Unity of Command 2, the new World War II strategy game from Croteam and 2×2 Games, is a significantly more complex experience compared to its predecessor. In addition to the management of supply lines and basic movement, combat involves quite a bit of seemingly-esoteric terminology that the surface level tutorials do a poor job of explaining. Stick it out, though, and you’ll be privy to a surprisingly deep and satisfying tactical experience.
The campaign, based in Europe and North Africa, sees you fighting along the mountain ranges and coastal environments of the Western Theater, beginning with Wadi Akarit in Tunisia. The opening scenario is meant to ease you into the mechanics of Unity of Command 2, but, again, there’s a fairly steep learning curve that is done no favors by the provided guidance. In this guide, we’ll give you a few tips that are sort of glossed over by the in-game tutorials, and offer up some basic advice that can help you win the war.
Supply Rules All
We go into more detail on it in this guide, but suffice it to say that armies live and die by Supply. It’s vital at the end of every turn to make sure that all of you units are being adequately supplied, or that they’ll be able to be in range of a Supply Hub by the end of the following turn.
After being out of Supply for more than a turn, a unit’s combat effectiveness starts to drop, which makes a viable strategy out of cutting off enemy Supply lines. Capture Supply Hubs, position your units along Supply routes, and surround enemies so that they don’t have access to incoming Supply. Unity of Command 2 is as much about attrition as it is about simply overpowering the Axis.
“Step” Into the Basics of Combat
Like many of the other mechanics, combat in Unity of Command 2 can be confusing at first, but it makes a lot of logical sense once you unpack it. It mostly boils down to the concept of “Steps.” Steps are the primary measure of a unit’s strength, and are represented by colored dots on your troops’ info sheet. They’re also visible on the general map screen as well.
The short of it is this: the more Steps a unit has, the stronger it is. Many infantry units will also have special rectangular symbols in their Step display, which represent specialists stationed in that particular squad. These can bestow advantages in combat, like increased strength against armor, or being able to use specific Theater Assets from HQ. The specialists present and the bonuses they offer to a squad are summarized on the unit’s info card.
By selecting a unit and hovering over an enemy that you want to attack, you’ll see the expected outcome of the battle. It’s shown as a ratio, something like 2:2 or 5:0. The number on the left represents the losses you’re likely to incur, while the number on the right is the damage you’ll do to the enemy. When you do damage to an enemy unit, it’ll lose Steps, making it weaker in subsequent battles.
Steps can also be suppressed rather than outright killed. Suppressed Steps are represented by a hollowed out circle, meaning their strength is temporarily reduced. Be aware that specialists can become suppressed, too, which removes their bonuses until they become active again.
One thing to keep in mind before attacking an enemy is its entrenchment level. This is an infantry ability gained from the first level of HQ skills. A defending entrenched unit will always be stronger than an attacking unit that isn’t entrenched. There are two levels: entrenched and fortified. Entrenchment is depicted as a red shovel icon, and fortification is a brick icon. Fortification basically functions as a second layer of entrenchment, meaning it will take extra effort to remove that defensive bonus.
To remove an enemy’s entrenchment levels, you can use your HQs Set Piece Attack skill. This requires a unit to have an active artillery specialization, though, so take note of its Step icons.
Spend that Prestige
Before every scenario is a conference screen where you can spend Prestige, the in-game currency earned in battle. You can buy upgrades for your HQ and action cards that give you access to various Theater Assets. You can earn more Prestige by completing various bonus objectives in the campaign, so it makes sense to pursue them.
Spread the Armor
For the most part, tanks are your most mobile units and make for the strongest barriers. Use them to create an impenetrable front, or to cut off Supply to enemy units. They also make for great infantry support as they can move around the map quickly. They’re truly your strongest units, which also makes them incredibly valuable, so be smart with them.
And there you have it. These are just a few very basic tips, but they should help you get going in Unity of Command 2. Did they help you out at all? Let us know in the comments section.