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Subject: Would a Euro gamer like this? rss

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Scott Mellon
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I like it.

I also like Twighlight Struggle.

I've read Hannibal and it just doesn't look that interesting.

I've played Paths of Glory and Here I stand. I find both ok.

There's a Euro gamers perspective for you.


Edit - spelling
 
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Niko Ruf
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Well, it is a Euro game, it's right there in the title.

On a more serious note, CC:E doesn't have much in common with typical Euro titles. It involves risk management, as you have to assess the odds and decide how you are most likely to achieve your goals in a limited amount of time. The game is very much driven by the card decks, so there is a lot of randomness. This is not meant to be disparaging - after all, the game tries to simulate the chaos of close-quarters fighting - but it is not a "Euro-ish" quality. CC:E combines aspects of hex-and-counter wargames and CCGs. There is no deck building (and thankfully, no collecting), but you need similar hand management skills.

I think the game is so different from most Euros that your preference for Euros is not a good indicator of whether you would like CC:E. Let's look at your other criteria:

Quote:
lots of player interaction, interesting decisions to make, and rules that can be explained fairly quickly and don't require more than a few pages to consult. I do love some war-like games, e.g. Vinci or Memoir '44.


Player interaction: check. It's a wargame, things don't get more interactive than that.

Interesting decisions: check. Both on the tactical level (where do I set up/attack?) and the hand management.

Rules: so-so. The rules are some of the best I have ever seen in terms of accuracy and organization. But they are of moderate length, and I'm not sure somebody who has not played a hex-and-counter game before can pick them up easily. However, the basics of CC:E are rather easy to teach if you can find a somewhat experienced player.

Vinci: hard to compare, as it is totally different.

Memoir: superficially similar, but CC:E is much more detailed. Memoir is a war-themed game with many abstractions. CC:E actually generates sequence of events you might see in a war movie.


My recommendation would be to a) download the rules and see how you like them, and b) play before you buy, if it is at all possible (maybe at a convention).
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Being less abstract than your average Euro makes Combat Commander quite easy to explain. Complimenting the rich theme, the rules are intuitive enough that most concepts feel logical and simple. The rulebook itself is designed for quick reference which really speeds up the first few games whilst trying to learn the system.

One of the big draws (pun intended) for Euro fans of CC:E should be the card based system that drives the game. In any given turn, options are limited to the Orders in hand which keeps the game moving at a good pace. Careful hand management is crucial to success in CC:E. When to discard? What to discard? What to play? When to play? Decisions like these are typical of many Euros.

 
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David Bohnenberger
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I am a wargamer/eurogamer, and I like Combat Commander a LOT. However, I don't think it's the Eurogamer side of me that it appeals to.

It's a wargame, and a very chaotic and luck-driven one at that. And while it's fairly easy to play as wargames go, it's very fiddly and complicated compared to most euros.

Regardless, I know several eurogamers who have tried Combat Commander and loved it. Most of these are older folks who were once wargamers, and thought they were "born again" as eurogamers but found they were missing something from their gaming life. But some were eurogamers who'd always wondered it they'd like Squad Leader but weren't willing to put in the effort to find out.

And although I described Combat Commander as "fiddly and complicated", and "chaotic and luck-driven", it's also really, really fun to play. Each game tends to generate a good "war story". And this is one of the main reasons why it DOES, in fact, appeal to a wider audience.

You seem to have a bit of the wargamer in you. Maybe you ought to give it a try. It would be nice if you could find someone to teach it to you.
 
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Your comments on Memoir 44 suggest you like the 'documentary' feeling that game provides. With increased detail Combat Commander provides a much richer narrative than Memoir 44, whilst leaving plenty of detail out for our imaginations to fill in the gaps. The memorable story-telling is biggest reason why I rate Combat Commander a 10.
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Pokke
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If you like games, you will like this one...
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Neil Parker
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I would say yes if you are ok with the theme. In terms of difficulty i would say it is relatively easy to learn. The first time i watched the game it looked a bit of a mess with all the bits, but as i'm used to wargame terminology there was already some familiarity and the game boils down to a few basic principles.

The first time i played i was able to 'get into the rythym' fairly quickly barring the odd rule and remembering all the info on the chits.

My attitude towards this game and games generally is that its best to skim the rules (and maybe watch the game once) to pick up general principles and then play and learn.
I enjoy playing a wide variety of games as you can see from my list of ratings from eurogames to wargames to themed games and this fits in nicely. I've played Vinci (which i like) and other Civ/eurogames and for me, warring at a more tactical level is fun and a nice change to more strategic games. Personally i prefer Tide of Iron (because i like to move my painted tigers), but its really academic as i'd be willing to play both at a pinch.

