A special gift for a special three days in June…

June 5, 2009
A time for heroes...

A time for heroes...

Folks, it’s that time of year again. Today is June 5, 2009. Tomorrow will be June 6, the 65-year anniversary of D-Day. The day 150,000 Allied soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy to end tyranny, free a continent and spawn a thousand film and video game adaptions of a climactic battle. It’s a special day to anyone who loves Company of Heroes or World War II games in general.

You'll like this.

You'll like this.

To commemorate this occasion, I have decided with Surprise‘s support to make ALL 10 tracks of our COH audio strategy series, Mind of a Master: Volume I, available on Rifles Ready! — free of charge.

Starting today and ending Sunday (D-Day +1), I will be posting several tracks daily for you to listen to.

The tracks will be playable via the native WordPress streaming audio applet (see below). Amazon.com is taking FOREVER to approve this MP3 album for download, and it’s a special time of year, so the hell with it. Please enjoy!

Tracks 1 and 2: Introduction to Surprise and his biography/A high-level overview of the state of COH


Track 3: Detailed Tales of Valor unit analysis


Track 4: Psychology and mind games in COH


D-Day: June 6, 1944 or September 15, 2006?

June 6, 2008

Such a pretty box...

That’s right, today is June 6, the same day 64 years ago when hundreds of thousands of brave Allied soldiers stormed the sands and tank traps of Normandy. But D-Day also brings back memories of the glorious birth of COH. It’s one of those games that just stands out instantly, requiring only a few minutes of gameplay before you say to yourself, “Man, this is something special.” For me this moment came in August of 2006, when I signed up for the COH multiplayer beta with my best friend Steve. We were both RTS veterans from way back in high school, when Warcraft II and C&C Red Alert and later Starcraft reigned supreme. But we both knew COH represented a level of innovation none of those games had. I preordered the Collector’s Edition of COH, which was one beautiful package. I know many current COH players don’t have any idea how beautiful it was, because they have bought the game in one of its cheaper, standard incarnations (plastic box, manual, DVD).

On September 15, 2006, a very tidy little package arrived at my door. Inside was this very attractive, slick DVD case, which shines in very different ways depending on which angle the light is hitting it. It is made of a kind of soft steel that feels like tin, but is of much higher quality because it’s got all kinds of art and logos┬ápainted on it.

a poster and map, a large detailed invasion map, vehicle fact cards, manual, camouflage document circa 1944, and game DVD plus bonus DVD

Inside, in addition to the game manual, DVD and bonus DVD, was a treasure trove of prizes: a full-color reproduction of the D-Day invasion map, showing the bottom half of England and the coast of France, plus a pack of eight nifty vehicle ID cards, a COH poster with a map of the Normandy coastline, and several reproduction pages from a 1944 U.S. Army Field Manual on camouflage. This last item is particularly amusing, and a favorite of mine (don’t hide behind a tree, Goddammit!). A sniper fires from the back of any room he’s in, unlike pretty much every movie you’ve seen. Check out the detail:

Make sure you give one of these to each of your Snipers.

But that’s not all. Read on for my initial impressions the game, plus the opportunities Relic missed!

Read the rest of this entry »