20 August 2013

Close Combat: Last stand Arnhem review

Close Combat: Last stand Arnhem is pretty much an updated and improved upon version of Close Combat II: A bridge too far.

The game takes place during operation Market Garden and allows players to control either the Germans or the combined Allied effort. The timeline follows the actual events, so all reinforcements that both sides receive are timed accordingly and made up of the correct units. It all starts out with bare bones German units and regiments that are spread very thin across the entire map, and isolated Allied air landings up north while an armored column if grinding its way up from the south. Much of the game is about holding bridges, and there are a lot of those, the German players are tasked with keeping the bridges intact so they can reinforce their lines - but at the same time they have rigged the bridges with explosives and must destroy them if they are in danger of being captured by the allies.

The most difficult part for the allies is to either sneak up or storm the bridges before the Germans can blow them up. A blown up bridge can mean that you lose several turns having to take a detour or waiting for engineers to build a pontoon bridge over a river. Most often the trick is to fight the German defenders so that their morale breaks and their line of defense is pushed back beyond the bridge which allows the Allies to capture it intact, this however can take several turns and time is of the essence.

Overall I found that I had most fun playing the German side, as playing the allies was a bit too easy for my taste. I was quickly able to expand and hold large areas with my paratroopers and pretty much annihilate German reinforcements as they were arriving from the map edges. Playing Germans is a lot more challenging and interesting, much of the campaign is fought using tiny reserve units and guard posts overlooking the bridges. It's really tense to just have a couple of teams and rely on your single MG42 in stopping a whole company of Allied soldiers attempting to capture the bridge, counting ammunition and only shooting when you have a chance to kill or absolutely must pin down the enemy with a delaying salvo. It's also a lot more fun putting up a desperate defense in the south where you get attacked by huge allied units backed with large amounts of tanks and AFV and attempting to stop them with lone tanks and SPG's lurking in ambush or with infantry fighting to delay enemy advance through towns and villages.

It's a really enjoyable Close Combat game and really recommended for people who like Close Combat games or are just looking for a highly tactical WW2 game that is more about realism than pretty graphics.

8.5/10

3 comments:

  1. I love all things Close Combat - have you seen Panthers in the Fog'? Looks good stuff,too ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No I haven't, but thanks for the heads up - will check it out :-D

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  2. Played the Close Combat series years ago. Lots of fun. Might have to try this new one out.
    Thanks

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