Thanks for the query and if you are new to the SC3 engine and haven't played SC3 Europe at War then there will be quite a few changes, fixes and enhancements from the previous release of Global Conflict. Some of these changes include the following:
A Return to Hexes
Our aim with the Strategic Command series is to make attractive, playable and historical games. Our aim for this release is to make a game that will provide one of the best strategic level re-creations of 20th century warfare, while also being a whole lot of fun to play.
The first and possibly biggest decision for us was to return the series to using hexes rather than tiles. There are pros and cons to both, but it was clear that the majority of those who expressed a preference, preferred hexes, and we didn't disagree. So hexes are back!
On the European side of the World at War players will now be able to consider the following:
• Both Germany and the USSR get to negotiate carving up of Poland. The subsequent borders will therefore not necessarily follow their historic path.
• An Anglo-French Expedition can be sent to support Finland during the Winter War.
• France can reincorporate Vichy territories following her liberation.
• The UK and USSR can carve up Persia between them, and the USA can then choose whether to send supplies via Persia to the USSR. This can provide a real boost to the Soviet War Effort!
Players can also minimize the Decision box to examine the map further prior to making their final decision and many decisions have additional notes providing any necessary historical context as needed.
A major change that players of our previous titles will immediately notice is the introduction of Dynamic Movement.
Dynamic Movement allows units that haven't used up all their Action Points to continue to move until they have done so, even if de-selected and re-selected again later. It applies to most unit types, and takes much of the pressure out of trying to plan your moves. Just click and play!
Air units can also now attack and then move a portion of their normal move distance. This can be especially useful when on the offensive, or alternatively when conducting a fighting retreat. Again, it provides more flexibility than in the past when air units could only either move, or attack.
Enhanced Fog of War
We have introduced enhanced Fog of War, a shroud over the map, which makes it possible at a glance to see exactly how far your own units can see. While this might sound very simple, it wasn't in our previous releases, and at the same time we have also introduced a specified graphical Front Line that updates dynamically showing clearly who controls what.
Time your Offensives
We now have two types of road, paved and unpaved. The latter predominate in Eastern Europe and provide no bonuses in bad weather, so when the ground is muddy, offensives will slow.
New Research Concepts
One thing we decided to do with the Research feature is to expand it beyond just enhancing unit Attack and Defense values, and increasing economic output.
So we have introduced new research areas that represent improvements in command systems, unit training, military doctrine and logistics. These can for example increase unit morale, spotting ranges, command abilities and allow units to launch extra attacks.
Naval Cruise and other Naval Enhancements
We've introduced two very significant improvements to naval operations.
The first is to speed up naval movement through the introduction of a new movement mode: Naval Cruise.
This enables naval units to travel double their normal movement distance for a strategic move. The penalty being that they lose 1 supply point when doing so, and cruising units cannot attack enemy vessels.
Players of our previous releases will be familiar with Subs having two modes, Hunt and Silent, and Subs can only Cruise when they are in Hunt mode.
The second big change is that we've added a second category of Amphibious Transport for landings on enemy held shores. This new unit type is specifically designed to be used when planning operations against distant shores like Operation Torch, as now amphibious units can sail across the Atlantic from the USA and land in North Africa.
This new unit type, called Amphibious Transport (Long Range), is only available in limited numbers to select countries like the UK and USA, though the number of units available can be increased through researching Amphibious Warfare.
It is now possible to block diplomacy towards some countries, e.g. the USSR cannot attempt to influence Franco's Spain. We have also introduced the ability to limit investment towards historically neutral countries, so that, for example, only a small diplomatic effort can be made to swing Switzerland towards one side or the other.
The AI has been extensively overhauled, something we do for every release, and especially for Amphibious Assaults which is especially important in Strategic Command WWII - World at War when considering not only Torch, D-Day but also the island hopping campaigns of the Pacific.
Not only will the game return to hexes and include new and sharper NATO and 3D unit counters, the interface has been overhauled as well to provide a smoother and more intuitive game play experience while optimizing the amount of the game play area on the screen.
A number of rule changes and game engine enhancements as well as fixes have been made to again improve the overall game play experience. This is possible as each release builds on all of our previous releases and even the fix/change list from SC3 Europe to SC3 World at War (built on the same game engine) will have over 70 fixes/changes included.
Hope this helps,