Bought it on sale, trusting the so many positive reviews, and the "that's just like panzer general
After a few games, I lost interest and can say I would not recommend.disclaimer
: I play mostly offline. The 1.3 hours are not accurate. Pros
- supply lines are the best feature of the game. You need to protect yours, strengthen your salients while piercing the frontline, extend with caution when the front has collapsed, and it's very rewarding to pocket enemies. It adds a real layer of tactical depth to the game.
- suppression and weakening of units is nicely implemented.
- and that's about itCons
- No fog of war : all units (and their strength, and type) are always visible, not matter how far they are, even in forests or with bad weather. Why you would remove such a critical (both historically and gameplay-wise) element is beyond me.
- Passive AI, challenging only because of the usually tight turn limit : seems programmed only to make you miss the "brilliant victory", which is incredibly tough to get (needs perfect play and weather : no hex wasted, luck in all rgn fights).
If you don't care about "brilliant victories", there's no challenge once you've mastered the basic rules. On my real first try at the "Black turn" campaign, I had all decisive victory except for Moscow, where the (random) weather pinned my offensive for so many turns.
The real game in "Unity of Command" might as well be about "getting 100% brillant". The problem is that the game is not satisfying and rewarding enough for me to care. It's simply not good enough.
- meagre gameplay : that's what made the game quickly repetitive and boring. You don't control your airforce, you don't control your artillery, there's no naval force, did not see paratroops... meaning your panel of actions and tactical choices each turn is very limited : thick ground, and that's it. You can't combine the way PG let you combine 20+ years ago, or build these fat infantry/flak/artillery mutually defending clusters.
- The game lacks the entrenchment "finesse" of the old PG : entrenched units had and could be softened/suppressed/peeled in different manners, while in Unity of Command it's binary : resists/breaks through the use of a specialist unit, of sheer force. It might as well be a justified by the fast pace the developers intended to give their game (most battles must be resolved in 5-6 turns), but it's a poor choice, as it makes the game more arid.
- no real campaign (as it seems to be) : defeat means game over, normal or decisive victory lead to the same results. No branching.
Could be wrong though, as I never achieved brilliant victories in campaign (couldn't be arsed).
- no deployment : even in campaign mode, the starting positions of all units are predetermined : really absurd, and twice. First, if I'm Zukhov or Paulus, why am I tied to the choices of other Zukhov or Paulus ? Second, since you can't place your units were you want, you can't use where needed the units you previously overstrengthened or augmented with a specialist token. Meaning the huge amounts of prestige spent doing so are used to their full potential only during the battle you did it.
- music is generic and unatmospheric at best. Best muted.
Could go on with the cons
UoC could have been so much more enjoyable.
A real disappointment.