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kraze

How CMBN made me enjoy WW2 era

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I never liked WW2 era in gaming. Mostly due to its overuse for decades and how games, namely of a strategy genre, represented it.

Vehicles were little more than variations of same stats and shared the same function, be it a light tank or a heavy tank, they just dealt a different amount of damage, chipping off those health bars or armor digits. Most were just destined to be discarded as you raced for the best tier to rule the battlefield. Yes even Men of War was quite guilty of this. Same very much goes for Steel Panthers, Close Combat and CMx1 games - because of all the abstractions, even grounded in reality, but still abstractions, that these games had. Sure enough Graviteam Tactics made WW2 just 'acceptable' to me, mostly due to its awesome representation of tank combat, but I always felt like something was amiss.

That's why I like a modern era a lot more. Even in simpler games like Wargame series or Call to Arms due to era's sheer difference in weapon design and technological imbalance every side always felt like it had its own style. I was always playing Steel Panthers MBT and hardly ever touching WW2 versions. Even mediocre Close Combat Modern Tactics was interesting to me. And CMSF and CMBS just set the quality bar absolutely high.

But then I got CMBN. And for the first time in my life I felt excited about WW2 era in games. Due to a sheer realism and precise representation of everything - every single vehicle, or even every firearm soldiers carry feels unique. No "better tiers", even light tanks can have their moments of glory versus bigger and meaner brethren when lucky or used cunningly. All the weird looking armored cars, these boxes on wheels can contribute a lot to battles. If it takes part in a mission - it can and will be used and it will matter. And due to all the variety of OOBs that a full CMBN bundle currently offers - it delivers what Graviteam Tactics does not: countless ways to have the same battle in - and an amazing infantry gameplay to boot, making tank battles actually feel superior in Battle for Normandy compared.

Furthermore CMBN is, because of how many WW2 games are there and what they are, an example of why realism matters, why just having an abstract "frontal armor" receive less damage before an invisible health bar runs out, or just shrug off hits from calibers below some predefined penetration threshold - will never make an important difference that makes a game truly memorable. Exactly that difference between 75mm tank cannons of USA, Germany and UK.

Damn it, I'll have to buy all WW2 CM titles now, right?

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55 minutes ago, kraze said:

[snip]

Damn it, I'll have to buy all WW2 CM titles now, right?

You're damn right you will - and you won't regret it one second. You have years of content to immerse yourself in. What I like to do is read a book about the battle or setting I play to really appreciate how CM can be a realistic reenactment of those battles. It has come to the point that when I read about WWII to my imagination, the "inner eye" - it is most times in the form of CM.

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OMG I am in the exact same shoes as you, having tried out graviteam tactics and many other wargames recently. Combat mission is the one that stuck to me the most and although I just purchased CMBS which is a great game btw. I am suddenly mesmerised by WW2 and I am trying to decide between CMRT, CMFB and CMBN as my first WW2 CM game. All of which I know I'll get eventually.

CMRT  is unique because of the Russian faction and I am curious how operation bagration mange to wipe out the the whole German army group. CMFB is also different because of the German's final assault and it's mostly set in winter which is a cool thing to see. CMBN is the most classic I suppose and provides the most content including market garden which I am also interested in. I even went out and bought my first WW2 book, Dunkirk by Hugh Sebag and also an encyclopedia of all WW2 greatest battle. 

On a side note, "Snow and steel battle of the Bulge" and "Those who hold Bastogne" are great books to accompany CMFB .

Here's a link to all popular WW2 books according to Amazon. Pls rec me some if u any good ones 

https://www.amazon.com/b/ref=sr_aj?node=5031&ajr=0

 

Cheers!

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6 hours ago, Ridaz said:

I am suddenly mesmerised by WW2 and I am trying to decide between CMRT, CMFB and CMBN as my first WW2 CM game. All of which I know I'll get eventually.

Don't forget CMFI, I think you'll like it. :)

Edited by Ales Dvorak

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4 hours ago, Ales Dvorak said:

Don't forget CMFI, I think you'll like it. :)

You're right! I knew I missed something. CMFI was the theatre I was most interested in until I read about the rest. XD 

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The Italian Army of WWII never really interested me. In so many games, they are just a 1 point army in North Africa, a parenthetical 1 or 2 pointer in the boot of Italy, and are removed from play on a surrender die roll in '43.

Then I played them in CMFI. The strength of this game system is that is shows how having outdated tactical organization and equipment results in poor battlefield performance. There was no lack of skill or bravery among the Italians. There was a lack of proper planning for a modern war. The large, WWI optimized, platoon has its place: in the trenches against infantry. But not in open order against armor and/or modern equipment. 

CMFI is one of my favorite modules.

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Speaking of Normandy battles, here's a book I recently read about 1st day action at the Orne river bridge by Brit airborne troops.  What I liked was how it focused on the tactical combat situation.  Just like in CM, it's hard with small arms to silence someone w sniper rifle or MG42 a couple hundred yards away in a stout stone building.  Also it was interesting just how precarious the situation was until the beach-landed troops linked up. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ONZQ6RY/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title

It's $9.99 US now, I got it on one of those amazon one day sales for $1.33.  was a steal.

