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.
Grand Campaign "Push to the Volga" is complete. KG_Loki (aka CC_Infected_x_X) and I started this GC back in December 2016. I asked for a campaign already started as I hate beach maps. That is, attacking out of a small square against superior positions on day one. The campaign was on turn two of day one. We carried on from here until the end. Germans set to line and Russians on recruit and 15 minute games. Recruit gives the Russians more tanks and a handful of tanks in units that otherwise would not have them. We chose to view each others force pools prior to battle but not actual units chosen for the battle. We played over 300 battles playing for around 65-70 hours total over six months.
220 battles were recorded using Bandicam. They are available to watch on Youtube at Stalingrad Unedited. They are unedited and not narrated, just raw in game video.
Grand Strategy - My strategy was to meet Loki's armour with mine in the center and move all my infantry units north around RO Settlements through Sculturny Park to get behind the T-34s. This flanking migration of infantry took days and careful planning that strategic moves did not get messed up. Southern strategy was to check the Russians in Grain Elevator and Southern Ferry Terminal. The southern area below Chuikov's HQ and Tsarista Crossing remained quiet for most of campaign after the Russians were pushed back to the Southern Ferry Terminal.
Armour Tactics - Russian armour was very centralized, in about five battle groups. Upwards of 20-25 T-34s in four of them and 30 odd KV-1s in the fifth. Any armour losses suffered reverberated throughout the campaign so I used them carefully. Brute force could not be used against the Russians for fear of a devastating loss of armour. I was usually attacking out of a box with limited sight. My tactics were threefold to beat Russian armour. First German armour would be grouped, sometimes five tanks parked side by side. This would overwhelm any single tanks spotted. Secondly, airstrike support was exclusively targeted on enemy tanks. Finally, all my attacks had the exit VLs in mind. I was never able to force a breakthrough with these tactics but I did force the Russians back very slowly.
Infantry Tactics - German infantry was far superior to Russian and more numerous. While attacking I knew my losses would be greater, and at times much greater. I learned quickly to run my men only to the outer walls of buildings, not to rush in. Once they got to the wall they would fight with grenades first then small arms all together. If I had them rush in, they would get mowed down by waiting Russians. The infantry fighting was brutal. One map in particular that was the most frustrating was Mokraya Mechetka, the northern most center map. I spent days trying to remove the Russians. The map favours defence with its deep gullies and a dry river bed bisecting the map laterally. Each gully had the steep slope terrain element which made infantry movement extremely slow. I ended up attacking from three different directions with three different units. Eventually the Loki just retreated from the map.
Russian Plan (from my perspective)
Grand Strategy - Loki fought a delaying actions most of the game. In the first couple days Loki retreated east quickly to ensure better defensive positions. These days are crucial for the Russians. If the Germans make a breakthroughm, there are no Russian units in depth to stop them, the Russians have only a single line of defence, Loki ensured it was not broken by the early retreats. Loki's armour was deployed to center of the map, in and around RO Settlements, Mamayev Kurgan, Shooting Range, Barracks Hill and West Stalingrad. Infantry units made up the northern flank. In the south a single Guards infantry unit held the Ferry Terminal for most of the game.
Armour Tactics - T-34s were deployed mainly in a static defence role behind natural obstacles and buildings. They had superior firing positions with their turrets already facing the proper direction. German tanks had to roll into their LOS and traverse to shoot. Loki's armour units were deployed to maps that favored long lines of sight and few buildings. Mamayev Kurgan is the best example of this deployment. I was disbanded two or three times attacking into this map. The KV-1s were mostly a deterrent for most of the game, they were used very sparingly.
Infantry Tactics - Russian infantry was sub par is most battle groups. Loki made the best of this ambushing my men. There were two notable ambush spots. The first being in the bottom of a gully in a trench. German infantry would crest the top of the gully hitting the steep slope element and get picked off by one by less superior infantry. The second ambush spot was within ruined buildings in the second room. As Germans would enter the first room blind, Russian infantry would pick them off as they entered. I dealt with this effectively with the tactic I mentioned above, it was still costly.
Russian Maxims are the top machine gun in the mod. German machine guns do not compare.
Panzer3 tanks seemed superior to T-34s, Panzer4 were not.
German ATRs would not perform nearly as good as Russian ATRs. Russian ATRs worked great against ATGs.
Russian T-60 and T-70s are hard to destroy. They would take many hits leaving crew injured but would not die until hit with sustained fire.
Stugs would get damaged in all encounters with tanks, ATGs and ATRs. Not a reliable tank. Most Stugs were gone by mid campaign.
Mortars were only effective at killing standing infantry. No ATG or open topped vehicle was killed due to mortar fire.
Steve McLaire has posted new screenshots of Close Combat The Bloody First. These are the first two screenshots since Matrix decided to restart the game on a new 3D engine back in July 2016.
Right away we can recognize classic interface features from the original games and some from Panther in the Fog and Gateway to Caen. What looks to be a new feature are the time stamped messages. The scale of each image could also indicate a zoom feature and definitely shows more of the battlefield than Gateway to Caen does. As noted in the screenshots this is a pre-alpha version.
