Unity of Command 2: Stalingrad DLC | Review in 7 Screenshots

Ach Scheiße, jetzt geht es wieder los. The third(!) Unity of Command 2 expansion in 2021, Stalingrad DLC, has us commanding Nazis again. They were stopped in 1941 and badly mauled in winter. But it’s 1942; time for payb- wait, the Fuhrer did what?!

Just because the weather is warmer and you’re about to encircle the heck out of some Soviets, it doesn’t mean that it will be easy. The battles in Stalingrad DLC are much harder even when you have the initiative.
Plus, it’s really the first time when Unity of Command 2 (or at least the DLCs) throw massive supply issues at you. It’s not just lack of depots. Look at that supply percentage at the top of the screen. It didn’t start at 90%, I had to take optional objectives to get it that high. The vast distances of Russia, the loss of historical supply capability, and the lack of infrastructure will make itself felt when even units perfectly inside the supply range get to go hungry for a turn.
If you thought that your forces were stretched before, Stalingrad DLC laughs at your naiveté. Attrition, Hitler’s brilliant micromanagent, and the alternative history track will all have their parts to play in preventing you from gathering your forces into a cohesive, comprehensive punch.
Encirclements, both in the historical and the alternate track, will also make you to act fast, pushing towards completing those naturally timed (in that the Soviets are slowly crushing the entrenched forces) objectives. You don’t really have the time to do what you want and maybe consolidate into a less insane battle line. And you know what? That sort of desperation – where you don’t just blame the game or the devs – is an interesting thing to feel. The more approachable strategy games (or just… AAA titles in general) don’t often have you get beat into the teeth, again and again.
I will say one thing, though. It was after painfully taking Stalingrad and then playing the next scenario set a month later where I felt cheated by the game. Sure, a month of bloody fighting in Stalingrad passed off-screen (to the point where the game says that attrition is what does away with persistent units) between the scenarios, and the AI would definitely be unable to handle assault crossings… but still.
But you can’t worry about that for too long because Stalingrad DLC features plenty of scenarios where the AI is basically you when you were playing Moscow 41 DLC. Sure, your units are individually powerful, but they’re stretched thin, Soviets are bringing in the good tanks, Motorized Corps (which can go toe-to-toe with your Panzer divisions) and a lot of support equipment. Meanwhile, a third-to-half of your forces are Romanians and Italians, doorstops on their best of days.
You are finally taught to to retreat, retreat, and retreat again.
There is some catharsis is the final scenarios where Hanomags make an appearance within fresh Waffen SS formations, but even as you win, the game questions “Mainstein’s Miracle.” Perhaps it was a bad idea to invade the USSR – only further DLCs will tell.

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