pendulum to swing further away from you. Watch too, for signs in your opponents if you enjoy playing with them and you want to continue playing CC with them you will want to warn them should they get in a funk. They may complain loudly about the luck factor after losing a melee with their best leader and squad and crew against a broken crew after being ambushed. (It could happen, not likely, but it could). Just remind them that the gods of chance are fickle and never stay attached to anybody for very long.

Mark
 
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Chad Winter
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Mark, thanks for the input on this game.

I ordered Combat Commander(my first GMT order) after deciding that it was definitely something I'd enjoy. I've read the rules, the consimworld forum and everything else I can get my hands on. I'm very excited about it.

The events are an interesting feature and the way they can alter a game seems to be a clever way of keeping the game fresh and suspense levels high. However, after reading the detailed AAR in the Consimworld forums I became concerned that the events and snipers drawn might have more of an impact on the game than the players' actions. I could be mistaken, or maybe the AAR was a bit of a fluke, but it seemed that more units were broken due to random events and snipers than because of any direct actions by either side.

Am I up in the night about this? Can Chad chime in? Or Andy Lewis who posted the AAR? I would like to have posted in the Consimworld forum, but I'm not a member...blush

I want to be wrong about this; but even if I'm not, I still think this game has the potential to become one of my all time favorites!
 
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Gotthard Heinrici (prev. Graf Strachwitz)
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Thanks Mark!

I already ordered it along with C&C:Ancients Expansion 1. I can't wait for this one and to me it seems the perfect Hybrid between Axis & llies and advanced squad Leader has been developed.

It looks like yet another winner from GMT. My goodness, GMT has really served us well the last few years. Keep 'm coming!!
 
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Mark Beyak
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chad56s wrote:
Mark, thanks for the input on this game.

I ordered Combat Commander(my first GMT order) after deciding that it was definitely something I'd enjoy. I've read the rules, the consimworld forum and everything else I can get my hands on. I'm very excited about it.

The events are an interesting feature and the way they can alter a game seems to be a clever way of keeping the game fresh and suspense levels high. However, after reading the detailed AAR in the Consimworld forums I became concerned that the events and snipers drawn might have more of an impact on the game than the players' actions. I could be mistaken, or maybe the AAR was a bit of a fluke, but it seemed that more units were broken due to random events and snipers than because of any direct actions by either side.

Am I up in the night about this? Can Chad chime in? Or Andy Lewis who posted the AAR? I would like to have posted in the Consimworld forum, but I'm not a member...blush

I want to be wrong about this; but even if I'm not, I still think this game has the potential to become one of my all time favorites!


Let me attempt to clarify something, When I was refering to a series of events I meant it with a "small" e. One of those events would be the simple resolution of a combat or melee. Ok?

Now to address your other issue, the effect of Events in the game. Like I was saying about the nature of randomness and events occuring in clusters, this is evident, IMHO, when observing the frequency and type of events in CC. Some scenarios can be played with very few Events occuring while others have many. Sometimes the "clustering" effect is seen within the series of Events, like when you play a scenario and there are a lot of sniper checks but very few other Events, or the opposite could easily happen.

So, my guess is CC probably does a fairly good job of dipicting the chaos of a battle situation and the affect it has on a commander's ability to control the battlefield, (judging from the personal accounts I have read and heard from veterans).

Mark
 
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Chadwik
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Quote:
However, after reading the detailed AAR in the Consimworld forums I became concerned that the events and snipers drawn might have more of an impact on the game than the players' actions.


Chad,

No need to worry; player actions in CC count for far more than random events. I would say that, on average, an Event will benefit you a quarter of the time, hurt you a quarter of the time, and have a neutral (or no) effect half the time.

It is the player that sets himself up to take advantage of possible good Events -- and by corollary mitigate bad Events -- that will win more games than he loses.

For example: if you're playing a large, spread out German force against the Russians (with the most Sniper triggers), you may want to hold that Rally in your hand just in case. But if your playing a small German force against the US (fewest Snipers), you don't need to worry as much about getting hit by a Sniper.

Bottom line: play smart and the random Events can more often work for you than against you.

Cheers,
Chadwik
 
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Chad Winter
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Thanks for replying, Chad.

I probably don't need to state again how excited I am about this game. I can't wait to play it for myself.
 
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Robert R
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This is one of my few preorders that leaves me awake at night thinking of the possibilities...wow

I too devoured the consimworld forum when I found it. Nope, it wasn't enough to calm my need for this game.
 
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Chad Winter
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No kidding. I'm (im)patiently awaiting the extended example of play mentioned in the rulebook.
 
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Alex Limoges
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Chad,

I have also read the rules and I am really interested (so I'm on the preorder). I was also struck by the variety of special events. We cannot see the actual cards, but what proportion of them (aprox.) call for an event ? What I mean is: how frequently are they triggered during a given scenario ?
 
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Chadwik
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Alex,

The Fate Card decks are 72 cards each, so make up two iterations of 2d6. Event triggers are on the "7" rolls, so there are twelve of them per deck and occur once every six rolls on average.

We've tinkered with this number upwards and downwards several times during development and found this to be a good number to have to create just enough chaos to keep the players on their toes but not quite enough that it dictates the winner of the game.

About half of the Events are one-of's in each deck -- the other half show up more than once per deck, with "Interdiction" being most likely occur at nine per deck (one in eight Events).

Cheers,
Chadwik
 
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