Computer Wargames

Panzer Corps — Review

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Panzer CorpsThe all new follow up to the classic Panzer General is now available from Slitherine. Panzer Corps delivers all of the classic gameplay with all new graphics and a few new features. We’ve played a few scenarios and the game indeed captures all of the fun of the classic. The Wargamer posted a nice review of Panzer Corps. Whether you remember the classic or missed it, if you like a good game check it out.

The Wargamer also has a nice After Action Review of Panzer Corps scenario Operation Husky.

Also available now are grand campaign add-on packs: Grand Campaign ’39, Grand Campaign ’40, Grand Campaign ’41.

[Updated: 23NOV11]

Combat Mission: Beyond Normandy — First Look

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Combat MIssion: Beyond NormandyBattlefront.com released Combat Mission: Beyond Normandy in mid-May. We have had a chance to spend a little bit of time with it since then. For those who have been waiting for a redo of the classic CM the good news is the worth is not only over but was well worth it. The game delivers the play that Combat Mission fans would expect. The new graphics engine is very nice and rivals that of third-person shooters from just a few years ago. The game engine seems equally as solid and our initial games have gone well with no glaring issues.

CM Normandy - ShermanThe detailed spotting and artillery rules are probably the only major changes that veterans will notice right from the start. Otherwise players will be able to jump right in and feel at home. As with the modern-day CM titles both the play and pause and turn-based play options are included. For old and new players alike there is a detailed manual that does a good job of explaining the rules and even includes an introductory walk through to get players into the action quickly.

Scenario selection is good but not great. The game includes 21 scenarios and five campaigns. Hopefully scenario packs will be forthcoming. Of course there is a battle generator as well as a full blown scenario builder included so players are certainly not stuck for new adventures by any means and fan built scenarios will certainly be on the way.

If you have any interest in WW2 tactical combat this is a must get title. And now even Mac owners can get in on the action. Well enough wasting time here we’re gonna get back to it!

The Apple iPad and Gaming — A Look Back

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iPadWith Apple’s announcement of the new iPad2 on March 2nd we thought it a good time to look back at our year with the original iPad. We wrote about a number of game related functions for the iPad when it first came out and for the most part all of those have remained solid to one degree or another. Read the rest of this entry »

Combat Mission Battle for Normandy — Coming Soon!

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CM Normandy - ShermanBattlefront.com announced they are working on a WW2 version of their updated Combat Mission engine, Combat Mission Battle for Normandy. The original Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord was our favorite tactical computer wargame of all time and has been on our Top Picks since the start. It is a WW2 tactical level combat game with squad/team units and individual vehicles and guns. When it first released it was the first hardcore wargame to use 3D graphics. The new Battle for Normandy brings WW2 gaming up to the level of their modern combat CM versions. This includes enhanced options, better AI, improved graphics, and much more. It also means pausable real-time action. We have never liked the real-time play option because even though you can pause to give orders you still can’t be in two places at once so you sometimes miss out on the action. The current modern titles still have the original YouGo/IGo play as an option so hopefully that will remain in Battle for Normandy.

Building upon the legacy started 10 years ago with the release of the ground smashing Combat Mission Beyond Overlord, CM:BN incorporates years of experience and customer suggestions to produce what we think is the most genuine and enjoyable simulation of tactical ground warfare of World War Two. CM:BN is based on the extremely powerful proprietary CMx2 engine – the foundation for which was laid with the Combat Mission Shock Force series of Modern tactical warfare games. The CMx2 game engine is now in its 4th year of improvements and expansions, not the least of which are the host of brand new features necessary to simulate WW2 warfare in a temperate climate.

They have a great after action report posted from the viewpoints of both the American and German players.

If you are new to the series and want to check it out Battlefront.com also sells an update to their CM:Afrika Korps game that allows it to run on modern Vista/Windows 7 machines, and it is still a great game even after all these years and well worth getting if you have an interest in the topic.

The Best Games Not Yet Published – 2011

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Another new year and new games and miniatures to lust after! Once again we present our annual look at the games and miniatures we are most anxiously awaiting in 2011. Our 2010 prognostications did well. As always, there is no guarantee any of these titles will be published in 2011, nor that they will be any good if they are, but we are always optimistic.
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Combat Mission Afghanistan — Now Available

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Battlefront released the latest title in its excellent Combat Mission series, Combat Mission Afghanistan. CM:A covers the original Soviet invasion of Afghanistan at a squad level. There is a demo available (353MB). The Armchair General has an interview with the designer.