One mechanic i really like and you may too is the way the cards work which seems pretty much central to the game. The cards give you a range of possible actions depending on your sides nationality and your hand side limits what is available at the time. Each card in turn has a variety of options on it and there is a nice dilemma as to which cards to play or discard given this choice - sometimes you may want to keep a card which is not immediately useful but which may counteract certain actions by your opponent.
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Ricky Gray
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Quote:
play before you buy


Online live play with VASSAL is available. www.vassalengine.org

Ricky

 
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Don Cooper
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(1) It is a bit more complicated than a typical Eurogame. It is not overly complicated, but it does have a wargamer's nuance to it. The devil is in the details.

(2) While it technically does not have any dice, there is a lot of dice rolling going on. What that's? you say, I heard the game has no dice. The dice rolls are on the cards themselves. The game can be at times very random with "events" occurring on a regular basis. This is an essential part of CC, as players must as combat commanders deal with these constant unknowns.

(3) The scenarios, I feel, are uniquely balanced. Most of the scenarios you will play usual end as a near run thing. One side might be up in victory points but lose because they forced to surrendur due to losses. The opposing sides are not often balanced for playability as much as they are for historical purposes. You will not start out with the same exact attributes, as might be the case with some Eurogames.

(4) This is game that a newbie can win even on their first game against a veteran player. I have discovered that while a player may accrue some basic tactics in fighting his battles, there is no system to crack here. Tactics will change from battle to battle, opponent to opponent, etc ... There is no way to control the random nature of events and dice rolls other than to deal with them.
 
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Diz Hooper
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Definitely check the rules out before you buy. If you've only been playing Euros, it might be much to digest in one bite without someone to teach you.

 
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Jeffrey McBeth
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Sonja, you could try coming to NiagaraCon, and I'm sure you could get someone to teach it to you there. Shoot, if I make it, I'll teach it to you.
 
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Sonja wrote:
I tend to like Euro games that have lots of player interaction, interesting decisions to make, and rules that can be explained fairly quickly and don't require more than a few pages to consult. I do love some war-like games, e.g. Vinci or Memoir '44.

You should certainly give CC:E a try. The appearances of a being a difficult or hard-to-lean wargame (hexes, a complicated-looking rulebook, counters with numbers on them, etc.) deceive: this is a good solid Euro that many Euro players will enjoy. It has all the attributes you like: player interaction and interesting decisions are non-stop, and the rules, though meatier than most Euros', are flawless, so that consulting the considerably more than "a few pages" they cover, is always painless (and less frequent and more rewarding than in many Euros with "simpler" rules).

In comparison with Memoir '44, I think you'll find that CC:E illustrates something we don't often capture in our assessment of games: the ratio of reward to effort. M'44 is a far simpler game, but the reward for learning it is near zero (unless you really have a thing for junky plastic); CC:E is more work to learn, but the reward is far greater: a strong feeling of narrative and story (as other's have mentioned) in a clean system that you can remember and trust.

Sonja wrote:
I'm curious about this game because it has such a high rating.

This, ultimately, is what I think accounts for the game's appeal: among war-themed games (sorry, I'm still not calling it a wargame*) it has perhaps the highest ratio of reward to effort. On the one hand, Memoir '44 is easier to learn, but the theme is so thin that you could be playing just about anything (say, for example, a battle between Romans and Carthaginians); on the other, games like Advanced Squad Leader or its modern replacement Lock 'n Load: Band of Heroes provide an almost immersive experience, but at a huge cost (and with terrible sprawling rules). Combat Commander: Europe hits the sweet spot, for which it has a deserved high rating.

*http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/1896442#1896442
 
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Dan Raspler
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Euro gamers absolutely should avoid CC:E, unless they are into the military theme. While the clean card-based game engine is delightful, it's not enough of a novelty to justify the complexity unless you are into the history or drama of WWII.

Aldaron wrote:
this is a good solid Euro that many Euro players will enjoy.


BGG continues to crack me up. Twilight Struggle is dubbed a wargame and CC:E is pronounced a euro game. How bizarre. Combat Commander has military units moving on a map and fighting for terrain... which makes it a wargame to most folks. Just because the engine runs with a hand of cards, doesn't make it a euro.

I do think the comparisons with Memoir are apt, though. It's Memoir on steroids, with almost the same sorts of limited decsions to make, mostly involving hand management. CC:E is a lot more intricate, but your choices and strategy are almost exclusively derived from your small hand of cards.

