Modern

Line of Fire — Review

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Line of FireLock ‘N Load Games just released a new house magazine, Line of Fire. What is interesting is that it is a PDF only publication. Unlike Mongoose Publishings’ Signs & Portents online magazine, Rackham’s recently announced electronic conversion of Cry Havoc, the fan produced Firebase, or even Games Workshop’s Black Gobbo, LNL is selling Line of Fire for $16.99. Whether gamers think what they get is worth the money remains to be seen, but it is nice to have some support for LNL’s games. LNL says it hopes to produce the publication quarterly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Combat Mission: Shock Force — First Look

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Battlefront released its new modern-era, tactical combat game Combat Mission: Shock Force. The game is the successor to the excellent Combat Mission World War Two titles. It improves upon those games in almost every way and if you have played any of the earlier titles you will feel right at home with CM:Shock Force. You will need to spend some time with the manual even if you are a veteran of the earlier titles because there are a number of new elements to the game that are not readily apparent.

The game includes a new real-time option as well as the traditional turn-based system. I still do not like the real-time option because no matter how good the AI is it still does dumb things. In addition, even with pause, you cannot be everywhere at once. This is not just an issue with command but simply in seeing the action unfold. With the turn-based system you can always see what happens. In real-time mode you often miss things while you are occupied elsewhere. Moreover, the highest realism setting, annoyingly, removes your ability to issue orders while the game is paused. Real-time does not equal more realistic for a tactical wargame.

Minor issues aside, if you like the subject matter you will enjoy the game and CM:SF does introduce some seldom seen concepts in wargaming such as unit specific spotting. Hopefully they will redo the WW2 titles with the new engine soon.

The Wargamer has a nice After Action Report and review of the game.

The v1.03 update is available.