Monday, January 21, 2013

Combat Commander:Europe via Vassal

Due to wintry conditions was unable to get to my Dads for a planned game of Combat Commander: Europe last night so we decided to try playing a scenario using Vassal for an online real time game.
I picked a scenario entitled 'Paralyzed from the West Down' (which I erroneously identified as one played in last CC:E post....d'oh !).
After working out how to establish a 'room' (yes that is what I said a room - in my best Clouseau accent) and connect it was fairly straight forward to generate and set up the scenario.
Playing the game via Vassal took a wee bit of getting used to as I had to work out just how some actions and icons worked but nothing too onerous and once we got into the flow it all went fine.
Bit slower than face to face play as need to allow bit extra time for scrolling map and checking the Card Hand window and suchlike.
But some things are very well done in the module like click an icon to do Dice Roll, Events and Random Hex card draws.
So all in all it was nice alternative to physical play of game.
Neither of us have a microphone or PC camera so early turns saw lots of typing to the in game text box until we realised we could use the 'Facetime' feature of my iPad and Dads iPhone which meant we could see each other and talk which saved a lot more time and allowed banter and much better arguing facility.
Scenario itself was usual fun stuff with my Elite American Paras running out of time (again !) before taking enough Victory Hexes or inflicting enough damage on Germans.
Lots of buildings in this one and good covered approaches but of course being in buildings Germans need winkled out by melee and I got very few opportunities to generate Smoke Cover or get sufficient Advance orders.
One glorious melee saw a single Yank Para squad take out a German leader, Weapons crew and Conscript squad (mainly due to Breaking the Conscripts by Ambush action prior to melee).
Sodding Huns then managed to return couple of destroyed squads to map by lucky Event draws !
We both generated Heroes this game but they made no real impact.
I managed to exit a couple of squads and a leader of enemy map edge, which gave me several VPs and these units then are eligible to come back on later as reinforcements.
First time we saw this in action.
Still thoroughly enjoying this game system even in 'digital' iteration.

Couple of screenshots from within Vassal

Nearing the end with Paras struggling to take large central building

The German Sudden Death card 'roll' that ended game at first opportunity

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