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Three Moves Ahead Episode 148 – Unity of Command

December 22nd, 2011 by Rob Zacny · 61 Comments · Podcast, Three Moves Ahead

ThreeMovesAhead

Rob and Troy talk about 2×2′s new entry-level wargame, Unity of Command, and why it is such a huge success. How does it stack up against Panzer Corps, and why is it more a wargame than a puzzle game? Why is its treatment of supply so important? Can you make a really challenging wargame without implying puzzle-like solutions?

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61 Comments so far ↓

  • Malcolm Mackay

    I wish I had heard this podcast before I bought Panzer Corps. I loved the Panzer General/Allied General games, so I thought PC was a sure fire game for me.

    So far I’m finding I don’t like PC that much. From the comments about the game I assume the interface is improved from Panzer General, but it is still really clumsy by modern standards. I am finding that I no longer like the puzzle nature of the scenarios, I prefer a game where the challenge comes from a strong AI. I also don’t like the thought that if I make some poor decisions early in the campaign, I might get stuck in later scenarios. If UoC is less of a puzzle game and more strategy orientated, it looks like I would like it better.

    I really enjoy pure puzzle games, but I guess I don’t like the mix of wargame/puzzle game in PC.

  • Raúl

    Sounds like a fun game, judging from the official videos and screen-shots from the web-page it looks like an operational war game were you take control of generalized units and make just “big decisions” instead of doing micromanagement. Plus it appears you make progress bit by bit to finish a “full campaign” (Interface looks great, clear and not over-saturated with info).

    I have never been too much into an “operational war-game”, unless Hegemony: Philip of Macedon or Total War campaigns count as such, I love the idea of managing supply lines, “preserve the line” and attrition as game concepts but for most operational level games you need to learn a system full of details, and sometimes all those details I think, could be skipped.

    I usually like to play “tactical-level” war-games which can be simpler to learn (and fun during the process), but once you learn them and master the system they can become stale or puzzle-like. Would a “simpler operational-level war-game” suffer the same fate?

    Great pod-cast, the game really caught my attention. I would like to participate for the spare key, : ).

  • IA DeArd

    Just found the podcast through Consimworld and it’s added to my ‘must listen’ category. The airpower episode was particularly interesting and well done.

    Just catching up, so I’d like to put my hat in for the spare key.

  • Punning Pundit

    Is there still time to enter the drawing for the key? I’d like to get a copy…

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  • spelk

    I was impressed with the production values demonstrated by Panzer Corps upon release, but ultimately it didn’t bring enough to the table to make it anything other than a Panzer General Reboot. As much as I wanted to be swept away by it, I think I’ve moved on, expectation-wise from the Panzer General formula.

    Unity of Command however, has raised the bar of expectations for accessible but deep wargaming. The UI and the AI are a joy to behold. It just plays well, out of the box, unmodded, and without a trawl of forums, and utilities to work out how to play. It delivers at introductory levels, in that strategy gamers can shift units about, test out their manoeuvres and attacks and get some satisfaction from it. It also has the depth in its supply system and the use of specialist steps to warrant Grognardian interest.

    I really like the way it combines operational movements with terrain features and limited support with Air attacks and supply line boosts. Even though the units are presented in a more appealing artistic style, the information on offer is very easy to read and use, and they do contain some historical detail.

    The replay feature is a major boon to the likes of myself, when wanting to recount AAR’s. I managed to use the replay to video capture the game, and then annotate the video content with the action as it happens! If interested, check out the Voronezh Scenario, with my attempt and another chaps attempt – showing how to really win at that scenario!

    I think UoC is the best thing to happen to the wargaming scene in a long time, and I wish 2 by 2 all the luck with their future pursuits.

    For the true Grogs, a guy over at the Matrix forums has already modded the game with NATO symbols, underlaid with all the information widgets intact. According to the 2by2 team, the game is VERY moddable. All good news.

  • Paul (@princejvstin)

    Hi guys.

    I am not quite the grognard my friend Scott (who is deep into War in the East) is, but I do like wargames. This might scratch my itch and hit my level of capability…

  • Darin

    If I have not missed the draw yet, I’d love to be entered into the draw for the key.

    Thank

    Darin

  • Granger44

    I’m interested in that Unity of Command key if the drawing is still open.

  • Rob Zacny

    Hey, the drawing is closed now. Felix Hack is the winner!

  • Rob C

    First, let me start off by saying that I am really enjoyingUnity of Command and am glad I purchased it. This is something that not only bugs me about this game, but others too. I do like a challenge and each scenario has made me take my time and think about each and every move. This is good, but I’m not a big fan of replaying scenarios over and over because when I do win it feels a little cheap. It is kind of like a do over. Also, it seems more puzzle-like. Since you feel like you need to hoard your prestige until the end, you need to try and win without using it. Then and only then do I start to use the prestige. I feel like I need to play it as a game instead of pretending I am on an actual military campaign, and it takes something away from the experience. It isn’t the challenge or difficulty that turns me off, just how the difficulty is ‘enforced’. I have been pretty fortunate in that it has only taken 1-3 tries for the most part to get a decisive victory. I would be getting frustrated and bored if I had to replay a scenario 10 times so wasn’t locked out of the next one.

    I think I would prefer an approach that allows you to make your best attempt at a scenario, live with the results and move on without being locked out of parts of the game. Perhaps you are given a scenario score based on how fast you achieve the objectives and how many casualties you suffer. Maybe the prestige limit is more generous, but when you use prestige it lowers your score. That way you analyze the scenario and play like it is for real. Use what you think is necessary, not afraid to use any prestige, but only try and use what you need. It is also a built in difficuty setting. People who don’t do so well can use a lot of prestige to win the scenario, but get a poor score. Perhaps when you get to the end of the campaign, you get a war summary. If you used too much prestige and / or had too many casualties you are informed that you put too much strain on the war machine and while you won the battles, your personal successes caused your side to lose the war.

    How do others feel about this aspect of the game?