Close Combat: Panthers in the Fog
Close Combat: Panthers in the Fog is the latest in a long line of titles dating back to 1999 Close Combat Featuring improved graphics and a beefed-up operational turn phase, the game focuses on the Germans’ counterattack against General George Patton’s 3d Army in an attempt to stave off their defeat in Normandy in the summer of 1944.
In the turn-based operational movement phase, clashes between opposing battle groups set the stage for real-time engagements between approximately company-sized forces. These intense tactical battles are the heart of the game. Every man, vehicle and weapon is realistically portrayed using 2-D graphics with a top-down perspective. The psychological effects of combat on morale are also displayed.
During firefights, players maneuver teams and vehicles, supported by indirect fire and airstrikes, to capture objectives as the allotted time clicks down to zero. Amid all this chaos, the top-down view often makes it difficult to read the terrain accurately. Fortunately, however, the sounds of battle and the simple controls help players react quickly to the ever-changing situation.
Close Combat: Panthers in the Fog is a challenging game and a great addition to this classic series.
Panzer Corps: Grand Campaign ’44 West
Panzer Corps: Grand Campaign ’44 West expands the Panzer Corp system with a series of linked battles set in Italy and France in 1944. This turn-based game captures the historical flavor of World War II combined arms operational combat without the constraints of rigorous realism.
Players move and attack across a hex field with historical ground, sea and air units. They begin each scenario with a base force, which they supplement by building new units. Success in battle favors those who maneuver to achieve the most advantageous matchups and combinations based on the capabilities of the various unit types.
An important part of the game consists of players striving to earn vital “prestige points” by capturing objectives and destroying the opposing forces. Once they have accumulated enough points, they can use them to resupply their units and replace their battle losses.
In many ways, Panzer Corps: Grand Campaign ’44 West is an adaptation of the real-time strategy game style to the turnbased format. It is a perfect introductory wargame: attractive, accessible and fun to play.
Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Jeffrey Paulding is a lifelong student of military history and science. He has been playing wargames since he was a child.
Originally published in the September 2013 issue of Armchair General.