Mixed or average reviews- based on 36 Ratings
Aug 19, 2011Not sure what BFC was trying to accomplish - actually, I do know; an appeal to a wider market base than had been possible with the first generation game engine that had made the first series of games so popular, playable and engaging. Unfortunately, much of the appeal had been stripped out for the first title of the second generation game engine, CM:SF, including the World War II setting. The Normandy title takes the series backs to its roots though curiously, despite being called "Battle for Normandy", only about 20% of the what went on in Normandy is included in the box - there are no amphibious forces, no parachute or glider invasions, no SS, the British are absent, as are the Luftwaffe and German paras, and so too are key pieces of American equipment, and elements of basic field engineering remain absent or awkwardly modelled. What you are left with are match-ups of vanilla German Army vs. U.S. in the bocage and the breakout between June, post-landing, and the breakout period (U.S. paratroopers are in, Rangers are not, neither are the captured French armour the Germans famously used on the Cotentin peninsula). The bocage is strangely modelled, too, with 30 ton tanks balking at driving over two-foot hedgerows, and the pathing problems of CM:SF seeming to rear heads, as Shermans scurry for flanks, trying to find hedge gates and exposing flanks in the process.
Debates endure on various forums about the power of MGs, cover, memory leaks - just why DO those MG42s fire from 50 round drums instead of belts anyway?
There is a definite following for the game. Some people just like watching Sherman tanks shoot at StuGs. CMBN makes pretty movies. Try the demo and see if this is for you. BFC has polished up their marketing approach and their graphics. I can't say that the game itself has been made any better - and judging by all the features that they are now furiously trying to weld back into the game engine, after having proudly stripped them out, i'm not sure even they disagree.… Full Review »
Oct 29, 2013Combat Mission Battle for Normandy (CMBN) is an amazing update from the original CM games. I came to this series late and only played Combat Mission: Barbarossa to Berlin and Combat Mission: Afrika Korps after CMBN was announced. I learned fast that using real tactics worked better then just throwing your guys around. I had plenty of fun waiting for CMBN. But wow CMBN is soooo much better than the original series. The modeling down to each individual soldier makes the immersion during battles amazing. Using real life tactics is even more important now. You cannot just order a platoon to cross an open field against enemy fire. They will take casualties and decide to save their lives and return to cover. But if you prepare your assault with supporting fire and suppression against the enemy you will succeed.
The new spotting model is amazing I have spent plenty of time with no idea what my opponent is doing or what condition his force is in. If your guys cannot see the enemy then you see nothing. If they see and hear gun fire from behind cover all you get are contact icons. Only once your men see the enemy soldiers do you have any information about what you are facing. It creates a great effect as you try to decipher what your enemy is doing. It also means that even though the eye in the sky (i.e. you) might know information about the location of an enemy unit, you will not necessarily be able to get every unit under your command to fire on that enemy. Only those units that can see the enemy's location can fire and those of your units that have not spotted the enemy yet will only be able to fire at the general area instead of directing fire at a detected enemy.
This truly is the ultimate war game. I used to play miniature table top gaming and hex based cardboard games but gave them up many years ago. The realism just was not there. CMBN has a feel to it that you just cannot get from the "I can see all your counters" games of the past. No game is perfect and neither is CMBN. Many people criticize the UI but I do not find many things that are an issue I am sure improvements can be made. There have been many defects reported and many defects have been fixed by the development team. In fact this is one of the best supported products I have ever used. There are going to be times when something happens in game that you will think is ridiculous and may be it is. Take it in stride as the fortunes of war and carry on. The great strength of this game is that it is not deterministic lets face it neither is real life. Bad luck can befall you and you might get caught in a corner case. Just treat those incidents as bad luck and go make some good luck for yourself by paying attention to real life tactics and take care of your men. The biggest short coming I find with CMBN is the scenario map editor. That could really use a UI face lift. There is no way to overlay images in the editor to help create realistic contour lines and building road positioning. Plus the AI planner is pretty difficult to follow and offers no ability to copy and paste. I tried to create a map and gave up. I still do not get how to control the AI's actions it just is not intuitive. But as far as playing the game goes I am very happy. I have been playing multiple games and multiple opponents sine the moment CMBN came out. I see no sign of my interest dropping. I am getting better a playing but still have opponents that are challenging.
When I first reviewed this game I had a few criticisms with regard to the scenario editor. They have since enhanced that part of the game taking care of most of my concerns. Scenario creating is a challenge for sure but the game's editor no longer gets in your way the way it originally did. Bravo.… Full Review »