Close Combat is a real time strategy game that first debuted in 1996. As the commander you control a platoon sized fighting force consisting mainly of types of infantry and and support weapons such as tanks, mortars and anti tank guns. Each of your units has a certain amount of ammunition which they may run out of in close quarter fighting, they will be killed or wounded if hit once, and may experience cowardice, extreme bravery or go fanatical during intense fighting. Morale of your men is the single most driving factor that determines who will survive, and what battles will be won or lost. You can follow your men through campaigns as the progress in rank and experience. Grand campaigns are also available where you take command of up 32 battle groups and deploy them throughout Normandy, Russia, Ardennes and many other pivotal battles. Fight over beaches, mountains, forests and many other geographical features, many historical.
There were hundreds of mods created for most versions. All of these mods are available for download. They have created the ultimate real time gaming experience by expanding Close Combat to virtually every theatre of war during World War II.The original Close Combat games are not sold in stores anymore. You can find them for sale online at places such as EBay or Amazon. Used or new copies are still being sold, even boxed originals. Matrix Games has made the game more available by remaking the originals and selling them online.
As the Allies in Close Combat Last Stand Arnhem, you will carry out the world’s largest airborne operation, Operation Market Garden, to cross the Rhine and bring a swift end to the war or, as the Germans, use a hastily organized set of defense forces to prevent the Allies from reaching their ultimate goal, Arnhem Bridge. Close Combat – Last Stand Arnhem comes with expanded force pools, reserve & static battlegroups, a troop point buying system, ferry and assault crossings, destructible bridges, static forces and much more! Also included in this rebuild are 60+ battles, operations and campaigns including a new enhanced Grand Campaign!
Last Stand Arnhem is available for purchase at Matrix Games for $39.99 USD.
Close Combat the Longest Day commences with the first Airborne drops of Operation Overlord. The Longest Day is a remake of the original, Invasion Normandy. The Grand Campaign included has been expanded to all beaches on D-Day, whereas the original only covered American beaches. New maps, battles, units and sounds have also been created for this version. Some maps from the Invasion Normandy mods Gold Juno Sword and Bloody Omaha were added. The main new features include night fighting, which reduces visibility and adds the option to deploy mortar illumination. Graphical enhancements to the battle debrief screens now show cohesion and percentage of victory locations held by each side, this is also shown in the campaign debrief screen. The original version of Invasion Normandy has been included with the Longest Day.
The Longest day is available for purchase at Matrix Games for $39.99 USD.
Close Combat Wacht Am Rhein begins the morning of Germany's last great offensive. Wacht Am Rhein is a remake of the original version, Battle of the Bulge. Many of the great features of the original have been included here. Supply drops, misguided American battlegroups and the difficult terrain of the Ardennes. The Germans are very heavy with armoured groups which are equipped with Panthers, other heavy battle groups are equipped mainly with fighting vehicles. Specific german battle groups also have the option to reinforce, a feature not seen in the original or Invasion Normandy. The Grand Campaign has been expanded to 64 maps, and more battle groups have been added to each side.
Wacht Am Rhein is available for purchase at Matrix Games for $39.99 USD.
Close Combat Cross of Iron recreates the battle for Russia which began in 1942. Cross of Iron is the remake of The Russian Front. The main improvements to this version were to make it more compatible with new operating systems, smaller improvements were also made to the artificial intelligence. CoI offer a linear type campaign system, as you win or lose battles the computer will decide where to send you for your next battle. You can follow your men from 1942 to 1945 while improving their equipment along the way. The greatest improvement was in inclusion of MMCC3 which stands for Massive Multiplayer online Close Combat 3. With MMCC3 you can connect Cross of Iron to a variety of game servers and battle online against the AI or a human opponent for control of the Russian Front. these online campaigns last 24/7, you may take part in the action any time you wish.
Cross of Iron is available for purchase at Matrix Games for $39.99 USD.
Close Combat Modern Tactics is the first of the Close Combat series to introduce 5 vs 5 head to head action. You can play as either US Forces of the fictional Opposing Force (OpFor). There is no campaign, only single battle engagement. These engagement can be on training grounds modeled from actual U.S. bases or fictional Middle East areas. Weapons of OpFor are typically Soviet and Chinese such as AK47 assault rifles and RPGs. you also have all sorts of jeeps and trucks they ride in. American have their choice of most modern weapons which range from the M1A1 Abrams, Squad Automatic Weapons and grenade launchers. Other improvements include the ability for your troops to dig a trench while in combat, load and unload onto troop carrying vehicles and have multiple support missions during a battle. Weapons in Modern Tactics are extremely powerful and you have to make a large shift in your tactics if you are used to playing the versions set in World War 2.
