Monday, January 7, 2008

Combat Commander: Battle Pack 1, Paratrooper, Sunday 1/6/2008

My son and I tried out one of the scenarios from Battle Pack 1: Paratroopers the first scenario pack for Combat Commander: Europe. By the title of the scenario pack you can correctly assume all scenarios have paratroopers on at least one side and some have them on both sides. The pack includes two new double sided maps and 11 new scenarios.

I forget which scenario number it was but its title was "We Go!". It pitted the American 102nd airborne vs the Germans at St. Mere Eglise, France, 6 June 1944. The German forces set up first protecting three victory point objectives on the map. Two objectives were fairly close together, a single-hex (3VPs) and a double-hex building (4VPs) in the middle of the map and then a forest hex (5VPs) that sat along side a road intersection leading into the town. Once the Germans were set up the Americans parachute onto random hexes on the map. If they landed on, adjacent, or within line of sight of any Germans they landed on their broken side. Since the scenarios starts at night both sides were limited to two orders per turn. On time 3 the Americans get to increase their orders/turn to 3. On time 2 the Germans get reinforcements consisting of one squad, a leader, and a light machine gun (LMG). Additionally, at the beginning of the scenario, time 0, the Germans can not move until time 1.

Cody's airborne troops landed all over the map with three squads and a leader landing broken but were rallied on his first turn.

What's all this time 0, time 1, etc stuff? Combat Commander(CC) keeps track of time in a different manner than other tactical wargames or most wargames in general. Usually time is divided up into discrete turns such that one turn representing a discrete interval of time passing in the game world. A turn can be either one side completing its actions or both sides completing their actions according to the sequence of play. In CC the amount of time that has passed between activities (orders/actions) is variable and is controlled by the "Fate" card decks of both players. If a player draws all the cards in his Fate Deck a Time Event occurs. One of the things that happens is the time marker is advanced one space on the Time Track, ie from time 0 to time 1. There are also Time Events associated with some of the Fate Cards. If one of those Fate Cards is drawn while resolving a die roll a Time Event occurs. Each scenario will list when the scenario may end, when and if reinforcements come into play, etc according to the Time Track, ie the Allies get reinforcements on time 3.

Back to the action.
Cody had the first turn and a Recover Order in his hand so all his elite units that landed adjacent to the Germans rallied easily and all were flipped back over to their good order side. Rats! no easy pickings for me on my first turn. In CC units must be effectively broken twice before they are eliminated under normal fire attacks so it requires at least two Fire Orders to eliminate a unit. Cody's best leader Lt Wray was activated for movement and headed in the general direction of building 2J8, map 2 hex J8, in the area where most of his squads had dropped. Cody's other leader was all by himself in the fields of 2B10; he would not activate him for movement until a few turns later. In my first turn the squad/LMG and leader in building 2D3 fired on the squad in 2E4 for no effect. The Time Marker stayed on time 0 for quite a few turns so all the Germans could do was conduct Fire Orders on the Americans, when it was possible, while Cody slowly organized his dispersed squads around Lt Wray.

Once Lt Wray organized his forces the Americans became unstoppable. The US units have great morale even when broken. I ambushed one of Cody's squads and he still managed to kill my guys in Melee. I had one squad left when the Germans finally lost do to reaching their surrender level. The Germans managed to kill three US squads but two of them came back on the board do to the "Walking Wounded" event coming up twice for Cody. The US forces managed to take all of the VP spaces and the lone German took back the Woods VP space before they surrendered.

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