Just wanted to share my experience and critique:
I don't know what it is but I feel detached from my units in this game. Is like they don't have life, something is missing I think is colors (we can't tell which team is, all things considered, apt for duty by the color of the background on their team name on the BG screen, you have to manually check every single one to see their experience and morale level so you get something of an idea of the state of the BG) or those lifeless unit icons (never really liked them on the BG screen and the strategic map), its too bleak. I hope it is not too difficult to replace them with photos, although they seem rather small on the BG to place instead a photo.
The setting doesn't impress me either to say the least, I mean an utterly disastrous German offensive? even worse than the bulge? tank heavy units and hedgerows? why?
Why change the in battle UI? it is beyond ugly now, can't never position it properly and it is broken: Try to put the soldier monitor at the bottom edge while selecting a small team, now select a bigger team, oops! now you can't see the soldier monitor until next battle. Also the team monitor can't go below half the screen and all of the individual monitor screens together take a good chunk of random space as opposed to a good chunk of ordered space that could be hidden all together. The unit info with all that info cramped inside is difficult to read on a whim too. I really feel claustrophobic.
The BG selection/Soldier screen.
While I like the new format to choose units, I think it is not polished yet. Steve said he had to remove some headers of parent units because some testers found it difficult to read or understand, well, try different fonts for different type of units (Biggest font for division name, smaller to platoon), different colors, indentation , parenthesis etc. While on battle I don't know which team belong to what unit, couldn't that organization be translated somehow to the battle itself? like keep the teams in order by platoon on the team monitor like in the BG selection screen, and then add headers for unit names. Or with floating strings like the names of the weapons on the BG screen. What does it matter if it takes 10% more of space anyways is like pouring water on the ocean. Even if already explained I still not understand the purpose of "empty units" in the FP just to have headers if you could instead put the teams actually inside of a parent unit for the title of the unit to appear, you know, like every other normal unit which name DOES appears.
The weapons icon look very small, I don't know if its just me though. Maybe they look smaller because everything is bigger on the BG screen (Except team images).
I can't tell on the FP selection list if the teams I'm seeing are missing members so I end up choosing every one of them just to see how they are in men, weapons, experience and morale.
Something needs to be done to address the lack of info on the BG screen. You did a tool tip for weapon names, why not add a tool tip when hovering over a team icon that display experience, morale and number of men? whatt weapons they have could be a plus.
Bring back colors indicators, this is to easy identification of able teams.
Put back the unit info on the soldier screen (already commented by squadleader). When I select a team on the soldier screen I don't know what type of team is.
Seems like you're not safe behind those small hedgerows now, for some reason they just hamper LOS but don't block it. Soldiers try to attack tanks with their fists if they come within 30 meters, they open fire while ambushing on enemy teams that are a couple of screens away, every german team literally every german infantry team has an MG42, Maps are way too big even for 21 teams, if you had chopped in half some of them and added more BG's then we could had a really fun game. Stacked BG's don't share units they must merge, assaults are very rare now as long range firefights with MG's are the new paradigm, on the first couple of days you'll feel like you're playing with depleted recon teams, doesn't get much better later and you at first don't know if you're missing men or what because missing members aren't shown on the BG selection screen nor the BG detail screen like before where red "KIA" heads were shown for missing members.
I find it more difficult to see the elevation now, I don't know if its because the zoom effect or what but I feel is definitely more difficult than previous versions.
Small arms are deadly, can't be safe inside a building now as you get killed by small arms some dozens of meters away.
I honestly thought there were dozens of similar named teams on the team files but I was surprised when I found out that that there were mostly only two per name (i.e. two units named PzGrenadier but one has the leader and the other the NCO with slight different weapons between the teams), it has to do with the replenish rate of men by day, difficulty and by side, that gives that feel of numerous types of similar teams, meaning Americans start with mostly full manned teams and continue like that through out all the campaign while the Germans start low but may recuperate if the Amis don't kill more of them. This kind of set up opens up lots of possibilities with modding.
Every soldier's history is stored, his medals, kills progress etc you don't lose your vets if you send them to the force pool like before. Something that should have been since the begining of "strategic" CC and is probably the biggest change for me.
The maps are great visually if maybe too big.
Vehicles too they look very detailed now at 32b graphic. I hope Cathartes shares his modded vehicles soon!
The new graphics are sick! the new explosions, new trees, new textures, vehicles etc are amazing. I even noticed a new kill animation and the LMG graphic was revamped, it no longer looks like a rifle so don't need to mod it to be a MG for it to be clearly seen.
Mortars are deadly, perhaps too deadly? is like an accurate mini barrage you have there BUT they are tweaked too, they take like 20 seconds to aim to a new target and then they start their fire mission of about 6 rounds which means that movement is encouraged since if you stay in one spot, mortars can zero in and kill a team with out effort. Once they finish their fire mission they "remember" that spot, if you order them to aim again on the same spot, they take 0 seconds to aim.
The modding potential is there, it seems lots of stuff are open for us to toy with.
-I still don't understand the reinforce ratios. Only men on a team are affected or whole teams inside platoons too? I mean only dead soldiers get replaced or whole killed teams too?