Penny: Combat Commander: Europe

— 2 minute read

Last night I had the opportunity to play a game that I have wanted to try for a long time now, Chad Jensen's Combat Commander: Europe. Additionally, I got a lot of help in my first play from an experienced local player (though it was via VASSAL).

We played the first scenario Fat Lipki, which I was warned was a bit on the dry side, but I felt the "uneventfulness" of it was perfect for me to grok the rules and the system. I started to understand the reasons this is such a beloved game quickly. The rules felt mostly straightforward, and the gotcha moments were derived more from synergies and creativity than obscure rules and special cases. I especially like the hand management aspects of the game, it gave a feel of having just the right amount of control of the battlefield, even though I felt like my hand was just continuously full of confusion and artillery cards (the scenario mostly had no radios).

Combat Commander Europe - 111920

I overall got whomped. I made some mistakes on deployment that took a few turns to understand, and the secret objectives were not really going my way. All of that combined with an inability to roll well (even my opponent agreed that my luck with the die rolls was atrocious...), and playing the Axis side, led to a clear defeat. That being said, I left hungry for more plays and opportunities to better understand the system and try out more of what the Combat Commander system has to offer.

BGG Game Link: Combat Commander: Europe