Close Combat: The Battle of the Bulge

aka: Close Combat 4: The Battle of the Bulge, Close Combat IV: Battle of Bulge, Close Combat IV: Die Schlacht in den Ardennen, Close Combat IV: Het Ardennenoffensief, Close Combat IV: La bataille des Ardennes
Moby ID: 1392

Description official description

Relive the infamous Battle of the Bulge as the Germans or Americans. This entry, fourth in the Close Combat series, introduces a Strategic map, features new units, and includes airstrikes.

Spellings

  • 戰鬥神將4 - Traditional Chinese spelling
  • 近距离作战:阿登反击战 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (Windows version)

103 People (96 developers, 7 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 77% (based on 15 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.6 out of 5 (based on 14 ratings with 4 reviews)

Simply amazing...

The Good
This game is simply amazing. You get to micro-manage your troops, without feeling frustrated or overburdened.

Your men do not blindly follow your orders. They have realistic feeling when they are under fire. They run for cover, they get scared, and they even give up if they are overpowered. This game is definitely unique in that sense, since most strategy games have units go wherever you command them to without questions.

Tank battles are simply awesome in this game. I remember once when I was up against a German Panther (I believe it was a Panther) tank. It was a vicious fight as all my tanks were destroyed by this monster German tank. It came down to just one two-man bazooka team. I thought I had it good when the Panther was rolling next to the team on its flank. I take aim, and suddenly my guys get scared and takes cover. The Panther notices them and starts moving to kill them with its machine guns. I tossed some smokes to try and avoid it and it killed the assistance for the bazooka. I thought I was done as I desperately tried to pull my man to the flank of the tank. Suddenly, the man got the courage to launch the bazooka on the tank’s flank. The tank blew up, and I couldn’t believe it. It was probably the most exciting times for me in the game.

I played all the Close Combat games, and I really liked this one the most since it is very good. Years ago when I played the game, I thought the graphics were incredible.

The Bad
Well there’s some things wrong with The Battle of the Bulge. First of which is that in custom missions, you have to select the battalion you want, rather then being able to select individual squad types like in Close Combat 3.

The next problem isn’t really a problem with the game, but with the fact that you feel bad when your men die. In the game, you get to pick two sides, German or American. In both sides, the troops are actually given realistic names. It feels kind of bad when your entire squad is wiped out and you look over the name and think about what it was like in real life when an entire squad just dies in the woods.

The Bottom Line
This game is simply awesome. If you can, get the entire series as they are all good. I can’t find another game that’s like this game. Simply amazing piece of game that’s really hard to find a equal.

Windows · by Daniel Allen (13) · 2007

Two words: needs patience!

The Good
Extremely tense, close scenarios; top-down view (which I vastly prefer to cheesy, pseudo-3D views for getting an idea of what's going on on the battlefield); two very different sides (different quality of troops, different types of arms and vehicles, different objectives); airborne units kick butt (smart enough to pick up German Panzefäuste, so they can even knock out Tigers, but only once per unit)

The Bad
The amount of stomach acid each scenario can build up....

The Bottom Line
Contrary to the previous reviewer, I would say that with patience, a good gamer who knows a little bit about military history or tactics can win as either side. An impatient gamer who doesn't want to learn a little from experience is likely to find this game infuriatingly painful. Keep you infantry under cover until they have a good shot: make the enemy come to you. Similarly for American armor --- of course Shermans and Hellcats can knock out Panthers and even Tigers, but they have to do it from close range, shooting at the back of the German tank if possible, and preferably from defilade. After a few weeks of playing this game, I could win any of the scenarios, and the campaign, as the Americans.... but the cost is high.

The best endorsement I can give this game is that in 2001, I had a business trip to Brussels, and made a point of spending a day in the Ardennes to see some of the places where these actions were really fought. Go and see the monument raised by the people of Belgium to the memory of the victims of the Malmédy massacre, with its inscription about Nazi bestiality, and just see if that doesn't charge you up to win as the Americans the next time you play.

Windows · by Joe Gurman (2) · 2004

One word: Frustration!

