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Posted on Apr 26, 2006 in Electronic Games, Front Page Features

Strategic Command 2 – Game Review (PC)

By Robert Mackey

Multiplayer, while not tested for the review, seems to be the best bet for this game. The AI, even at the hardest levels, makes odd decisions. For example, while playing Germany, I managed to conquer England in mid-1944 with the Americans in the war. Why? It seems the AI for the USA only built a few ground units and HQs, along with a bomber or two and sent them to the UK. Other than that, there were only a few US units in the USA, and scattered bits and pieces of the USN. It wasn’t that I was doing some super job in the game, it was that the AI was doing something odd with the US’s production (research perhaps?) and not building units. The result was that the biggest AI challenge in the game-get this-was the Polish Army of 1939. They gave the best fight, bar none. The USSR, France and UK were pretty much confused and bewildered, retreating units from the front lines to imaginary defense positions for no real gain, ALWAYS attacking weakened units (which allowed me to use them as bait), and failing to take the strategic initiative when possible. A perfect example is the British in the Western Desert/Egypt. They sat there the entire game, never attacking into Libya, despite my poor showing at Italy. The AI definitely needs polishing before it can give a player a decent run.


Graphics (18/20): Graphically, the game is lovely. Clear colors, easy identification of units, and nicely drawn on-screen maps make the game easy on the eyes. No graphical glitches, misspellings in text or other detriments were noted.

Sound (8/10): Ok, clicking on a capital and hearing their national anthem was kinda cool. The sound is functional and clear for a game of this scale and adds to the ambiance of the simulation.

Documentation and Technical (10/10): Well written documentation, clear and concise as to unit abilities, research and construction rules. Overall, an excellent job on the manual.

Map of the theatre of war.

Armchair General Score: 81%

Pros: Nice graphics and sound; a light and fun game that doesn’t require too much investment in time or effort to enjoy. Game is easy to learn and perfect for those unfamiliar with turn-based wargames.

Cons: AI is weak, making single-player unchallenging. Scale and lack of complexity lead to ahistorical results which may not appeal to some hardcore grognards.

Bottom Line: An enjoyable and attractive game marred by a poor AI in single player mode. Worth buying to introduce friends or new gamers to the strategic level of the European Theater of World War II. If they enjoyed Axis and Allies but ran screaming away from World In Flames, this is probably the game for them. Experienced gamers looking for a decent challenge or historical accuracy had best look elsewhere.

Strategic Command 2 home at Battlefront, including playable demo.

Discuss Strategic Command 2 on the Armchair General forums.

Author’s Information

Lieutenant Colonel Bob Mackey, Ph.D., is a US Army combat veteran of Panama, Desert Storm and OIF, currently assigned as a strategic plans officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He is the author of The UnCivil War: Irregular Warfare in the Upper South, 1861-1865, and is an avid wargamer.

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