Strategic Command 2 Blitzkrieg Review

Strategic Command 2 is a war game which represents the entire European Theater of World War 2 on a grand strategic scale. If youíre at all familiar with the classic board game Third Reich, then youíll have a pretty good idea of what to expect from Strategic Command 2. In fact, it is very obvious that the game draws a significant amount of inspiration and owes much of its design to Third Reich. Before you old grognards get too excited though, I have to break the news to you that Strategic Command 2 will probably be disappointing to hardcore war gamers. To paraphrase a well-known retort: I knew Third Reich. Third Reich was a friend of mine. Strategic Command 2, you're no Third Reich.

The game goes for a basic approach to its graphics and although they may not be up to industry standards they are run of the mill for the genre. Try not to get too excited.  Europe is represented as a 2D map thatís basically a hex grid board-style map that will be all too familiar to war gamers. The map is marked with a few basic features such as cities, fortified hexes, mountains, and rivers, but overall it is pretty plain even by war game standards. The interface is pretty basic as well, with buttons along the screen tied to pop-up windows that allow you to allocate your resources to areas such as research or diplomacy.

Resource points are the gameís equivalent of currency and are used for everything from purchasing new units to diplomacy. Resource points are generated each turn based on the territories and cities under your control and can either be spent that turn or rolled over into the next. Youíll find that you often will be forced to let your points roll over as everything on which they can be spent is pretty expensive Ė donít expect to create more than one unit a turn here. The diplomatic options are particularly expensive and effectively neuter diplomacy in the game, but to tell the truth the diplomatic model in the game is so basic that it doesnít really matter. You can spend a large amount of resources pushing up a neutralís favorability towards your faction, but itís far more cost effective to just produce more of your own troops and leave the neutrals on the sidelines.

The research options are pretty basic too, and all lead to hidden point bonuses to your unitsí defense or attack ratings or tweaks to the dice rolls that the game makes under the hood. Since all units in the game are shown with a relative strength number from one to ten, itís hard to see just how your research is affecting your troopsí performance.

This barebones approach would be forgivable enough in a war game if the game was challenging, but thatís not the case with Strategic Command 2. The AI is pretty basic and does not seem capable of strategic thinking. It takes a reactionary approach to your actions, giving it a scatterbrain sort of feel. Itís as if every unit in the game was autonomous, without any kind of command or communication in place to coordinate things.

All of these factors work to limit Strategic Command 2ís appeal. It wonít interest mainstream gamers and veteran war gamers will be turned off by the gameís level of abstraction and weak AI. Strategic Command 2 is best for someone entirely new to war gaming who is looking to get a feel for the genre. However, like training wheels on a bike it will soon outlive its purpose.

In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 58%. Strategic Command 2 will find it hard to defend its foothold on your hard drive.


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