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Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: PC: Close Combat Series? rss

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Andrew L.
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I've seen it mentioned in this forum before, but Matrix Games is having their Holiday sale, and I saw that there are quite a few Close Combat games at a nice discount.

Anyone played these and can comment on how well they play, what boardgames they feel like, and if there are any that are well suited for beginners?

Thanks!
 
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Eddy Sterckx
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Played this back in the nineties - Atomic version. Matrix bought the rights 10+ years ago and upgraded the code & graphics for modern computers. The original games were very much inspired by SL/ASL, but not really straight ports, but a lot simpler, more streamlined, more adapted for realtime and the digital platform. At the time they were considered the top wargames and were even mainstream hits - you could find them in regular software stores. There must be a zillion youtube movies on it - google and you shall find.
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G. H.
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historygamer89 wrote:
I've seen it mentioned in this forum before, but Matrix Games is having their Holiday sale, and I saw that there are quite a few Close Combat games at a nice discount.

Anyone played these and can comment on how well they play, what boardgames they feel like, and if there are any that are well suited for beginners?

Thanks!


I played the hell out of the Eastern Front and Market Garden games in the past. Yeah, buy them!
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Michael Dew
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I got the series the last time they had a sale. Several are just repackagings of the original CC series (I'm working through Wacht am Rhein, which is CC4, and it appears that Cross of Iron is CC3), but there are what appear to be original titles as well (Gateway to Caen, Panthers in the Fog), and Last Stand Arnhem, which was the first one I completed, is a remake of CC2 but with the more modern code. While the graphics of the two I've actually played appear to be the same, dated, low-res graphics of the original, I still enjoy the gameplay and the sound effects are very immersive. It does appear that Matrix has redone the strategic level, which I think really helps tie the individual maps/battles together.

Definitely a get if you like this series, or SL/ASL, or any kind of tactical WW2 games.
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Colin Parkin
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I've played most of these and they are fun and fairly straightforward - once you play one the others are very similar in terms of controls, tactics, etc. The Gateway to Caen game is enjoyable and the element of limited intelligence/concealment means that some scenarios are no cakewalk. Recommended, particularly if you can get them at a discount.
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Scott Ransom
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I enjoyed them enormously - but that was in playing others. (There was some portal where you could play others from anywhere - maybe it's still around, Idunno.) Playing solo against the game's AI was not so rewarding...it was more ANSI (Artificial Not-So-Intelligent). But maybe that's among the improvements Matrix has made.
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Ryan Powers
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I found that as the engine got better, the games themselves got duller.

My favorites are probably CC2 (over the new Market Garden one) and probably the bulge one (CC4?).

That said, I'll happily play any of them. The sound of a .50 cal opening up that you haven't actually spotted yet haunts me going all the way back to CC1.

Despite not enjoying the game itself as much as it's predecessor, I have a soft spot for CC3 based on the plethora of mods available for it at one point (no idea if they're still out there).
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Close Combat certainly started life as ASL on computer, but didn't end that way. The main problem is playing one player, the computer opponent is terrible. It does what most wargames opponents do: sits there concealed until you bump up against it, and then fires at you. Yay. Once in a while it will shove some units against you. That's it. You pretty quickly figure it out.

So, the solution to this issue is the usual cop-out employed by computer wargames: find a human opponent. The problem here that when playing against a human opponent, the game rewards ridiculous non-historical gamey tactics like an all-flamethrower unit buy. There is also the problem that, this being an old game, the only people still playing it are cast-iron experts who know every trick, every scenario, and every good ambush position on every map. It's just not fun to play against such people.

I would say if it's cheap enough go ahead and spend the cash, play the single player until you figure it out, and then dump it and go on to the next game. CC has a good few hours in it until it wears out its welcome. If you can recruit another player unfamiliar with CC to play against, do it. Avoid reading online strategy guides and figure it out yourself.
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Corporal Dave
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If you like tactical and don't like perfect control- your men actually responding negatively to being shot at and dying- then BUY!

BUY!!

BUY!!!
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David Janik-Jones
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The new one that's coming, Bloody First, will be awesome. If it ever does arrive, that is.
 
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Richard Lloyd
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I reckon the Ukrainian made Graviteam Tactics has surpassed CC personally.
 
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Brad Miller
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Having played Combat Mission, I found the CC games lame. Then, the Combat Mission series got worse, so hard to say. I'm not a fan of the "real-time" nature of CC. When CM got rid of their WE-GO system, I lost a lot of interest in CM.
 
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Benny Bosmans
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I followed this system as early as the first publicity around it by Avalon Hill to introduce ASL ... on computers.

Way back in the 90's. At the end we didn't get ASL on computers, we got Close Combat (1)...

Close Combat was perhaps the best computer wargame we ever had. I played it a lot with my brother on line with our trrrrrrrrrr -trrrrrrr modems...

