Combat Commander Battlepack 5
Fall of the West
DESIGNER: John A. Foley & Bryan Collars
This is the fifth expansion for the Combat Commander series of games and is devoted to the Fall of the West and contains 12 new Scenarios that take place between April 1940 and June 1940. Additionally, you receive 10 new maps on 5 map sheets which are double sided. The interesting detail of these scenarios is that they all take place in Belgium, France and Norway. Each Scenario is based on a historical situation that took place during the German invasion.
The game scale for the Combat Commander Series is that each map hex is approximately 100 feet across and the counters represent a single leader, a 5 man team or a 10 man squad. There are times within the game that individual equipment or weapons could be represented by their own counter. Finally, the time frame of each turn is approximately equal to a few minutes of time.
There are 10 new maps included with this Battlepack that depict the areas where many of the Scenarios took place. The names of roads and other terrain have been placed on theses maps. The maps show areas of Belgium, France and Norway where these battles took place and where the sides were evenly matched.
To gain an understanding of this Battlepack, it is appropriate to look at the situations covered. The 12 Scenarios provided in this package are;
- 74 – “Sturmgruppe Granit” starts with the daring glider landings on top of Fort Eben Emael and serves as the opening to the Fall of the West, 10 May 1940;
- 75 – “Sturmgruppe Breton” set near Maastricht, Belgium with another element of the glider landings facing fierce counterattack by Belgian forces , 10 May 1940;
- 76 – “A Most Gallant Dirty Little Imp”, set at the Dyle River, Belgium, featuring heroic leadership by the first winner of the Victoria Cross in WW2, 15 May 1940;
- 77 – “The Crucible of Fire” set at Petegem, Belgium, during the early tactical withdrawal of the BEF – features the Bren Carrier, 21 May 1940;
- 78 – “By These Deeds They Shall Be Known” set in Cassel, France during the desperate rearguard work by the BEF to protect the Port of Dunkirk, 27 May 1940;
- 79 – “Battering Ram at Kvam” set in the Gudbrandsdal Valley in Norway with valiant British defenders facing heavy German assault by tanks and bombers, 26 April 1940;
- 80 – “Bitter Isthmus” set at the French frontier town of Monthermé, showing that locally the French were equal to the test set before them, 14 May 1940;
- 81 – “The Bottleneck” set near Sedan, France in a fluid seesaw moment during the swift German advance – features the FCM 36, 14 May 1940;
- 82 – “Hidden Guns Lash Out” set at the outskirts of Gembloux, France, where defiant, capable defenders held off a major German assault – features the PzKfw III, 14 June 1940;
- 83 – “Thrust in the Dust” covers the zenith of the heroic French anti-tank defense of Gembloux, facing waves of German armor, 15 June 1940;
- 84 – “Seize the Canal” set at Château-Porcien, France on the River Aisne, with a heavy urban assault by German forces seeking to breech the river line, 9 June 1940;
- 85 – “The Striking Hammer” features a major armored counterattack against the German-held positions at Perthes, France – features the Char B1bis, 10 June 1940;
These Scenarios fit in nicely with the other scenarios that have been published in the main games and the other Battlepacks.
In case you are not aware of the games and expansions that are in this series, they are;
- Combat Commander
- Combat Commander Mediterranean
- Combat Commander Pacific
- Combat Commander Resistance
- Combat Commander Battlepack 1 – Paratroopers
- Combat Commander Battlepack 2 – Stalingrad
- Combat Commander Battlepack 3 – Normandy
- Combat Commander Battlepack 4 – New Guinea
- Scenarios provided in GMT’s C3I magazine
As gamers of this series know, Combat Commander is centered on infantry combat. Well, Battlepack 5 introduces Tanks with experimental rules. While the rules that are given are for only 4 of the Scenarios in this battlepack, they introduce the use of this weapon. The rules are not scheduled to become part of the Combat Commander Standard Rules.
A tank operates as a single unit even though it may be made up of multiple units. There are four different types of tanks represented in this game and they are;
- British Bren Carrier
- French Char B1bis
- French FCM 36
- German PzKfw III
While the tank rules are rather abstract, you need to keep in mind that this approach is only meant to enhance a few of the scenarios with this weapon.
Battlepack 5 Fall of the West examines some very interesting battles that took place during April through June 1940. These were battles in which the sides were fairly evenly matched and the outcome was dubious. Fall of the West is an excellent addition to the Combat Commander series and as you can see rounds out the Scenario total to 85 and maps to 61 for the series. I think it is safe to say, that Combat Commander has had and will continue to be a popular game series as players are challenged by new situations that they will find interested and challenging. I can safely say that Fall of the West meets both those conditions easily.