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Combat Commander: Europe» Forums » General

Subject: CC: Europe compared to ASL and Up Front rss

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Kevin Reynolds
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I have all the ASL stuff and Up Front. Unfortunately my game buddies are wusses and anything with a rulebook of 10 pages or more scare them away, even if they are mostly imagery.

How does this game compare with ASL and Up Front? Is it less complicated and involved than ASL? Is it a little more streamlined and less management to play than Up Front?

Are there expansions from hell, or is it a game on its own?
 
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Richard Pardoe
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You might want to read:

A hardcore ASLer tries Combat Commander
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/147783

and the discussion that follows.
 
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Doug Adams
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presence wrote:
How does this game compare with ASL and Up Front? Is it less complicated and involved than ASL? Is it a little more streamlined and less management to play than Up Front?

Are there expansions from hell, or is it a game on its own?


Several orders of magnitude less complex than ASL. Resembles Up Front in that you have to card count and manage a hand. It's a game on it's own, with one expansion to be published later this year, and a Pacific expansion hinted at.

It's a fun, light game, but I'm burning out on it after seven or eight games. Definitely a keeper though.
 
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Alpha Mastrano
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dougadamsau wrote:

Several orders of magnitude less complex than ASL. Resembles Up Front in that you have to card count and manage a hand. It's a game on it's own, with one expansion to be published later this year, and a Pacific expansion hinted at.

It's a fun, light game, but I'm burning out on it after seven or eight games. Definitely a keeper though.


No!! You can't burn out on it yet! Not until we have a game!
The random scenario generator seems to work quite well, too.
 
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Cutthroat Cardboard (Barry)
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The UP Front comparisson is an interesting one. I love Up Front and have owned and played it from it's original release. It strikes me however that CC:E is the game most people thought they were buying when they bought Up Front, "The Squad Leader card game!" UF was released way ahead of it's time and it was a serious challenge to get people to play until the collectable card game revolution made players more open to creative and abstract card game mechanics.

My initial feeling is that the addition of a map board in CC:E somehow revolutionises the UF concept.

1. The abstraction of relative distance and moving to uncertain terrain were fantastic game mechanisms but very gamey/abstract.

2. Getting visual feedback about your disposition and the terrain reinforces the feel for tactical manouvering in the game.

3. The maps and counters are good quality and the lage hexes and small stacks provide good ergonomics and make the game positve to work with.

Some combination of these three just seem to make the card amd map combo feel very satisfying. You can now pour over the map and terrain looking for the best approach paths and locations for your interlocking fire groups.

I think that this has taken the playing experience to a whole new level and at the moment I'm thinking that I like it better than UF and am finding it a lot easier to get people to play!

If I have a concern it's that, even with all the random events, tactics might become a little prescribed if you play often enough? In a given situation always discarding until you get a certain combination that you know will allow you to prosecute your attack successfully. I think there are too many variables for this to happen and the fluid use of time and reactions of your opponent should upset this but it will be interesting to see how the game is viewed in 5 years.
 
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Alex Η
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Skipp wrote:
If I have a concern it's that, even with all the random events, tactics might become a little prescribed if you play often enough? In a given situation always discarding until you get a certain combination that you know will allow you to prosecute your attack successfully.


I haven't played this one yet (where is my copy GMT?). But if it's anything close to Up Front I think you will simply not have enough time to wait until you get the perfect combination of cards that allows you to move or attack successfully. In Up Front you know perfectly well what cards you need but you simply can't affort to always wait for all of them. Thus you take calculated (or not so calculated) risks and hope for the best.
 
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Cutthroat Cardboard (Barry)
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nerotora wrote:
In Up Front you know perfectly well what cards you need but you simply can't affort to always wait for all of them. Thus you take calculated (or not so calculated) risks and hope for the best.


There is an element of this in CC:E. The longer you wait the more the defender can prepare to get the right hand and also they can potentially mount a counter attack.

Smoke, particularly artillary smoke, and lines on sight on the map change the position dramatically from Up Front. If you smoke out the position you want to attack or can hide out of sight you can take time to prepare.

The limitation on defenders hand size to four cards also means that there is onlt so much hurt they can store up!.

To balance this, oportunity fire against units crossing open ground is brutal!

The combination of the above goes some way to showing why the addition of a map to this type of game has had such an effect on how it plays and how it feels.
 
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Richard Irving
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presence wrote:
I have all the ASL stuff and Up Front. Unfortunately my game buddies are wusses and anything with a rulebook of 10 pages or more scare them away, even if they are mostly imagery.


The rule book is 24 pages long--but unlike Up Front's, it is very well laid out as reference. I find the game pretty easy to teach. The scenario book has an excellent sample game to figure most of the rules.

Quote:
How does this game compare with ASL and Up Front? Is it less complicated and involved than ASL? Is it a little more streamlined and less management to play than Up Front?


Nothing as complicated as ASL--about as complicated as Up Front overall. CC takes longer to play than UF the game is still fast and furious. The card management is similar to UF

Quote:
Are there expansions from hell, or is it a game on its own?


No expansions, yet. The second volums adds the British, French and Italians (and use them to stand in for Axis/Allied minors, Commonwealth forces.) The Pacific version is not on the P500 list. Presumably scenarios will be released in the future.
 
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Doug Adams
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Imago wrote:
No!! You can't burn out on it yet! Not until we have a game!
The random scenario generator seems to work quite well, too.


I'll be fresh again, waiting your return
 
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Chad Jensen
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Quote:
If I have a concern it's that, even with all the random events, tactics might become a little prescribed if you play often enough?


Since I am the designer the following statement needs to be evaluated a bit differently than that of others but:

In the past 25 months I have played CC over 400 times (410 at last count) and am still looking forward to my next session. Also, I am still learning new tricks and tactics - obviously not as many or with as much frequency as in those early games but new nonetheless.

Further, every wargaming member of my local gaming group will play CC during a "game night" if one player suggests it - and many of them have played CC close to 100 times (100+ for one of them).

Your mileage may vary. cool
 
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Cutthroat Cardboard (Barry)
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Chad Jensen wrote:
Quote:
If I have a concern it's that, even with all the random events, tactics might become a little prescribed if you play often enough?


Since I am the designer the following statement needs to be evaluated a bit differently than that of others but:

In the past 25 months I have played CC over 400 times (410 at last count) and am still looking forward to my next session. Also, I am still learning new tricks and tactics - obviously not as many or with as much frequency as in those early games but new nonetheless.
:


Chad, my gut reaction is to agree with you and certainly the games we have played so far have had a continuous learning curve and the feel has varied considerably depending on troops, time period and scale.

All that said I was desperately trying to keep some perspective. I haven't played 400 games yet and as easy as it is to get carried away on the froth of a new game and proclaim it the best thing since dice were invented I wanted to at least appear to have some critical faculty left.
 
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Chad Jensen
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Agreed, Barry. A quick glance at my "games played" stats will show that I play much more than just CC -- so perhaps taking a break from CC for a week or two then coming back to it with renewed vigor has allowed me to keep it fresh in my mind.
 
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