Recommend
4 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Combat Commander: Europe» Forums » Reviews

Subject: My Combat Commander Review after 2 games played rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Chris Abratte
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
This is pretty much a cut and paste of a review for this game that I wrote for my buddy's site: www.gamesonthego.net

Combat Commander: Europe, is the first installment in a new series of card driven wargames for 2 players designed by Chad Jensen and published by GMT games. The game allows you to play out small scale squad level WWII battles taking place between the Germans, Russians, and Americans. The contents of the game are well produced and include a rule book, a scenario book, and 3 72 card decks (one specific for each army in the game). Also included is large assortment of chits representing the various units, leaders, weapon attachments, as well as chits used to mark the location of smoke grenades, razor wire, and foxholes among other things. Lastly, there are 12 very nicely illustrated 17”x22” hex maps to be used with the scenarios included with the game, as well as with the random scenario generation rules, a record track, and a number of reference sheets.

The game takes place as a series of alternating turns in which the active player plays a number of orders from his hand (hand size and order limit are dictated by the scenario) and the inactive player plays actions in response to those orders. After the active player has exhausted his orders or no longer wishes to continue giving orders, his turn is over, he draws up to his max hand size, and he then becomes the inactive player. The major driving force of the game play in this game is each army’s 72 card deck. Most cards contain an order (to be used by the active player on his turn), an action (sort of a play anytime ability usable by either the active or inactive player if the conditions can be met), an event, a random hex location, and the results of a 2d6 die roll (the top card of your deck is drawn whenever you need to make a die roll in the game; e.g. attacking or defending). Some cards also have trigger events set off when they’re drawn for a die roll such as “time” (which advances the game towards its end) and “sniper” which breaks a unit adjacent to a random hex. This seems like a lot of stuff to jam into every card, however, you don’t always have to consider everything printed on the cards.

Units in the game are represented by chits with 4 basic stats: firepower, range, movement, and morale. There are also leaders with a special leadership stat, and weapons such as machineguns and mortars which can be used by units to improve their firepower. Units hit by attacks need to make defense rolls based on their morale, which if failed, cause the unit to break. If a broken unit is forced to break again before it has a chance to rally, it is eliminated. Normally, an order activates a single unit and units can only be activated once per turn, however, the leadership stat allows you to activate a number of units surrounding a leader simultaneously, and boosts stats of the units in the leader’s hex. For example, a leader with a leadership stat of 2 could activate all friendly units within a 2 hex radius of himself with a single order, and would add 2 to the stats of all units and weapons in his hex.

The game progresses until the scenario time limit is reached or one player loses a number of units equal to his surrender limit for that scenario. A typical game will last about 2 hours before one of these conditions is met. Surrendering results in an automatic defeat, whereas running out of time requires you to compare victory points to determine who won. Victory points are modified by eliminated teams, as well as the capture of objectives printed on the map, the value of which are determined by randomly drawn chits at the start of the scenario, and may be kept secret from one player or another depending on the scenario. For example, one scenario might have one open objective with a printed value shown to both players, and each player may also have a secret objective with a value known only to himself.

In my opinion, this is a really great game that bridges the gap between simpler card driven wargames such as Richard Borg’s Memoir ‘44, and more complicated wargames such as MMP’s Advanced Squad Leader series. The components of the game are all of a very high quality, so you won’t feel ripped off when you open the box up. The inclusion of a random scenario generator was a nice touch, and it will allow you to squeeze more life out of an already robust game. The designer has done a great job of squeezing most of everything you need to play the game onto the cards, which really streamlines the gameplay. The “anytime” actions printed on the cards give the game sort of a CCG feel, allowing you to build up a combo of orders and actions to strengthen your attack, or letting you spring an unexpected action on an your opponent during his turn to lay his plans to waste. The gameplay is fast (rarely will you ever get bogged down looking at a chart or table in this game), tactical, and very satisfying. I have not yet played through all of the scenarios, however the ones I did play seemed well balanced. There is little more satisfying than breaking an enemy with artillery bombardments and machinegun fire, and then liberating the heavily entrenched position with a brutal close combat assault. This is one of those rare games that you will feel good about even when you lose. My only complaint about the game thus far is that the rulebook is somewhat unorganized, making the learning curve a bit steep for more casual gamers. However, if you have ever played and enjoyed a Richard Borg game or want to try WWII wargaming but are intimidated by ASL, you should definitely look into Combat Commander: Europe.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Muldoon (silentdibs)
United States
Astoria
New York
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Longhairhippy789 wrote:
My only complaint about the game thus far is that the rulebook is somewhat unorganized, making the learning curve a bit steep for more casual gamers.


I would clarify this by saying "the rulebook is very well rganized, but as a reference tool, and not a learning tool." The rest of your statement is quite true - we've found that, like Up Front, CC:E is best taught rather than learned from the rules.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Brisiel
United States
Wilmington
Delaware
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I picked up a copy of this game and am relatively new to the wargame genre... (I've played C&C Ancients and Memoir 44, Britannia - but thats about the extent). I keep hoping to see a Youtube video introductory (have any of you ever posted something like that??) or perhaps Boardgames with Scott will cover this game (he does a great job with the intros to boardgames)... either that or I will try to get my local hobby shop (Days of Knights) to give me a tutorial. Otherwise I keep reading through the rules, and setting up the sample and working through it on my own, I am just not comfortable enough to teach my friend (he's at my level of gaming) the game. Looks like a really fun game, and I can't wait till i am cruising through the scenarios.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Jensen
United States
Santa Rosa
California
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chris,

Andy Lewis of GMT lives in Lewes, Delaware (down in the southern end of the state). He knows CC very well as he helped me with early development. He is a 'geek if you want search for him and send him a geekmail.

Also my developer John Foley lives in Joisey and if he isn't too far away could possibly arrange a demo session for you as well.

I also know that there are several CC gamers in Baltimore, but can't remember a garfandargled name at the moment....

Hope this helps!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Brisiel
United States
Wilmington
Delaware
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sure does, Thanks for the tips! I've heard that Andy stops into my local shop from time-time in Newark, DE. Thanks again.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Abratte
United States
California
flag msg tools
mbmbmb
sdiberar wrote:
Longhairhippy789 wrote:
My only complaint about the game thus far is that the rulebook is somewhat unorganized, making the learning curve a bit steep for more casual gamers.


I would clarify this by saying "the rulebook is very well rganized, but as a reference tool, and not a learning tool." The rest of your statement is quite true - we've found that, like Up Front, CC:E is best taught rather than learned from the rules.


yes I guess this is more what i was thinking.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.