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Combat Mission Fortress Italy Rome to Victory by Battlefront  So, Winston Churchill has made his second gre...

Combat Mission Fortress Italy: Rome to Victory by Battlefront Combat Mission Fortress Italy: Rome to Victory by Battlefront

Combat Mission Fortress Italy: Rome to Victory by Battlefront

Combat Mission Fortress Italy: Rome to Victory by Battlefront

Combat Mission Fortress Italy

Rome to Victory



 So, Winston Churchill has made his second great mistake. In World War I it was the forcing of the Dardanelles. In World War II it was attacking the 'soft underbelly' of Europe. The only problem was he didn't look at a topographical map. Physically, Italy is a defender's dream and an attacker's nightmare. From the spine that divides the campaign into two separate pieces to every other known natural obstacle, Italy has it. The Allies have been slogging up the Italian peninsula since invading Salerno and jumping over from Sicily in 1943. The campaign was supposed to have taken Rome already or diverted huge amounts of German soldiers and arms to the Peninsula. Instead, the Germans have been able to defend this natural fortress with minimal forces. Battlefront has already put out one add-on for Fortress Italy, that was Gustav Line. So, this is the second add-on for this game. Let us see how it looks and plays.

 Fighting in Italy is much different than the plains of Russia or other places the Combat Mission has gone. From the soaring heights of Monte Cassino (my favorite battles in Fortress Italy), to the beaches of Salerno, it is one big wrestling match in the mud. The campaign is much like the bocage in Normandy, except that it never really ends. Each day it is one more ridge or valley for the Allies to try and pry the Germans loose of. We will start with a list of the new equipment you get with RTV:

Brummbar (late)
Brummbar (mid)
StuG IIIG (late)
StuG IV (early)
StuH 42 (late)
StuH 42 (latest)
Panther A (late)
Panzer IIIM (flame)
Pz IV J (early)
Tiger I (latest)
Hetzer (late)
JPz IV (late)
Allied (United States, India, Free France, Brazil, and South Africa)
Note: Equipment available will vary with nationality.
M7B1 Priest
M24 Chaffee
M4(105) (early)
M4(105) (mid)
M4A3(76)W (early)
M4A3(76)W (improved)
M10 GMC (late)
Bofors 40mm SP
Kangaroo (Priest)
Kangaroo (Sherman III)
Churchill Mk V
Churchill Mk VII
Churchill Mk VII Crocodile
Churchill NA75
Churchill AVRE
Sherman IB
Sherman IC Firefly
Sherman IC Firefly Hybrid
Sherman IIA
Sherman VC Firefly
M4 Sherman Crab


 This list, coupled with the list of new formations (Waffen SS, Heer, Luftwaffe Field Division, together with new forces from the seven countries that compose the Allies), makes a pretty large amount of new material to use in the base game. You also get two campaigns and fifteen stand alone battles. The campaigns are:

First Blood at Cellene
Operation Encore

 So now we get to the meat of the argument. A lot of Wargamers, if not all, love freebies. On the other hand, coders and their families like to eat. Please let me make one thing clear, owners of wargame companies do not drive Maseratis, unless their wives are wealthy. This is a niche group, that is part of another niche group. It is a lot like those Russian dolls. The cost for RTV is $35. This is also the cost for Gustav Line. The main game by itself goes for $60. Right now you can buy the entire ensemble for $95. That is a lot of gaming for probably two dinners out with the wife. If you are bringing some older children it is probably less than you would spend for the dinner. If you are extremely lucky, it is just about three tanks of gas. The amount of gaming YEARS you will get out of the game is simply amazing. But, you say, Battlefront charges for upgrades. Yes, you could get the 4.0 upgrade from Battlefront for all five of their games for $25. Could most of us afford to buy Battlefront's entire catalog at one time? Absolutely not. We can, as I have, buy one for a birthday or Christmas etc. for a few years running. So, the price point on all games is a personal opinion. I would like to end my tirade at Speakers Corner with: coders and their families like to eat.

 So how does it play? The good thing is if you picked up one of the first Combat Mission games about twenty years ago you would not be adrift in the game. You would however, be simply amazed at how far all of the parts of the game have come. Visually it is not 'stunning'; it leans more toward the workman than artist. You would not take a screenshot of RTV, or any of their games, and print it and hang it on a wall (unless you were very lonely or divorced). On the other hand, the forces under your control, and more importantly under the AI, go about their job following orders like you would expect World War II soldiers would.

 The game itself is, as was mentioned, based on the Italian Peninsula. The fighting here is much more akin to the Pacific Island battles than thrusting Panzers or T-34s on the steppe. You can play all the old ways you have become used to down the years. This is a synopsis written by Battlefront, but it is right on the money:

"Tactical warfare at battalion and below scale in a true 3D environment
Command individual vehicles, teams, and squads
Expansive simulation of "soft factors" such as Morale, Experience, and Leadership
Innovative systems portraying Fog of War, Spotting, Line of Sight, Command & Control, and Objectives
Unmatched realistic physics, ballistics, and battlefield effects
Fight in a wide range of weather and lighting conditions, all of which realistically impact fighting abilities
Unique hybrid system for RealTime or WeGo (turn based) play
Full featured Editor for maps, scenarios, and campaigns
Quick Battle system sets up deliberate or randomized battles based on player specifications
Single player and head to head play, including Play By Email (PBEM)
Supported for the long haul with patches, upgrades, and expansions"

 So, if you are interested in tactical wargaming during World War II, this is your heaven. If you are looking to see exactly what the two sides had to deal with in Italy on the tactical level, again this Bud's for you (for that I might get a year's supply or sued). There really isn't that much to say. If you have ever enjoyed a Combat Mission game then what are you waiting for. If you played one and hated it, you will argue with me until the end of time (we grognards are good at that). But before you do, let me fire up RTV again to play while I am countering your arguments. Thank you Battlefront for the chance to review RTV, and for all of your games and updates down through the years.

Link to Rome to Victory:



  1. I like CM even with its outdated graphics, glitches that they doesn't solve until it passed a few years, it's pricy model with little support. But they are a niche because they want it, this game on Steam a few years ago could had a great punch and made a lot of money.

    For this expansion, it seems that they put very exclusive OOB as the multicultural V Army, very interesting.

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