Normal vs Classic difficulty

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Kallest
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Normal vs Classic difficulty

Unread postby Kallest » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:14 pm

I'm a UoC1 veteran, played all the way to Stalingrad and back to Berlin (not necessarily in that order), so when I started UoC2 I figured "Classic" was the right difficulty level for me.

It was not. I have now tried without success to win that first scenario six times. I've tweaked my tactics, I've spent my prestige differently, I'lve learned a lot of the map, but I simply cannot get it done in six turns. I've also never been able to take Sfax in three, though I typically manage 3/4 of the optional objectives. And this is just the first scenario, I can only assume the going will be slightly tougher in future missions.

This was not my experience, at all, in UoC1. There were tough scenarios occasionally, and sometimes I couldn't manage to beat the optional objectives, but it was much easier going in. I ended up trying the UoC2 campaign on normal instead and that experience was a lot more reminiscent of UoC1 than classic difficulty. Maybe it's just a failure to manage expectations but when you say a mode is for UoC1 veterans then I'm going to want to play that.

I'd also like to see a little more granular difficulty option. Like, playing with classic mode prestige and card limits but with normal turn timers.

Shimbo
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Re: Normal vs Classic difficulty

Unread postby Shimbo » Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:54 pm

I did exactly what you did, as I was an expert UoC veteran. Except I went straight in on Hard... I got massacred.

The AI in UoC2 is much, much better than in Unity of Command, and there's a ton of new features, some of which are absolutely essential to master. And you've probably already realised that some of the tactics from UoC don't work any more.

My advice (seriously) is to play on 'Easy' to start with until you get used to the new mechanics.

I switched to Easy to get the hang of the new mechanics. I played through till I think Monte Cassino and then it was getting too easy for me so I restarted on Normal. Now I mostly play on Normal for fun or Classic for a challenge (Hard is for masochists).

Kallest
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Re: Normal vs Classic difficulty

Unread postby Kallest » Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:35 pm

My experience with Classic isn't that the AI is better, it's just that turn timers are extremely tight. You also have to do more with less, because prestige is harder to come by.

sourdust
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Re: Normal vs Classic difficulty

Unread postby sourdust » Fri Nov 15, 2019 5:46 am

Classic is definitely hard, and hard is tremendously hard. I haven't seriously tried a "hard" campaign yet, even after 50 hours of beta test I need some more skillz.

Here's how I approach Wadi Akarit, with I'd say a 90% success rate on Classic.


1) Don't buy cards, certainly not at the first conference. HQ upgrades and specialists are mostly better bang for your buck. Spend 50 on upgrading the command range and getting Operations 1 for the US Corps. That's it.

2) During pre-battle deployment, make sure you are taking full advantage of your ability to re-assign specialist steps!

In the 8th army sector, strip one artillery specialist from the division behind the front lines, and assign it to the division on the coast at the front. This will allow that division to suppress 3 or 4 of the steps on the enemy unit on the coast. Then buy a recon spec for your elite 5-step Tank unit. This gives it a lit bit of extra oomph and territory control ability, but more importantly allows it to absorb a hit without losing a core tank step, which are more expensive and which cause loss of experience when you replace them.

In the US II Corps sector, strip the Sherman tank specialist from the infantry unit, and assign it to the US tank division at Maknassy Pass. Then buy a Priest artillery unit specialist for the same tank division. That tank will now have 0:2 odds on the enemy PzGr division at Maknassy pass, and 70% of the time will take the Pass on the first turn. Also reassign artillery so that one inf division has 2 artillery specs, and the other has zero. On turn 1, the artillery-heavy unit can usually suppress all three steps of the enemy unit at the point of the bulge, allowing the other infantry unit to maul it.

In the northern sector, strip the artillery from the French division, and give it to the US infantry division, which now has 2 artillery steps. Do the same with British artillery: strip it from the northernmost unit, and reassign to the 4-step UK unit in the rear area.

3) Also during deployment, don't forget you can immediately rearrange supply hubs and move HQs, with no delay or cost. Move the British 8th army HQ right up to the front line along the rail line, and put a supply hub forward as well. I also usually dissolve all the other supply hubs, and just create one big 4-step supply hub in the middle of the long front. This has the same starting coverage as the existing 3 dumps, but will extend deeper into enemy territory. It also creates fewer "rear area" things you have to defend, giving you more operational flexibility especially in the northern sector.

