Unity of Command II - this time it's 3d

There was no attempt to attack my infantry at Apeninnes and the game ends in turn 10.

Note that this is Easy Mode, so we may face more difficulty in harder game Mode. I think I’ll try a normal campaign next round.

That was great @cicobuff, thanks.

Good stuff, cicobuff. On ‘easy’ the AI mostly seems docile, you can make risky moves and probably not pay for it. I’ve mostly been playing ‘normal’, and the AI definitely will snatch loose VP locs and cut supplies whenever able.

I’ve been playing Classic and the enemy unit density is certainly higher. Just finished the Normandy part of the campaign (those 3 missions).

Also, I didn’t get to choose the rush to the Apenines, probably because I missed an objective.

Moreover, units persist after a conference, so I might have painted myself on a corner by overextending myself on the previous leg of the Italian campaign.

I think the difference is with the Objective timers and the number of units they have. The way I approached it, my own supply line is secure.

I’ll be restarting the campaign in normal to see if there is any other difference.

Edit: I’ve restarted a new campaign in Normal. The turn limits are lower and starting Prestige is lower but the enemy count seem the same in the starting scenarios. I’ll play more to see if there are other differences.

Mmmm. Some of the Normandy missions get a little too creative with the one unit per hex conceit. You need to play a puzzle game to be able to rotate units into and out of combat…

I found myself doing that a lot in Italy as well.

Yeah, that stuff is not something I love about the game. By and large, though, I like it.

Have you guys ever been on a hill or area with another unit. Even just in training exercises, it’s a complete horrible mess with people standing around totally confused doing nothing.

Instead of “one unit per hex” conceit, I’ll say it reflects the reality I experienced while doing my National Service and reservist stint.

I think a one per hex crowding limit is pretty reasonable. I’m less convinced that it’s realistic to rotate 4 or 5 divisions to sequentially attack a town from the same location within one “turn”, but that’s the way turn-based games work.

Yea, capturing the time in strategy battles as turn may indeed turn into an issue. But it’s an abstraction chosen by the design.

And rotating units, as long as they have unspent actions seems reasonable. Since the action points is basically an abstraction of how much a unit can do. The “rotating” mechanism may seem gamey, but it can reflect the massive amount of time needed to coordinate a large number of units to launch an attach from a single point.

It’s how we view the abstraction. Not much difference from a design that allow massive stacks to be placed in a hex, if you ask me.

I just feel stacking or allowing multi hex attacks is a more elegant, or less puzzly, abstraction most of the time.

Anyway, it’s a nitpick, the game is otherwise great. I think I’m reaching the end of the campaign on Classic.

Wow, thanks so much @cicobuff - I’m playing on Normal, and the resistance up the west side of the mountain range between Route 76 and the western side of the map is proving super stiff. I’m going to borrow a few things from your approach and see how that works!

By all means, borrow away! :)

Sometimes, all that we need to know is that it is possible. And our brains will figure out the rest.

I finished the campaign on Normal. As a Unity of Command veteran, it was pretty easy overall, especially once I realized there was no reason to hoard prestige. My favorite mission was The Battle of the Bulge – it was easy too, but the AI hit me hard with all its armor.

Classic is a bit too punishing. You don’t get any extra turns to take the final objectives. Miss one right at the end (inevitably with an expired unit standing right next to it) and you’re starting all over. That’s how the first game was too. I don’t mind it per se, but I’ll need a break first.

I’m at the battle of the Bulge in classic, and having gotten both optional objectives in Hurtgen (so I get a better starting position).

It seems hard. Played just one go at it, but the Germans have SO MUCH stuff. However, it feels quite manageable, not really a lot of ground to cover, but you don’t have the good offensive units in place.

Anyway, Classic is really difficult, and the campaign structure with unit persistence means you can easily get hosed beyond possibility of relief.

I only won Hurtgen because I had the 101 airborne unspent and ready, so I could, after seven attempts, create a pocket early enough as to being able to clear it before turn 6.

