Combat Mission : Black Sea – Run Away!

In a game with imperfect information threats seem… extraordinarily threatening. Especially this game, we have no drones, our forward recon element is only about 100 meters ahead of some tanks, and an entire US armored column lurks on the other side of the treeline. We can hear them. Our recon dudes have taken some fire (Sorry DecoyBadger!). Our ElInt is picking up something…

Like monsters in the mist, there could be a company of Abrams tanks… Or just a couple of trucks.

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Combat Mission : Black Sea – First Contact

We finally have our first contact in the cooperative Let’s Play of Combat Mission : Black Sea (From now on – CMBS). Read more about it here : http://thestrategygamer.com/2016/10/04/combat-mission-black-sea-double-blind-game/

A brief recap, our entire Russian Motorized Brigade is moving into position to block an incoming NATO force. This isn’t just me and an opponent, this is a cooperative team of 20 individuals each in command of a Platoon or combat asset. On the other team is another 20 or so individuals. There’s a Brigade CO, Company Commanders, and Platoon Commanders. Some of our specialty forces, like Engineers and such, also get a commander. What’s it like? Well, like herding cats. The first turn is under our belt and we have the first kill!

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Combat Mission Black Sea : Double Blind Game

One of the greatest problems with wargames is the perfect knowledge issue. I see the entire battlefield while you also see the entire battlefield. The fog of war is, for the most part, non-existent. Card Driven Games add a new element as you may not know what abilities your opponent has or whether or not he can activate a unit. PC games are able to act as a moderator, a referee of sorts, and give you that blind issue. But still, you are (usually) an omnipotent commander who relays orders.

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Wargames on the Table / Screen

Lately I’ve been working on a few new games that are pushing my strategy gaming boundaries. Yes, the Decisive Campaigns Barbarossa campaign is done. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I binge played through to the end of the war. I had a few sudden breakthroughs and, well, I kind of ended the war. So I took a brief hiatus, played a few less groggy games, and at the same time beefed up my boardgame collection. Like, seriously beefed it up.

But first, Command.

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Granularity in Wargames

Lately I’ve been thinking about wargames. Particularly the design of wargames, not so much layout, but how we actually receive the information from the game. I’ve realized that a great deal of what we deal with today is simply an effort to use the hex-and-counter of the 1970’s and 1960’s. Is this ideal or is it just a relic from when the granularity of the information was relegated to cardboard?

Scale

IMG_0245First it’s a matter of scale. At the top end we have a game like Risk that models scale on an almost continental level. Russia for example is one space. The United States is two spaces. Maneuvering of any sort is out of the question, you’re shifting assets on a global scale. Who cares if you can envelop that flank, it’s abstracted in the scale.

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Do I need more Eastern Front? Conflict of Heroes : Awakening the Bear

My son asked me, “Dad, why do you like to play games with guys in grey jackets fighting guys in brown jackets?”

Which I thought was pretty observant for a 6 six year old. And I really didn’t have much of an answer. So I explained it that he likes to play trains, I like to play wargames. Simple enough I guess, but it kind of stuck with me.

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Let’s Play Decisive Campaigns Barbarossa : Onwards to Minsk!

The Assault Begins

Hello and welcome back to Turn 2 of our invasion of Russia. Our first turn had us encircling Brest-Litovsk and also making pocket big enough to trap a whole bunch of Soviet units around Bialystok. Up North things are heating up and on the Romanian front we are just getting moving. For the moment our supply situation is looking good. This will change quicker than an M5 Stuart crossing an open field.

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