Unity Of Command DLC News, Steam Release

I hadn’t played Unity Of Command until last night, and wow, was I missing out. “Hexed-based World War II wargame” doesn’t usually add up to a crowd-pleaser, but this one has me (and even Mrs Me) completely engrossed. It’s one of the strategy games that is relatively simple in its construction, and yet complex enough to demand lateral thinking about how your moves will impact on supply lines, and the ability of your enemy to punch through your armies and surge into undefended territory. I also think part of the joy of it is just how difficult it is – its rock hard at times – and every victory feels like you’ve personally wrestled a bear into submission. Have it, bear. What I am trying to say is: it’s a brilliant operational-level strategy game that completely colonised my brain from the first click.

More news and video below.

A video. And I realise this still won’t sell it to most of you, but just listen: if you’ve ever liked a turn-based strategy, you’ll get on with this.

The important news though is that the game is on sale on Steam, right here. That’s cheap for the amount of time you’ll be able to sink into this.

But there’s more! There’s going to be some DLC, as announced just here. It’s sounds huge, at least for Soviet play “Red Turn, which is currently in the final stages of development and testing, is our first DLC for Unity of Command. In it, we’re picking up on the story shortly after the events of the Stalingrad Campaign. Operation Zitadelle, the ill-fated German attack at Kursk, is represented as a single Axis scenario… The Soviet campaign features 17 scenarios, which put together tell the story of how a maturing Red Army won the war through perfecting the art of the deep operation – essentially a Soviet variant of the blitzkrieg. We are including scenarios that cover everything from large scale operations such as Rumyantsev or Bagration, to the more confined and intricate affairs such as the Battle for Kiev in November 1943.”

There’s also going to be a scenario editor for multiplayer games. It’s all going on.

And here are Kieron’s thoughts on the game.


  1. Synesthesia says:

    I wish i wasnt as broke as i am these last few months, this seems right up my alley.

  2. DyvimTvar says:

    That it is turn-based is very enticing, but WW2 means I won’t even try it.
    Screw you, horrible actual history!

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      I do wish someone had made the same game with robots on mars.

      • DyvimTvar says:

        Isn’t it weird that I would have instantly picked up the game if it was about those robots on Mars?
        I’m probably doing UoC no justice.

      • Gap Gen says:

        You know, I’m not sure it’d be as strong a game if it were in a fictional setting. Despite not having any indication of what’s happening beyond cartoon units interacting, the Eastern Front setting does give it a kind of gravity. Plus like people have said, it’s unique enough that yet-another-WWII-game fatigue doesn’t hit so hard.

    • fredcadete says:

      The game’s approach to its WW2 setting is actually quite different from what is usual in the gaming industry.

      It goes far (maybe even too far) to detach from the gruesome things that were going on in the battles you are fighting. It feels much more like a textbook on military tactics than like watching Saving Private Ryan.

      I don’t know if that would be acceptable for you to try, but in terms of turn-based tactics it sure deserves it.

      • DyvimTvar says:

        Well… I might give it a try after all. Still, I’m uncomfortable with the idea of WW settings.
        Luckily there is a demo on the developer’s site.

    • secuda says:

      i had fun with the demo, will look after it on steam sale (i know its on sale now but i think i will wait to the big one)

    • Rayearth says:

      There’s certain moments in games like this that, by knowing the history behind the campaign, can lead to surprising levels of awkwardness.

      “Man, this ‘LAH’ unit was expensive to buy, but now that I’ve leveled it up, it kicks ass. Almost overpowered for this map, really.”


      “…oh. That’s ‘1st SS Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler’. Umm…”

      (Though to be honest LAH seems mediocre, costing more than your average tank unit while not actually being a tank unit.)

  3. Lokik says:

    Looks great. This and Strategic Command: WW1 Breakthrough should satisfy my hunger for turn-based strategy for a while.

  4. mrwout says:

    Why didn’t you mention there is a demo (available on the devs site, but not on steam I think)?

    I think the demo give’s a really great example of what the full game brings, and it certainly is worth checking out because it gives quite a lot of gameplay for only a couple of megabytes.

  5. Yosharian says:

    Really tempted by this one… just not sure if it’s too complex/dry for my tastes.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      If you are tempted, then I would wager it isn’t.

    • Colonel J says:

      What Jim says.
      I thought that might put me off too but it’s not at all complex, the brilliant thing they’ve pulled off with this is that basic mechanic is very simple, you can pick it up and be playing after ten minutes, but the tactical game is deep.
      There’s a demo at http://www.unityofcommand.net should you need further persuasion, I assume this will also make it onto Steam eventually.

      Really pleased this great little game has made it onto Steam with a price reduction, it deserves to be a break-out success beyond the hardcore hex strategy niche.

  6. Whosi says:

    The thing that pushed me over the edge to buy this was the a post on the Steam forums that compared this to Avalon Hill’s The Russian Campaign and it is close in the feel. That and the fact that it’s much cheaper on Steam than it is from Matrix games. Very well done game, really looking forward to see what they release next.

    • Lokik says:

      I was very surprised and disappointed some time ago when I checked Matrix’s store.
      Had the intention of buying the upgraded version of Close Combat 2, but 33 Euros for a download? I know it’s a niche market but that price is just way too high for such an old game, slightly upgraded graphics or not.

      • Whosi says:

        Yeah, Matrix is expensive and a last option for me. If I can’t find what I want elsewhere they are bound to have it and you pay the price for that.

      • Vinraith says:

        There’s nothing “slightly” about the Close Combat 2 updates. Completely rebuilt campaigns on a heavily modified engine with completely new AI, well worth the asking price.

  7. Trashcanman says:

    The game has that neat puzzle feeling that the old Panzer General games had and combines that with an AI that really hates your guts and gameplay that makes supply lines vital. Very fresh and fun game.

  8. Fumarole says:

    Well it’s about time. Instant purchase for me; I’m not even waiting until I get home.

    • Vinraith says:

      If you wanted it that badly, why hadn’t you already bought it?

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        He must be one of those “Steam or Nothing” weirdos, but I think you knew that coming in.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          Or like me, genuinely hadn’t heard of it until now!

        • Vinraith says:

          1) I never assume the worst about people.

          2) Maybe I’ve got an incorrect picture of him, but I don’t recall Fumarole being in that camp.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            You could be right, and if so, I apologize to Fumarole in advance.

          • Fumarole says:

            Price. As far as I know this is the first time the game has been priced at $15. Every other time I checked it was $30.

          • Vinraith says:

            Ah. Yeah, there was a sale on Matrix for awhile where it was in the 20’s, but I don’t think it’s been all the way down to $15 like it currently is on Gamersgate and Steam.

  9. SkittleDiddler says:

    The game is 25% off right now at Gamers Gate.

  10. Gap Gen says:

    Someone in the SoW group said that it’s more like a puzzle game, and to a certain extent they’re right – there’s often a good solution to a given scenario, and taking the less bold route will often cause the time limit to run out. A good scenario where you cut enemy supply and scythe through supply-less enemies is great, though.

    • Rayearth says:

      I’ve heard the same thing said about a similar game, Panzer General. Though, compared to Unity of Command, the Panzer General series actually seems more SRPG-like, since experience points are carried over by units to the next scenario in a campaign.

  11. crinkles esq. says:

    The style is quite nice for something so wargamey. But it just feels a bit too cold for my tastes — I think it’s the WWII setting. I like WWII, but not when it’s quite so abstracted. Would’ve rather had something with at least a superficial narrative (or a fictional setting) that I feel like I have a stake in…

  12. pertusaria says:

    Also 20 dollars instead of 30 from the developers – it’s nice not to get shackled to Steam for a game that’s likely to have significant DLC.

  13. wodin says:

    Matrix Game shoots themselves in the foot..their pricing policy is just bizarre..they have games there that are five years old or older with very little money off..I’m sure the developers hate it..as I expect some game have zero sales all year yet if they dropped the price at least some money would be coming in.

    They totally refuse to change it and the Matrix faithful are right behind them.

    Now Steam greenlight has come along I see them in trouble if more and more wargames become available. The excuse is it being a niche market..but hey I understand when first released the high prices but after a couple of years they should get some serious discount.

    I can’t go into detail but I know of at least one developer with matrix who also hates the pricing policy as their older games bring in nothing what so ever due to the price. It’s fine if you use them just as a place to sell your games but if you go exclusive it’s a pain. I suppose if your a new developer then it’s fair enough but to stay with them as an exclusive is detrimental in the long run.

    • Valhuen says:

      Matrix’ business model is archaic, no doubt. They get away with it because they have the market cornered (for the time being), but as said above, with Greenlight, and more publishers going direct, I think their hold on the genre will begin to slip a bit, which is a good thing IMHO. Historical strategy gaming is still my preferred genre, so anything that enables more ways to release titles to the community at large is a good thing.

      My only concern with Steam and Greenlight is that the genre is still relatively niche, many great strategy titles are up on Greenlight, but not getting a lot of votes.

  14. Shiloh says:

    Hmm. I have a sudden fancy for a complex simulation set on the Eastern Front.

    I’m going to see if I can get Op Art of War or one of those ancient Ron Dockal ones working on Windows7 I reckon.

    On topic – this UoC looks a bit abstract for me.

    • wodin says:

      You want a complex east front game? Then you need Gary Grigsby War in the east.

      Or go get TOAW 3 fro Matrix aswell..

  15. aJns says:

    Goddamn, that screenshot at the top gave me horrible flashbacks. Stalingrad is probably the hardest axis mission to get perfect victory on.

  16. FionaSarah says:

    It’s a really great game, it’s like a combination of the accessibility of Advance Wars with the strategic depth of more grognardy wargames. Worth a go at least.

  17. jackflash says:

    This is a fantastic game. Glad it’s finally getting a bit more coverage on RPS. Nice write-up, Jim.

  18. valz says:

    Too bad there’s no demo, so I’ll probably never play this game. I have a sneaking suspicion it might be one of my favorites if I ever did.

    • tmw says:

      Valz, did you miss the part earlier in the comments where people were talking about the demo available on the developer’s site?