CMSF: Afghanistan is a stand alone game based on the Combat Mission Shock Force engine...
This After Action Review via screenshots is the opening mission of the 1st campaign (game ships with 2 campaigns), The Invasion has begun taking place in 1980... I am tasked to surround a enemy held town, choke it to death, then clear it of all enemy combatants without letting any escape.
My basic plan is a 3 prong attack from the get go, sending armor/IFV and support troops to the left and right, keeping the third prong in the middle. I will then have all my infantry and support units disembark and take up fighting positions around the walls and covering 3 of the 4 exits. I will send 2 armor units at high speed to the back side to close that escape route, the question is...will they make it in time.
Once I have a 360 degree perimeter around the town, I have my snipers and machine gunners take nearby high ground and cover the assault. I pepper hot spot areas with mortars and then eventually high powered artillery. As the artillery support stops I send my infantry in on an assault capturing and clearing nearby buildings. I send the armor in for support, and eventually have most of my infantry units in side...clearing building to building... heavy resistance brings more artillery barrages, while machine guns, snipers and a few IFV continue to kill all who attempt to escape.
I guess, in the end, I only had a minor victory do to a few escaping without notice.
Opinion of the game:
The game was just released last week. It was made by a Russian developer who purchased the rights to the engine from battlefront, or something like that. The graphics and sounds are good, but not as up to par as the big brother from battlefront. BUT IMO Afghanistan is much more fun and more realistic in terms of battlefield size and weapon systems. Not that Battlefronts modern weapon systems ain't bad or wrong... just due to the map size and the modern weapons... combat is from the get go and no such thing as long distance. Still, not knocking the original CMSF series, it is a great series... but this Afghanistan game due to the fact that it's 80's weapon systems, fits more into the size of the battlefield.
14 pre-made missions, 2 campaigns, and all the other options like a quick battle generator make this a pretty damn good strategy game.
Also has the typical turn based and real time choice... and MP by e-mail, hot seat and TCP-IP.
You know, when I first tried CMSF I avoided the real-time method of playing like the plague. I had come from the turn-based Overlord and Barbarossa (previous Combat Mission games)... but real-time really DID suit the nature of modern warfare.