Patton Patrol: Close Combat – Panthers In The Fog

A forestry planning simulator, with tanks

Close Combat: Panthers in the Fog, AKA Close Combat: Normandy VIII, featured in last week’s Flare Path, announcing itself with what is surely one of the most underwhelming trailers in the history of moving images. It’s not even an honest trailer, the sort that shows the reality of the game in ‘action’ – that would be fine because at least it would be informative. The original Panthers in the Fog trailer is a dull orange background with some words on it. It’s fifty seconds long but it might as well be three seconds long because you could just read the words on a website instead. Thankfully, there’s a new trailer now, which does show the game. And, by gum, it looks like a Close Combat game.

It still manages to take its time to show anything useful but seeing Close Combat units does make me happy so I won’t complain too much. I haven’t played a Close Combat game since the nineties and things don’t seem to have changed all that much. I do like a good campaign though and Panthers in the Fog might just have one:

Play single battles, linked operations, or even the Grand campaign simulating all six crucial days of fighting. With 35 linked battlefields and historically accurate formations and units, strategic choices are as important as tactical prowess.

The game is out ‘soon’ and if the entirely more capable Mr Stone doesn’t delve into it, I may be tempted to take a look myself.


  1. Splynter says:

    You know, I’ve been wanting to make a forestry planning simulator for a while now.

    • Ragabhava says:

      Neat concept…do you see it grow in real time though ?

      • Splynter says:

        I’ve been toying with how I’d want to handle the simulation itself, and a pseudo-realtime a la Sim City would likely be my strategy. It’s grown out of my disappointment with the way forests in games are always so unlike the real forests I’ve spent time in, and my love of management games where the player is directing/fighting a simulation- much like Sim City. Unfortunately, until I have less on my plate it will remain a dream.

  2. melnificent says:

    Close combat….. wow, a blast from the past.

    • President Weasel says:

      So many hours of Close Combat played. I remember them having pretty good voice acting, for the time, for that type of game.
      I preferred the Eastern Front, as the A Bridge Too Far tanks tended to brew up when sneezed on (sadly accurate, in the case of Shermans (or ‘Tommycookers’)). I’m pretty sure I remember all the tanks exploding rather easily, rather than just the Ronsons.
      If this one’s set in Normandy I guess I’ll be getting used to seeing burning Shermans everywhere again.

      • Lord Byte says:

        I played both such a ridiculous amount, it’s not even funny. I think I finished CC2’s campaigns as both sides at least 10 times each, CC3 I finished less often but played almost as much. I loved it’s difficulty more.
        As for tanks, just don’t ever get them near the frontline :) One hidden reserve or aufklarer/scout will kill them or make them bail out 90% of the time :) It’s actually pretty realistic like that! In fact I quickly found this out and it’s a very useful tactics on one of those maps you’re bound to lose because they have tanks and you don’t. Buy lots of these super cheap units and hide them near the front. If a tank comes near, KABOOM!

        • Mr Bismarck says:

          I played CC1 a ton on the nascent “Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone” back in the 90s. That was where I fell in love with the Marder. And mortar smoke, which was almost the only use for those popgun 60mm tubes, whose rounds wouldn’t even go through the church roof.

          I think it was my first ragequit too, when someone disabled my Sherman with a one-in-a-million mortar hit on the tracks.

  3. bitbot says:

    I liked how the audio levels peaked during the end of the trailer, making it sound distorted.

  4. samsharp99 says:

    I also havn’t heard/seen much from the Close Combat series since the 90’s – I used to play the demo a *lot* as a kid as I didn’t have the means to buy the full game (and I wasn’t a pirate – YARGH!).

    I always wondered if they’d do a re-make or continue the series and this has got me interested – although it looks like the game hasn’t been updated in the *slightest* in the last 10 years or so? The graphics look exactly the same as they did all those years ago!

    I also just saw on Wikipedia that there has been a remake of a close combat game almost every year or two since the 90’s ?!?

    • Palindrome says:

      The graphics do look a lot sharper but they have obviously been done in the same style.

    • Spazmok says:

      I wasn’t the only one then! I must have played the same demo map from A Bridge Too Far for a solid few months. In a nostalgic way I’m glad the visuals are roughly the same. Makes me wish I still had my pentium II to see if this will run as smooth, with the “turbo” button on of course.

  5. dannyroth says:

    Ahh man, I thought it was “Patron Patrol”. I was like, “Yes! Finally a game about tequila!!!” Oddly enough, if you drink enough, you do very well see panthers in the fog, along with other exotic animals.

  6. kevmscotland says:

    Mostly amazed this hasnt evolved…. at all.

    Even the 2D sprites still look low res.

    I mean, visuals arent everything, and I still love CC, but surely it wouldnt have been too hard to improve the quality just a little.

  7. 0over0 says:

    I’m old.
    I remember playing lots of Close Combat–as a board game!
    And catching someone in an open line of fire was a thriller for me and curtains for them. I wonder how this new-fangled version compares….

    • Shiloh says:

      I’m old too. I remember playing Avalon Hill’s Squad Leader at school in our Wargame Club. I remember the tense Velikiye Luki scenario being a particular fave.

      I tell you, these new fangled “video nasties” will never catch on – die-cut cardboard and geomorphic hex maps are the future.

  8. neofit says:

    I remember playing the first CC games on a CRT monitor, and they were great. Then I tried one of the first re-released by Matrix, don’t remember the name now, and it was unplayable for me. It looked as if the 2-D sprites kept their original size that looked OK at a 800×600 resolution IIRC but didn’t stretch. So on a modern flat screen they were very small and hurt the eyes. And artificially reducing the flat screen resolution to have bigger sprites gives a fuzzy picture, so lose-lose.

    I’m really interested but not without a demo, but with Matrix there is no chance of seeing one.