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Combat Commander: Battle Pack #2 – Stalingrad» Forums » General

Subject: Stalingrad dissapointment or not ? rss

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Cezary Domalski
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Waiting with impatience on my copy of battle pack Stalingrad for CC, that was wanted to share with you doubts for contents of this product. Possible that i will change opinion when i will get this on for already, but i think presently, that it does not grant this add-on with reference to name my claims - Stalingrad Battle Pack.
1. Box cover - Stalingrad are so interresting and sourceful theme, that redraw photos from newspaper is not needed. Berliner Ilustrierte Zeitung issue 39, 1 October 1942 released. Photo from this newspaper, are placed in book of Janusz Piekałkiewicz "Stalingrad - anatomy of battle". IMO - sometimes it's good to use imagination when you draw a box art cover. It is so difficult ?
2. Scenarios - in game 11 - 8 from which (plus campaign) concerns Stalingrad thema directly. It is hundred of curious encounters Stalingrad's epopee, for which sources are supplied documentary evidence. Examples ? - where is famous battle about Pavlov's House? Where about railroad station fight, what within several days of battle proceeded from hands for hands multiple times? There are mile stones over two months' about Stalingrad battle, which we will not find in add-on. Such ready examples and at least we have several known scenarios. Obtain we have it? About fight of Romanians on airport in Oblivska or Vielikiye Luki scenario (It's not Stalingrad ) Great disappointment.
3. Maps - three maps from eight - only - show fragment of Stalingrad city - 34, 35 and 30. Really, rest maps can describe place anywhere (besides of fact, that few scenarios use maps from CC:E and CC:M). Goes what behind it? No climax of urban warfare in Stalingrad ruins Are my expectations big? I hope that i will be mistaken and maybe i will found fun in play Stalingrad Battle Pack. But i has never convened my wargaming intuition
Regards - Cezary
 
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John Foley
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Greetings Cezary,

Thank you for writing of your concerns.

Regarding the folder cover, this is a matter of taste and judgment by our Art Director, Rodger MacGowan, it is not a matter of difficulty.

Regarding the selection of the Stalingrad theme, please allow me to share with you my intention (which you are likely to disagree with based on your complaints so far). This definition of a battle pack is what I intend to work with for this and future battle packs that I will design.

1) It should address a major operation such that there is a 3-6 months window of scenario coverage - this is the initial desirable window, which could be shortened or lengthened as desired.

2) It should - within the many physical constraints we have (which you are not concerned with but which I *am*) - have scenarios that are set within each of the months of the "operation window" (or if the operation window is narrow, perhaps then weeks). The key idea is to show the overall arc of the situation from start to finish.

3) It should - if at all possible - include scenarios representing all of the engaged nationalities in the given campaign. The Romanian scenario therefore has a place in this battle pack.

4) It should - as much as possible - include situations which are characteristic (the factory settings in this case) AND unique (the airfield, the Mamayev Kurgan, the oil tanks and the grain elevator - these are characteristic and they are unique - distinct - not just another famous building in the city). Unique also means - in my judgment - that the tactical puzzle presented in the scenario is new to the players of CC - new in special rules, new in objectives, new in solution.

5) The scenarios must be of high quality and must be tested repeatedly. In this regard, I will err on the side of including a high quality tense replayable scenario which meets the conditions above coming from a superior scenario designer who will work flexibly with me, Chad and Kai. I will not merely include a scenario because someone says "it has to be included otherwise you have failed."

Regarding additional concerns and complaints:

It was certainly appropriate for Chad and I to list the specific scenario titles, settings and dates, so that potential purchasers could make up their minds regarding whether the battle pack definition would satisfy them or not. Since you have a good handle on the definition of what is included, I am concerned that you went ahead and ordered the battle pack when you have so many reservations. I will be disappointed if you go ahead, purchase the battle pack and then complain that it has failed for you. I would much rather you please stop your order now so that you will not waste your money on the product. At least you might wait until more reports come out about the game. Truly, I do mean this, I do not want you to be dissatisfied and I hope you will avoid the purchase because of your many concerns.