4) On turn one: in the 8th army sector, completely suppress the enemy coastal unit with your uber-artillery unit (and a feint if needed), then blast it out of the way. Use your airstrike on the PzGr unit behind it on the coast. If you get a decent result, your kingpin elite tank unit can usually smash it out of the way. Move the other 5-point tank unit in, giving you a 2-hex penetration on the first turn. If you can't get rid of the PzGr., don't worry, keep going!

In the US sector, take Maknassy with your mega-tank if you can. Don't worry if you can't, turn 2 will be fine. Advance your other tank unit to the Maknassy pass area as well. Resist the temptation to launch them deep into enemy territory. Depending on where you wind up, and what the Axis air strike does, the German mobile forces will target and even totally eliminate your US tank, causing you to rage-quit! Just sit tight at the pass for now.

Your infantry at El Guettar can smoosh the 3-step enemy PzGr they are facing most of the time. Suppress attack with the artillery-heavy one, then normal attack with the other.
Pay attention to command range throughout; you want to make sure your HQ is getting the full xp benefit of all your units' attacks, especially US II Corps! You should be getting 2-3 HQ upgrades for II Corps during this battle alone. After you've done the El Guettar attack (and gotten xp for you HQ for it), move the HQ up to Maknassy town, so it can benefit from all the killing your tanks will be doing in the next few turns. Leave on inf at El Guettar and have the other head towards Maknassy as well.

Up north, have your US infantry fully suppress the weak German infantry facing them. Then have the British tank unit kill them, hopefully with an overrun. Move the US infantry in to that hex, so that next turn they can suppress attack the German defenders at Fondouk Pass. With 2 artillery steps, they will almost always fully suppress the defenders there. Move other infantry up to contact.

5) Turn 2: Time to worry about the panzers. There are 2 tough German panzer units in the south. If you haven't taken Maknassy Pass, one of them will have moved there, replacing the battered PzGr unit there. The other is blocking the British 8th army. You need to attrit both of them this turn, or they'll start to cause a major headache. Your super US tank unit is strong enough to do major damage to a German panzer division without much help. Between the two US tank units, you'll be OK to punish or kill that unit.

Use your airstrike on the panzer division facing 8th Army, hopefully scoring enough so you can finish it off with your elite tank unit or some combination of feints and attacks. Make sure you send one or preferably 2 british tank units on extended movement towards Sfax, once you've gotten the German panzer out of the way.

Up north, your US infantry is well positioned to suppress the defenders of Fondouk Pass. Do that, then have your British or French infantry move in and push those defenders out. Most of the time they can do it on their own, but sometimes you have to use the British armored division to finish the job. Depending on what the Axis move was, you can often get an infantry unit next to the Kairoun (sp?) objective. If the British armor isn't needed there, divert them south to Faid Pass - sometimes they are all that's needed to push the German defenders out. Otherwise don't worry, you have another turn.

6) On Turn 3, you should have two British tank units within reach of Sfax. The 5-step tanks can often take Sfax without loss; if you use a 4-step tank brigade you'll probably take losses. Roll the die with an airstrike, if you like! Only one tank unit has to be close enough to attack, the other can take Sfax with extended move if needed.

In the center, you are taking Faid pass if you haven't already, cleaning up Axis units, and ensuring the pocket of troops in the south is fully sealed off. In the north, Kairoun shouldn't be hard to take. Send the British armor unit back up this way if you feel it is warranted.

7) From here on out, things depend increasingly on what the Axis air attacks do, what cleaning up is needed between Maknassy and Sfax, etc. I usually keep all of II Corps focused on cleaning up the southern pocket, because it is easy xp for the US HQ and units, and I want to ramp them up as quickly as possible. There usually isn't much in the way of serious resistance around Enfidaville at this point, and you have plenty of time. March a 2-artillery infantry division up there, and one good suppression attack will seal the deal.

Happy to explain any of this further. As I said, this is a strategy that will get you all objectives on time about 90% of the time - I'm sure it's not the only way! Whether you deem casualties acceptable enough to keep going is up to you - I've done it this way and suffered no losses at all, but I'd say usually this will result in between 2 and 4 step losses. Much depends on the Axis air strikes, of course. I find that the air strikes tend to hit units that are next to an enemy objective, so you can "bait" them with infantry units that you don't care as much about as your tanks. Even better to have the bait in a terrain that will reduce the risk of taking heavy losses from an air attack.

