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

Veteran fortified infantry in woods is NOT suppressed by non veteran infantry with 7 artillery points.

That was part of the problem I had in Hurtgen Classic.

I ground to a halt in the Market Garden as my flanks kept on getting zerg-rushed by German reinforcements.

(Yes, I know that’s exactly what happened IRL, but I can’t get past it and don’t have enough troops in the ground punch to guard the flanks properly.)

Market Garden spoiler you might already know: you don’t need to guard them, just make sure you take the territory before they can summon them. If the Germans don’t own the entry points, the units can’t come in.

ENGINEERS (orange)
• As all specialist steps, active engineer steps add their combat stats (defense/attack) to any combat
• Ignore enemy fortifications: For each active engineer step in the attacking unit, one level of entrenchment of the defender is ignored in combat calculations (e.g. an entreched defender gains no defensive shift; a fortified defender only -1 instead of -2)
• Breach enemy fortifications: If a unit that has one active engineer step inflicts a casualty (KIA/suppressed) on an enemy unit that is entrenched, one level of the defender’s fortifications gets destroyed (a trench turns into nothing, a fortification into a trench). You will see the text “Breached!” pop up. If you have 2 engineer steps, then two levels of enemy fortifications are destroyed.
• River crossing: If a unit has an active engineer step, it does not suffer the -2 defensive shift when attacking across a river.
• Engineers also increase the chances to reduce enemy fortifications in a “set piece attack”.

ANTI TANK ASSETS (dark blue)
• As all specialist steps, active anti tank steps add their combat stats (defense/attack) to any combat
• In defense only, active anti tank steps reduce the attacking enemy’s armor advantage (if any). For each 10 points of armor in excess of the defender’s armor, the attacker usually receives +1 positive armor shift, increasing his overall combat power. Each armor point provided by an anti tank step reduces the armor shift of the attacker by 1. So, for example, if the enemy attacks with an armor power of 30 and you have an anti tank specialist (+2* armor), then the attacker’s armor shift will be reduced from +3 to +1 only.
• Note that you don’t neccessarily need anti tank assets to defend against tanks. An attacker NEVER gets an armor shift if he attacks into cities/ruins, mountains, forests or across a river.
• Anti tank assets have two variants:
○ towed (symbol = chevron + dot): these become inactive if the unit moves (the step automatically recovers at the start of the opponent’s turn).
○ self-propelled (symbol = chevron): these stay active even when the unit moves.
As AT assets only have their special effect in the defense, the difference between towed and self-propelled assets is rather minor. It’s just that the active step still contributes its attack value to an attack. Also, it might be usefull if you’re attacking an enemy tank unit with “counter attack” orders.

ARTILLERY (violet)
• As all specialist steps, active artillery steps add their combat stats (defense/attack) to any combat
• On the attack only, active artillery steps provide artillery shifts which greatly increase the attacker’s combat power. But note that this only applies in certain circumstances. NO artillery shift is applied if you attack into ruins or mountains or if you attack an entrenched/fortified unit in a city, forest or swamp (unless frozen). The effect depends on the respective stat (+artillery) - note that the maximum artillery shift is capped at +5.
• Having an active artillery step also enables a unit to conduct the special HQ actions “suppressive fire” and “set piece attack”. Refer to the manual for more information on those.
• Just like anti tank assets, artillery specialists come in two variants:
○ self-propelled (symbol = double chevron): these stay active even when you move the unit
○ towed (symbol = dot): these become in-active when you move the unit. They will recover/become un-suppressed at the start of your opponent’s turn.
In contrast to AT assets, self-propelled artillery steps can be really powerfull, as an artillery shift can be very decisive for the attack. Also, self-propelled artillery can use the “supressive fire” ability after the unit has moved

SPECIAL FORCES (black/grey)
• As all specialist steps, active special forces steps add their combat stats (defense/attack) to any combat. They have particularly high combat stats.
• Special forces steps do not get suppressed when the unit crosses a major river via the “river crossing” or “assault crossing” HQ ability.

RECON (green)
• As all specialist steps, active recon steps add their combat stats (defense/attack) to any combat.
• A unit with an active recon step shifts the “frontier” further. It converts more territory, so to speak (see p. 9 of the manual). Owning more territory gives you better intel, let’s supply move through (and block enemy supply) and can also help you to trap (“corner”) enemy units (and prevent getting cornered yourself).
• The presence of an active recon step allows the unit to use the “recon in force” HQ-ability (see manual).
• Some recon units also give you an armor shift (armor +X). See below (armor) for more details.

ARMOR (light blue)
• As all specialist steps, active armor specialist steps add their combat stats (defense/attack) to any combat.
• Armor specialist steps provide armor shifts (armor +X). This is a big boost on the unit’s combat power in the attack. However, this attack power bonus can be negated if the defender has armor himself or has active anti tank assets. Also, armor shifts do NOT apply if you attack into cities/ruins, forests, mountains or across rivers. In addition, having armor specialists also helps if an opponent attacks you with a lot of armor.

One tip is to always put a Recon (green) specialist with your armored divisions. Yes, you get the other recon benefits but the main reason is that the Recon Unit is ALWAYS the first casualty when the division must lose a Strength Step. The recon unit only costs 15 PP to replace whereas a division without recon would have to spend 30 PP to replace an armor strength point.

Nice info. Thanks @Vormithrax.

Will I be right if I say the following:

  1. Attach self-propelled arty to armour
  2. Attach recon to armour
  3. Attach anti-tank or anti-tank recon to infantry
  4. Attach engineers to river crossing units or city breaching units

Since there are 3 slots,
an armour unit can have 1 arty, I engr, 1 recon
An infantry can have an anti tank and engr and towed arty

As a general rule?

Seems about right. Make sure you are shuffling around your specialist/strength steps to different units as needed during the prep phase. It’s a massive help in piercing through the enemy lines on turn 1.

Where is the kickstarter link for this?

Thanks, will do that.

Looks like we’re getting some Axis scenarios. I think they already have DLC planned.

Against my better judgment, I reinstalled and resumed my Italian campaign on Classic. I’ll chip away at it – lots of games to play right now.

I finally abandoned the campaign on the second to last mission. Rhin at Danube starts with a major river crossing and ends with a massive trek to reach the far end of the map before you run out of turns on the doorstep of victory. What crushes your spirit is the AI’s relentless destruction of bridges just before you arrive at them. You need to move your HQ in advance to be within range to rebuild the bridge or construct a pontoon bridge, and then wait the following turn to cross.

This happens 3 or 4 times as you move across the map. After my first attempt, I watched a walkthrough and realized I needed to concentrate my armor. On my second attempt, I didn’t pay attention to HQ range and lost a turn. Once again I was a turn short. On my third attempt, I got bad weather on a crucial turn and decided I had enough of the game.

The beginning of the campaign was frustrating in the same way. Classic doesn’t have enough margin for error, and the penalty is the most painful one in video games: losing time replaying the exact same way with a slight tweak.

To be fair, the middle of the campaign was a lot more fun. I kept my units at high veterancy and generally steamrolled everything. I still failed an occasional mission due to a simple mistake, but I didn’t mind replaying them.

Time for a break. I’ll wait for the next content drop.