Combat Mission Afghanistan covers two periods of the Russian-Afghan wars – the initial phase 1980-1982, and the later years of highest activity 1985-1987 – in two campaigns and additionally ten standalone missions. The fully featured editor will of course allow players to create all new custom maps and missions.

Players are able to take command of Soviet or DRA (Democratic Republic of Afghanistan) Army units as well as mujahedeen guerrilla forces.

But it doesn’t end there. CM Afghanistan introduces completely new features to the series, such as:

  • Drozd Active Defense system (on T-55AD and T-62D; shoots down incoming RPGs)
  • Multi-barreled rapid-fire cannon (e.g. ZSU-23 Shilka, Kamaz ZU-23)
  • New terrain such as Snow (on the ground) and Water
  • Exit Zones (a new type of objective)

Decisive Campaigns: The Blitzkrieg — Now Available

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Decisive Campaigns: BlitzkriegMatrix Games has released a new WW2 operational-level computer wargame, Decisive Campaigns: The Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris. Decisive Campaigns simulates Germany’s invasion of Poland and France in 1939 and 1940 (and also includes a hypothetical “Sea Lion” invasion of Great Britain). The game looks very good and covers battles that are not often seen in wargames. If you like operational level games give it a look.Decisive Campaigns Blitzkrieg Screenshot

The Wargamer has an after action review of Decisive Campaigns: The Blitzkrieg from Warsaw to Paris and also some designer’s notes.

There is a small (15.8MB) version 1.04d patch available. The designer, Victor Reijkersz, has made high resolution versions of the maps available for use in planning, etc.

[Updated: 18JAN11]

Close Combat: Last Stand Arnhem — Now Available

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Last Stand ArnhemMatrix Games has released Close Combat: Last Stand Arnhem. Last Stand Arnhem is a computer wargame covering Operation Market Garden in WW2. It is a remake of the original Close Combat – A Bridge Too Far from Atomic Games. Besides being able to run on modern operating systems at higher resolutions a number of new features have been added to the game. Close Combat – A Bridge Too Far was always our favorite title in the original Close Combat series so this game will be a must get for fans of Market Garden and the original series.

Last Stand ArnhemWhile the new improvements certainly make the game better than the original, the newly remade titles in general still suffer from a number of the issues of the original series: Troops die too quickly, pathfinding is poor, terrain effects often seem minimal, the AI is not very good on attack and you sometimes get the feeling you are watching the game not playing it. But they are still generally fun to play and the new campaign mode adds needed depth.

The Wargamer has a nice overview of the new features in Last Stand Arnhem.

Napoleon!!

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Battles of NnapoleonFor some odd reason or another we recently picked up a number of Napoleonic warfare titles. We haven’t played any of them yet but thought you might be interested in some initial impressions. Please note that we are not generally players of Napoleonic games nor consider ourselves students of Napoleonic warfare. So these comments will be most useful to those with a similar mild interest in the period. Read the rest of this entry »

Airborne Assault: Highway to the Reich — Review

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Airborne Assault: Highway to the ReichCommand Ops: Battles from the Bulge was recently released by Matrix Games. I have only had a chance to play around with the training mission so far but it quickly became apparent that CO:BftB is simply an evolution of the original Airborne Assault series. CO:BftB has numerous improvements but basic play is essentially the same. Considering that Airborne Assault: Highway to the Reich is one of my all time favorite computer wargames this is a good thing. It also means if you are considering purchasing CO:Battles from the Bulge then a look at Airborne Assault: Highway to the Reich should help you make your decision.

Below is a review I wrote a few years back for Airborne Assault: Highway to the Reich. It is too early for me to comment on changes in CO:BftB, but I can mention a few things that have not changed: There is still no ability for units to scale with zoom; no ability to rewind to watch other events; no ability to see a regular TO&E diagram view for formations; graphics and sound are basically the same. But CO:BftB still has the same great game play and it is after all the Bulge!

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