brief review of Battlefront's two games
games covered in this brief review are Combat Mission Beyond Overlord (CMBO)
and Combat Mission Barbarossa to Berlin (CMBB).
These two computer wargames are produced by Battlefront for the PC
and the Mac. As you clever guys
will no doubt notice from their respective titles, CMBO covers the period
June 6 1944
and the end of World War Two in the NW
European Theatre whereas CMBB covers the invasion of
in June 1940 to the fall of
in May 1945.
CMBO was published about two years ago and CMBB was released last
September. The games cover
company to reinforced battalion levels of operation.
Vehicles and support weapons are modelled individually; smallest
infantry elements are sections, whereas artillery and close air support are modelled
The games come with a lot of scenarios and a quick battle
generator. In the generator you
can decide the type of action and the size of the action (in terms of
points). You can then either
purchase units or let the computer assign units to you.
The game is played in simultaneous turns each comprises of 60
seconds of action. You give
individual orders to your units, and, depending on their training and
whether they are in command or not, a delay for the execution of those
orders is added to the units. After
the completion of the order phase, you can view the outcome of your orders
during the action phase. It is
displayed as a video and there are mechanisms to zoom, replay, change angle
of view etc., just like a VCR. After
you are satisfied with the result you go back to the order phase and the
cycle begins again until the predetermined number of turns has been reached,
at which point the computer will announce the result
The games not only have the main belligerents but also include
minor powers such as Poland, Hungary and Finland, etc.
Actually, apart from the early war in the west (pre D-Day) that is
not catered for, you can use the games to simulate just about any European
battle. Unfortunately the two
games are not compatible with each other, thus you can not port the data
from CMBB to CMBO.
During vehicle combat, individual vehicles shoot at each other and
the results are calculated using actual ballistics data, armour thickness
and slope, hardness number, etc. The
most sophisticated part is that if a shot misses its intended target, the
program will carry on the calculation until the shot either hits something
harmlessly, affects others or falls out of sky due to lack of energy.
The games not only allow playing against the computer but also
cater for play by email (PBEM) and internet play via TCIP.
In fact I have been playing against a lot of players from US,
Australia etc. for the past two years using PBEM.
The games also come with a scenario editor and map editor which
allow custom scenarios and maps to be generated; thus you can virtually
simulate any battle within the scope and time frame of each of the games.
As the games do not cover the western front before D-Day, one
cannot play any battle for
However, all is not lost as there are a number of skin modifications
(MOD) to cover these. Unfortunately,
this only applies to the skins of the vehicles and the uniforms, the
underlying algorithms remaining the same.
Due to the superb graphics, people with slower machines (I use P3
450Mhz, 512 MB SDRAM and GeForce 4 graphic card) may experience some
sluggishness during play.
I personally rate these two games highly and they continue to be
played despite having been bought some time ago.
They are a definite buy for anyone interested with World War 2 armour
actions. Those interested can
buy the game from Battlefront directly via this link http://www.battlefront.com/index.htm.
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