At the player's fingertips are a large array of carefully researched US and German Army formations, equipment, and vehicles (click here for a preliminary Table of Organiztion & Equipment) in what is probably the most versatile, genuine and powerful battlefield simulation to date.
CM:BN depicts the 1944 Normandy landscape, both rural and urban, with an authentic atmosphere and, more importantly, tactical fidelity. Barns, churches, houses with sloped roofs, and many other styles of buildings are included in addition to revamped "modular" style buildings for building larger blocks, towns and even entire cities. Many new terrain types such as heavy forest ground, railroads, crops, (animated) water and fords, bridges (with weight limits) and of course the infamous Norman "bocage" hedgerows allow for a distinct and realistic look and feel of both rural and urban environments.
As one should expect, the terrain isn't there for looks alone - the detailed 1 meter by 1 meter terrain mesh allows for stunningly realistic maps that go far beyond visuals. Dynamic lighting, deformable terrain including partial and complete destruction of buildings, a wide range of weather types and environmental effects including rain, fog, heavy winds (with ballistic effects), realistic ground conditions, many new 'Flavor Objects' such as gravestones, haystacks, sheds or woodpiles and graphic special effects only help to further accentuate and intensify the playable environments.
Like earlier Combat Mission games, CM:BN puts players in control of teams, squads, individual vehicles, and support assets organized according to painstakingly researched historical TO&E (Tables of Organization and Equipment), including US Army Infantry, Airborne and Glider, Armored, Engineers of different types, towed and self-propelled anti-tank units, and more. For the German Wehrmacht, the TO&E includes Heer (Army) Panzergrenadiers, Pioniers, Füsiliers, Sturmgeschütz and Panzer formation, and more.
Each soldier is modeled individually, including independent spotting and combat/weapon capabilities. The new context sensitive equipment loadout for individual soldiers means that you will see a Panzergrenadier firing his MP40 machinepistol with a Panzerschreck on his back. When the Panzerfaust is fired you see it visually and then it disappears. A large variety of completely new animations, stances and positions adds to the immersion. Soldiers can surrender and be "rescued", administer "buddy aid" to wounded comrades, share ammo with nearby troops and vehicles, fire from open topped vehicles or open hatches and much more.
The new improved Tactical AI ensures genuine battlefield behavior even at the smallest scale, no matter if you play a small platoon firefight scenario, or a large battalion sized engagement.
Vehicles are also simulated in greater fidelity in CM:BN than what was possible before. The new system a llows not only for exponentially greater data modeling, but also the best visuals provided yet with the extremely detailed hi-polygon 3D vehicle models with articulated suspensions, animated hatches, MG and weapon mounds and smoke launchers. From the extensive damage modeling individually for each sub-system including the most realistic ballistics, armor and post-armor effects available to date, to the randomly individualized vehicle models (including external equipment like sandbags or ammo boxes, wheels and tracks, damaged fenders and more. Additionally, gone are the old CMBO days when US tanks magically moved through hedgerows without leaving an actual breach. Now you can watch a Sherman with Rhino attachment plow through bocage, leaving a gap for infantry to follow.
Command & Control
CM:BN features one of the most advanced C2 (Command & Control) models available in a game, controlling in a realistic way the flow of battlefield recon information, unit cohesion, availability and application of air and artillery support, and more. Two new Commands (Scout Team and Driver Team) allow more tactical control..
CM:BN features a mind blowing array of weapons, vehicles and equipment, all meticulously researched and recreated in astonishing detail. Besides the obvious World War Two era tanks, halftracks, trucks, and small arms and weapons, CM:BN introduces large crew-served weapons as well as on-map mortars and Infantry Guns (both of which are capable of firing in the direct as well as indirect roles). All of which are organized within historically correct command structures.
Player placeable Target Reference Points (TRPs) allow for increased accuracy and decreased delays for support fire missions. Static defenses and fortifications such as bunkers, trenches, barbed wire, and hedgehogs offer tactical challenges to both attacker and defender. Better still, in CM:BN fortifications are both user placeable and unknown to the enemy until after the Setup Phase.
Unlike many other games, CM:BN offers far more than a limited handful of maps and missions. In fact, CM:BN delivers endless replayability, just like the first Combat Mission games did. Besides two semi-dynamic campaigns, one from each side's perspective, you will find dozens of standalone missions, full two-player capability for both online play as well as Play-By-Email (PBEM), and an innovative and almost entirely overhauled QuickBattles system including troops purchase, "cherry picking" and map selection and preview.
And that's just what comes with the game. Players have full access to a full featured Mission Editor to create their own maps, missions, and campaigns. If making new battles isn't your thing, then simply enjoy what others make by downloading them for free. There are more Combat Mission scenarios to download than any person could play in several lifetimes.
And make no mistake that missions in CM:BN are just an endless reproduction of Capture the Flag... the dynamic style of play inherent in our game engine allows for a variety of objectives that can even be unique for each si de in a given battle, allowing each side to fight to fulfill its own goals rather than a single set common to both.
To accurately simulate the often frantic and rapid pace of modern combat, the Combat Mission game engine was designed and programmed from the start to be RealTime. Experience Combat Mission like never before as you order your units while the battle rages on around you.
Knowing that RealTime play is not for everyone, Combat Mission Battle for Normandy also offers the same ground breaking WeGo hybrid turn based system that propelled the original Combat Mission games to an unprecedented three Wargame of the Year Awards from PC Gamer magazine. Better still, the underlying RealTime mechanics overcome several game play problems found in the old Combat Mission WeGo system.
Play the game as you want, against the AI in Realtime or Turn Based Mode or against another Human player in Realtime TCP/IP or WeGo in PBEM (Play by Email) and Hotseat.
Building upon the legacy started 10 years ago with the release of the ground smashing Combat Mission Beyond Overlord, CM:BN incorporates years of experience and customer suggestions to produce what we think is the most genuine and enjoyable simulation of tactical ground warfare of World War Two. CM:BN is based on the extremely powerful proprietary CMx2 engine - the foundation for which was laid with the Combat Mission Shock Force series of Modern tactical warefare games. The CMx2 game engine is now in its 4th year of improvements and expansions, not the least of which are the host of brand new features necessary to simulate WW2 warfare in a temperate climate.
- If you are a seasoned CM:SF player an d just finished storming a village in Syria with a mix of NATO and US troops earlier today, feel free to skip the next part and jump right into the "What's new in Normandy?" section!
- If you are new to Combat Mission and usually play RTS or FPS games, we're strongly recommending that you to read this next section carefully.
More articles about Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy