Saturday, May 26, 2012

Something Old, Something New

It's been a crazy academic term. Last week most of all – we gave the graduate students their comprehensive exams, interviewed for a new faculty member for next year, and interviewed for next year's tutor. This weekend, I am not working. Taking three full days completely off.

To treat myself, I picked up a couple of WWII games for the PC, something old and something new, both from Matrix games.

First off, Panzer Corps. In a nutshell, it's a remake of the old Panzer General game, but with improved graphics. Since I used to love Panzer General, this one was a retro no-brainer. Twenty-first-century update of a classic, plays just like the original. I went through the first scenario (Warsaw, 1939) on the easiest difficulty setting (there are five) and Poland fell in short order.

Panzers advance on Warsaw in Panzer Corps

I also picked up Unity of Command. This one was new to me. It's is a nice little game focusing on the 1942 campaign on the eastern front. In many respects it's very similar to Panzer Corps, though logistics seem to play a much more substantial role (you'll get slaughtered if you don't pay very careful attention to them). It has a very intuitive interface and set of game mechanics.

I played through most of the "easy" scenarios in one day – though the "Edelweiss" scenario (Germans attacking south from Rostov toward Maikop) was pretty darned tough. I had to play it something like four or five times before I finally won – on the very last turn of the game. 

 Jumping off from Rostov in Unity of Command

All in all, an excellent start to the holiday weekend.


  1. I have Panzer Corps and really enjoy it, its a great game. Although I have not played it in a while. I haven't tried Unity of Command yet.

    1. I'm finding Unity of Command quite interesting. It has a little less flexibility than Panzer Corps in that each scenario has a fixed difficulty level and, at least against the AI, you can't choose which side you want to play. On the other hand, I really like its logistics system, which I find extremely user-friendly. I also find the map size "just right" as it's set at a happy medium that allows you to see the entire (relevant) portion of the battlefield all at the same time (at least in the scenarios I've played so far), without having to scroll or use the mini-map too much.

  2. Panzer General was one of my favorite games back in the early/mid 1990s, Allied General was OK, and I never bought Pacific General because I heard it was too buggy. I liked the original Panzer General more than the sequel Panzer General 2, I did like People's General though. I bought both the DOS and Windows versions of Panzer General though, and they play slightly different.

    1. Interesting -- I agree with you about PG vs. PG2. I preferred the original as well.


Two Up, One Back

"The dominant (though not the only) tactical formation for the infantry in both attack and defense remained 'two up, one back.' This was a product of the triangular organization that the infantry used from platoon to division level. Triangular units had three main 'maneuver' elements (weapons units did not count as 'maneuver' elements). Rifle platoons had three squads; rifle companies three rifle platoons; battalions, three rifle companies; and so forth. This encouraged commanders to place two of their maneuver units forward while keeping back the third so that it could relieve or reinforce a frontline unit."

--John Sayen, U.S. Army Infantry Divisions 1944-45 (28)