Ok, so I just finished a Grand Campaign with the Axis (Human Control of Germany, Italy and other Axis countries once joining Germany).
First I must say the game is beautiful and indeed easy enough to play. No non-sense details that impedes playability. Truly a wargame.
I like a lot of the features like only one combined attack per unit, research is helpful but not decisive, ships in details, great graphics,...
The AI is doing as expected, no better or worst for me as I managed to take over Poland, Luxemburg - Netherland - Belgium and France by Feb'1940, UK by May'1940 then attack Russia in August'1940. The first Winter was a scare as the Russian production is huge but the habit for the AI to lock his unit with a second line of units in the back make him looses tons of troops when they surrender having no place to retreat. Instead of being totally destroyed they should maybe come back in the force pool at 10 or 20% total value or give some PP like when you disband an unit. Russian went down in 1942 after gobbling up Denmark, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt, Norway, Ireland, Iceland and Portugal. With almost 1,000 PP per week of production I thought of waiting for the Atomic Bomb but didn't see the point.
Now there are quite a bit of flaws as well but overall nothing that does threaten playability so it is still a great game to play on my sense. So posting here as part of my wish list for improvements:
- CV Interceptions: I had one British CV intercepting almost ALL my attacks on the fleet in the Channel and I did so with almost 10 Tactical Air Units. Each interceptions damaging my Air unit and with 2 attack per unit you can imagine how much it did cost to build back everything. This is of course ridiculous as in reality this CV would have been sunk 10 times over. In my case he wasn't even scratched. Interception should be limited and subject to a %age chance of intercepting depending also on the number of fighters able to cover the attack. My fighters of course played no role in all this which is also a non-sense as in reality they would have wiped out the CV Cap without breaking a sweat. I had 10+ fighter units.
- Fighter Interceptions: Same here, during Sealion the RAF managed to Intercept a lot of my recon and attacks with only 2 or 3 fighters while I had 10+ of mine at the ready. Interceptions should be limited to maybe 2 times the number of action left from the player turn (overusing units at the attack should prevent a good coverage in defense) or 1 time the action number if we can't keep track of what was used during the player turn.
- The US never entered the war. Not sure why at all.
- I can't crush the Allies as you can't invade the British Colonies. I know I tried as it was all that was left on the map for me besides the US. So you can't win the game.
Issues that bothers me:
- After taking Leningrad the Baltic Russian Fleet went on fighting for 9 months more or less before I finally managed to destroy every single one units. This isn't very plausible. The ships should be automatically destroyed if there is no friendly ports at moving distance and they are at sea for more than X weeks (to be defined).
- Due to Allies Victories, Vichy decides to show its true colors and Germany decides to annex it. Well I wonder which victories as by that time I did conquer France and the UK the controlled Leningrad and Moscow in Russia pushing the Russian to Stalingrad. Well I did welcome the whole French Fleet in the Kriegsmarine even if in reality they did destroy themselves. Not sure if it's a % of chance it happens but if so it should be per ship not for the whole fleet including submarines.
- There is no ending to the Winter War between Russia and Finland? or is it that you need to accept Russian demands the first time. Then would Finland join Germany later? Events aren't very well explained at all.
- Speaking of events I did invest 300PP for the Sealion Operation event... then never saw anything coming out of it. Next time I'll keep those to build my own Sealion operation... which I did obviously.
- the British Army doesn't screen all its ports so I could land Para in Plymouth and mop up the UK from there. The British Navy can't even intercept anything as you can move from Caen to Plymouth in one turn disembarking everything right away.
- the Sea Battles are strange as you never really fight with your whole fleet against the enemy fleet. At least not against the AI. I felt like the Kriegsmarine had numerical superiority against the British Navy all the time.
- Tac Bombers can't bomb other Tac Bombers. I can accept they can't do so against fighters but bombers did destroy a lot of planes on the enemy airfields.
- Tac Bombers losses are heavy attacking troops especially in Russia. So when you get the cost of repairing a plane versus the cost of the unit destroyed it's not very interesting or efficient.
- Strategic Bombers get losses from the troop, the city/factory and not sure what else but I stopped using them right away but for anything else than recon. Especially I don't feel there is an impact on the enemy production.
- Great Britain surrenders and become a puppet of Germany, the British Union. That's great but then Egypt becomes part of Britain once again. You can't even choose the territorial compensations like Gibraltar and Malta. Pretty sure Italy would have insisted to get Malta and Egypt if the UK decides to surrender and Germany would have asked Gibraltar to become Spanish once more.
- You can transfer PP from Rumania, Bulgaria, Croatia and even Ukraine if created to Germany (via Sevastopol for example) but you can't transfer the PP from Hungary and Slovakia because they are all land countries. Reason being???
- Carrier strikes never did destroy another ship in my case. After building a few CV's with the Italian and using them I got one hit or 2 hits in over 10 attacks. Might be unlucky but normally the CV's where the best anti-ships weapons so should be more efficient than that.
- When you reach a new level with your troops they all get the bonus even if they don't level up. So for example suddenly all my planes got the bonus of reaching level 3 even if they were still all at level 2. Nice but not logical.
- German Strategic Bombers at level 2 and over are showing a B-24 photo. Not a problem but would prefer to see a German plane.
- FOW is showing if a unit is a division or a corps. Not a major issue but it helps to know where to attack. Maybe planes could recognize big and small formations so really not a major problem.
- Amphibious pts are destroyed after being used even if you disembark in a friendly port. I did that after cancelling an attack so better be sure that once you decide to invade you commit to it.
- No partisan units ever appeared in Russia (now I chose Mild policy in Russia so this might have an impact, as events aren't well explained I'm not sure) I had 2 in France and 1 in Yugoslavia in over 3 years and that's it. Reading about Tito's resistance army in Yugoslavia and you'll know this isn't realistic. In Russia resistance was a nightmare for the Germans.
- There should be a reminder that you have unused leaders in the HQ. I had one or two new or back there after the unit is destroyed that did nothing for most of the war.
For the rest I still don't like Axis countries moving separately and using their own supplies but that didn't prevent me to play the game.