Combattlemissnormanwealthforce Videos

Accurately modelled, all the way down to the grass

Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy – Commonwealth Forces, or Norman to friends, aka the game that clogged the RPS title cannon, is sneaking up on the release battle. The generals at Battlefront have instigated manoeuvres, launching the first volley of in-game video at the front lines of the enemy browsers. Expect casualties of at least 13 minutes of work, the time it’ll take to examine these videos and report your detailed analysis in the comments below. Are you ready, soldiers? Time to go over the top.

CMBNCF’s an expansion module to the already spanking Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy, and adds two new campaigns, 20 new missions, and adds new UK, Canadian and Polish forces. They made such a noise about making these videos in 1080p that it’d be rude to not watch them in their maximum resolution.

There’s no release date, other than “4-6 weeks from today”. So expect to be invaded next month.


  1. Wolfman says:

    Two videos that show the game exactly how you are not going to play it. I Iove CMBO and CMBB so looking forward to this but want to know what improvements there have been to the game play interface not the graphics which lets face it are not the selling point of these games!

  2. Mavvvy says:

    Love this game, although I’d love it even more if it had a multiplayer system similar to scourge of war.

  3. Vinraith says:

    Combat Mission will become hugely important to me the very moment they include a good dynamic campaign system, and not a moment before.

    *goes back to playing the Close Combat remakes*

    • Mavvvy says:

      No truer word said! I’d love to play some of those remakes, are those campaigns also multiplayer vin?

    • Zephro says:

      Meh I say!

      All that would do is ruin the balance of the tactical missions. Very few people ever get dynamic campaigns right as they tend to just leave you with a set of dull tactical seek and destroy missions.

      A branching fixed campaign or the current operations is plenty. Where you can actually build interesting scenarios like fighting withdrawls, rearguards, breakthroughs, link ups with surrounded troops etc. Dynamic campaigns just end up being a continuing set of pitched battles usually.

      Ok that said if anyone did do a dynamic campaign which actually reflected operational planning and combat I would be over the moon.

      Anyway! Commonwealth troops….. $35? Are the 20 new missions all done by community modders again? Wargames really need to sort out their price points, Matrix Games I’m looking at you right now!

    • Juggernaut says:

      I agree with Vinraith. I’ve always liked my tactical combat with a wrapper of story, strategy , and management that a good campaign system can provide. The lack of it in Combat mission games is why i stopped buying them some iterations ago. I always peek into these reviews to see if that has changed.

    • Vinraith says:


      Yes, all of the Close Combat remakes have multiplayerable campaigns (everything in the game, from scenarios to operations to campaigns to the grad campaign can be played against a human). It’s perhaps worth mentioning that they’ve done a lot of good work with the AI, too, so unlike their original incarnations the computer can put up a fight on its own as well. Highly recommended.


      Tactical games are most interesting/involving to me when the battles have a strategic context. Separate scenarios, or story based campaigns with predetermined outcomes, simply don’t hold my attention. I want my actions in combat to affect the progress of the larger war. It’s one of the reasons I can’t seem to work up an interest in the (otherwise brilliant) Scourge of War.

      I’ve learned to stop buying tactical games that don’t scratch this itch, as I’ll just end up leaving them on the shelf to gather dust. It’s actually something that really bothers me about myself that I can’t seem to derive any enjoyment from individual scenarios no matter how well done, but it is what it is.

    • Zephro says:

      The problem is that the battles will tend to be static/pitched battles so you lack variety in the actual battles. Also after the Campaign has reached a certain point it becomes one sided so you just want to skip the battles.

      Just look how Total War ends up. That game is crying out for a more varied campaign map to push more interesting scenarios into the mix rather than just “line up and eliminate the enemy again.”

    • RoteByrd says:

      I agree with Vinraith, I like games that have me wanting to see a character made of 1’s and 0’s survive. Sometimes my enjoyment of a game is increased tenfold just when I have the ability to rename units. In a game like Homeworld you don’t care about your units so much, but I found myself enjoying Nexus: The Jupiter incident sliiightly more in this regard (although i haven’t played much of it yet).

      I also agree with you, Zephro. I think one way to improve this is to use more procedural things which cause more randomness to occur in a game rather than hardcoding events or behaviors. There are many reasons battles can happen, sometimes they are skirmishes and never flare up because the commander didn’t want a pitched battle. Games kind of make battles monolithic by making an entire army force abstracted as a single point on a map, rather than a spread out living organism that has appendages of sorts. If more needs could be included in the game, similar to strategic needs in games like Hearts of Iron such as oil or steel, etc, or even more immediate army needs like water and supplies, then you would be forced to make more hard decisions and split up your army to take over and hold depots, factories, airstrips, etc. The way they make armies march around in a blob without needs or goals other than enemy destruction makes all this more likely.

