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CMPzC Operation "Bloody Christmas" (Ortona '43)

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To all Canadian commanders who are not Canadian citizens:  to prepare for your role you must...


1.  eat as much bacon as you can


2.  acquire a small, round piece of hard black rubber, make lots of ice cubes and put them on your lawn, and find a weird looking stick to hit the rubber black thing


3.  Beaver is our national animal so go hunting after as much beaver as you can ;)


That should do it. Welcome aboard lol


1. Check

2. Double Check

3. Check


Ok ready and willing...ehhh

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Hiya folks,   Anyone interested?   

..I take that as you are interested Ian?

So, I am sending out engraved invitations to many folks to come and participate even if for just one battle. Matching stationery and envelope, an inner envelope, fancy calligraphy in silver ink with

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Ah, Bob and Doug McKenzie and the Great White North....Kooo loookookoo koo lookookooo...I'd stay up to 3 AM to catch Second City TV every Saturday night.


Could never figure out why Strange Brew didn't receive the national accolades it should have.  Robot hockey players.  Sheer genius.  And Max Von Sydow as the villain.


You forgot to include Saga along with Rush.




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Tex and Edna Boil, Count Floyd...

Heinrich, same here. When we lived in Milwaukee in the late '70s, wife worked the weekend graveyard shift at a hospital, so after I put the little one to bed for the night (Jebus, he's 41 now), I'd get one of my SPI boardgames out, turn on Saturday a Night Live and have a little "Dad Time". Then one night after SNL, this Canadian 1/2 hour comedy show came on, two episodes back-to-back, called SCTV. At first I figured it was some cheesy SNL rip off, but after about the first 15 minutes, I was hooked. Those Saturday nights are still some of my favorite nostalgia trips.

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Holy nostalgia boys! I remember those SPI games!  One of my faves was called "Patrol" which recreated section sized actions (individual soldiers) and each soldier had a name and specific weapon.  Very cool.  What was some of your fave SPI games?  I also enjoyed games like Afrika Korps, SL/ASL of course, Richtofens War (with the expansion card deck so your planes could now do maneuvers in combat), Diplomacy although I think they were all Avalon Hill.


I remember at Military College in the early 80's a small group of us would stay up late watching SCTV every night and laughing our a$$es off, much to the chagrin of the study-aholics :)

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Chappy and MJ,

  I still have "Patrol" packed away somewhere.  I even played it solitaire, having no one to play it with.  I'd create three different moves for each guy on the other side, and randomly pick their moves versus the moves my guys were making.  Lots of work but some very interesting games.  I had almost all the Avalon Hill titles, but once SL/ASL came out, then all the others paled in comparison.  I wanted tactical-squad level battles and that was it.  Then, here comes Combat Mission and it was a dream come true.  Never figured I'd ever be down in the dirt with my virtual soldiers, actually bringing to 3D battles I'd read about or fought with cardboard counters from top down.


SCTV was pure genius.  About half the cast from that show were in "Stripes," not to mention "Ghostbusters."


I pull out "Strange Brew" every now and then too. What an amazing movie.  I really miss John Candy.  Mr. Science..."Uh, I swear she said she was sixteen....Mr. Science is very tired, go away..."




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Patrol...played it to death, solo similar to the way you did it, H.  It had that solo WWI scenario "try to cross No Man's Land" with the random mg fire and arty rounds. I'd do a squad at a time, going through enough to make a company's worth, then keep the stats. Then battalion, then regiment.... Man, when you have no money and are stuck in the house responsible for a 5 year old, you do some strange things for entertainment!

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OK fellas, Chappy is back, the battle booklet is in progress. A small booklet of the 10 things you need to know as a PBEM foot soldier.

Plus the org chart, OOB and other special notes.

I will just post it here in a few days to read and also as a link to download.


The main unit in this operation will be the 1 CIB:   Royal Canadian Regiment, 48th Highlanders, Hastings and Prince Edward (The "Hasty P's").

Supported by Shermans of the The Three Rivers Tanks ("Trois Rivieres", a French Canadian regiment).


We'll aim to have some battles moving by the weekend.

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OK, here is the PBEM Foot Soldier Battle Booklet Version 1.0


CMPzC Battle Booklet

(The PBEM Foot Soldier’s Guide)


CMPzC is an operational combination of Battlefront’s Combat Mission (CM) and John Tiller’s Panzer Campaigns (PzC).

