From: Living in the fair city of Melbourne, Australia
Besides the obvious differences in graphics and theater commented by other people already I see the following:
* APOS has a very, very strong model for AFV's. CMx2 is supposed to, but with APOS I can check all the hits during the AAR phase. Seeing is believing, they say.
* CMx2 has a slightly stronger infantry model. Infantry in APOS looks very good, but their behavior is... well, somewhat braindead. CMx2 infantry also has its quirks.
* APOS physics model is awesome: explosions move stuff around, people catches fire and dies, etc.
* APOS has the operational game, which is very simple, so simple it feels as RISK with logistics on top, but it still is a very, very refreshing change with respect to CMx2 canned campaigns and scenarios.
* CMx2 allows you to control stuff in a much more fine-grained way in some respects. Especially when it comes to the infantry.
* CMx2 has multi-player... and this is usually the litmus test for a game longevity.
* CMx2 and APOS have both editors. APOS has the terrain fixed (no wonder, I guess most of the DLC's are just the DEM/foliage/etc. data for the terrain) but allows you to edit oob structure. CMx2 has fixed OOB but custom maps can be created (and with the Italy expansion, now a bitmap underlay can be used to help with the map making FINALLY!). Fidelity of CMx2 maps is quite inferior to that of APOS.
* I'd say that CMx2 has a slightly more streamlined user interface when it comes to give orders to units. However APOS is awesomely superior when it comes to make players aware of the global situation (APOS minimap and alert system is just awesome).
If you have the money I'd say, get both. If you don't, then go for APOS unless PBEM is big deal for you.
< Message edited by Bletchley_Geek -- 8/9/2012 3:13:25 AM >