  4. wodin says:

    Erm..that have a good campaign system already, troops carry over etc etc…not sure what your after.

    Anyways looking forward to it.

    • Mavvvy says:

      Yes indeed it is decent compared to most! But I think what vinraith (and I myself) are looking for, would be the ability to capture territory with a moving frontline, having to choose what territorys to place units etc. I know its demanding but this is my cocaine.

  5. tigershuffle says:

    I just find the setting a bit too attritional for my tastes….suppose thats a credit to realism. The ‘bocage’ is mare for the attackers. Also wish the infantry would try to get to cover even if it is just by belly crawling instead of cowering under suppression til decimated

    Credit must also be given to some of the modders (forgot the names) who have improved the ‘foliage’ etc which blows away the dull generic grasses etc in vanilla.

    Still wish you could dress up the tanks in foliage etc cos if you look at any photos of the battle they really made use of camouflage and concealment especially on the German side due to Allied air supremacy.

  6. tentacle says:

    CMBO and its immediate sequels were a revolution that fizzled. I thought we’d never return to the artificiality of traditional turn-based strategy. But just when it was high time to release a major update and bring it to its full potential, instead we got the crappy shock forces on the danger mediocre engine that did everything wrong.
    Sadly it looks like the engine is still the same, but at least it looks heavily improved. I don’t care about graphics per se, but the flatness of textures and lighting made it difficult to understand the battlefield. I also missed properly destructible terrain and a good strong campaign mode. Multiplayer matchmaking was another major nuisance.

    Ill give this a try.

    • Ranger33 says:

      CMSF is vastly improved from how it was at release. I almost threw the disc out after the fifth or so patch still didn’t fix things. I’m glad I didn’t, as the game is now amazing (especially with the modules) and one of my favorites of all time. CMBN still needs some fixes, but it is a pretty great game. I think the addition of Commonwealth forces will really flesh things out and let the scenario makers go wild. Give it a try for sure.

  7. wodin says:

    CMSF and CMBN are superb tactical simulators. What ever state CMSF was release din thats in the distant past. Though for some reason unlike many other games that have come out in a state but where fixed with patches people don’t seem to be able to let it go and always bring it up like the game wasn’t fixed a good two or more years.

  8. the_jetset says:

    Say what you will about Combat Mission. But their CMx2 engine in it’s current forum, (6+ years after the original Shockforce launch) , is by far the best thing out there.

    How do you “master” the CM:BN game?? … mostly by utilizing Real World tactics.

    How do you “master” other WWII sim games?? …. mostly by mastering the “rules” of that particular game.

    The other thing that is nice about the Combat Mission community are the people in it. There are lots of people leading Umpire driven campaigns that have all sorts of objectives, not just a series of pitched “quick battles”. But have dynamic front lines with breakouts, flanking maneuvers, supply issues etc … Lot’s of people creating maps and mods and new content to constantly keep the game very fresh.

    The other nice thing about Combat Mission is that the Battlefront team is very passionate about what they do. They ARE wargamers, making games FOR wargamers. Could the game be better?? YES! … and the BF team will be the first ones to tell you that. It would be great to have AI controlled operational campaigns, and better graphics, and additional controls … but the best way we can get this is to enjoy what Battlefront currently offers (which is a great game) and keep pushing/guiding (a.k.a. bitching!) on their forums!!

    Different wargames are fun for different reasons. But if you are looking for a tactical WWII game that takes into account every bullet, every piece of terrain, and models in detail every weapon … not just graphically, but its fundamental physics … and is STILL very playable and enjoyable … then these new Combat Mission games are for you.

    If you have any doubts, just download the demo for yourself and feel free to ask questions on the Battlefront forums.

  9. Ranger33 says:

    I don’t think you guys ever got around to doing a Wot I Think of CMBN, despite having a couple of positive previews for it. Would be cool to see maybe a combo review with the Commonwealth expansion and forthcoming patch included. The game has it’s share of flaws but it’s pretty much carrying the torch for a near extinct, PC exclusive genre. Not to mention that it’s a great game besides.

    • the_jetset says:

      Hear hear! A Wot I Think of CMBN would be very interesting indeed.

  10. hirrLeto says:

    I have pre-ordered and am hoping for the best. Let’s hope that they deal with some of the really annoying issues of CMBN in commonwealth (armoured covered arcs, death by house, artillery, etc, etc etc, etc). Just don’t ask for changes on the BFC boards or you will be tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail. For some strange reason they take any perceived slight on the game as personal.