Last Words... the Current Big Thing
Grognard reflexes honed over years of Squad Leader, Up Front and HERO rules-tinkering caused my bout of the Battlelore blues: I was pining for some more classically-detailed tacsims of the hex-and-counter school; challenges which M44 just can't deliver. M44 already looking a bit patchy, core BL beginning to feel a bit claustrophobic, and my just not getting enough games of C&C:A- I needed a new gaming fix.
I found exactly what I was looking for in GMT's Combat Commander: Europe. The title caught my eye while I was browsing through GMT's Project 500 lists last year: sample counters, map sections, and fate cards. Skimming the playtest rules (here are the current rules, and the FAQ, all laid on for your perusal) my immediate reaction was no more original than most- looks like a cross between Squad Leader and Up Front I thought. This prospect excited me, and I bought the game from the FLGS around new year.
Badger and I played a couple of games, and I liked it as least as much as I hoped I would. Then Martin had a go on his recent visit. His first impressions were mixed- not bad, but a bit meh. A few games later he was singing CC:E's praises as the best game I've shown him in years. Tony is similarly enthusiastic, and we've been playing several games a week lately. Badger and Donald are keen on it too.
Designer Chad Jensen has a definite hit on his hands. My most played game of 2007 so far. ;)