The Good
They finally introduced airstrikes! This was such a critical part of WW2, it's about time they added it to the CC series. The strategic map offers some interesting possibilities. After that though, it goes downhill...



The Bad
They took CC3, removed everything that made it great, and gave us this. Playing from the US side will give you nothing but frustration (I haven't even played from the German side yet because the US side is so hard).

They gave us the dumbed-down names for all the units: instead of seeing "M4 Sherman", you now get "Medium Tank". Yes, you can rename all the units, but that'll take forever and the new names won't "stick" if you lose the mission and have to replay, so then you have to rename all 15 units again. ARGH!

Playing from the US side is practically impossible. You're facing almost nothing but German tanks and halftracks, and yet you have practically no Anti-Tank weapons to face them!!! The best weapons the US has are AT guns, but you can only get a maximum of about 2 in a battle group and the German tanks have X-Ray vision so they can destroy anything in a building, even if it would be impossible for them to know there was anything in the building in reality. GRRRR!!

That's another thing... why did they take the Requisition System out?!?! My most favorite part of CC3 was building up an awesome and diverse force through Requisition Points that would be a good mix of infantry, tanks, and support units, all of which had a lot of AT ability. You can't do this anymore. You have absolutely no say in what forces you are given. ARGH!

The US might as well not even have any tanks. They are absolutely worthless. IF you have a US Tank Battle Group vs. a German one, you will lose every time. In most cases, the best you can do is just break even. It is historically accurate that the US tanks were nothing compared to the German ones, but they need to somehow represent that the US outnumbered the Germans (although at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge the US was outnumbered, but they did bring in reinforcements). You gradually get more tank units over the course of the game, but there just aren't enough. Almost every German BG is a tank BG. This is compounded by the fact that of the US Infantry BGs, you will probably have only 1 or 2 AT guns, and maybe 1 or 2 bazooka units (which are totally worthless. They only have 4 rounds, and will almost always miss every time).

What makes the US tanks so worthless is that their armor is like paper (some are "open-topped" so that they can be destroyed simply with machinegun fire... what's the point of that???), their turrets turn more slowly, they're slower, they react faaar more slowly to attack, and they take more thank twice as long as a German tank to reload. The last thing is the most frustrating, because if you have two tanks firing at each other, the German tank will always win. The only hope you have from the American side is to somehow surprise the German tank, but the surprise will literally only last for one shot (which, if it hits, will not destroy the German tank but bounce off), because the German tank will quickly rotate its turret and knock out your tank in one shot. GGGGGRRRRR!

Playing from the American side is just not fun.

Airstrikes and artillery barrages are pretty much useless too. An artillery barrage "consists of 4 80mm mortars firing at once" for 40-60 rounds around an area you designate. The problem is, they never hit anything! Airstrikes are similar: a single aircraft is randomly selected (for the US, it could be a P-38, P-51, P-51, or B-26; for the Germans, Bf-109, Ar-234, Me-262, or FW-190), it flies out to the target, and makes one attack run (bombs, rockets, machine guns, or cannons) and flies off. If they're gonna try to make it historically accurate, they could at least send 2 or 3 planes, or 1 plane that makes several passes over the target. Some people on the message forum complain that airstrikes make it too easy, but in my experience of probably 40 missions, I've only been able to call in about 4 airstrikes and only 2 have hit anything.

If a tank/vehicle is destroyed, the crew will bail out but they move to the nearest cover and will not respond to any orders. In all the previous CCs, you could order them around and have them reinforce your lines. This is totally unacceptable. Why did they remove this? What were they thinking?? (Note: a patch has been released that fixes this so that you can issue orders to them.)

There's really not much to like about this game from the American side. There are probably more things I could say, but I think these will be enough to show you what a poor entry in the CC series this is.

The Bottom Line
Buy CC3 instead!

Windows · by Raphael (1245) · 2000

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Raphael.

Additional contributors: Rebound Boy, Unicorn Lynx, formercontrib, Paulus18950, GodJul, Plok, TerrorBou.

Game added May 1, 2000. Last modified December 8, 2023.