A Game, A Puzzle, or a Simulation?

My daylight gaming lately has been spent playing a lot of Cities : Skyline with my son. When I haven’t been watching graveyards fill up, or buildings burn down, I’ve been alternating between Combat Mission : Black Sea (CMBS) and Graviteam Tactics : Mius Front (GTMF). At first what seems like two similar games, and a totally unrelated city builder, all share some interesting features, and are all also totally different. Are they a simuation, a puzzle, or a game? (Parent note, my son found it terribly funny when people catch on fire and run about like mad in GTMF so due to mom anger he doesn’t watch that one anymore)

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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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