It’s back

In 2000, wargaming took a bold leap into the future with Combat Mission: Beyond Overlord. Initially an unofficial software port of the classic Advanced Squad Leader board wargame, Combat Mission brought battlefield fidelity and the revolutionary WEGO system of simultaneous plotted movements and commands.

Later releases in the Combat Mission series abandoned the Mac. Combat Mission: Afrika Korps was the only reason I used a Windows XP laptop. In 2007, Combat Mission Shock Force came out in 2007 as an entirely new rebuild. Its subject matter, modern asymmetrical warfare in the Middle East, didn’t appeal to me and I gradually lost interest in the games.

Until this week, that is. Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy is out. The improvement in graphics evident in the following video pales in comparison with the improvement in game play.

The new release brings to the World War II battlefield considerations for command and control, radios, spotters, and a whole lot more. Best of all, it’s back on the Mac. You can play with WEGO or in running real time.

Here are a few of the incredible scenes players have captured in two days of play.

A Panther lights up the night.

A day at the office for a 60mm mortar crew.

Be vewy, vewy quiet.

What an 88 does to a thin-skinned Greyhound.

Bazooka away!

Dismounted German tank crewmen find a machine gun to play with.

The game costs $55, and those are weak American dollars. It’s a download so there’s no shipping charges (unless you want the DVDs and printed manual). Not convinced? The demo is free.

Has it been a month?

April flew by, and took the beginning of May with it.

I spent part of one Thursday night in the hospital. My Imitrex and Dilaudid just don’t seem to work on my migraines anymore. Fortunately, the IV anti-emetic in the emergency ward does. In triage, they took my blood pressure and it was way high. I normally have slightly low blood pressure. I asked the nurse about it and she told me, “That’s how we know you’re not faking.”

I talked to my doctor during a check-up on my knee and he prescribed Maxalt and Ralivia. I’m not sure about Ralivia, which is an extended-release pain reliever (my migraines rarely last more than ten hours) but the combo knocked out the migraine I had last night.

Speaking of my knee, the doctor told me that there was a lot less joint movement. He thinks the ACL is healing and that I don’t need a surgical repair.

If this is start of a month, that means it’s time for a baseball update.

Led by Lance Berkman, my sluggers are creaming the ball – when they hit it. Too many hitters are struggling, and bringing my batting average down. Most of my pitchers are performing as expected except the two I thought would be best, keepers Chris Carpenter and Mat Latos. They’ve continued to pitch as poorly as they did last September. C’mon boys, step it up.

.256 batting average (6th)
49 HR (1st by 5 HRs)
208 runs (1st by 15)
209 RBI (1st by 45!)
29 SB (tied 6th, four out of second)
4.14 ERA (7th)
1.35 WHIP (7th)
200 K (9th)
14 wins (7th but four out of first)
3 saves (9th)

I have the worst pitching and second best hitting of all teams. I have 56.5 points and sit in fifth place overall. The standings are volatile, however, and every week sees nearly random shifts among the top top eight teams.

For May Day’s add and drop, I dumped Sam Demel and picked up Daniel Murphy. He better outperform Jason Bourgeois is all I gots to say about that.

My pitching can’t stay this bad, can it?