There has been some debate here at the newspaper about just what category Combat Command will fall into: Simple Rules, Hard Rules. Why World War 2 and where in World War 2? Playing time and equipment needed to play.
There is a lot going on here: Armor, Infantry, Artillery, Airpower, SPA, etc. and etc. At the same time I’m trying to capture the personality of the armies involved. Not to mention the job for which each weapon type was meant. Not an easy task.
Lets take these question one at a time and clear up some underbrush.
Simple rules are my goal: about three pages no more. Combat Command is meant to be played in an hour or less and the commands are ad-hoc battle groups thrown together to fulfill a specific mission. This ‘style’ or situation of fighting was prevalent throughout WW2. While TO&E tables make a nice guideline they were never followed. Further only a few hours under fire altered a command (almost always for the worse in terms of men and equipment) permanently.
Fast: Real war is a process of excessive boredom punctuated by moments of extreme terror. During these times of terror, decisions are made for good or ill. Combat Command by being a fast playing game; about 15 to 45 minutes per game; tries to approach the pressure put on commanders to make a quick decision and get it right, or pay a terrible price for getting it wrong: a bunch of dead people.
A wealth of equipment types: No one ever has everything they need and improvised tactics and decisions were the order of the day. Combat Command allows players to ‘build’ their force before play, neither player knowing what the other will bring to the table. In this simple way the ‘fog of war’ is simulated.
Why World War 2? Well, why not? Okay, okay not much of an answer. So, here we go: I like World War 2 history and I’m pretty good at it. No war saw so many varied battlefields and so many varied combatants. It was the first war fought in three dimensions across the entire globe. And no war ever saw such a wealth of equipment, development of new equipment, or scale of production of that equipment.
Why a platoon/company scale? This is where the fighting took place. German tactical doctrine held that large scale victories were won by an accumulation of tactical victories. The decisions and lack of intelligence to make those decisions with at the platoon and company level is fascinating and makes for great gaming.
Equipment?: One six sided die per player and a coffee mug. With these I hope to create great gaming.
Maps: Each Combat Command will come with more than one map. This allows players to vary their experience, and provide hours and hours of great gaming. Each full color map is 8 1/2 by 14 for easy and cheap printing.
Where?: Either Combat Command Africa which is set in Tunisia during the Torch landings and allied operations or Combat Command Russia during the 1941 invasion of the Soviet Union will be offered first.
I hope this article gives you insight and desire for Combat Command. Don’t forget to send me your thoughts, I love hearing from you and will post your thoughts and comments here in the newspaper.