Unity of Command 2‘s DLCs have been bouncing all over the place, letting us command the Soviets there and the Nazis there. But now, we’re back to where it all started in the first mission of the game: Africa. It’s the Unity of Command 2: Desert Rats DLC, baby!
Desert Rats DLC starts immediately where Mussolini’s failson ambitions fail. First, you command the Greek counter-attack before switching to the British and Commonwealth forces in Africa.
This, however inadvertedly, helps you realize how small the fighting was in desert. Unity of Command 2 is a game of divisions, of tens of thousands of men pushed around the map and wiped out in a turn. But the desert campaign breaks them down to brigades to get usable units. And even then, that’s just a handful of units. This makes Desert Rats DLC the shortest Unity of Command 2 DLCs just by the virtue of how fast the scenarios are.
That doesn’t mean that you won’t cover a lot of ground. In Ethiopia, the vast distances that colonial troops have to cover will be an enemy more fearsome than the scattered Italian forces. You’ll definitely use one of the new mechanics, the one allows you to spend a truck card to motorize all infantry of a single command for the entire scenario.
There are also the new kinds of desert terrain to talk about in the Desert Rats DLC, but the more important feature to me are the defense missions. Unity of Command 2 isn’t that fun on the defense, especially if you’re on the losing side. In fact, the the middle of the campaign skips about a year of defeats straight to 2nd Alamein. But quite a few defense missions do exist! They demand careful husbanding of resources, understanding just how the combat system works on the defense…
…and having saved some support card for entirely ahistorical use. Here’s, I’m using massed bombers to crush one of the Nazi armored formations in their drive on Athens. Desert Rats DLC will make you fear tanks like never before, so wiping out a Panzer unit at the start of the scenario is a great boon.
Defense of Greece (or, rather, Disaster at Greece) is also one of the more interesting scenarios in the game, in that it’s a mirror of one we already played as the Nazis. Sure, it may have happened many DLCs ago, but I’m certain I’ve driven down these roads before… Of course, I was a lot more successful than the AI!
All in all, Unity of Command 2: Desert Rats DLC is small in many in ways. However, for about 10 Euros, it’s a lot of fun. Come, experience Unity of Command 2 like never before and sacrifice the LRDG to seriously spook AI Rommel!