Here is a link to download the Panzer Campaigns demo if you are curious and want to see what it is like.  http://www.johntillersoftware.com/Demos.php


1.    In CMPzC you get to fight some CM H2H battles as part of a greater context. Your victory or defeat down at the platoon or company level will impact the greater overall mission up at the brigade or division level. Additionally, your unit’s casualties in one battle can leave you in a tough spot for later battles. The operation is created by the Game Manager from a PzC game scenario. Nothing is ever perfect and compromises must be accepted in certain areas to allow the Operation to press forward. Thanks for joining us and we hope you enjoy it. :D

2.   The Operation starts with a PzC turn with certain phases (movement, offensive fire and defensive fire) and if any assaults are declared then there will be 1 or more CM PBEM battles. Your chance to shine! As background, PzC hexes are 1kmx1km and a PzC turn is 2 hours. The in house policy is to restrict the Operation to a max PzC turns of say 3, 5 or 6, but always 10 or less. So, think of it as a day of operational battle.  The overall PzC Map is likewise restricted to a nominal 10kmx10km area. PzC units are typically company size units for infantry, troop/platoon size for tanks. I try to have no more than 10 units per side including artillery and HQ’s. All these limits are to keep things manageable and provide the best chance that we will see it through to the end.

3.   Rules: Here is the basic set of rules first created by noob…


4.   As a PBEM foot soldier, you will be assigned a unit for a battle. Your team will get a chance to download the map beforehand with no enemy units on it. Just the proposed battle map with your own unit in their set-up zone (SUZ). Study it carefully. If you see any issues, bring them up immediately, BEFORE the PBEM starts.  Don’t waste your time with set up yet. You must wait for the actual PBEM battle turn to commence your deployment.

5.   Battle Start LOS: Be warned that some of these PBEMs CAN start off with units in LOS of each other. Take cover as needed or as best you can right from the start.

6.   Exit Zones: Most often you will have an exit zone strip of Action Square (AS) tiles along some edge of your map. Stay away from them unless it is time for a designated retreat or withdrawal ordered or permitted by your CO.

7.   Battle Objectives: Hit Alt-J to see what objectives are designated. Ask your CO for any clarification on your goals for the battle beyond normal SOP of protecting your own forces and destroying the enemy.  

8.   Artillery and mortars: Please follow the rules for our policy of restricting artillery and mortars from overtaking the game. Defender cannot preplan any fire. Both sides have a max diameter for area fire per “tube”. 20m per EACH mortar and 35m for EACH “tube” of regular artillery. Plus up to 10% wiggle room since it can be hard to exactly adjust it with your mouse. The exact diameter you have requested can be double-checked in the artillery mission dialog box under the spotter for the mission. Example: 2 mortars would be an area target of 2x20=40x1.1= 44m max diameter. 4 x105mm artillery guns = 4x35=140x1.1 =154m max diameter. Got it?

9.   PBEM turn rate: Well, we don’t expect you to play 5 turns a day but also if you will be gone for several days due to RL, please let someone know. Perhaps if the absence is significant then we should assign a substitute to assume control of the battle. Or perhaps we can wait for your return but at least raise the issue so we can figure it out together. Thanks.

10.Fog of War (FOW): Please maintain FOW and have a fair battle so don’t go looking in the other side’s thread or browse around where you shouldn’t.

11. AAR’s: It is not required but it is greatly appreciated to do an AAR in the BFC forums with screenshots and some cool commentary. :D

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No snow Fred! Sorry.

Well, my research so far, and correct me if I am wrong, but for Ortona campaign of December '43, there was no snow. Just cool to cold weather, not numbing snow and frost type weather. I lived many winters near Naples and in the distant mountains were snow capped but we had relatively mild temps down in the plains near the sea and I believe the Adriatic side was the same. :D

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You can use this thread as you like for discussion with your players as this Ortona Operation is a slightly different approach compared to the Eindhoven Operation.


It will not be team versus team but is best described as a Forumite team versus the umpire coordinating a programmed AI style resistance at the Operational level with me hiring PBEM foot soldiers to fight the battles. They are contracted ahead of time and know they cannot read this thread or any other thread you create for your team discussions and planning. You have a lot of players so the PM system we used for Eindhoven team HQ can't work because BFC forum PM has a max number of people that can be in it. FYI. :D

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I'm glad you like it!


Next steps:


1.Hex Number Guide: Later today I will post a PzC map hex number guide so you can get your units on the east edge of the map for the start of turn 1.

...and then use the hex number guide to tell me where units move to for the rest of the game...<move A Coy to hex (3,4) via hex(4,4)> for example.

I know you do not have the actual PzC game so we'll take it slow to figure out how far they can go and when they spot an enemy unit, etc.


2. CMFI GL OOB: Tomorrow I will send you a scenario file with the details on all your units, headcounts,supply levels, experience & motivation.


By this weekend we might be able to have you tell me where your units start from and your first turn moves and we'll see what assaults or skirmishes occur to start the creation of the PBEMs..


No hurry. Better to get off to a good start then botch it by rushing. :D

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OK Chappy,


Here is your hex number chart so keep this handy as you put in your orders and I can do the actual PzC unit moves.

Right now all your units are just stacked along the right edge. NOTE: North is to the left, so the right map edge is the south edge.

This is because I used PzC Salerno's Crete map to make this Ortona map. I needed a river near the coast with a decent sized city and a highway.



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