Three of the first four Close Combat games are now back in legal circulation thanks to GOG.com and current licence holders, Slitherine. For years I’ve been telling myself that prolonged exposure to Combat Mission and Graviteam Tactics would make a long-term relationship with Atomic’s top-down tussle series – a series I loved dearly in the late Nineties – difficult today. I now realise I was wrong. Twenty years on Close Combats 2 (aka Close Combat: A Bridge Too Far) and 3 still entertain as consummately as any of the tactics titles that followed them. The Market Garden and Eastern Front CCs offer pace, approachability and control elegance that none of their weightier 3D successors can rival. Preoccupied with LoS and morale, and happy to kill tanks with single shells, they are rich, turnless wargames designed to be played, not studied or respectfully admired from afar. Deeper realism and smarter CPU opponents are available elsewhere. Tighter, more exciting WW2 scraps are not. Many of my mental CC2/3 snaps featured AI infantry slithering when they should have been sprinting – AFVs pirouetting when popping smoke or presenting frontal armour would have been much wiser. Tanks do dance from time to time and grunts… Read full this story
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