Combat Command: Heraklion AAR

I’m sad to say, but the Battle of the Blogs AAR for this scenario in Combat Command, has had to be cancelled. Chip and I have struggled to get the game to process the PBEM turns in both directions. Landing authorisation errors after the first turn is processed. We’ve tried many experiments to get the game to pass turns back and forth and allow play, but sadly we’ve failed to find a solution.

The error is documented on the Matrix forums, so hopefully we might be able to elucidate a resolution at some point, but in the interests of not stalling our Battle of the Blogs plans any further, we’ve decided to push ahead with another game for the time being (more about that soon).

However, I don’t want to give up completely on Combat Command – so I’ve decided to write up the Heraklion scenario as a normal AAR vs the games AI.

I ran through the scenario as the Allies, and the heavy defensive stance didn’t make for very good reading if I’d have blogged it up. Needless to say, I concentrated my troops around the key Victory point areas, and replaced casualties with fresh troops from the rear as best I could. I won a Decisive Victory, simply because the AI’s German Paratroopers couldn’t amass themselves in force to break through to the Airfield. With the Allies in a constant defensive posture a lot of ammunition was spent, and not many hits were scored every turn. So as my entrenched troops increased their Fortification levels, the Fallschirmjager dashed themselves onto the wall of allied fire, with my single Artillery piece lending support during the Assault phase.

With that experience under my belt, I decided what should make for a better AAR to blog, would be my desperate attempts to get the Fallschirmjager into the Airfield and push on into Heraklion itself. So, with the tables turned, I give it a go.

Combat Command is a very easy game to play, although I suspect its tricky to master. It’s broken up into phases of play, which are somewhat unconventional, but often keep you focused on the heat of the battle, without too much downtime. I often found myself ploughing on, fingers crossed, where perhaps I should have taken a step back and thought things through. I don’t pretend to know the game’s math inside out, but after a single play-through of the tutorial, any gamer should be able to grasp most of the concepts.

I’ve found its a tricky game to document through screenshots, because the phases don’t particularly present themselves visually. There’s a lot of selection, then press button for result – with many results leading to zero change – which probably reflects the true chances of combat, but doesn’t make for dramatic reading. But in the thick of it, the player will be running through these phases fairly swiftly and it all becomes part of the “war of attrition” during play. Even in defensive posture a unit will not be able to shrug off offensive direct fire for endless phases, at one point the law of averages will go against them.

Anyway, I hope I can shed some light on the game, and still tell a gripping story, its just a shame I’m doing it solo.