Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Command Ops Highway to the Reich - It's Good to be Back ...

... To where all started. Panther Games' original game engine resembling what nowadays is one of the most exquisite war gaming experiences you can get, saw the light back in 2002 under the name Airborne Assault Red Devils Over Arnhem. I've just retrieved my copy of Red Devils from my cabinet and I can't help to marvel  how far Panther Games has come.

Command Ops Highway to the Reich is an expansion to the base game Battles from the Bulge, that takes advantage of all the goodies that during the recent years were introduced into Panther Games' war game engine. Command Ops Highway to the Reich now replaces Airborne Assault Highway to the Reich, which is now discontinued.

Re-made maps, orders of battle and game play that now includes more realistic mechanized movement and C2. 
The last Allied push towards Arnhem. Steamroller or just a huge traffic jam? Looking forward to try this scenario.
A huge amount of work must have gone into making this huge map and scenario which was not available in the original Highway to the Reich. Each grid square represents 1 sq. Km.
Smaller scenarios will provide great introductory forays into the fine points of Command Ops.
But wait! There is more! :) I heard that Matrix Games is throwing this strategy guide in your basket when you purchase the expansion. This is the original strategy guide for the previous game, but I've checked it and it's still relevant. 


Sam Spackman said...

Agreed, this is a great expansion. There is something about opening up Hell's Highway (or blocking it) that just lends itself to great gameplay. Sure beats hiking up Elsenborn Ridge again!

Scotten said...

Would love to play the big campaign, but I'm not sure I'd have the ability to do much except lose badly!

RangerX3X said...

This is just my personal opinion, but I feel they introduced a lot of problems with the game in the v4.3.249 patch rolled out days before release of the expansion pack that basically break the game for me.

The fatigue model is absolutely ridiculous now and completely destroys the enjoyment factor of the game (i.e. a Recce unit hidden away not engaged or bombarded should not be sitting with over 80% fatigue and be combat ineffective for six days straight).

Many units simply freeze on the map for hours on end trying to resolve combat with far inferior forces instead of smashing through or bypassing. A lot of baby sitting and micromanagement is now required for a game the purports stout AI and the ability to rely on subordinate commanders to do a lot of the heavy lifting.

Again this is obviously just my opinion, but this expansion pack is a disappointment and a larger issue is with the most recent patch I feel they basically broke the core game as well.

Marko said...

80 bucks man its a little expensive to be a wargame.... but sounds so good. Do you know any one like this one but setting in the napoleonic wars.

Javier said...

-You should read "Third Reich" (Tercer Reich) by Bolaño, is a pretty cool book about a wargamer.


JC said...

Thanks for your comments, gents. I am digging up some gameplay notes from the good old HTTR. Maybe a side by side comparison is due (?).

Ranger, I am seeing some extreme things too. Is it me, or it is just the time they take to recover from fatigue?

JC said...

@Marko: Yes, this has not been cheap. Maybe second hand, somewhere?

I don't know of any Napoleonic game in the lines of this. But I see what you mean and that would be perfect!


RangerX3X said...

I have an in-progress side by side comparison between the Highway to the Reich “Arnhem Coup de Main Campaign” and the Command Ops: Highway to the Reich scenario “Red Devils Over Arnhem” over on my Ranger blog updated through day nine...as much as a pain in the ass the extreme nature of fatigue is in the new game, it probably is more accurate. I mean, those dudes were wasted in real life.

JC said...

Hi Ranger,

Your blog entries are great and I am following that comparison. I have a new blog entry about what's new. Take a look and let me know.


Marko said...

JC, mmmm Im from Colombia, so second hand is unlikely, but do you know another form to buy it apart from the producer´s page in download format too?