Unity of Command
is an operational-level Turn Based Strategy
wargame by Croatian developer 2x2 Games. It is a hex-based wargame similar to more traditional grognardy titles like Panzer Campaigns
, but it eschews the huge numbers of units to control and complex user interfaces. The result is an amazingly accessible wargame with easy-to-understand gameplay mechanics, yet it captures military principles like encirclements, supply lines, and river crossings without drowning the player in excessive detail.
The base game is set in World War II's Eastern Front in southern Russia, from 1942 to early 1943 in the campaigns that eventually culminated in the actions around Stalingrad. The DLC Red Turn
covers various Soviet operations from the end of Kursk to the Berlin Offensive. A second DLC covering the initial Barbarossa offensive in 1941 is in the making.
Unity of Command provides examples of:
- Artificial Brilliance:
- Color-Coded Armies: The Germans (and their allies) are grey and the Soviets are red.
- Death from Above: Air power makes its appearance in the game, but it's used more for suppression than for outright destroying units.
- Digitized Sprites: Instead of NATO-style counters like in other wargames, Unity of Command uses a stylized bust to represent a unit.
- Easy Logistics: Heavily averted. Supply lines are a very important part of the game. Tank spearheads at the end of their tethers will find themselves extremely vulnerable to counterattacking forces. Actions which result in the disruption of your supply lines can bring your offensive to a halt.
- Geo Effects: Units in cities and dug-in are very difficult to root out. River crossings without a bridge considerably slows down the tempo of your forces.
- Nintendo Hard: Played straight in some of the German scenarios where you are clearly outnumbered, on the offensive, and have to capture three strategic points on the other side of the map.
- No Campaign for the Wicked: Averted with the original campaigns; you could play both as the Germans and Soviets. Red Tide however is only playable from the Soviet side.
- No Swastikas: Played straight.
- Support Power: The player can request air strikes, logistical upgrades, and bridge manipulation (construction, demolition, repair).
- Timed Mission: Every scenario and campaign battle has an arbitrary turn limit. You have to have the best use of your forces on every turn, as misuse might cost you an unacceptable delay in the capturing of a strategic point. You can get better victories if you capture the strategic points at a prescribed time (like four turns before the end of the scenario).
- Weather of War: Weather can affect the game by limiting the effectiveness of air attacks, restrict the ability for normal units to dig in, and limit movement.
- We Have Reserves: This is discouraged in campaign mode.
- World War II: The game is set on the Eastern Front.