Modern Tactics is available for purchase at Matrix Games for $29.99 USD.
Close Combat 5 Invasion Normandy drops you onto the beaches and hedgerows of Normandy. Your Airborne troops have landed behind the beaches while your main attacking force just butted heads with the German bunkers towering over them on the beaches. One of the main shifts from Battle of the Bulge to Invasion Normandy is the reliance on infantry once again and the ability to customize the platoon you enter battle with. Many of your battle groups do not contain massive numbers of tanks. Fighting and defending the cities and hedgerows with infantry through the hedgerows bring an immense satisfaction to any war gamer enthusiast.
You can get lucky and still find this version in stores, its unlikely in most cases though as it was released in 2000. You can find used copies and duplicates at Ebay or Amazon.com
Close Combat 4 Battle of the Bulge recreates the German Offensive in the Ardennes named Wacht Am Rhein. The campaign starts as the heavy German battle groups pour over into American sectors overrunning many of them. Fighting as the Americans in the beginning days you have little to stop thier advance. A shortage of bazooka teams, 57mm and heavier anti tank guns will plaque you at the onset. As the Germans you must be meticulous in your battles, your men and machines must survive to the end of the 25 day campaign. Supply drops will be made available for surrounded American battle groups and the German may decieve American battle groups into moving places they dont wish to go.
Close Combat 4 Battle of the Bulge was released in 1999 and is not available at retail stores anymore. You can find used copies and duplicates at Ebay or Amazon.com.
Close Combat 3 The Russian Front takes you to the unforgiving Eastern Front. beginning in the early 1940's you command a small group of German soldiers during the initial attack into Russia. As you progress in rank by winning battles you can enjoy choosing more equipment and men to fight with with. As time progresses through your campaigns, equipment will be upgraded and new equipment will become available. You can rest or refit your units as they get fatigued or take losses in battles. Alternatively you can drive off the Germam attackers with heavy Joseph Stalin tanks.
Close Combat 3 The Russian Front was released in 1998 and is not available at retail stores anymore. You can find used copies and duplicates at Ebay or Amazon.com.
Close Combat 2 A Bridge Too Far focuses on the Airborne drops into Holland during Operation Market Garden. You can play as the Americans, British, Polish or Germans. The battles are heavily dependant on your skills an as infantry platoon commander, there are not near as many vehicles in A Bridge Too Far as there are in later versions. You can play battles, operations and campaigns. Some of the battles include those that took place at Oosterbeek and Arnhem. The fight takes place on very small maps which leads to very intense close quarter fighting, watch your ammo count! The artificial intelligence of A Bridge Too Far is arguably the best in the series to date.
Close Combat 2 A Bridge Too Far was released in 1997 and is not available at retail stores anymore. You can find used copies and duplicates at Ebay or Amazon.com.
The game that spawned a new era of realistic tactical real time strategy. The very first version of Close Combat, released in 1996 by Atomic Games. The original versions puts you back into Normandy, right into the hedgerows and small towns. Close Combat 1 introduced the psychcological factors of your soldier for you to manage. You troops could gain experience, leadership or turn into cowards. If your soliders were wounded all thier characteristics would suffer.
This is a small AAR of an overview I am doing on Battle for Caen for the Wargamer.com. I decided to look at The Longest Day and the BfC mod because its the closest we will get to seeing CC5 in a rerelease for the time being. Its what I am interested in mostly. Its great seeing the Gold Juno Sword strategic map in TLD, and so is having many of the bugs that are present in CC5 multiplayer fixed. This battle takes place on the afternoon turn of June 9th in Villers Bocage against the AI. My 7/3 armoured unit has raced across the entire strategic map to confront the 130 Lehr.
