While the tactical battles have always been excellent to outstanding in Eugen games - both the high grade multiplayer and the skirmish sandbox - the single player campaign is important as well. Not only because new people can use it to learn the game, but also because it's often the first impression on what Eugen has to offer.
Somehow the campaigns seems more interesting this time around, perhaps for the historical value and flavour, or some details of the execution. But comparing to the multiplayer/skirmish experience, there are a few rough edges...
I really like the system of battle preparation - you're essentially choosing which units to throw into the grinder this time, far away/exhausted units arrive later etc. Feels quite authentic to be honest. However the interface is not obvious. What should you click to commit your battalions? Answer: right click on the strategic map, but there isn't much hint about that, the player feels quite lost...
Was playing the 3rd campaign as German side against Medium AI. It seems very easy (comparing with historical reality) to sneak out of the encirclement. The only real issue was a Partizan group which was Routed, so could not be attacked from any side BUT which was still blocking my troop movement! Anyway, there is much of game design challenge since the granularity of the map is not very fine, recon is very straightforward and the player can just learn to exploit any holes in the (probably historically accurate) troop deployment. Originally the German forces were tied to the city by Hitler's orders, at least that's what the intro says, but you seem free to move and the enemy can't even block you very easily. There are a number of battlefield realities modeled (a big plus for that!) but not enough to limit the troop movement and operation that much. A reaction move eg. in the style of Pacific War might be useful there.
A good idea could be to give a battalion more stances than just dug in/deployed. (Total War: Warhammer uses a system like this.) Eg. it could be set to pursuit mode for reaction move and chasing the enemy, march mode for max travel, maskirovka mode to remain hidden and perhaps a recon mode to project its power to the nearby areas and to gather intelligence. A recon mode force would be spotted (but not identified) from further away and it could also detect (and identify) enemies from further away. You could even have a separate mode for stealthy recon (for observation) and recon in force / guerilla warfare (war of attrition and hindering enemy movements/supply). Or even 4 different modes if you feel like it - again refer to Total War here.
It could be a good idea to delay recognition of the enemy force. Is some troops in the woods the 129th Infantry Division or just a recon platoon? Is a tank just some panzergrenadier detachment or a full SS panzer division?
And yeah... a little bit surprised we don't see much in the way of maskirovka when hidden troop movement, false intel etc played a big part in the operation. Similar to or even more than in Normandy.
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varis wrote:And yeah... a little bit surprised we don't see much in the way of maskirovka when hidden troop movement, false intel etc played a big part in the operation. Similar to or even more than in Normandy.
Maskirovka was a mtter of grand strategy, prior to the launch of the operatio Bagration. At the operational level, with the operation already in full course, there isn't much Maskirovka to be done.
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