8) You'll have a few HQs upgrades during the battle. If you get the chance to reduce costs on bridge repair, suppression attack, or resupply - grab it! Those are much-used HQ abilities. The rest are more situational, and I generally pass on them, going for CP upgrades instead. By the time you've taken Rome, you want 8 or 9 CPs on your HQs for maximum flexibility.

Good luck, keep at it!

I really think the key is the deployment phase, and how you re-assign specialists. It took me an embarrassingly long period of time to realize this.

funky_trader
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Re: Normal vs Classic difficulty

Unread postby funky_trader » Sat Nov 16, 2019 7:40 pm

I really think the key is the deployment phase, and how you re-assign specialists. It took me an embarrassingly long period of time to realize this.


Omg, you can do that :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: ? I've always been skipping that first preparation turn as I figured I could never do anything useful....

BTW, I've been playing only classic so far (UoC 1 veteran), and I've been mostly hitting all objectives and extra objectives on time. I think the biggest thing to master are the "softening up" special attacks: suppresive fire, feint, and set piece attack. I couldn't complete the first scenario until I figured out how useful these are.

The AI is better in some regards, but remains too defensive focused/timid to break out of encirclements or exploit my flanks' advances. Putting the stronger German units out of supply is still the go to strategy in most scenarios as you can't brute force through them.

My main complaint so far is the obtuse UI on what you can and can't do. Assigning and reassigning steps is a clusterfuck. I never seem to know when I have steps to assign until I realise at the end of the turn/scenario that I had all these extra reinforcements

HappyDaze
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Re: Normal vs Classic difficulty

Unread postby HappyDaze » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:03 pm

Thank you, Colonel sourdust, for your illuminating discourse to get new players started. I shall be referring to it at length when I finally get the game (waiting for the Mac version).

Happy

sourdust
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Re: Normal vs Classic difficulty

Unread postby sourdust » Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:03 am

funky_trader wrote:
Omg, you can do that :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops: ? I've always been skipping that first preparation turn as I figured I could never do anything useful....



I know, right? So obvious once you're there, but jeez it took me two dozen battles before I cottoned on to it.

grimmelm
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Re: Normal vs Classic difficulty

Unread postby grimmelm » Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:23 am

Thank you for this extremely helpful "walkthrough," sourdust. I tried this scenario four times using my standard UoC1 playbook, with dismal results. But after following your moves for the first two turns, and paying attention to why these tactics succeed, I was able to start wrapping my head around how UoC2 works. It's a very interesting game so far; I'm enjoying it a lot.

Spaceman95
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Re: Normal vs Classic difficulty

Unread postby Spaceman95 » Wed Nov 20, 2019 11:27 pm

grimmelm wrote:Thank you for this extremely helpful "walkthrough," sourdust. I tried this scenario four times using my standard UoC1 playbook, with dismal results. But after following your moves for the first two turns, and paying attention to why these tactics succeed, I was able to start wrapping my head around how UoC2 works. It's a very interesting game so far; I'm enjoying it a lot.


Great walkthrough Sourdust. But not quite how I do it. I get DAK armour isolated on T1 but not via the coast. There is a shorter route, but it perhaps does not work on Classic ;) Perhaps the DAK actually responds ...
I also don't reassign specs (perhaps I will need to on Classic), but I do buy some extra steps and specs. I find a Greyhound on the US armour is sufficient to get a 0:2 at the southern pass, and that is usually where I use my bomber. The Daimler on the armour is a great tip though - since they added a German bomber in this scenario there is the risk of getting armour slaughtered. Ironic how tiny scout cars can be such a powerful bomb trapper. On the other hand, you can always disband a UK ARM brigade (recommend the 8th) - you don't need all 4 x 8th Army armour to win, and you won't be using Arm Brigades so much later on. The campaign always rebuilds eliminated units to 3 steps + no specs (instead of 4 + a Daimler) ...

I betad in Easy due to the multiple campaign reboots. I am finding the computer response really has ramped up, even in my current Normal campaign! Now it occasionally kicks my ass far smarter than UoC1.

So far, I find UoC i harder (I am playing Black Turn in parallel, and the RNG effect really blocks the Brilliant Victories).

I look at it this way, once I finish Normal I have two new playthroughs to go before claiming the ultimate prize. I am already massively entertained by even mastering Normal. Much replay value.