Close Combat III: The Russian Front (1998)

by Christopher
4 minutes read


A deep dive into the Eastern Front of WWII, offering challenging strategic gameplay, historical accuracy, and a detailed portrayal of its immense scale and complexity.


Close Combat III: The Russian Front brings to life the intensity and complexity of World War II’s Eastern Front. Engage in the strategic battles that defined one of history’s most devastating wars.


The game allows players to choose either the Soviet Army or the Armed Forces of the Great Reich. However, unlike in Close Combat II, the player’s efforts and victories in individual battles do not influence the course of the war. Regardless of the player’s actions, the game concludes in the ruins of Berlin.

The gameplay follows the general pattern of the Close Combat series. Apart from a difficulty slider, there are realism settings which disable the fog of war, unit initiative, difficulty of access to enemy info, and more. The Grand Campaign follows the Eastern Front from the German invasion of the Soviet Union (Operation Barbarossa), to Stalingrad and ultimately Berlin.

The game features over 300 specialized squads, 100 weapons, 60 soldier types, and 60 distinct vehicles and anti-tank guns. This includes 120 mm mortars, flame-throwers, rocket launchers, half-tracks, and off-map heavy artillery barrages. Players can manage their squads by resting, refilling, and upgrading them between battles.

The game also allows players to follow each soldier as they progress from green rookies to seasoned veterans and advance in rank to command more units. Additionally, players can create their own “what if” scenarios with Close Combat III’s enhanced Scenario Editor. They can craft single or multi-map battles and set deployment zones, objective locations, requisition points, and available units.


While not focusing on individual characters, the game emphasizes the broader factions of WWII’s Eastern Front, with units representing the diverse forces of the era.


The game features a mix of strategic planning and real-time tactical combat, where players manage resources, troop movements, and battlefield tactics to secure objectives and defeat the enemy.


Close Combat III: The Russian Front remains a landmark in WWII RTS gaming, offering a deep, immersive experience for strategy enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

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