Latest crush

Combat Commander: Europe coverI’ve got this thing with war games. I’d like to have a tactical level war game in my collection. I like Memoir ’44, it works well for what it tries to be, but I’d like something with more detail, more story to it.

However, Advanced Squad Leader and other games like it are way too heavy for me. ASL has won over many level-headed euro gamers on the Board Game Society forums, but reading their stories, I think it’s way over my head. I also lack a regular and experienced opponent; even with the easier Starter Kits, I don’t think teaching the game every time you play is feasible.

I’ve thought about Up Front, even considered bidding on it on Ebay. It’s a tad expensive, perhaps, and the way people talk about the complicated rules makes me shiver. The lack of board also makes the mechanics intriguing, but tricky.

However, I think I have found a winner: Combat Commander: Europe sounds like the game I want. It combines low tactical level combat with clever card mechanism. I love card management with cards that have multiple uses (if I were to design a game, that would probably be the key mechanic). The cards also limit the possible actions, makings turns go faster.

Combat Commander looks like it would be easy enough to teach often and for the newbies to enjoy on their first go. It’s expensive and the local store doesn’t have it yet, but when they do, I’m going to get one. This is sad news for BattleLore, though — that has to wait, I can’t afford two 70 euro games right now.

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6 responses to “Latest crush”

  1. I haven’t played Battlelore or Combat Commander either, but Combat Commander looks much more interesting to me too. Luckily it looks like my pal Chris might pick it up!

  2. Tide of Iron from FFG looks to fit your criteria too… But its release has just been delayed until April, and it is expensive (in the BattleLore camp I think). I would be interested to hear your take on CC:E after you get it. Regards.

  3. I’ve read rules to Tide of Iron, and it seems like Turbo Memoir ’44. If I weren’t so committed to Memoir, I’d probably find it more interesting, now it’s a bit too similar. I don’t play as much Memoir as I’d like, so I don’t need another game almost exactly like it.
    It’s probably 80 euros in Finland… Which is not bad after the staff discount I get, but nope, I’m not interested enough. And worry not — when I get my hands on CC:E, the blog entries will come.

  4. If you’re looking for a tactical level war game with more depth than Memoir ’44, I’d highly recommend Combat Commander. It’s high on chaos, so your tolerance for luck needs to be high. However, there’s still lots of room for clever play. BattleLore, while cool and a step up from Memoir ’44, probably isn’t enough of a change for you. I found that the “support” rules in BL give you more options for strategic play. Formations are much more important than in Memoir. And the Lore system adds an interesting facet. But at the end of the day, it’s still the same basic system underneath.
    I’d say if Combat Commander interests you after doing your research, chances are you’re going to like it. Go for it!

  5. Thanks, Jeff! Some copies of the game are coming to and one of them has my name on it!
    I’ve been reading the rules and while they are definitely not from the Euro land, I don’t they’ll be a problem. I’ll just have to create some player aids and cheat sheets and it should be all right.

  6. The player aids that come with the game do a pretty good job with handling the terrain and movement costs. I broke down and bought a piece of plexiglass (actually, just a plastic poster frame), and the player aids sit nicely along the top of the map under the plastic. I can’t think of much else that’s not under the player aids, unless it’s a description of how the orders & actions work, or a diagram of a card.
    I’m definitely interested to hear what you think. I’m overdue for a “first impressions” post of the game on my blog.