I did have a Pavlov's House scenario - but it was not able to make the cut for this battle pack. I was for many years an ASL-only player and played many of the scenarios set in Stalingrad. I did not wish to replicate that body of work so I set about providing a wider arc and purpose (as defined above). There are some of the epic battle situations you are craving, but there were other situations not well covered by the other popular tactical systems - I believe that CC should break ground in some way.

Finally, some of the maps are explicitly designed with a particular part of the Stalingrad terrain in mind - particularly the difficult "gully and ravine" maps. These are very challenging to play on! It was important to provide maps which the CC player who is not interested in campaigns and historical settings: this player prefers the Random Scenario Generator. I intend to serve this player as well.

I have done my best to explain my thinking and purpose. I do not expect you will agree or accept these reasons. I hope that by my further explanation it will help you make the right buying decision for you. If what I have said can confirm for you that this battle pack is not right for you, I will be thankful that you will have not spent your money on it unwisely.

No matter your decision, I hope you continue to enjoy other aspects of the CC system and I thank you (and I know both Chad and Kai will agree) for your interest and support.

John
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Cezary Domalski
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Hi John
I on beginning thanks much for so wide answer. My sentence important it is to to explain doubt and connected from product fears, because time on praise will come always
I am already the owner of this battle pack at present so i will add yet
several words on this subject how I will answer on your post also.
What to art cover this was such affirming old grognard and this is rather connected from my thoughts about design of cover at all. I prefer cover drawn personally "from head" or picture from the era. From here my question and the doubt in subject of cover.
1. Velikiye Luki scenario have no connection with battle of Stalingrad, and from this point of view have no connection with a "major operation" which is a Stalingrad battle.
2. Full agreement. However it was one should have this on attention, that is no chance show all (important) aspects of Stalingrad battle in 10 scenarios even if they possess high number of possibility of different their playing (besides fact, that replayability in CC is one of the best in games in similar scale). I understand, that the limitation oneself to so small number of scenarios results from received by designers of game of conception, however I am careful, that this in case of Stalingrad is for me too little, that the average player could develop opinion about scale and climax of these struggle.
3. Yep it seems logical to me, but someone could ask - "Hey! a Croatian regiment in 100 Jager Division fight in Stalingrad. Why don't you put scenario with these fine soldiers in battle pack ?"
4. IIRC Mamayev Kurgan and factory scenarios are in some ASL add-ons, but ther was no objection to put them on this battle pack. Why ? because they are unique and characteristic to Stalingrad battle yes ? Pavlov's House struggle (and raliroad station alike too, but in little different aspect) has the same characteristic and unique character. Why ? because it's show clear, why Germans, who have strenght in numbers, equipment etc. cannot breaks defence of small group of Red Army soldiers. Of course in Stalingrad similar situations was much more, but that fight was extraordinary to me. From this my concerns. Battle pack has few of same type (meaning of impressions) scenarios but in my opinion i can't feel deep what i call "a Stalingrad breath", a all day long fight, most of which are melee's, heavy casualties, horrible feeling of losing your man in a fight on a single house without strategical value. Few scenarios have this flavor (especially factory scenario is fine, Grain Elevator too), but most of them have not. Maybe i change my mind when i play more but...
5. Scenario testings are a basics which in consequence brings all flavor from game system. That is no doubt about it. What i mean is result of my point of view, you and Kai or Chad has other. It's OK. It's happens. I have show you my doubts without hurt somebody. If this happen i apologize