Schnellemeyer has ported the Gateway to Caen explosion graphics to eight other versions of Close Combat. Its a small mod which only replaces the Effects file. It can be installed as a submod on top of other mods or overtop the default installation. Download the GTC Explosions mod for CC3, CC5, CCMT, COI, TLD, LSA, WAR and RTB. Check out the video below for a demonstration of the explosion graphics.
Dfox has created the Battle for Tunisia mod for The Longest Day. This is the first full modification to The Longest Day. The grand campaign covers the Northern part of Tunisia from November 1942 until May 1943.This mod features all new isometric vehicle graphics, new unit icons, new mortar units and many new sounds. All the maps are a blend of new, modified and rarely used maps. There is a brand new strategic map with four campaigns and seven operations. The mod comes packaged in an autoinstaller, after you run the EXE file an icon will be placed on your desktop. For more information please read the mod manual included in the installer archive. Download TLD Battle for Tunisia v1.0.
Southern_Land has been working steadily on creating new themed maps. These maps will potentially be used for the upcoming mod Winter War for The Longest Day. To get a preview of the maps and other details visit Southern_Land's Winter War post.
The Airborne assault into St. Germain has been corralled into the bottom of the map. I attacked hard and went for a disband only narrowly missing it. With one more minute the Allies would of been disbanded. My German BG now has even less ammo, defence may be the order of Turn 3.
21st Panzer Div attacked into Pegasus Bridge. Up until this turn most of the attacking has been done by Insano, now I get to test his defence. This BG has two 81mm mortar carriers, I took both into battle. In a 15minute game you can basically launch mortars the entire time. My deploy was very constrained and ended up with a traffic jam on the bridge. Insano took out one of the mortar carriers, a massive loss that will echo throughout the campaign for me.
91st Infantry Div attacked into St. Mere Eglise. This is a difficult attack map against Airborne troops with 57mm ATGs and bazookas. Progress was minimal which I expected and bloody. I gained the exit VL I wanted and could advance no further.
Turn 3 should see the Allies moving off the beaches I retreated from. The Bayeux area is severely lacking battlegroups for defence. Fox Green and Dog Green, both maps almost completely overrun and the BGs are mostly useless. In between those two beaches are Dog Red and Fox Red, both maps holding steady versus the Allies. I am predicting my defence will be split through the middle at Bayeux. No heroes were killed after this turn, and I have two more to add to the roster!
Captain_Insano and I started a Grand Campaign in The Longest Day. Insano is playing the Allies. The settings are 15 minutes, morale off, Recruit vs Recruit. The opening turns favour the Allies heavily. The Germans are surprised and unable to make strat moves and are fielding very weak battle groups, some of which only have 10 teams maximum. My goal with turn one was only to inflict as much casualties as possible and hold my exits.
Insano's paratroops were outmatched at La Fiere Causeway. Landing in the swamp, I surrounded their deploy with light tanks, machine guns and an infantry gun and eventually disbanded them. Insano made advances on most beach maps and some of the airborne maps, I conceded large swaths of those maps in favour of a defence farther back with ambushes set up. I retreated from Tare Green, Uncle Red, Arromanches, Juno and Sword beaches at the conclusion of turn one. These units are not fit for further combat and will act only to delay until they are completely dissolved. There are some large gaps in my defence line at the beginning of turn two which should lead to some chasing and trapping maneuvers. 81mm mortars played a huge role in the opening turn inflicting 137 casualties, 112 of those deaths. Here are the results and two heroes!
The Great War mod for Close Combat 3 The Russian Front has been cleaned up. This was done in part to standardize the downloads section and make mods easier for players to install. File naming standard has been applied. Duplicate and obsolete files removed. All custom campaigns, operations and battles that were made since Great War came out have been added to the main plugin. The maps required for those scenarios have been added to the map pack. The scenario readme.txt files have been added to the main readme.txt file. Diggin' Robat's French and British music sound mods have been converted to plugin as wells as Pops' music mod. For anyone new to installing plugins refer to the install guide linked below.
Tim's old site The Dugout still exists. Its one of the oldest Close Combat sites still maintained. All original Great War files can be downloaded from The Dugout. Tim also hosts the CC2 Great War mod.
Direct fire mortars are the most effective way for suppression and killing enemy teams with mortars. Having your mortar teams numbered for quick access will also assist in hitting your opponent fast. In the video below you will see how fast I can bring down fire on out in the open running troops. The enemy team is wiped out. I assigned the mortar team 1 by pressing CRTL+1. The input sequence of my firing is 1, v, left click, m.
Direct fire has one huge disadvantage. The team will give their position away either by rifle fire or the graphic of the mortar firing. In some versions of Close Combat the supporting members of the team will engage with their rifles. In the direct fire role you must be prepared to defend your team, they are too valuable to lose.
81mm mortar teams are mobile but move very slowly and have a long setup time. Using these teams for direct fire is usually a bad idea. The 60mm mortar teams are much more mobile and have a quicker setup time. They can follow an advance and bring down fire for your assaulters. There are 120mm mortars that are mobile, but moving them is as painful as moving a 17pdr ATG. Other mods have the 120mm mortars set as static units unable to move. If you decide to use direct fire, always ensure you check the mortars minimum firing distance!
