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Barticus wrote:Background: Been playing cardboard chit games since the old Avalon Hill Panzer Blitz/Leader days. Have to say I haven't been a heavy player though, growing up in a small village of 400 people sort of limits your opponent pool. Played most of the popular, and some of the more obscure, computer strategy games. Panzer General, Steel Panthers, some of the John Tiller games, Master of Orion, Harpoon.....you name it, I've probably at least given it a try.
As for Unity of Command, I took the time over my lunch hour to give the 2nd Kharkov scenario a go. Please note that all comments are based on gameplay and without my having read the manual at all. Since Unity of Command is billing itself as 'easy to learn and intuitive', I want to see how much I can figure out before delving deeper.
Impression after 30 seconds: 'Nice Map'
Impression after 5 minutes: 'Unit icons are.....different, take some getting used to. Normally I'm not a fan of animated icons but I recognise that as being a purely personal preference.
Impression after 15 minutes: Hard for me to say, fifteen minutes of play is just enough to learn about the UI and attempt a few quick things, getting 'the lay of the land' as it were.
Impression after 1 hour: An hour is plenty of time to lose against the AI in truly spectacular fashion, late scenario comebacks as I learn the system don't make up for having my supply lines cut earlier in the game. I don't consider this a drawback, the AI knows all of the rules and I don't so it's part of the normal learning process for me. Still, the game looks promising and one hour is just enough time to whet my appetite.
Overall I find the UI quite intuitive. The information that I need is usually easy to find by just clicking on the unit. Most of what I want to know that isn't available through clicking is available my hovering the pointer over the icon. The tags on the unit icons denoting special abilities and experience level is especially helpful, and the tags are sufficiently clear that even my old tired eyes can make sense of them.
This is where most of my unanswered questions lie, and most can likely be answered in the manual. Things like what are the effects of entrenchment, what does the combat table look like so I can better understand how risky certain attacks are, that sort of thing. Otherwise, the basics of movement and combat are quite apparent.
I don't believe I can comment on this after having played only one scenario. On the other hand, I quite like the 2nd Kharkov scenario, a good size for over the lunch hour
Alikchi wrote:Loading was very quick, the interface is smooth and attractive, and alt-tabbing is simple and fast. Windowed mode works perfectly. This is all VERY IMPORTANT - nicely done.
Nice soft interface music, not too blustery.
Click the manual and spend a few minutes scanning it. Looks well put together. Now I'll try the tutorial.
The interface is lovely, I approve of the mechanics so far, tutorial's good. Especially appreciate the quick-reload button to try things repeatedly until you get the hang of them. Tutorial done.
This is proving a difficult game to critique. The introduction scenario was fun, too.
All in all, I'm really liking this. I'm guessing whatever flaws may exist will be in the details, because the new player experience is great.
Alikchi wrote:After starting the Axis campaign -
Had to hammer at the first scenario (2nd Kharkov I believe) about half a dozen times and allllmost got frustrated. But I was having enough fun that I could push on through. Got the last objective, with my last panzer division, on the last turn. Earned no prestige, but it felt good.
Still, there is a pretty sharp difficult curve between the Crimea and Axis Campaign scenario 1. Don't know if the Soviet campaign is any different.
Edit: I reconsidered a little bit. The AI kept killing me because I was sloppy - I left gaps in the line, they would sweep in behind with tanks/cav and cut off supplies. This was an important lesson to learn.
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