Unlike the first person simulations, which may have very realistic graphics, this PC game is realistic in that it forces you to think out your every action.
You become the general of the army.
You decide whether to attack or retreat, try to outflank the enemy or meet him head on.
You have to consider the terrain, time of day and weather.
You don't need skill, as the game is actually simulated for you after you supply your troops with their orders, but you do need brains, lots of them.
And that may be the one drawback to this game for people who don't want to have to think that much when they're playing a PC game.
This game is all thought.
And the control you have over your army is complete.
The instruction manual is over 200 pages long.
Fortunately, it is very well written, though it will require a lot of reading.
The concept itself is not even that simple.
Basically, Combat Mission II focuses on World War II on the Russian Front.
The armies involved are the Germans, Fins, Russians, Italians and Romanians.
The game covers the time period between 1941 and 1945 when the Russians marched into Berlin.
For US fans of the good old US Army, this is one big disappointment as the game doesn't cover the war in Europe.
The game follows what they call the "we go" principal.
In other words, even though you are commanding a large army, depending on the battle itself, you give specific order to each division, company and squad and then after you give these orders you don't physically control the actions of each.
They will take action on their own based on your orders.
If you command them to attack a bunker, they'll attack the bunker on their own.
In the course of doing this, they may be ambushed by an enemy squad or company.
If so, they will either fight back or retreat on their own, that's if they're not killed first.
There are a number of weapons and vehicles in this game.
Each one is programmed to behave as realistically as possible based on ballistics and other factors.
Yes, a lot of work went into the programming of this game.
The terrain is set up according to the actual terrain of the various countries and has a great effect on each battle's outcome.
The battles themselves are set up according to many of the real battles that were fought in the war.
Of course you may get different results since this is a simulation.
But the most fun comes from programming your own battles and designing your own terrain situations.
The number of things you can do with this game are virtually unlimited.
Not only can you program battle scenarios but you can program campaigns which are a number of battles strung together.
Combat Mission, made by CDV, is arguably one of the best war simulation games ever made.
If you're a big war fan, you won't be disappointed if you check this one out.