Few words about my impressions after plays. I play all scenarios which use CC:E map and battle pack maps (i don't have CC:M) and here it is:
Mostly it is a good old CC, (all good solutions and few bad), but special rules give them additional boost. All except one - a sniper rule. What i mean that i have different understanding of sniper activity in Stalingrad battle.
First of all - snipers in Stalingrad was most dangerous to Germans, not much to Russians, who better adapted street fighting and camouflage manners to breaks German advance to a turtle crawl. This rule in battle pack is apply to both sides, in my opinion little unhistorical.
Secondly - sniper marker enable possessing player to add to any Attack Roll +2 or +4, which means, that a shoot from a i.e. MG42 has better chance to hit enemy. But this is not sniper activity right?
What i see sniper role in CC ? one hidden unit (in this scale that will be sufficient, without fear about balance of scenario), Russian only, It can move when you play apropriate card (only Advance, because snipers was changing their postion very carefully). Player announce, playing Advance card: "i move my hidden unit" then it moves sniper to other hex, writing new designation on sheet. Of course sniper has all possiblities to op fire, etc. When an enemy unit gets into hex with sniper they automatically eliminate it without melee fight.

All in all this add-on supports the level of whole series, it adds him in several figures interesting scenarios and additional taste as well the special rules (deadly sewer infiltration, my favourite ), but the want stays at me. Too little Stalingrad in Battle Pack: Stalingrad.

Best regards - Cezary

P.S.
Of course i did not sell it to anyone - it is another Stalingrad to my Stalingrad board games collection
 
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Nick Avtges
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For me, it is absolutely not a disappointment. To the contrary, I think the Stalingrad pack is a fantastic addition to the Combat Commander system. I have played three scenarios so far and have enjoyed them all and the two I have played which included the Stalingrad special rules (the grain elevator and the commissar's house) have been tough, gritty, and exciting fights. I am filled with anticipation on playing the campaign and the Barrikady scenario, which not only looks like a huge amount of fun, but due to the random set up, should be very replayable. I've been having so much fun with the Stalingrad pack that I have yet to punch my copy of CCacific!
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Chick Lewis
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I've only played the Barrikady so far but it is a GREAT secenario! I might be satisfied with my purchase even if there were not eleven more scenarios to enjoy!

Great value => the Stalingrad Scenario Pack !

Chick
 
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Drake Coker
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FWIW, I think the Stalingrad pack is solid value. The maps alone are extremely interesting!

I haven't had a chance to play it yet (too much CCacific to play!), but I am looking forward to several of the scenarios. Pretty much all of them look fun.
 
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Chris Spray
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My initial impressions are that it is an excellent addition to the CC game.

The campaign game has got me playing random scenarios, which is something that never tempted me with CC:E/M.

@ Cezary: Post the 'missing' scenarios here!
 
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Cezary Domalski
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Hi Chris!
Yeah no problem with create "missing" scenarios (oob's and scenario briefing), but there is a problem with maps (or rather their lack of) Few examples (which i wrote in my past post):
- Pavlov's House (one house, no man's land few brave Russian soldiers, lots of Germans - ideal for a CC scenario)
- Railroad Station (urban area, house-to-house fighting - ideal for a mini - campaign)
- Krasnyi Oktiabr Factory fight (more specific game map than Barrikady Factory Area, same example for a campaign game)
- Tractor Factory (it's more difficult because Russian use tanks in this fight)
- Lazur Chemical Plant (and specific map with a "tennis rocket" railroad)
- Uniwermag fights
- Red Square battle
and many more...
For a admirers of Vasiliy Zaitsev special scenario about his duell with German supersniper (which duell besides was never confirmed and IMO it is just a Soviet Propaganda), but in this scenario must be a special rules about snipers (for example that i wrote in past post)
I try to draw few this maps in Adobe Photoshop. Maybe someday someone use it to create another Stalingrad scenarios
Regards - Cezary
 
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Chris Spray
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Who doesn't admire Vasiliy Zaitsev? I just hope he isn't played by Tom Cruise in a proper biopic.

Please pursue your map designing endeavours, and post the resulting scenarios. What is used to create official maps?

