I’ve been digging into the Red Turn DLC for Unity of Command, and really liking it.  Now, I’m sure, part of this is the Russophile in me.  I love playing the Red Army and crushing the fascist scum under the heel of the proletariat.  That aside, the game is an interesting challenge.

The German units are better, and they’re a lot more mobile.  The Russians have an advantage in numbers, especially in Artillery.  Russian infantry with specialist steps in Artillery are the key to winning every single scenario in this expansion, because without them you simply cannot break the German lines.  The Red Army needs to punch a few holes with its Artillery, usually through bloody attacks that leave your infantry units pretty severely weakened.  Then move the tanks through the hole, and focus their firepower on the very best German units.  It’s critical to take out the good German armor when you’re on the offensive, and when it’s in the open.  If you leave them at full strength, they will maul your armor and break your lines, and it’s horrible.

Regular infantry hold the line – they’re just too weak to make any attacks on their own.  As your good units wear the enemy down to one or two pips, regular infantry get a second role – making sacrificial attacks to finish off the final scraps of German strength.  Your few strong units are so rare and precious that you can’t afford to waste them finishing off the weak.  That’s what your mass of regular units are for.  Furthermore, in most scenarios you’ll need to use those armor units to move into the backfield quickly, and just don’t have time to use them on the remnants of the German line.

Time is of the essence, as it’s pretty common for the final victory objective to be guarded by a Panzer Division, and even your best units simply can’t hurt a Panzer Division that’s sitting in a town.  The only solution is to surround them and starve them out – which takes time.

Playing as the Russians, the one thing you never have enough of is a unit strong enough to do damage – ANY DAMAGE AT ALL – to the enemy.   SS Panzer divisions are terrifying in that regard, as the only thing I’ve found that can hurt them is a veteran Guards Armor with an attached Katyusha.

I’d been hoping to start on the Banner Saga, but Red Turn has kept my attention.

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