Trying to restrict the flow of boardgames into the house can be a difficult habit to break, as the unplayed pile steadily increases. This was the case with Combat Commander. It was one of the desired games I watched through the binoculars for some time. And then the bargain motherload landed at the Cannon show in Retford last year - all of the 'East Front' block games and the above masterpiece for forty pounds!
As a good friend has said to me before, 'when you have the money you don't have the time, and when you have the time you don't have the money'. Fortunately at the moment I have more time, so can use it to spend on windfall purchases not yet played from the dusty 'to do' collection.
Myself and Daz tried Combat Commander last week to learn the ropes of the card activation system and it's impact on the flow of play. Tonight Ed made it earlier so I introduced him to the mechanics. When Daz arrived, we restarted the first scenario with Daz and Ed playing with closed action card hands, and I did a photo report on my Twitter feed (@foxgamer99).
What a cracking game it turned out to be, with a very, very close and slightly unexpected outcome. Both the more numerous Russians and co-ordinated Germans set up secretly on opposite sides of the board. Random objectives decided that a central building held the grand share of the victory points for the game.
Play progressed with an aggressive Russian assault down their left flank, destroying two defending rifle sections and a leader. This left the remaining half of the German forces to hold out in the all important building, defending strongly, waiting for time to intervene.
The random event system really adds to the chaotic nature of combat; in this case, random sniper activity and cowering Russians stalled several attacks on objective five. Ed performed a nice manouvre of a pinning force with machine guns supporting a grand left sweep lead by the two Russian leaders.
Daz held on tenaciously, disrupting the pinning force with accurate rifle fire and recovering his own battered sections at crucial moments. The game hung in the balance with Ed working into an assault position as the next photo shows...
...and the sudden death, game clock ran the game to a close, with a 'roll' of six on the dice. Against the odds - a German victory. What a great game with a real ebb and flow to the action. Quick, violent assaults with a slowing down of co-ordinating and re-grouping actions for the Russians; long range, leader lead German rifle fire disrupting the numerous, relentless hordes.
Definitely want to play this again; would easily convert to miniatures on a hexon board. No! Not another project!