Close Combat FAQs
Close Combat Hints
PC | Submitted by GamesRadarThe Americans
You must attack, but cautiously. Identify enemy positions, and then pound them with mortar fire. Mask your advance with smoke grenades, and follow tanks into battle if you are sure there are no Panzerschrecks in the area. It s a gamble, but to help yourself out, you can use the zoomed-out view to identify the enemy units in the hedgerow opposite you, looking for AT teams.
When positioning your men in the setup phase, also be planning which part of the map you re going to attack. It usually pays to overload one flank, simply because you will take no fire from off the edges of the map. Sometimes you ll take victory hexes well behind the first line of defense, earning additional honors for your leader. This flanking action helps take the central buildings, since you can now fire at them from two sides or even three, if you get around the enemy rear.
Position most of your bazooka teams in the center of the map, a bit to the rear, where they can quickly rush to wherever the enemy armor might be. Use your own armor with care, but don t be too cautious. You have far more replacement armor available than the Germans, and a failure to use these powerful resources will make your struggle only that much more difficult. Tanks are particularly effective against enemies in pillboxes and stone buildings, as are bazookas. Don t move tanks closer than sixty or seventy meters from German infantry positions, because within that range they ll use their Panzerfausts on you. Stand twice as far from Panzerschrecks. According to Atomic, each inch on the screen is 15 meters, at 800x600 resolution. To get your tank to go in reverse, issue a Move command just a little behind the tank.
Use your mortars against Germans hidden behind hedges, firing just a little behind the lines. If all your mortars run out of ammunition, have them fire smoke to protect your advances. To make a mortar stop firing, issue a Hide command. Don t waste ammo firing at positions the enemy has left.
Many times, particularly in the bocage country, you will find yourself in a firefight with German teams in the opposite hedges. In these situations, you are often better off simply slugging it out from behind the hedges rather than trying to send some squads to crawl forward and get shot at. If you can, infiltrate recon and BAR teams through the adjacent field.
Use the edge of the map to your advantage. You will win more battles by overloading one side and flanking the enemy than with head-on assaults. The very first map is a case in point. By putting most of your infantry squads on the lower right side, you can take the large wooden building with a quick, well-screened rush from the woods to the building.
PC | Submitted by GamesRadarGeneral Tips
"Game Settings: Turn off trees, and if things get really messy, turn off KIA soldiers too. But KIA soldiers do offer important visual cues as to which of your squads are in serious trouble, as well as which enemy squads are no longer a threat. Unfortunately the game won t save these settings, so you ll need to do this before each battle.
"Detail Screens: After each battle, carefully check the killed and wounded lists of both sides; you ll learn a lot. Pay particular attention to what kind of enemy units scored kills in the battle: machine guns, mortars, tanks, riflemen. If too many men are getting killed by machine guns, for example, adjust your tactics accordingly.
"Mortars: Target your mortars from the zoomed-out view. Keeping your mortars in action throughout the battle is critical for success, but targeting mortars from the normal battle view is far too slow. You should also pop back into the overhead view when things slow down; you may catch an enemy tank in your LOS on the big screen which you didn t see in the zoomed-in view.
PC | Submitted by GamesRadarThe Germans
Playing the Germans might seem less interesting at first, since you basically just sit back and wait for the computer to attack you. But there is a considerable tactical challenge here, and defeating overwhelming forces with only a handful of well-placed men is quite rewarding.
Positioning your men properly is the most important thing you can do as the defending commander. The default positions the computer gives you are not always the best; take the time to fine-tune your defenses, and you will be rewarded. Be sure the men actually get into the little foxholes, and are not standing just outside them. The more often you get to re-fight a battle, the better idea you ll have of which direction the enemy is coming from. They ll often come with the same forces from the same directions.
It is not necessary to place your soldiers on the very first line of defense. Often it is better to skip a hedgerow or two, forcing the Americans to come a longer distance to you. This means their units will come at you more piecemeal, and you won t be hit by their overwhelming firepower the minute the battle begins. Snipers are not very useful in firefights, but are useful for stretching thin lines even further. They are not effective placed way in front of your troops; at best they may get one shot off before being killed.
Machine guns are the key to your defense; they can rack up kill totals of fifteen or twenty men in one battle. The enemy will try to suppress your troops with rifle and machine gun fire. Use your own rifle squads or a second machine gun to in turn suppress the Americans firing at you, then turn a machine gun on the men running forward. They ll stop and dive for cover then you call in the mortars. This is a pretty effective way of breaking up an attack. Also use your personal leader to man the machine gun in the most exposed position; even if he is knocked out, he ll be available for the next battle, unlike your other veteran leaders.
As soon as the battle begins, switch to the zoomed-out view and prepare to target your mortars. Fire at the first American infantry that shows up in your view. You won t normally kill a lot of enemies with mortar fire, but by breaking up that initial attack, you can create panic in the assault forces. Finally, when your mortar men run out of ammunition, you can run them up toward the front. Don t get them into a firefight you don t want to lose a veteran mortar crew that way. But you can have them offer some covering fire for a rally point behind the lines.
Keep your armor well away from the front lines. Use it as a reserve, or position tanks where their cannons and machine guns can fire long distances with impunity. Good places include roads, where a tank s armored machine gun can prevent any enemy from crossing the road or coming up it. Another good place is behind buildings or around bends; any enemy infantry suddenly rounding this corner will take a beating, and the American bazookas are not usually leading the advances into the key buildings.
Position your AT guns (if any) in a manner similar to tanks, where they have long commanding lanes of fire and are distant enough to avoid bazooka attacks. A well-placed bazooka can wreak even more havoc on an AT gun than it can on a tank, and infantry teams are adept at picking off AT gun crews.
Keep your Panzerschrecks in reserve don t let them get pinned down by enemy rifle fire. This means a few yards back of the hedgerows, or toward the backs of buildings. Depending on how many AT teams you have, spread them out all along your lines, and have them go after tanks as soon as they re spotted. Rush in your own German tanks to fight the American armor as well, but hold off; often one American tank will come through one sector, only to two or three others break through somewhere else.
Don t waste AT team ammunition on enemy infantry formations, except in absolute desperation (which happens quite often anyway), or when you re sure there are no enemy tanks. If you run out of AT teams and enemy armor is attacking in force, it s time to withdraw.
Which leads us to another key strategic element for the Germans: when to pull back. You may be able to hold off enemy attacks on the same screen two or three times, but by around the third or fourth battle, you may have to consider withdrawal. Cut your losses and pull back to where you can get reinforcements. This will do you more good in the long run, particularly in campaign mode.