As a result, at the end of the day, it's a pretty simple game, with pretty simple choices.

Though it is a lot of fun if, like many of us, you ever enjoyed playing with toy soldiers. Bang! Pow pow! K-Baam!
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Scott Mellon
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mcbeth wrote:
Sonja, you could try coming to NiagaraCon, and I'm sure you could get someone to teach it to you there. Shoot, if I make it, I'll teach it to you.


Is there a date/place yet? I haven't heard any info.
 
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Michel Boucher
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agashamirv wrote:
Is there a date/place yet? I haven't heard any info.


February 7-10, at the Ramada Coral Resort in Niagara Falls.

http://www.ramadacoralniagarafalls.com/
 
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Quote:
Combat Commander has military units moving on a map and fighting for terrain... which makes it a wargame to most folks. Just because the engine runs with a hand of cards, doesn't make it a euro.

That's the point, precisely. You can categorize games based on surface aspects, or on deeper mechanics. It's your choice. On the surface CC:E is a wargame, look deeper and it's a Euro.
 
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Chad Jensen
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Quote:
On the surface CC:E is a wargame, look deeper and it's a Euro.

You continue to crack me up, Roy. Good show! laugh
 
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Poochie D
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Aldaron wrote:
On the surface CC:E is a wargame, look deeper and it's a Euro.

Look even deeper, it's a party game.
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John Fairley
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I'd be glad to show you how to play Sonja. Colin (Virgilius) asked me to teach him at the end of TABSCon. We haven't picked a date yet but you're more than welcome to watch or I could teach you both at the same time.

j.,
 
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Niko Ruf
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hacksword wrote:
Look even deeper, it's a party game.


With tanks!
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Jesper Rugård Jensen
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No, no, t(h)ank you...

If there is blood it is a war game, if there is no blood - then it is for sissies... Ehm. Perhaps? At least Combat Commander has direct confrontation, if no real blood.

On a more serious side: I am probably what can be designated a failed wargamer, I have always wanted to play them, but always end up having more fun with euros.

But I have found two wargames (ydmv) that I can play and still have fun, and they are A Victory Lost and Combat Commander: Europe. They are both simple enough for me to handle the rules and have fun at the same time.



Niko Ruf wrote:
hacksword wrote:
Look even deeper, it's a party game.


With tanks!
 
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Michel Boucher
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Niko Ruf wrote:
hacksword wrote:
Look even deeper, it's a party game.


With tanks!


Nope, no tanks. I believe that one of the design parameters is that this system will remain an infantry vs. infantry (with the odd off-board arty) combat simulation. Tanks were demanded by ASLers, however their firepower in this game would greatly exceed the scale of the board so you can just assume they are off-board and count as part of artillery (if you insist on tanks, that is...personally, I don't).

 
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Richard Irving
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Quote:
That's the point, precisely. You can categorize games based on surface aspects, or on deeper mechanics.


So Tactics (I & II), Afrika Korps, Victory in the Pacific, War at Sea, Stalingrad, D-Day, Midway, etc. aren't wargames because they don't have "deeper mechanics"

What makes a game a "wargame" is that it attempts a model of warfare.

What makes the game a "simulation" is NOT the amount of details, but whether it contains the RIGHT details. Given that infantry combat **WAS** highly random, where officers often had spotty control over their units, Combat Commander has plenty of the right details to make it a simulation, and certainly attempts a model of warfare to make it wargame.

Quote:
It's your choice. On the surface CC:E is a wargame, look deeper and it's a Euro.


This comment merely indicates you understand neither wargmaes nor Euros.
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Niko Ruf
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alsandor wrote:
Niko Ruf wrote:
hacksword wrote:
Look even deeper, it's a party game.


With tanks!


Nope, no tanks.


You obviously haven't looked deep enough.
 
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Michel Boucher
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Niko Ruf wrote:
alsandor wrote:


Nope, no tanks.


You obviously haven't looked deep enough.


Bwahaha...shake

All armoured vehicle movement occurs off-board and has no impact on the game situations. So, yes, I have. I own all three existing components and downloadable items, as well as having played face-to-face and using the Vassal module. When I say "no tanks", I mean "no tank units available to player", obviously.

Unit scale is stated as: Squads, Fire Teams, and Leaders

At 30 metres per hex, armoured units would be pointless. As I said, they are off-board and can be considered part of the artillery if you really feel the need to "include" tanks.
 
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