Have you taken an absence from Close Combat? You may have some old campaigns in your save folder with opponents still out there ready to pick up the torch. Here are some easy checks you can make when you enter the strategic screen to get back into things. You wouldn't of overlooked them when you were playing regularly, but they are easy to forget when you'v been gone awhile. Follow the steps to get back into the groove and possibly gain a surprise advantage over your opponent.
Pre Battle Verifications
1. Check the weather. Bad weather can create muddy terrain.
2. Check composition of enemy battle group. If its infantry, leave the ATGs and Panzershrecks at home.
3. Open the map preview and check to see which road exits you own. Trace your supply line back to a friendly depot.
4. Cycle through the dates to find out what reinforcements are deploying and how much time is left in the campaign.
5. Check the time of day, and if its night. If its the last round of battles for the day use your support or lose it!
6. Check your units level of supply. Ammo, Fuel, Fatigue and Cohesion. The latter two for the rereleases.
On March 23 Platoon_Michael and I decided to have a classic Battle of the Bulge grand campaign. 15 minute games with morale on, Michael playing as Germans. Neither of us had played CC4 in awhile, let alone made it any significant progress playing out the grand campaign in the last few years. Starting the game, the force strength bar was in his favor but I like an underdog fight and I knew most battles I would be fighting to survive. In fact, the very first battle I was disbanded by a German group with Panthers at Simmerath.
During the opening days of the campaign as Allies my hands were tied. I was fighting with many under strength battle groups without armour and very little anti-tank weapons. I was facing German groups that could field five Panther tanks turn after turn. My Southern flank was crushed. The German spy network was working overtime to completely screw my chances at countering his drive in the South. Turn after turn all my units were redirected which also resulting in other units getting stuck behind the front line. The spy network was so effective that Bastogne fell without a fight, I couldn't get any of my units in there for a defence, a massive victory for Michael. On December 19th, the spy network was no longer operating and I now I can attempt to clean up the mess.
One aspect of CC4 that was the bane of its existence was the locked forcepools. So many of us shunned it back in 1999 due to that, it was a huge change from The Russian Front. Now however, locked forcepools are something I can appreciate. Combine this aspect with a 15 minute timer and morale turned on you can easily get up to five games completed in one hour! The extremely small maps also help keep up the fast paced nature of CC4. There are very little options for defence. The maps are only a couple hundred meters wide, you are literally dropped into a cage and must fight for your survival. The fights a very lethal and the stakes are multiplied by having morale on.
Relearning the units combat qualities was also costly. The German Infantry Gun carries a ton ammo, is mobile and has a very high rate of fire. I found this out at Wardin on December 18th. Watch this video at the 3:45 mark. I was not prepared to counter that unit and it steamrolled my infantry. During the next battle on December 19th, all my infantry teams focused on it with small arms fire and the gun went down very slowly, only after the outcome of the battle was decided. German flamethrower teams are another unit that is hard to face. These teams also have a high rate of fire but less killing per shot that we are used to in CC5. You cannot engage these units in house to house combat. They are not easily suppressed either.
American antitank weapons like the 57mm antitank gun and bazooka are effect vs all armour and vehicles. However, head on vs Panthers both Allied units will lose. Side and rear shots are required for more than damaging hits. If you are cut off from supply, the 57mm guns will expend all ammo very quickly.The size of the maps limit your ability to get beside or behind a Panther. Sherman 76mms and M10s will also have a tough time head on vs the Panther. Multiple tanks vs one Panther is effective in the sense that they will knock out the combat effectiveness of the Panther, but not destroy the tank. Over and over again I see Michael pulling a Panther back due to losing its main gun or too many crew members.
I am recording each battle of the GC, this will be the first and only complete grand campaign uploaded to Youtube to date. We are 62 battles in with about nine hours of total play time. We are currently on December 20th Evening about to make strategic moves. We have both had our days of defeats and days of victory. One thing the Allies do not have are any heros with huge kill counts. Attrition is extremely high and most of my men do not survive more than two or three battles.
Gateway to Caen was released June 5th at Matrix Games. You can purchase the digital download at Matrix Games or Steam for about $40. There is a one week promotional discount that happening to. The physical copies will not be shipped until 19 June.
The Steam forums are very active with players posting opinions, reviews, screenshots and videos. You also visit the Matrix GWTC forum and our own GTC forum here at CCS. Matrix and Slitherine staff are responding regularly at the Steam forums.
Product description from Matrix... Gateway to Caen focuses on the largest, concentrated British offensive since the Normandy landings in an attempt to penetrate the German lines west of Caen and cross the Odon River to get the stalled advance moving again. Players can experience the desperate situation of the outnumbered, but well-armed Panzergrenadiers, or the daunting offensive mission of the fully-supported British infantry advancing across the treacherous Odon Valley. At your command are Churchill, Cromwell, Firefly, Sherman, Stuart tanks and more. Panther, Tiger, Stug, and Mk.IV tanks will arrive to support German Panzergrenadiers as they try to hold the line against a concerted British attack.
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!