That doesn’t sound like the difficulty level of the first game, which is what Classic supposedly is. That sounds like what you had to do sometimes to get a brilliant victory – annoying but completely optional. Like you said, maybe it’s because of unit persistence grinding away your resources.

I don’t understand why Classic doesn’t give you extra turns to take the final objectives. You already get a score and prestige penalty for it. That would also help with the persistence problem because you wouldn’t feel compelled to throw your units at hopeless odds.

The other problem with units carrying over is it seems like some of the missions might be balanced that way. I tried the Scheldt scenario, which is where you go if you fail Market Garden. I didn’t come close to beating it even on Normal. I watched a YouTube video for that map and the guy had a bunch upgraded armor divisions from the campaign. But surely they balanced the scenarios one at a time, so that doesn’t make sense.

It is exactly like that. I played the first game going for brilliant victories and it’s the same feel, although less dependent of specific rolls thanks to the wider opportunity space the new mechanics allow (although you can get hosed with a bad opening attack or weather roll, but it’s less prevalent than in UoC I going for brilliant victories).

It’s also not like this all the way. Only about one in three scenarios require puzzle-like solving with available forces for me. Again, I think it’s because of the attrition. It comes a point your troops are worse than what the scenario is balanced for. Sometimes it’s the opposite and you have a card (mostly airborne units) that break a scenario.

Doing brilliant victories on Classic (getting all secondaries) seems impossible unless you preserve forces from the get go so you have a bunch of elites halfway through Italy at least.

I think a better structure would be a more branching campaign with easier objectives to avoid flat-out failing, but of course that would require too many extra scenarios.

Again, at Hurtgen, without the 101, I think it would have been impossible for me. My infantry was full but not even veteran, so it was impossible to break fortifications of veteran troops. The 101 allowed for a turn 3 total supply cut that was enough to get the core German units out of supply and my units in a position to do 4 attacks the last turn (which I needed to obliterate them since they would not retreat, being cornered).

Race for France was the same. The airborne allowed me to cut supply to 90% of German forces on turn 1! And still I needed 7 tries to get all the tanks far enough to get the core objectives in time.

It is fun, though, but I’m scared I’ll be put in an unwinnable situation I can do nothing about just at the end of the campaign.

It is a great game and I’m getting all the expansion they release. I’m hoping for an East Front revisit with all the new core mechanics in. The attrition system will do wonders for a Barbarossa style play through.

Is there a easily accessible information somewhere where it details how the Specialist steps do?

From what I read, they change how the game plays by a lot.

For instance, some recommend attaching mobile artillery to armour units so that it can do combat shifts in your favour against defenders.

Similarly, engineers can assist in river attacks.

An awesome tip was the ability to unattached specialists and reattach them during deployment phase so that the steps can be redeployed to needed locations.

These little tips sounds like they are needed in the classic mode. (I’ve not done a classic playthru yet.)

But what is lacking is detailed information on what the specialist steps actually do.

This description almost makes me want to continue my Classic campaign. I just don’t want to invest the time right now. Maybe when someone bumps the thread in 6 months.

@cicobuff I think the manual mentions some of it. The engineers and mobile artillery are the only unique ones off the top of my head. Most infantry also gets an M10, which provides a defensive – but no offensive – armor shift to keep them from getting obliterated by enemy armor units.

They also almost always have an artillery unit. It becomes suppressed after you move, but otherwise it allows one of the most powerful tactics in the game: suppressing enemy steps with the suppressing fire commander option. Surround a powerful unit with 2-3 infantry and suppress most of its steps, then casually roll over it with the rest of your infantry. The mobile artillery specialists allow you to do this after moving, which is why they work great on armor units held in reserve.

The only time this doesn’t work well is for the most challenging hexes in the game: fortified infantry in a city. Suppressing fire there doesn’t suppress many steps, and you run the terrible risk of turning the city to ruins, which applies additional negative shifts when you do decide to attack. For those cases you’re better off using the breach option. At least if you’re not attacking across a major river! I’m breaking into a sweat just thinking about it.