 

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57 minutes ago, danfrodo said:

Speaking of Normandy battles, here's a book I recently read about 1st day action at the Orne river bridge by Brit airborne troops.  What I liked was how it focused on the tactical combat situation.  Just like in CM, it's hard with small arms to silence someone w sniper rifle or MG42 a couple hundred yards away in a stout stone building.  Also it was interesting just how precarious the situation was until the beach-landed troops linked up. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ONZQ6RY/ref=kinw_myk_ro_title

It's $9.99 US now, I got it on one of those amazon one day sales for $1.33.  was a steal.

 

Thanks will check it out 

 

1 hour ago, c3k said:

The Italian Army of WWII never really interested me. In so many games, they are just a 1 point army in North Africa, a parenthetical 1 or 2 pointer in the boot of Italy, and are removed from play on a surrender die roll in '43.

Then I played them in CMFI. The strength of this game system is that is shows how having outdated tactical organization and equipment results in poor battlefield performance. There was no lack of skill or bravery among the Italians. There was a lack of proper planning for a modern war. The large, WWI optimized, platoon has its place: in the trenches against infantry. But not in open order against armor and/or modern equipment. 

CMFI is one of my favorite modules.

Sounds even more interesting, definitely will be getting all of these eventually! 

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Always thought CM:RT would be my favourite WWII title, but no, for some reason it's CM:FI.....There's something about that title that just hits the 'sweet spot' for me, but I couldn't for the life of me tell you what it is.

I so want Partisans for these games.....All those lovely bridges, just standing there, not being blown to pieces!  :(

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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On 1/14/2018 at 7:00 AM, Ridaz said:

 I am suddenly mesmerised by WW2 and I am trying to decide between CMRT, CMFB and CMBN as my first WW2 CM game. All of which I know I'll get eventually.

CMBN was my choice because Big Bundle. That is - a lot of content, but not just missions (87 single battles alone and 7 campaigns not counting 2 tutorial ones) - sides with a lot of branches (from fanatical SS to badass US airborne) and a pure vehicle porn (so many tanks). It's a great Western European front war library and to me a nice starting point in CM WW2 series with all the content.

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21 minutes ago, kraze said:

CMBN was my choice because Big Bundle. That is - a lot of content, but not just missions (87 single battles alone and 7 campaigns not counting 2 tutorial ones) - sides with a lot of branches (from fanatical SS to badass US airborne) and a pure vehicle porn (so many tanks). It's a great Western European front war library and to me a nice starting point in CM WW2 series with all the content.

Oh how I wish to buy them all and hug them in my sleep~

Edited by Ridaz

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On 14/01/2018 at 3:23 PM, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Always thought CM:RT would be my favourite WWII title, but no, for some reason it's CM:FI.....There's something about that title that just hits the 'sweet spot' for me, but I couldn't for the life of me tell you what it is.

 

The CMFI bundle is where I would suggest you start. There may be more scenarios and campaigns for the CMBN big bundle but the variety of equipment in CMFI cant be beat. If you can only afford one, it should be this one. Summer heat, winter snows, wide open maps, close quarters battles, widest range of nations in any game so far, the soon to be released Rome to Victory Module will also give it the longest time frame of the games, July 43 to May 45. 

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I've been playing the game since CMSF but in no small part due to CMBN being WW2 era I get to have new experiences of an awesome attention to detail.

On one of the missions my Panther spotted an M10 tank destroyer just around the corner. Panther fired, causing a catastrophic explosion... a resulting shrapnel murdered everybody in an open-top jeep nearby.

On another mission I was going after the Sherman hiding in a bocage with a small team armed with just a panzerfaust (you know 30m maximum range and all). The team didn't use it though, one of the guys just tossed a grenade into an open hatch, killing nearly everybody inside with just one crewman surviving, panicking, trying to bail out and escape, but getting shot by the other guy on that team.

Needless to say that both of these examples would probably not happen in a modern era (and didn't ever for me in either CMSF or CMBS) due to even small transports being fully armored and no need to sneak up close to fire a rocket.

Edited by kraze

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On 1/14/2018 at 12:00 AM, Ridaz said:

Here's a link to all popular WW2 books according to Amazon. Pls rec me some if u any good ones 

If you dig memoirs, I highly recommend Donald R. Burgett's books; Currahee, The Road To Arnhem, Seven Roads To Hell, and Beyond The Rhine, as well as To Hell And Back, by Audie Murphy. They are jammed packed with action and WWII coolness. Perfect books to get you in the mood for some CM kickassery. They are among my favorite first person accounts of GI combat.

 

Mord.

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4 hours ago, Mord said:

If you dig memoirs, I highly recommend Donald R. Burgett's books; Currahee, The Road To Arnhem, Seven Roads To Hell, and Beyond The Rhine, as well as To Hell And Back, by Audie Murphy. They are jammed packed with action and WWII coolness. Perfect books to get you in the mood for some CM kickassery. They are among my favorite first person accounts of GI combat.

 

Mord.

Awesome recs, I'lll check them out.

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