My wolverine started the head on fight at about six minutes left. My Sherman tank used 40 second to move into position for rear shots. The Centaur stayed put nailing infantry who were foolishly trying to cross the road. Bodies are turned off here so I can see who's alive in the Church. I would of moved him up but he may of blocked the Wolverines LOS. Meanwhile a PIAT team was coming up from the south. When the PIAT crew finally had a shot from 50m, they said the armour was too thick but he still took up aim. The Sherman got the killing blow and the PIAT fired about six seconds afterwards. The Sherman crew captured a few VLs prior to the Tiger kill, and captured one afterwards, which is why they all have three acts of bravery. My losses are very heavy for a fight vs the AI. I'll explain that later but its definitely not due the AI out smarting me! I only wish the German had more Tigers. Its a lot of fun trying to beat them.
In 2003 Matrix Games along with Eric Young released Eric Young's Squad
Assault: Westfront. This was quite literally Close Combat in 3D. Eric
Young was one of the original developers with Atomic. Squad Assault was
the second and more successful attempt at putting Close Combat into 3D.
GI Combat was the first and did not work very well, Eric Young also
worked on that one. It recieved bad reviews and the forums turned into
flames and have since dissapeared. From the images I attached you can
plainly see the influence of Close Combat into Squad Assault. When I
say its literally Close Combat in 3D, thats not an exaggeration, all
the same options are there along with copied maps. There are some new
options which I will touch briefly on, there are also things taken out
like right clicking for map properties. The 3D camera view at first is
hard to get used to, however after a couple minutes its simple. Once
you find a good camera angle its likely you will stick with it,
changing only to check map elevations and LOS. During my St. Mere
Eglise battle I did notice troops popping smoke automatically to block
incoming LOS, nice touch.
Click Read More for screenshots, the demo and more details.
In July Wargamer.com and Matrixgames.com announced two new Close Combat titles, Gateway to Caen and The Bloody First. I have consolidated the news and forum posts from both websites and from Steve McClaire to give everyone a summary of what to expect so far.
Gateway to Caen will be based off the Panthers in the Fog engine. If you already own PiTF then that gives away most of what you may be asking. Under the hood Gateway to Caen is just a new campaign built upon PiTF. This will be the last 2D version of Close Combat we will see. The campaign will be based off of Operation Epsom, an Allied campaign intended to flank and liberate the city of Caen between June 26 to the 20th. So we can expect to come up against lots of elite German SS with heavy tanks and lots of automatic weapon fire. For the Allies you can start fantasizing about reloading Bren gun magazines, recocking your PIATs and trying to get your tank destroyers in flanking positions, good luck! I am really thinking about Gold, Juno, Sword now. There may be some major input from the guys that brought you GJS into this version We can also expect a remodeling of some of the games vehicles graphics, and new audio. I hope the `3D` vehicles make a comeback. New maps are a given with any Close Combat, however more effort will be made to make them more detailed and realistic. There will also be possible changes to the team slots. The release date is end of 2013.
That brings us to the Bloody First. A brand new 3D version (Unity 3D) of Close Combat, designed in such a way you will still feel like your playing the classic Close Combat, or so they say! The Bloody First is the US 1st Division who fought through Tunisia, Sicily and Normandy. You will be able to play through all three campaigns. Another huge difference will be this campaign mode, it will be more CC3 style than CC5, and it will be down to the platoon level vice company. The campaign may have what Steve McClaire calls, `triggers` and `decision points.` That is to say if you meet certain criteria in a battle, you may be faced with decisions on where to go next, or the game will put you into action again. Along with a new engine there will be new AI, new pathfinding, maps... you name it. A partially destructible environment may be implemented. Think about the game Breach by Atomic in 2009, that was their main selling point. Modability is also being taken into account. The long awaited engine sound feature will finally be implemented, with an on/off switch. Lets hope this feature comes with the added feature of the default setting being off. This will be the 13th version of Close Combat with no multiplayer support beyond 1v1 ---disappointing! Release date, sometime in 2014.
We've been discussing both versions since the announcement. If you'd like to join chime in your comments please visit our New Close Combat thread.
Thomm's overview maps provide a very clear view of line of sight in the planning and combat stages. They are very useful when setting up troops as they show precisely where your line of sight ends or what is partially blocking it. To install the mod download CC5_Classic_ThommsOVM_plugin.zip. Unzip the archive to the /Config Manager/Plugins/ folder. The overview maps are good for CC5 v5.01 only. They are not compatible with any other mods or submods of CC5. The plugin will replace every stock CC5 map, here's a preview of some of them.
