I pretty rarely describe on my blog digital games. From time to time you can see the report from the LAN party in Sid Meier’s Civilization V or more often, a computer versions of well-established boardgames. Today I would like to write about a very special game for me – Unity of Command.
I am fan of old computer game – Panzer General. I have a lot of sentiment for this. So when I discovered in 2011 first part of Unity of Command, I immediately fallen in love with it. It leads you through the series of scenarios – in first part on Eastern Front, in second on the South (Italy) and West Fronts (France). In each you have a group of infantry and armor units with designated primary and secondary objectives. Each is worth some amount of prestige, which can be spent on HQ or units enhancements between scenarios.
The key concept in Unity of Command (UoC) is supply. It is simply key factor which you should take into consideration – it is easier to cut the supply line of often strong enemy and starve him then attack immediately.
On top of this we have some standard elements of UoC plus unique features from second part (below text is based on the publisher site):
- Headquarters — This new feature places army headquarters on the map, from which you will direct unit reorganization, bridging and resupply. Headquarters are not only essential to reinforcing and recovering lost unit strength, but are also able to deploy special abilities such as Emergency Supply, Motorizing units using HQ trucks, and many more.
- Theater Assets — This feature from the original game is greatly expanded in Unity of Command II. Wreak havoc behind enemy lines by sabotaging infrastructure. Order your aircraft to provide aerial recon, deliver devastating bombing runs, or sustain units behind enemy lines using air supply assets.
- Bonus Objectives — Participate in optional history-altering “what-if” objectives — earn the opportunity to Rush for the Apennines and smash through German defenses before they dig in.
- Fog of War — Deal with your enemies — but you’ll have to find them first. Reveal enemy positions by capturing stragglers, upgrading the HQ and using its special abilities to uncover enemy special defense markers.
- Deep Operations — Unity of Command changed the world of turn-based strategy games forever by introducing its signature feature, supply lines. Keep a watchful eye on your logistics while planning to strike deep beyond enemy lines, sever supply lines and encircle enemy units.
I am having a lot of fun with that game and wholeheartedly recommend that tiny pearl from small development studio – 2×2 Games. More reviews on Metacritic site.
Thanks for this review! I played UoC 1 and loved it. What board game comes closest to replicating Unity of Command, would you say? As in – relatively contained scenarios in the context of a bigger campaign. I have been looking at GMT Games’ Spanish Civil War to scratch that itch, but it is sadly out of print. Was hoping No Retreat! could be something similar, but people tell me it isn’t. I’m wondering about your take.
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Hi Stanislav, thanks for comment! You asked good question. UoC has pretty unique system of suppression, which allows you to tackle even the toughest enemies once they are soften up. I do not know any boardgame representing this so well.
No Retreat! is very high level, low-counter density game. That is different scale and while might look similar at first glance, it is not.
I suggest you check Mark Simonitch games; also not the same, but close, especially Stalingrad’42, Normandy’44 and Holland’44. Not overly complex, with decent amount of flexibility but also well reflecting the dynamics of WWII battlefield.
Thanks a lot for your reply. I didn’t think about it before but you’re definitely right that the suppression system is quite unique and quite neat. Even more than two steps is tricky for board games (blocks go up to four, I guess). Would introduce too much fiddly book keeping.
But thanks for the suggestions! Will check them out.
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