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Posts tagged “Combat Mission”

Feature: Cocksure Cromwells

Overlordy: Turn 4

The sight of British armour beetling towards the central beach exit has prompted some hurried defensive reconfiguration from the Comment Commanders controlling German forces in this year's communal Combat Mission game. When the clock stopped yesterday morning, the “unbuttoned” (hatches open) Stuart tank leading the exodus was seconds away from an encounter with a man armed with a scoped Kar98K rifle. (For a scenario outline…

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Feature: Shell hell

Overlordy: Turn 3

This year's communal Combat Mission scenario (click here to catch up on the story so far) incorporates a deadly version of the shell game. The computer-controlled British have a choice of three routes off the beach and the short-of-resources commenter-controlled Germans realistically can't picket them all. Judging by the distribution of Axis units at the start of Turn 3, the players believe/hope the enemy will favour the…

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Feature: Where are they?

Overlordy: Turn 2

In turn 1 the comment commanders had a chilling glimpse of their adversaries. British landing craft have deposited an intimidating array of tanks on the beach south of Caent, and, doubtless, the armour is accompanied by an equally intimidating infantry force. With their two pillboxes neutralised, the players now have no way of knowing what's happening on the sands. Will a cagey bit of scouting…

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Feature: Pillboxes perish

Overlordy: Turn 1

This year's communal Combat Mission game utilizes the series progenitor – Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord (2000). Over the next twenty days, using orders issued via comments, volunteers will attempt to prevent British troops freshly landed on the shores of Normandy from taking control of a village close to the coast. The size and composition of the Allied force is a mystery at this point, but…

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Feature: Operation Speed Bump

Communal Combat Mission COs required

A Combat Mission battle orchestrated by a single wargamer invariably furnishes drama. Replace that lone CO with a band of collaborating commenters and the resulting pandemonium can be astonishingly tense, tangled, and resonant. This year's communal CM challenge involves the very first CM title – Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord (2000) - and a petite chunk of French coastline in imminent danger of liberation. Volunteers like…

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Feature: Caught between a rock salmon and a hard plaice

The Flare Path: Catch of the Day

Not an easy week to be a wargame and simulation correspondent. If I bite my lip and try really hard I think I'll be able to rattle off today's column without mentioning the lovely DUSK, but I know I won't be able to get through without acknowledging that cetacean in the room, Nantucket. Released yesterday, Picaresque's piquant and pacy whaling RPG is far too close to…

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Feature: Bridge bravado

Communal Combat Mission: Turn 4

Every year in The Flare Path I run a communal Combat Mission skirmish in which RPS readers attempt to outwit and outfight CM's decidedly dangerous AI. Turns span 60 seconds and rarely go according to plan. Late-war and Eastern Front, this year's scrap centres on a German-held Baltic port. It's been three turns since the commenter-controlled Soviets left their deployment zones, and things are just starting to hot…

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Feature: Communal Combat Mission

The Flare Path Welcomes Combative Commenters

I was tempted to explore Nineteenth Century warfare or try something operational for this year's play-by-comment wargaming marathon, but after surveying my game collection and conducting experiments, found myself gravitating towards Battlefront's oeuvre and WW2 once again. When it comes to generating gripping unscripted dramas I reckon first-generation Combat Mission is peerless, and that clever WEGO turn structure (the orders of both sides are executed simultaneously)…

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Feature: Room to manoeuvre

Have You Played… Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. Migrating, as many PC wargamers did at the turn of the century, from the Close Combat series to Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord, was like clambering out of a Carden Loyd Tankette after a long cross-country drive. The revolutionary 3D battlefields felt vast, the…

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Feature: Simulation & wargame blather

The Flare Path: Africa 2016

The dimmed lighting, the rearranged seating, the bowls of hydrogenated corn snacks... by the time you've put two and two together it's already much too late. Your persuasive host - Tedious Tim from next-door - is directing you towards a chair and fussing with his laptop. After the interminable 'SE Asia 2014' and 'South America 2015' you vowed never to attend one of his holiday…

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Feature: Communal Combat Mission

The Flare Path: Welcomes Combative Commenters Again

The Flare Path's first attempt at play-by-comment Combat Mission proved rather exciting. Over the course of five days mountains of orders were issued, multiple Shermans were slain, and numerous fingernails were nibbled. I think it's about time we had a second scrap. Anyone fancy a spot of sandy skirmishing courtesy of the olden-but-golden Combat Mission: Afrika Korps?

