This tactical military simulation depicts a hypothetical near future conflict between NATO and Syrian forces in Syria.A highly story driven semi-dynamic Campaign, from the US perspective, offers a completely new experience for Combat Mission fans. Each battle include a detailed Mission Briefing outlining specific Objectives, which can range from taking a particular spot on the map to retaining force cohesion. The Objectives for each side can be different, allowing each side to fight according to its own goals rather than a single set common to both. Detailed, story driven, semi-dynamic campaign as told from the NATO perspective Map sizes as tiny as 224mx224m up to a massive 16 square kilometers
Combat Mission: Shock Force is the fourth game in the Combat Mission series, and the first one not to take place during World War II. Instead the setting this time is Syria in the near future.
As with previous games in the series the focus lies on tactical ground combat battles. Each battle starts with a mission briefing where the player gets to study the strategic and operational maps and gets a description of the mission. After this the player is moved to the 3D battlefield and the Setup Phase where the action is paused. Here the battlefield has setup zones where the player can position his units. The player can here issue commands to his units, which will be activated once the battle begins. When happy with this the player can choose to start the actual battle.
The game features a number of gameplay styles. In it's most basic form the game is played in simultaneous time, meaning that a second of play time equals a second of real time. Players can however choose to change this to an alternative playing style. In the real-time mode the battles starts after the setup has been completed and only stops if the player chooses to pause the action. In the turn-based mode, each turn of the battle (except for the first) has three phases. It starts with an command phase where the player issues orders. After this comes the action phase where the units execute their orders. This consists of 60 seconds of real-time action. Last is the replay phase where the player can rewind and replay the action. For the first turn of the battle, the action phase is based on the commands given in the setup phase. The player is not able to issue any more commands in the action and replay phases.
Each battle can have a number of different victory conditions based on different objectives. Three main types of objectives exist: terrain-based, unit-based and force-wide objectives. Terrain-based objectives include occupying an area, destroying a building, defend an area or reaching an area. Unit-based objectives can be tied both to single units or to a group of units and include destroying or spotting specific units. Force-wide objectives include the number of casualties, condition of troops and amount of ammo left.
Combat Mission: Shock Force contains two campaign played from the US side: Yakima Training Center and Task Force Thunder. Yakima Training Center is a training mode for new players that teaches the game mechanics. In the Task Force Thunder campaign players take command of a battalion-sized combined arms Task Force across the Syrian border with the goal of splitting the country in two. Combat Mission campaigns are semi-dynamic which means that they consist of both predetermined elements, as well as some that are based on the actions of the player. Each battle's starting conditions depend on the result of the previous battle.
The game also has QuickBattles, which is battles where the units and the map are randomly generated depending on what parameters are set by the player. Options include environment, size and weather as well as unit types and quality.
The game supports two player multiplayer. The real-time mode can be played through LAN or Internet, while the turn-based mode can be played in hotseat (two players on the same computer) or through E-mail.
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