I purchased Battle Academy 1, as I do with many Matrix Games.
It was a fine little game, but somehow didn't quite have the right feel for tactical combat.
I can't quite put my finger on it, but when I was playing it, I frequently felt that the decisions that I made didn't always have the right results.
I played it for a few days, put it down, and never went back.
That is NOT the case with Battle Academy 2. They really got it right this time.
When I make good choices with which units to use and in what order to execute a proper attack, I am often rewarded with success.
When I act hastily or make a bad decision, I am often punished and my units take hard losses.
Infantry are essential for fighting in towns and woods, and AFVs rule the open spaces.
Using cover correctly is essential! Approaching a Russian village across an open field is asking to be ambushed.
Not only does the game reward proper tactics and punish you when you stray, but it is full of many elegant design mechanics.
My favorite is the 'Power-ups' (I'm sure they are called something different in the game), that give the player the ability to perform special actions every few turns:
* Rally a unit that has lost morale
* Air Strike
* Artillery Bombardment
* Increase the experience of a green unit
* Air Superiority
* Air recon
I have played through the first five battles, and am completely hooked on this wonderful game.