14 March 2012

Close Combat 5: Battle for Berlin modification

If you are not familiar with the Close Combat series, it is a slow paced realistic tactical wargame where you command a small company of tanks, AT guns and infantry - each with limited amount of ammunition, varied degree of training and morale, realistic Gun vs Armour mechanics and battlefield morale. The games certainly aren't pretty, but the graphics are functional and allow a topdown perspective showing all you need to see.

My favorite close combat game had always been Close Combat 3 the Eastern front, back in the days when the game still used to award you points for good performance in battles or punish you with fewer points to buy troops for if you had been sloppy. My favorite part of the German campaign was always the last part when you had to defend Berlin in the last battle with a few tanks, demoralized troops volksturm and all that stuff against the Soviet onslaught.

Now there is a fantastic modification for Close Combat 5: Invasion Normandy (which is a pretty decent game on its own)  that deals with the battle for Berlin in a mini campaign that covers the last couple of weeks of the Third Reich. The campaign map has Berlin divided into several zones, and a large area surrounding the German capital with interesting and historical locations as the Seelöw heights. You can play this modification either from a German or a Soviet point of view, but as you might imagine the Soviet strength at this time is so "unbalanced" that is makes for a very poor experience. Instead it is a lot more fun and rewarding to play as the Germans trying to stall the Soviet advance.

The modification includes new historical divisions, portrayed at historical strengths in regard to units, morale, supply and training.  It also features the unit roster from Close Combat 4 and 5 which allows you to pick the platoons you want to include in your company at will rather than be restricted to certain amount of points like in Close Combat 3. The game also features the same turn based campaign map feature from CC 4 and 5, where you are allowed to move all divisions one region to a new desired location and place air and artillery support in the appropriate zone to support your attack (if playing as the Soviet’s).

You start out with a few German infantry divisions guarding the river Oder against the approaching Soviet tank divisions. And as your supplies run low and casualties mount up, divisions fall apart and you have to make a fighting withdrawal towards the capital trying to turn each area on the way into a fortified position and weaken the Soviet divisions as much as possible. Ambush tactics and control over important locations in each map is pretty much the only way to stall the Soviets, as open tank battles is too risky even for your best tanks such as the Tiger, Panthers and Königstiger tanks of which you have but a handful. Your infantry is going to win most fights by letting the Soviets close in before cutting them down with MG's, grenades, Sniper rifles and Panzerfausts.

There is room for a bit of roleplaying as your units gain experience, medals and their kills are recorded and carry over between battles for as long as the soldier is alive. It's pretty cool to have a sniper who has killed 50+ enemies over a few battles and see the row of medals he has been awarded, or keep track of cowardly/brave platoons.

As you stall the Soviets you have a couple of divisions reinforcing the region, placing them to guard supply lines and crossroads on the map against the Soviet encirclement is made increasingly harder and harder as time goes by. The Soviets have hundreds of tanks and pretty much endless supplies of infantry, they also have artillery bombardments and air support against your badly battered and demoralized troops. Anyone who likes "last stand" scenarios will most likely enjoy this modification, especially if you are already a fan of the Close Combat series.

Finding the modification is easily done using Google search. You will need a mod manager and a full install of Close Combat 5: Invasion Normandy for it to work. I got both the mod and mod manager from the Close Combat forum HERE


  1. I really loved that series, sadly I don't have them any more, eastern front was also my favorite.

  2. I remember playing 3 back in the mists of times when I didn't really know much about WWII, the graphics were basic (even back then!) but the game was fun and I enjoyed it. Might have to try and get 5 and do a reboot.

  3. I'd forgotten how much I liked playing the close combat series, lost count how many times I've played a bridge to far.

  4. I LOVED this game! First game I ever played link-up back int he day, superb game and love the way it plays out! Might have to revisit it!

  5. Dear Sir
    Is there any Airstrike guide conecting to the Battle of Berlin,for the Gemans aswell for the Rusians?

    Sincerly Yours.

    1. The Germans completely lack air support, only the Soviet side has access to fighter/bombers.

  6. Great game. Best war game ever.


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