Until Close Combat 2 came out and it went from BEST to almost WORST thing launched as a realistic wargame ...

The CC1 system had it all... good hidden troops, suppressing fire, an ideal playing time on line of around 15-20 minutes after which ... your troops BROKE with as low as 20% losses: what a jewel ! Firefights never lasted longer than 20 minutes. Guys loving Combat Command rally's should really play CC1 to see fire fights for real....

-----

CC2 and all others later simply had a different developpers staff:

The end result was and IS ... nothing short of terrible compared to CC1.


The graphics in the CC2-5 later version looked like Blizzard's Warcraft team had taken over with over pixeled troops crawlling over landscapes with useless AI and terribly bad morale rules.

As an (ex) military officer who followed FIBUA training (Fighting in build up areas), I found CC1 a real good simulation, CC2 and the things that followed it were simply programmed by dudes who had no clue about morale or tactics.

I kept buying CC2 up to CC5 in the vague hope I could refind something from CC1.

In vain. Like most computer wargames these days, I would stay out of it in its present day forms. You will play a few times and ditch it any way.

A pity as the original CC had it all, but my guess is that they lost the internal morale rules and interacting data that made it so special in trying to commercialise the product.

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Not to steal the thunder of the OP here, but I've never played any games distributed by Matrix. Would be interested in ACW, WWI, Feudal Japan or Sci-Fi, and it would need to work well under GNU/Linux using Wine with Intel HD 4000 graphics (so, 3D acceleration is fine, but it can't be anything overly fancy). Preferably around 10 currency units. Any suggestions?
 
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Rosecrans man
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My only real beef is that no one ever did a PTO entry in the Close Combat series.

As far as AI, for me, it varied. Some scenarios were difficult, some were simple. I disagree with the poster who said that the AI didn't do anything but sit and wait for the human player to bump into them. There is a note at each scenario's start that states which side attacks and which defends or whether the scenario is a meeting engagement.
 
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G. H.
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keethrax wrote:

I found that as the engine got better, the games themselves got duller.

My favorites are probably CC2 (over the new Market Garden one) and probably the bulge one (CC4?).

That said, I'll happily play any of them. The sound of a .50 cal opening up that you haven't actually spotted yet haunts me going all the way back to CC1.

Despite not enjoying the game itself as much as it's predecessor, I have a soft spot for CC3 based on the plethora of mods available for it at one point (no idea if they're still out there).


My favorite sounds:
1. "TAKE COVER!!!"
2. "We're losing a lot of MEN"
3. "... SARGE!"
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G. H.
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jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:
Not to steal the thunder of the OP here, but I've never played any games distributed by Matrix. Would be interested in ACW, WWI, Feudal Japan or Sci-Fi, and it would need to work well under GNU/Linux using Wine with Intel HD 4000 graphics (so, 3D acceleration is fine, but it can't be anything overly fancy). Preferably around 10 currency units. Any suggestions?


Why don't you use Virtualbox on your Linux distro? You can pick up an old XP on Ebay for next to nothing and install it isolated on the Virtualbox instance. Then install all those windows games on the instance.

Also, check out "http://www.closecombat.org/" for more Close Combat goodness.
 
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Brandon
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m0rtaar wrote:
jakobcreutzfeldt wrote:
Not to steal the thunder of the OP here, but I've never played any games distributed by Matrix. Would be interested in ACW, WWI, Feudal Japan or Sci-Fi, and it would need to work well under GNU/Linux using Wine with Intel HD 4000 graphics (so, 3D acceleration is fine, but it can't be anything overly fancy). Preferably around 10 currency units. Any suggestions?


Why don't you use Virtualbox on your Linux distro? You can pick up an old XP on Ebay for next to nothing and install it isolated on the Virtualbox instance. Then install all those windows games on the instance.

Also, check out "http://www.closecombat.org/" for more Close Combat goodness.


It's beyond the scope of this thread. I know it's a possibility but I'm not going down that route. Wine works pretty well for most games that I play, anyway.
 
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Great and revolutionary game back in the days, now much inferior to Combat Mission (though easier on the hardware).

I agree it should have gone to the Pacific, which suits the game engine perfectly. But they went to Kursk and the Bulge instead. Still, one of the few computer games to feature Stalingrad which also suited the game well.
 
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joe mcgrath
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I played the hell out of all the CC games back in the late '90s - tons of fun! Don't expect too much - the AI is OK if on defense, but just doesn't work in the attack. Also, the vehicle movement modeling is annoying - tanks and half tracks (yours and the AIs) constantly bumping into buildings, each other, stone walls...you get the picture. I bought one of the 'new' versions of the game (Arnhem, my favorite) some years ago, but found it to be just a repackaging of the original.
For all its limitations, one of the best PC tactical games IMHO
 
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