Unity of Command — Review
Matrix Games recently released a new operational-level computer wargame by 2×2 Games. Unity of Command covers the battle for Stalingrad during World War Two. Each hex in the game is 20km and each turn is four days.
The interface uses a very simple and clean click methodology that highlights available actions. Visually the game looks great but can turn off some folks at first blush. The map and interface are very clean and stark but then the units themselves are 3D vehicles and, uniquely, figure busts for infantry. This of course immediately raises concerns by veteran wargamers that this is not a serious game. But you quickly get used to the unit designs and they do aid in information delivery with different unit types represented by different 3D models. But for those still not happy, supposedly an alternate unit set is in the works as a mod.
The game manages to stride that tough line of being a simple game to learn but still provides enough depth and challenge to engage veteran players. The center piece of the game design is certainly the supply system. Unlike almost all other wargames Unity of Command uses proportional supply where you actually see your supply wither the further it gets from supply points. Again the interface makes this very clear. It is a key point in the game and managing your supply properly is crucial to victory.
The AI is challenging and over 17 scenarios are included so replay value is very high. You can also play in hot-seat mode and over the Internet.
Unity of Command comes with a very well done manual. It is a 40-page full color PDF with plenty of illustrations. It explains the game mechanics quite well except, oddly, it doesn’t provide as much information on the supply mechanic as we would have liked. A few examples of how one gets out of supply and perhaps how one could alleviate certain conditions would have been nice. But overall you have more than enough to get you going and make you feel you understand what is going on underneath with the game.
The Three Moves Ahead podcast Episode 148 has a great 48 minute discussion/review of all facets of Unity of Command. If you have any interest in the game this is a must listen. The Wargamer also has a short but useful review.
3 thoughts on “Unity of Command — Review”
27Dec11 at 2301
Only wargamers will get suspicious and dismissive when someone makes a game for them that DOESN’T have crappy, crappy graphics.
28Dec11 at 0930
26Jan13 at 1126
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