Matrix Games has released its first patch for Close Combat Panthers in the Fog. The current version is 1.0.1. Changes are not significant enough to warrant restarting any multiplayer campaigns you have started, although it may be advisable to avoid glitches. Download the PITF_Patch_v1.0.1.zip.
o Enhanced path-finding handles tight terrain better (bridges, tree / hedge-lined roads).
o Added a help dialog that displays when you first enter the multi-player screen.
o Added additional labels and a CHAT button to help clarify the UI on the multi-player screen.
o Multi-player connection between two players will now use a direct connection if possible. If prevented by firewall/router or other issue, an indirect connection via the lobby system will be used.
o AI tweaked to increase the chance the AI will choose to act aggressively.
o Added an option to turn off the fog visual effect in the General options.
o Ger map elevations corrected.
o Game font size no longer affected by Windows global font scaling.
o M8 HMC hull shadow fixed.
o Replacement animation for marker smoke (artillery, mortar support) added.
o Added some extra information to the Battle Group screen (selected unit type, weapon name tooltips).
o Fixed a bug where swapping battle groups could lead to multi-player sync issues on the strategic screen.
o Fixed a bug that could cause a vehicle to report 'We're Stuck' when moving on low cost terrain (like paved roads) when very close to the next internal waypoint.
o Fixed a case where vehicles would use reverse on a move involving multiple internal waypoints and then turn around at the destination to face as if they had move there going forwards.
o Fixed a case where movement orders for an infantry team would not complete even when the soldiers all considered themselves at the final destination. The order would eventually time out, and the soldiers would behave normally, but the order dot would still be sitting there.
o Multi-player chat on the Strategic Screen repositioned and area reduced.
o Fixed a case where a team with a damaged vehicle could re-appear in your roster with the name “Vehicle Crew”
May 13th, 1940, morning. Mouzon is a French Major Supply Depot. Reinforcements will spawn in the bottom left corner. Currently the French 5eRDP BG (AI) pinned down by PzRgt.1/1Pz on in that small corner. Morale is on and the battles are set at 15 minutes. You own all the commanding features including the two story house next to thier deploy zone. You have full LOS everywhere.
Keep the battlegroup pinned in the corner. The AI can have the bridge, but not the North end of it. The two story house is a bonus, but you don't need it. Take some some armour or anti tank guns to cover the North end of the bridge from vehicles. You will be mostly static in this fight. The units you should focus on bringing are mortars, MG34s, only two command teams (left & right flank), an anti tank or inf gun and remainder riflemen.
Disband or not?
Keep in mind this battle is vs the AI with morale on. To disband this unit you will not need to capture the VLs. A straight up firefight across the river will drop his morale significantly enough to push the AI off the map. The bonuses to this are not in your favour except the fact he loses all 15 units. Next reinforcement phase he will regain the full attack square deployment box. You will be pushed back beyond some of the houses covering the bridge.
On this particular map, keeping him on the map whittling his forces down piecemeal every battle is in your favour. Your forces get to stay in cover all the time, while he has to march forward on pavement. You only have to concentrate on covering the North end of the bridge. You may have to capture the bridge VL to push his deploy back every now and then. Doing this you have to be careful of his morale. Keeping your men on ambush the entire time and only opening fire on the men coming to the North end of the bridge is key.
If this battle was vs a human opponent your tactics will have some changes. First of all morale will most likely be off, so to disband him you will have to capture the VLs or destroy every last man. This is also not in your favour. In this example, its only day two of the entire campaign. You have to let your unit sit and eventually die (due to attrition) on this map to hold him in that corner. This tactic could also force your opponent to disband his unit at the strategic phase in order to get a better start when a new unit spawns. Manually disbanding works out in your opponents favour in this case.
In Disbanding Part Two, we'll go over the differences in disband rules from CC5 to TLD and the best ways to make disbanding work for you throughout a campaign. There are major differences due to this rule being fixed for The Longest Day.
Panthers in The Fog was released on December 6th, 2012. You can purchase the game at Matrix Games for the electronic copy for $42.99 CDN or $52.99 CDN for the boxed & electronic copy. Third party reviews have been so-so to average, when you get down to it, its still the familair Close Combat we all know. Following the release there were many problems reported about save game files crashing out with an "Internal Error" message. A hotfix has been released which you can download here. The online lobby was said to be extremely laggy and virtually unplayable for most everyone. Since then, the lobby has been fixed however there are still some players reporting of lag issues continuing. The online lobby provided is the only way to play head to head. You cannot use GameRanger, Hamachi, LAN connection or any other of the traditional methods for connecting.
