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Video Game / Combat Mission

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A notable series of squad-level historical wargames. They use simultaneous turn resolution ("WeGo") and place an emphasis on historical accuracy. The series features an incredibly detailed simulation of ballistics, armor, and penetration, especially as it relates to tank armor; things such as ricochets are fully modeled, as is individual vehicle component damage. The difference types of cover and concealment are also modeled in-game with meticulous detail - rifle bullets can potentially punch right through drywall, for example, and a mortar shell will go straight through a thin sheet-metal roof. The series is also extremely easy to mod, and boasts a robust built-in scenario and campaign editor.

There are currently three games in the original game engine, and seven titles in the second generation (most with additional add-on modules, noted):


First Generation (CMX 1)

Beyond Overlord
June 1944-May 1945 in Western Europe.
Barbarossa to Berlin
June 1941-May 1945 on the Eastern Front
Afrika Korps
1940-1945 in North Africa and the Mediterranean.

Second Generation (CMX 2)

Shock Force
A fictional "near-future) war set in 2007 between the U.S. and Syria.
Takes place during the Soviet-Afghan War in the 1980s.
Beyond Overlord's setting remade in the new CMX 2 engine.
The Western Front in September 1944
Commonwealth Forces
The Western Front from June to September 1944
Fortress Italy
Italy from July 1943 to early 1944
Gustav Line
Italy 1944
Red Thunder
The Eastern Front from June to August 1944
Final Blitzkrieg
The Western Front from October 1944 to January 1945
Black Sea
"near-future" fictional conflict in Ukraine with Russian, Ukrainian and American forces

This series provides examples of:

  • All There in the Manual: Every single tank, self-propelled gun and antitank gun of the war is painstakingly reproduced, along with each and every variant they had throughout the war. During battles, you can right-click on them to know exactly how much armour they have, how sloped it is along which angle, how much armour penetration you can expect from the gun and so on. On the recruiting screen however ? Well, if you don't want to buy the wrong one, you'd better know them by heart. All of them.
  • Booby Trap:
    • Anti-Tank, anti-personnel, and daisy chain mines.
    • IEDs in Shock Force and Afghanistan.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: Playing as the Syrians in Shock Force will often leave you stuck with such state-of-the-art technology as the BTR-60 APC (first designed over half a century ago) and T-55 main battle tank (ditto). Afghan rebel fighters and tribal militias in Afghanistan regularly use World War II-vintage weapons, along with occasional relics from World War I and a smattering of weapons which were already fairly old even then - you'll encounter a lot of 1890s-vintage Enfield and Mosin-Nagant rifles, for example.
  • Cannon Fodder: Conscript infantry, in general, but particularly those poor quality Soviet troops making Human Wave attacks.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Units occasionally display atrocious path-finding skills, with tanks redirecting themselves half way around the map, rather than wait for the rout ahead to clear. In Shock Force, infantry have the alarming habit of picking the wrong side to enter a building, preferring to run around to the front and into enemy fire instead of using the available, safe back door.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The entire story campaign of Shock Force, which is about the full force of the US and NATO being called down upon the army of Syria. It's made clear at the beginning of the game that allied forces losing the war is not even remotely within the realm of possibility; the only way the outcome can be affected is in determining exactly how fast and decisive the victory is. Allied forces have technological superiority as well as massive amounts of artillery support and total air supremacy.
  • Easy Logistics: Somewhat applicable. Infantry never run completely out of ammunition, though once they reach "low" their firepower drops by half, and they can only fire in self defense. Vehicles also never run out of fuel, although they can still be immobilized by a burst tire, damaged track, or destroyed engine.
  • Glass Cannon: Known as "Eggshells with Hammers" within the community. Notable examples are the Nashorn (88mm PaK 43 and 15mm armor), the Archer (17 pounder and 20mm armor), the M18 Hellcat (76.2mm cannon and 25mm armor), and many self-propelled howitzers.
    • The various Marders would also count, along with most Russian early war Tank Destroyers - the armour of a half-track, the cannon of a heavy tank. Learn keyholing or die. For that matter, you really should consider fixed & towed antitank guns as one-shot weapons too, since the enemy is sure to drop arty or at least direct machine gun fire on their position once they've revealed themselves.
    • In Shock Force, Syrian anti-tank missile teams. One well-placed shot to the top armor of a Stryker or Bradley can fireball the vehicle - and you better hope it hits, because that one shot is all you're going to get.
  • God Damn Bats: smoke shells, of all things. The computer AI is particularly fond of firing them at your armour, rendering them useless until they are clear of the fog. Of course, that is the entire point.
  • Missing Backblast: notably averted. Troopers armed with Bazookas and Panzerfausts can fire from indoors if you order them to. They won't do it on their own, and with good reason: the backblast most often sets the whole building on fire and is quite likely to wound the people firing it. The British PIAT is notably exempt from those rules as per history, since it was less of a rocket launcher and more of a giant spring.
  • The Engineer: Combat Engineers, in particular. Engineers are expensive, specialized infantry. They carry demolition charges, can clear minefields, and are usually accompanied by flamethrowers.
  • Kill It with Fire: All manner of flamethrowers. In practice, these mostly just rout troops and deny ground.
    • Russian troops also pack Molotov cocktails in lieu of antitank grenades (and in some case have special slingshot-like launchers for them that allow the cocktails to be flung at greater ranges than most grenades, although the accuracy is questionable).
  • No Swastikas: Some versions of CMBO refer to the Waffen-SS as "Waffen Grenadiers," a designation that was in reality only applied to non-German SS units.
  • Tank Goodness: Everything from the M5 Stuart to the single Super Pershing. Assault Guns, Tank Destroyers, SP Anti-Aircraft weapons, tankettes. Only a few obscure, captured vehicles are omitted.
    • Shock Force, the only entry in the series thus far set in modern times, includes (with expansions) every single armored fighting vehicle currently in service with the militaries of the United States, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, as well as a whole host of surplus Soviet and Russian tanks and APCs. And technicals.
  • Why Won't You Die?: Inevitably happens when that one particularly resilient, enemy tank runs amok amongst your forces.
  • Zerg Rush: Soviet Human Wave attacks.