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Combat Commander: Europe» Forums » General

Subject: CC:E with a non-wargamer rss

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Isaac Citrom
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I don't like card driven games. As such, I just reflexively avoided Combat Commander. But, I've given it another hard look and I think I'm going to pull the trigger on this system. More than anything else, what convinced me is the many, many positive comments and recommendations here on BGG.

My question is this: I have a friend who's a total non-wargamer. He's never seen a counter. He's only played Risk a few times. He's an intelligent young man but is CC too much as a first exposure?
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Dom Rougier
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I don't think so. There's quite a bit going on, but it's not a massively complex game, and the rules are extremely well organised.

It's a firm step up from something like Memoir '44, but there are very few exceptions, and most of the game is in the cards, so it's pretty solid.

The most important thing is that the game is short - this is 90-120 minutes when you know what you're doing, so it's never a massive commitment.
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Jack Francisco
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I'd say Memoir 44 is probably where you want to enter into the genre. Fun, easy to understand and approachable, i.e. no scary counters.
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Francois-Xavier
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It would work if he’s interested in the concept, as long as you know the rules reasonably well and can explain the concepts. But be aware that the first games of CC are going to be a bit tough as it takes longer to grasp the tactics than memoir 44. So you need some patience to really get into it
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Mark Buetow
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Well, what does your friend say?
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C Sandifer
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Related lists, if it helps:

https://www.boardgamequest.com/top-ten-entry-level-war-games...

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/39241/starter-wargames

But obviously it depends on your buddy's historical interests, etc.

Personally, I'm a big fan of Manoeuvre as a first "counter" wargame. Which might be step #2 after a non-counter game such as 1812: The Invasion of Canada.
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Jeff Binning
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My wife and I have been playing CCE for about 7 years now, and it's our favorite game out of the many games I have. We've been gaming for decades, and it took us a few games to understand the game well. I'd advise something a bit lighter to start with. Memoir '44 is a great suggestion, and I'd also look at some Columbia games, such as Quebec 1759.
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Ken Smith
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I tried it with my wife, a non-gamer, and her main comment was, "Oh my god; so much math!"
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Kevin L. Kitchens
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kensmith wrote:
I tried it with my wife, a non-gamer, and her main comment was, "Oh my god; so much math!"
Have her try Leaving Earth
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Jeremy Henderson
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Others have basically said this, but CC:E would not be "too much" in terms of complexity, if you were there to teach them as you go. It's really not that complex. I'm guessing the key issue will be if your friend is interested in this type of activity.

Folks are of course correct to say that there are simpler games, like M:44. And I would say a person who does not enjoy gaming might gravitate more to a M:44, or commands and colors: ancients, for the toy factor or the shorter time investment, or the easier mental investment if they are really just playing the game as a friend because you want them to play.


But if you explain what CC:E is, maybe show some pics or 1-2 mins of a video and they seem a little interested, then I wouldn't worry about the complexity of the game at all.
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Brent Pollock
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isaacc wrote:
I have a friend who's a total non-wargamer. He's never seen a counter.
Sounds ideal: he will not have to unlearn a whole tonne of rules from other tactical WW II games before learning these ones.
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Gunky Gamer
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I would think a motivated individual could walk straight into Combat Commander, but I would offer a few cautionary thoughts and a bit of advice:

1) You look to be an experienced gamer so this is probably obvious, but it goes without saying that if you are the one teaching the game then make sure you are prepped and ready to teach it. First impressions and all that...

2) You know your friend's capabilities better than us, but I'd echo the mention of Memoir '44 as it is very accessible to new players. It's well-loved by adults, but a smart kid can be off to the races with just a few minutes of rules explanation.

3) A game of Memoir '44 is significantly shorter than CC:E, which may be a factor in bringing your friend along. You can play approximately two rounds of Memoir in the time you'll play a single game of CC:E (and two rounds is recommended for Memoir as it lets players have a crack at both sides in a scenario).

4) If your hope is to lead your friend to the wide world of wargames, CC:E is a better point of entry. There's a decent-sized gap between Memoir and the typical wargame. I think CC:E splits the difference.

5) I guess my last suggestion is to be sure to consider yourself in the decision. If something like Memoir is going to be a complete turn-off for you, that might taint the experience for your friend. CC:E is a great game and not too difficult.

Good luck.
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Ronster Zero
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Like anything, if he has interest, you should give it a try.
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Joe K
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No, this is a dreadful idea.
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Jay M
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I would go with Memoir 44 instead. It has the hand-management that will be needed for CC. It has the random element in resolving shots that will be needed for CC. And it has the easy visual for what it takes to kill a unit (the figures disappear, one by one after hits).

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Fernando Robert Yu
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Too much for a non wargamer noob...

Games in the Commands & Colors series are better, especially with minis. Even Risk: Star Wars Edition would be a great intro as a wargame light and into card driven conflict games.

Manoeuvre also makes for an excellent intro to the genre.
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John David
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It's a great game that both of you will probably like allot, but I agree with what many have stated here, Memoir '44 would be a very good place to start.

Another thing you could do is watch some of the videos here or on You Tube that show the game being played and taught. Wether it's watching folks play the tabletop game or better yet, using the VASSAL module of Combat Commander: Europe, you'll both get an excellent front row seat in to how the game & mechanics are played so as to get an idea if the game is one you'd both be interested in learning.
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John McLintock
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I'm pleased to hear that you're getting into CC Isaac but, as much as I like the game, I'm not at all sure it'd be a good starting point for someone who is "total non-wargamer" who's "only played Risk a few times". CC isn't that complex by wargaming standards, but it's still a lot more complex than Risk. Your friend might be put off by the counters and the cards as well as by the game's inherent complexity. I would agree that Memoir'44 should be a smoother introduction to wargaming for your friend.

All that said, CC's cardplay does have a couple of advantages when you're teaching it. First, you can play with open hands so that you don't have to explain all the nuances of the cards straight away- you can explain things as you go along. And second, the cards constrain your decisions so that you don't have to figure out all the tactical options each turn. Taken together, these serve to minimise the amount your friend will have to digest before he can get stuck into the game. But they also apply to M44 too, of course.

So I would say you've got nothing to lose by showing CC to your friend, to see what he thinks of it. I'd just be sure to have an alternative handy if he doesn't like the look of it.
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