From: San Jose, CA
I've played both UV and WITP since they came out (and WPO too) and I'm not sure I agree with everyone else that UV is a 'training ground" for WITP. That characterization almost implies a hierarchy, in which WITP occupies the higher notch. I prefer to think of them as different versions of the same game. The main difference for me is the (obvious) hex scale. But this in turn implies number of things in terms of tactical nuances.
It is much easier to "count hexes" in WITP. For instance most convoys will be moving only 3 hexes in one day. This gives me two chances to intercept the convoy with a surface force, either in the second hex, or in the third hex. This type of "mid-ocean-intercept" is tougher in UV because ships move many more hexes.
But there is something to be said for the idea the WITP is "more". It has more hexes and more units and it is more difficult to "optimize" the use of each and every unit. For me at least, this is frustrating. I suppose I could spend hours doing each turn, but I guess I don't have the patience for that. Hence I find my play of UV and WPO to be more enjoyable, at least from this perspective. The ability to really know what every unit is doing.
On the other hand, WITP gives you a sense of being involved in something huge. Something (almost) unmanageable. And in this regard, perhaps it is a better simulation of a real war. No one human can control a real war and WITP brings that message home. So, I like WITP for this reason.
I guess, bottom line, for me. I like all of them. I play all of them. But I like them for different reasons. And I don't consider one to be a "training ground" for the others. They are all "training grounds" for each other!
So, hey, there is another option for you. Get all three of them! Then you can stop scratchin' and start playin' !
AE Project Lead