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Feature: Are you ready to order?

The Flare Path: Welcomes Combative Commenters

Hefty, persuasive, and reeking of spruce-scented Eau de Ardennes, the new Bulge-themed Combat Mission unquestionably deserves a Flare Path After Action Report. The trouble is, after seven days of snowy slaughter, fraught forest probes and costly cottage clearing, I'm now in no fit state to shepherd Shermans or put plucky pixeltruppen in harm's way. Worn to a frazzle by delicate tactical decision-making and teeth-rattling mortar…

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Feature: Simulation & wargame blather

The Flare Path: Full Steam Astern

The labyrinthine Steam department store now stocks mind-blowingly rich historical strategy epics, military-grade battle sims, and flight sim add-ons so dense they can punch through Chobham armour like it was damp loo roll. Is there any chance My Wargame of 2014 will be appearing on its shelves any time soon?

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Feature: Simulation & wargame blather

The Flare Path: Continuum

What a con! So far '2015' feels a lot like a re-badged '2014'. I know you shouldn't look a free update in the mouth, but gosh, a few improvements would have been nice. How much longer must we wait for that Ebola fix... that promised 'Peace in South Sudan' scenario? Surely ISIL-seeking killer bees and colourblind-friendly rainbows don't take that long to code. I'm beginning to…

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Feature: Simulation & wargame blather

The Flare Path: A Ponce In A Ponsse

Forestry was one of the industries the Industrial Revolution forgot. The tools used by a British forestry worker at the start of the Twentieth Century would have been instantly recognizable to a forestry worker of 1700. It would be another two decades before the oil dripping, smoke breathing dragon of progress appeared in the UK's pine stands and oak woods. First came the lumbering tractor, then…

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Feature: Simulation & wargame blather

The Flare Path: Belt-Fed, Bipod-Mounted, Beer-Cooled

For the last three years this column has used an ancient bolt-action Lee-Metford to dispense sim and wargame news. This week, as an experiment, we'll be trialling a far more modern fact flinger, the MG 42K. According to its manual, this Mauser-manufactured marvel can fire 20 separate story snippets in under a minute! Obviously, the high ROF comes at a price. Accuracy - “especially at…

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Feature: Simulation & wargame blather

The Flare Path: Where Cold Callers Get A Frosty Reception

Peddlers of enchanted swords, bullpup energy weapons, and painfully unimaginative religions don't tend to linger long on the doorstep of FP Towers. Once they've clocked the knuckle tats and knobkerrie, and felt the hot breath of Galland, Wittmann, and Fozziwig on their faces/groins, most scamper away like spooked hares. Quite how Kerberos Productions managed to talk their way into my front parlour and persuade me…

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Feature: Simulation & wargame blather

The Flare Path: High Calibre Cat Pictures

Meet Unimog, the Flare Path mouser. He owes his name to his love of clambering and off-piste adventure. Why, this very morning I spotted the little scamp nosing around inside the turret of a Steel Beasts Pro Personal Edition story, sharpening his claws on a free chunk of Combat Mission Fortress Italy: Gustav Line, and enjoying a nap atop the warm fuselage of an obscure…

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Feature: Simulation & wargame blather

The Flare Path: Elegant Elefanticide

How rude. I sidle off to the seaside for a week of sun, sand, and saucy postcard scrutiny and instead of downing tools and waiting patiently for my return, the World's wargame workshops and sim smithies press on regardless. Combat Mission's assault on the Gustav Line appears to have commenced in my absence. DoorKickers' doorkickers are now toting sledgehammers and breaching charges. Blimey, even the forest-furrowingly…

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Feature: Simulation & wargame news

The Flare Path: Cobbled With Craniums

Thank heavens, Battlefront, the devs behind just-announced Combat Mission: Fortress Italy expansion Gustav Line, aren't planning to model the propaganda shells that regularly exploded over Allied positions at Monte Cassino. Coming on top of the minefields, the barbed wire, the steep slopes, the cunningly sited German strongpoints, the snow, the rain, the mud, and the infamous Green Devils, blizzards of courage-corroding handbills might have been…

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