The CentFront Challenge

The CentFront of West Germany has long been recognized as the pivotal theater of the World War III that never was. However, it’s surprisingly underused in Command. The “_____ Fury” scenarios by Gunner98 focus elsewhere, and while there are some good scens focusing there, most of the WWIII missions in the community pack take place in the outlying theaters. In large part, this is because the land-dominant component of the Central Front means that the “Naval” part of “Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations” can’t be used. But I think there’s two other main reasons, at least for my personal hesitance.


Too Much Too Small

This is not specifically a problem with the Central Front by itself. But having the world’s premier concentration of firepower takes the inherent issues with lots of units and missiles in a very confined space and amplifies it. It feels tight to me, with even the best mission setup being inherently limited. The outcomes feel too luck-based. Compare this with the wide open Arctic Ocean or even Mediterranean, and the difference is immediately apparent.

It just feels a little confining to me.

This leads directly to the next part.

Scenario Creep Lurks

Yes, the dreaded “scenario creep” hits me extra hard here. For it to be truly representative, you need all the high level assets pointed at the Inter-German Border, and with those you’re back to the above mentioned clown car of SAMs and fighter squadrons. Out of fairness, this can happen anywhere. This has also been averted in an excellent CentFront scen, The Fighter Bomber Aviation Regiment, which captured the feel of a bigger war while keeping only a small unit (hint-look at the title) playable. But in my own experiments I’ve found it extra-hard to avoid scenario creep.

In addition to these big two, there are a number of reasons I’m not the most keen on the CentFront, which range from familiar platforms (most of them are, after all, set in the classic 198X WWIII) to the difficulty in scoring such a scen (see the luck complaint earlier).

My own dream Central European scenario? Either a slightly unorthodox setting like a sometimes discussed-push through Austria or a somewhat implausible but still handy scen where everything is shattered and it’s been reduced to Pattons, T-54s, and even the occasional WWII tank from Category C and D divisions facing off. It lets me use the oddball units I enjoy rather than the common Abrams vs T-72/80 slugfest.

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