Marginal Gains

We’ve made several changes to “Unity of Command” core game mechanics in our upcoming “Road to Berlin” expansion. It’s not a huge number of changes and really they’re not all that big, as we believe the game is solid basically. That said, some modifications were called for, to correctly capture the Soviet way of war during this “Third Period of the Great Patriotic War”.

#1 Disbanding Units

You are now docked between 25 and 200 prestige when you disband a unit. The only exception is the first (in a scenario) disband of a weak unit which is free, otherwise the costs mount rapidly.

This should quickly put a break on various gamey tactics that involved disbanding a large number of your own units, especially in the last turn. The precise formulation of the rule is as follows: for the first disband in a scenario your prestige penalty is 50 (0 if the unit is weak), for the second it’s 100 (25) and for third and all later disbands it’s 200 (50).

#2 Theater Assets

Scenario designer can now opt to limit the number of theater assets available per scenario, not just per turn. The main motivation behind this rule change was to limit the total amount of logistics a player can deploy, especially in some of the longer scenarios.

Another good use we’ve found for this is to limit bridging.  In the original game, players are given 1 bridging per turn (or none at all). Which means, provided there are enough suitable locations, they can build 8 bridges in the course of an 8-turn scenario (!) In the expansion bridging will be say, 1 per turn,  but limited to 1 or 2 total uses in the scenario.

 #3 Repulsed Attacks

If combat is resulting in high losses for the attacker, and there is no gain (defender losses are 0 or 1sup) the attacking unit may break off the attack to minimize losses. This attack is then considered repulsed.

More precisely, after taking 2 step losses in such no-gain combat, there will be a 50% chance of the attack being repulsed. If the attack is not repulsed, another step loss is taken. This is repeated until potentially all step losses (according to the CRT) are taken by the attacker.

#4 Artillery Supported Infantry vs. Entrenchments

Artillery supported infantry units now have a good chance (35-65%) to breach enemy entrenchments (this works out as 5% per active step and 10% per artillery shift). Very importantly, this also works against units that are entrenched in cities, forests or swamps, even if regular artillery shifts don’t. It does not, however, work when attacking into mountains or ruins.

…aaand that’s it, really. I’d say we didn’t introduce too much clutter into the game, but of course I’d say that. We’ll see what the testers say, and then we’ll take it from there.

About the test itself, obviously there’s more news to come (soon). Stay tuned 😉


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