Ah tank rules, it's high time someone broke the taboo, and posted unofficial rules for vehicles. It maybe me arrrh
 
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Cezary Domalski
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Tom Cruise will play von Stauffenberg in "Valkyrie" movie gulp
When maps and scenarios will be ready i post them up as soon as possible.
Tank rules in CC...a beautiful dream...meeple
 
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Borat Sagdiyev
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clownPL wrote:
Tank rules in CC...a beautiful dream...meeple


Are you sure?

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@87.CkNheWKdJsb.24@.1dd0d...
 
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Chris Spray
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There is no point any longer in discussing vehicle rules with Chad. If there is one thing that game designers have in common is they are rather obstinate.

I will be a heretic and work on some vehicle rules. devil
 
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Borat Sagdiyev
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Well, I'm pretty happy that Chad is rather obstinate when it comes down to rejecting the use of vehicles of any kind in the CC system.

In my personal experience, vehicles and tanks rules at the tactical scale are whether too convoluted and quite difficult to master (such as those in SL/ASL or even LnL) or just too simplistic and unreal (such as those in ToI or CoH).cool

If I want to play a game with tanks, I'd rather go for a slightly larger scale as the one depicted in PG or the classic PZB/PZL.
 
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Chadwik
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Quote:
If there is one thing that game designers have in common is they are rather obstinate.

And why not? I made the game I wanted to play. YOUR design may very well be different. Do not try to assume that you have some sort of innate entitlement as to the contents of somebody else's artistic creation. YOU want tanks in CC; I do not. "Eye of the beholder", and all that.

Quote:
I will be a heretic and work on some vehicle rules.

Confucius say: "Man who wish to play golf should not go to tennis court".
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Chris Spray
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Obstinate is a good trait for game designing. Board game design isn't something one does for money. Obstinacy is something that keeps the designer focused when all about them people are watching Xfactor, playing video games, and generally enjoying the mundane frivolity of normal life.

Seriously Chad CC:x, like the American constitution, is a work of near genius. That doesn't mean it can't be amended.

Jackie Chan say: Wise golfer plays with more than one club in bag.

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John McLintock
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Krasny wrote:
There is no point any longer in discussing vehicle rules with Chad. If there is one thing that game designers have in common is they are rather obstinate.

I will be a heretic and work on some vehicle rules. devil

I repeat what I've just said over on CC@CSW: why not make up scenarios featuring tanks as special rules? That way there's a chance that other CC players will get a chance to share your work. There's not a snowball's chance in hell of seeing tanks in CC any other way, as we all know.
 
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Chadwik
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Quote:
Jackie Chan say:

Awesome! laugh
 
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Chris Spray
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Quote:
I repeat what I've just said over on CC@CSW: why not make up scenarios featuring tanks as special rules?


I'm considering various methods. My main concern is not NOT turn CC into ASL, and keep with the 'keep it simple' CC ethos.

Most of the rules exist for vehicles as it is.

Quote:
That way there's a chance that other CC players will get a chance to share your work. There's not a snowball's chance in hell of seeing tanks in CC any other way, as we all know.


I'm not really interested in publishing. What I am doing now is a feasibility study. I'll probably add a tank to an existing CC scenario and see what happens.

If it works out I will post it here. And brace for the CC jihad that will assault me.

[joke] Mmmmm... suicide anti-tank guys.... the Jap's had them.....[/joke]

@Cezary: Sorry for hijacking your thread cry
 
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John Foley
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If you read very strictly, Chad and Kai and I will not add tanks to CC.

BUT - none of us have ever said "you cannot do it yourself". So, to all tinkerers-tank-and-CC-lovers, by all means, share your variants and ideas and post as you wish. It's all a beautiful thing. It's your game now, play!

But - we do not plan on adding tank rules to CC.

However - just because this is actually the CC way - special rules will always be created using the low-footprint-high-impact approach you will find in all our scenarios. And the presence and impact of THINGS "just off the map" will be included.

ninjacool
 
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Matt Campbell
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Or instead of making up your own tank rules for Combat commander, just get Fighting Formations: Grossdeutschland Division - the new game by Chad on the p500 - ships in November from GMT.
 
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