Thursday, August 6, 2009

Combat Mission Shock Force: British Forces; PBEM for the Rusty Solo Player

After a long hiatus, I'm slowly starting to PBEM again. This one scenario I'm playing against a fellow wargamer from Europe features a British "armoured Coy" (getting used to British military terminology is another game within the game!) against a Syrian Republican Guard mech. inf. formation (possibly a company too?). I am playing as the British.

I was never good at PBEM with Combat Mission Shock Force (CMSF). I am just too spoiled by hundreds of hours of real-time, solo play. Moves I could do almost in my sleep during a real-time game require a thorough thought for a turn-based PBEM game. In addition, during real-time games against the computer, I am the only witness of my tactical ineptitude. This makes me overly cautious during PBEMs, particularly when I'm the one attacking. I am convinced that even General Montgomery would be astonished at my glacial tactical tempo.

So, fellow wargamer/PBEM opponent: that's my story and I'm sticking to it! :)

Seriously, I am enjoying the PBEM game. Is there something more exhilarating than the beginning of a Combat Mission PBEM game, when you send your combat patrols ahead?

A dismounted British armoured infantry section moves to contact in a combat patrol role. Image from the PBEM game I'm playing. Click the image for an expanded view.

And speaking of combat patrols, this scenario I'm playing by e-mail wiped out some concerns I had from the demo. The demo showed some light reconnaissance forces bumping at a murderous short range into the teeth of a heavily defended Syrian suburb. Light reconnaissance forces are only good for reconnaissance from the protection of long ranges. Light reconnaissance forces are not suitable for combat patrol, a tactical task that a formation performs when it is already commited into battle. In this scenario, I have the right tools (armoured infantry) for my combat patrols.

A Plt command team anxiously waits for the SITREPs from the combat patrols roaming ahead. I hope that mortar is not needed in the immediate future. Image from the PBEM scenario I'm playing. Click the image for an expanded view.

Also, I was very happy to read the word "templated" in the briefing. Kudos to designer George McEwan for a meticulously written briefing.

Let the real fighting begin ...



Olav said...

Woha, youre in the trees then? :-)

*plots mortars

Nice article and some appropriate reverse psychology there :-)

I got some very very green troops here.

Think afghan army conscripts without the opium.

JC said...


*nervously moves troops out of the trees*

And that's why the press should not be allowed in war zones.

You've got very green troops, but I bet you have way lots than me.

OK, then. PSYOPS are compromised. Now I will REALLY have to fight you. :)