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Assault on Democracy vs Assault on Communism


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Assault on Democracy allows you to play WW II starting in September 1939 in all theaters at once. The good part is that it gives you a feel for the strategic implications of the naval war, even in the Atlantic. The bad part is that even though the scale is not as abbreviated as its predecessors, there are still so few hexes on the French-Belgian border that an AI-controlled Germany may suffer from a logjam when it tries to throw its army at France in the spring of 1940. Most of the scenarios provided cover rather far-fetched what if's, though the assault on Malta could and/or should have actually happened. What is missing (and there don't seem to be any mods covering it because it would be a huge undertaking) are scenarios covering the start of the war in Asia, i.e. the Japanese annexation of Manchuria and the invasion of China.

I've only played the demo, but the main scenario of Assault on Communism feels like the Eastern Front from the Storm over Europe Scenario that comes with WW I Breakthrough. I haven't done a careful analysis, but the scale looks to be about the same as Storm over Europe, two or four (not sure which) times larger than Assault on Democracy. It doesn't seem to cover the naval war directly (unless it does something with the Black Sea, but I haven't actually played it).

To sum up, Assault on Democracy is global and somewhere between Strategy and Grand Strategy. Assault on Communism is about the Eastern Front and is somewhere between Strategy and Operational.

It would have been a lot of fun to see the war in China (and the rest of Asia) done on the same scale as Assault on Communism or Storm over Europe.

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My two main fears was that the larger map would mean that there would be a gazillion more unit or/and that units would be moving too slow accross the map. I just downloaded the AoD demo for a quick look and it looks my fears where unfounded.

Just need to figure out if I buy Strategic Command WW 1 first or AoD... :)

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While AOD is certainly very interesting and has potential, I think Strategic Command WW I is a very good and very polished game and is a better purchase if you had to choose between the two.

You have to buy Strategic Command The Great War as well as Strategic Command Breakthrough, though there's a bundle which makes them more affordable. The configuration of the games as two separate entities is a bit unusual, and it took a while for me to wrap my head around the concept that Breakthrough is an expansion, but it really is. As I found out when I tried to mod Breakthrough, the Breakthrough engine pulls material out of the The Great War installation, and you can't simply take scenarios that you like from The Great War and plop them down inside Breakthrough (they sort of work, but really need to be adapted first).

Breakthrough will give you a really good and possibly the best officially released WW II scenario (the same scenario appears in The Great War release, but it's much better with the Breakthrough engine). It's the same scale as the main scenario for WW I (Call to Arms), and part of the fun is seeing how different WW II is from WW I when played on the same map. But the real joy of Breakthrough is the extra scenarios -- a Balkan War, the Franco - Prussian War, the Russian Civil War, and three very good scenarios from 1918 (I wish someone would come along and make a mod for the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay). There are a couple of interesting scenarios in The Great War as well, but my favorite by far is the 1917 Fate of Nations scenario which unfortunately has not been adapted to Breakthrough (same scale as Call to Arms, but covers the later part of the war -- the Russian Revolution, Nivelle's offensive, Caporetto, the revolt in the desert, the Kaiserschlacht, the introduction of Americans into the Western Front -- all in strategic context and in one scenario).

A visual drawback to the Strategic Command WW I games is the use of the German Naval Jack as the German flag (the Naval Jack was a red, white, and black horizontal tricolor with a large iron cross in the middle). While that flag was actually used during that period, because it was a jack and not an ensign it only appeared on the prows of ships, and would only be appropriate in a detailed naval game. This lead me to make a series of three mods which make the WW I flags more accurate, which I call the Marsden Hartley mod after an American painter from the period who was the Jasper Johns of his day, building abstract portrait paintings out of German military symbols.

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I am the designer of AoC.

AoC is an Eastern Front game. It has a new map that is larger than the WW1 Storm over Europe Scenario. The combat system is modified from standard SC2 in the editor to more accurately represent the Eastern Front. It is a large game but not overwhelming. There are naval naval aspects to it. AoC has very deep involved strategies and future planning for both sides.

Download the demo for it and get a feel to see if you like it.

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Opinion of a player that plays strategy games since about 16 years and mostly multiplayer mode of strategy games since about 7 years.

I'm assesing only the multiplayer value of add ons since it's what matters the most and shows game balance the best.

In my opinion Assault on Communism add-on offers the best player-vs-player multiplayer SC experience when it comes to WW2 Eastern Front depiction and feeling, it's just awesome and allows many, many viable strategies for both sides. It has also quite mobile, vigorous feeling when it comes to offensives and counteroffensives and multiple decisions to be made almost every turn (GER: should I concentrate more forces on Smolensk/Kiev, should I ignore Leningrad, should I go after Moscow or for Rostov, where to launch summer 1942 offensive, how to deal with earlier-than-expected weather change etc. SOV: how to delay GER advance on Smolensk, how to delay GER advance on Kiev, should I try to defend Crimea actively, how to use Mech Corps for my advantage, how to counter deadly Luftwaffe efficiently etc.). Probably the best depiction of Eastern Front for multiplayer purposes I've ever seen and it's my favourite part of SC games for now. What it lacks is perhaps more historical events for historical flavour and better depiction of overall Axis powers situation on Eastern Front. AoC gets an 8.5/10 from me. Would be higher if more historical events would be added, I also miss more Hitler, Stalin, other generals and war propaganda depictions in events there. Lack of events informing about atrocities of war lowers it's educational value considerably, but being a history geek cannot affect clear fun value of multiplayer balance.

Strategic Command WW1 with Breakthrough! add-on has overall CP bias in main campaign coming from CP player doing several easy hindsight decisions that affect Entente player chances of winning a lot (evade attacking GB-USA trade lines => lower USA interest in war, no chance to sink Lusitania, evade sending Zimmermann telegram). Also "All vs the East" strategy works really well due to too powerful AH army (there's very small chance to capture the NM Przemysl and Gallician Oilfields) "playing from the center" overall advantage and only, very efficient move for Entente Russia (striking at Silesia) is often outrunned by a preemptive CP attack coming from the Prussia. Entente can delay OE coming into the war considerably thanks to giving OE battleship it's promised, but that's pretty much all and war of attrition doesn't support Entente like it did in history as NM locations captured in Russia tend to even rise whole % points of CP morale sometimes, while Entente NM drop no matter what. If balance issues would be resolved, this could be the best of SC games as historical flavour is just incredible and you really have this feeling of trench warfare and (sometimes) offensives that claim lives of millions but doesn't change overall situation a lot. But this game has several other AWESOME scenarios like German WW1 East Africa campaign, Brusilov's offensive, Tannenberg battle etc. and their multiplayer value has nothing to be ashamed of. There's also a WW2 Europe campaign similar to SC2 campaign but with latest mechanics. All in all, 8.5/10 from me when it comes to multiplayer, but singleplayer value of this package probably beats SC:WW2 with all add ons :)

Can't really comment on AoD mp value as I've not played it yet but it's grand campaign WW2 scenario seemed to be the one most played recently in mp. I'm not quite sure how balanced it is, but it's probably the best thing to get from AoD as other scenarios seem to be less interesting than the things offered in other packages.

Imo, AoC>AoD.

Regards,

Rafal

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I think this is a subjective matter as all 3 platforms are excellent MP prospects. I would say the least immersive as reference to time consumption(my biggest dilemma) is AoC, followed by AoD and then the WW1 campaign.

Big decision is what dynamics you prefer, mostly ground and air combat(AoC), both with naval aspects in a more limited theater(WW1), or the ultimate global conflict that WW2 was(AoD).

You are free to choose.:cool:

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