A patch is in the works. It will fix the save game issue and give you an option to turn the fog off in game, rather than editing the campaign.txt file. If you want to turn the fog off now, visit this turning off the fog, be aware though, as it will change all days of your campaign to clear skies. Thank you davidss for this work around.
Wacht Am Rhein has also been updated to WaR v45015b. This is a small update addressing save game crashes, weapon calculations and other minor bugs. Refer to the Whatsnew.pdf file included for all the change details.
Tejszd's Meuse Crossing mod has been converted to work with The Longest Day. If you are unfamilair with the Meuse mod, it takes place in the early days of the German invasion into France, 1940. An entire new strategic map, with maps are added. Included are operations and GC's for playing the AI and H2H. For each side you will be able to use historic equipment which include many of the battles light tanks and vehicles. Ensure you have TLD v5.50.14b installed. Installation of Meuse is simply unzipping and running the installer. An icon will be placed on your desktop to play. Download Meuse Crossing 1940 v3.5.0
Last Stand Arnhem has also been updated to 5.60.53b. Several major issues are fixed with this update. These mainly include fixes to the grand campaign and operation supply lines and battlegroup movement. Read the Whatsnew.pdf file for the full list.
Cross of Iron has been updated to v3.60 in June of 2011. Included with this patch are improvements to the pathing of vehicles and soldiers. AI was modified to take advantage of the pathing changes also. Download the Cross of iron v3.60 patch.
A small application has been added here for editing your saved games. This is a simple save game editor for, WAR, TLD, LSA and PITF. It is a small unfinished EXE file in alpha version. You can change sides, realism settings, battle ending conditions and difficulty levels. Download the Save Game Editor
I have been catching up on some old business here at the site. Updating the trouble shooting guide for common errors and keeping the mods and patches current in the download library. You can bypass the Matrix Games support section and download all the latest Close Combat patches here now, all the old patches are there as well if you login via FTP. The downloads section continues to be streamlined with a naming format the same across all versions.
Panthers in the Fog was announced back in April 2012. Matrix Games has licensed Slitherine Games to develop this new version of Close Combat. This will also be the last version using the existing game engine. Panthers in the Fog (PiTF) will recreate the German counter attack named Operation Lüttich taking place between August 7 to the 13th in and around the town of Mortain. The counter attack was ordered to push the Americans back after thier gains made during Operation Cobra.
There is some new changes and rehashes of things we have learned to expect from these new versions. Some of the changes are open to wide interpretation until we can get some more information. I'll summarize what I feel are the most important good or bad changes and the continuations.
- You can control up to 21 units with up to 10 soldiers
- 32bit graphics which you can see the screenshot examples included below
- Non customizable force selection
- Intergrated multiplayer lobby
- Two player
- Fog can hide enemy units
- Holding high ground enables you to see distant troop movements
So theres a few things to hash out and hopefully gain some more details on soon. Visit the Panther in The Fog forum to discuss. There has been a public request for beta testers over at Matrix Games. It may not be too late, CCPiTF Beta Testers.
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone out there has a good Christmas with friends and family. For those of you who are deployed, best wishes to you, call home on your Iridium on the 25th and come home safe in 2012!
Close Combat has been a bit low key over the past few months. There is certainly a back log of new submods and patches to add as well as some old files that have been rediscovered. Matrix Games has some obscure news to report on also.
Visits to the site are still steady. Mod downloads have been going steady as well. Part of my plan for CCS in 2012 is expanding the number of guides and continuing to restructure the downloads FTP area. Yes the FTP is still open for anyone wanting to mass download every single mod or to just download older versions that are not available on the website. This plan is my way of future proofing Close Combat mods. In the years to come, as numbers dwindle so will the knowledge of how to make these mods work. CCS will be providing a clean, secure and straight forward site to help anyone through the task installing and playing any mod. Lets face it, mods are not easy to install anymore.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
In August of 2004, Zappi, Homba, Bambam887, RedScorpion and MOOXE all pitched
in to create this Close Combat site. I would to thank all the people who have visited
and found this site to thier liking. I hope you had time to check out some
of the great Close Combat mods and our forums. I'd also like to thank
all the members of our volunteer staff that have helped over
the years, and all our users that contributed to this site!