Friday, May 09, 2008

Friday Extra! Combat Commander Battle Pack #2: Stalingrad- preview

I commented in my recent review that BP#1 had merely scratched the surface of what the Battle Pack expansions to Combat Commander might offer. So I thought I'd take a look at the Battle Pack #2: Stalingrad previews available on the GMT site to show readers what I mean.

Reading the BP#2 product page the first thing to strike you is that this will be a significantly bigger pack than BP#1, with twice as many new maps, a rulebook, and counters too. Looking at the sample rules and counters shows some of the new units, weapons and special rules that will ensure that Battle Pack: Stalingrad will give CC fans a whole new urban warfare experience. Obvious features like factories and sewers are present, but I'm particularly keen on the new 'Urban Snipers' and 'Ampulomets', which should bring whole new levels of danger and chaos to the battlefield. Meanwhile the 'Melee' and 'Battle' counters among the samples suggest intriguing new variants to existing rules.

There isn't as much detail available in the preview about the new maps and scenarios. But that sample OB is from a single scenario featuring 1 day's attack on the Barrikady’s Great Assembly Hall, which makes it noteworthy if only because of the sheer number of units involved, although those references to 'Group 1' and so on suggest a sequential setup which should prove intriguing.

Most interesting in the scenario stakes in BP#2 is the reference to the special multi-scenario campaign game. Without any more information all that can be said about this is that this sounds very interesting. Will it just be a system for stringing scenarios together one after the other? Or will it offer real campaign choices and consequences? The CC RSG makes me hope very much for the latter.

And there you have it. Battle Pack: Stalingrad is going to define an already familiar battlefield environment in a whole new level of detail, and will also provide an entirely new way to play your Combat Commander. Like I said, this is more than the extra maps and scenarios offered in Battle Pack: Paratroopers, and it also looks to show how easily CC can be expanded into new areas without overloading the system. Where will Chad Jensen and John Foley be taking the game next I wonder? ;)

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