developer: The Artistocrats
publisher: Matrix Games/Slitherine
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: E-mail / hotseat, players: 1-4
game language: English
game release date for PC:
Order of Battle: Kriegsmarine for PC is a second premium expansion to Order of Battle: World War II, a free-to-play World War II themed turn-based strategy developed by The Aristocrats. The new expansion focuses on naval warfare, especially the events featuring Kriegsmarine, German naval forces, and was developed by The Aristocrats in cooperation with Slitherine, the popular developer/publisher.
As was the case with the other Order of Battle add-ons, Order of Battle: Kriegsmarine is a paid expansion, with free-to-play users receiving access to a showcase version featuring a portion of the featured content.
Order of Battle: Kriegsmarine for PC introduces nine scenarios, over 50 new units, as well as new mechanics and rules that increase the tactical depth of naval battles.
The new campaign begins with the beginning of World War II, when a number of battleships are sent to support German land units engaging the area of Gdansk. The player takes control of Schleswig-Holstein and a group of smaller vessels that are used to defeat the Polish units before they manage to escape to Great Britain. The further scenarios take us to other regions of Baltic Sea, as well as North Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, where Kriegsmarine units are fighting against naval forces of both Great Britain and United States. Our cruisers and destroyers take part in Battle of Narvik, while U-Boots prowl the nearby waters in search of allied convoys. History aficionados will be happy to hear that we can go through with Plan Z – the planned expansion of German fleet, which was supposed to receive a serious reinforcement and four Graf Zeppelin aircraft carriers, as well as save Bismarck, the capital ship of the German fleet.
The new theatre means new mechanics governing the naval warfare. Each ship receives an evasion bonus based on its spent movement points – a ship which stays mobile throughout its turns is more difficult to hit by its opponents. This mixed with the basic naval warfare principle that to maintain an accurate fire, a ship should maintain its current distance from the target, makes the naval battles much more dynamic.
The armament of the most powerful units, such as battleships, was divided into main armament and lesser auxiliary weapons. Main cannon deals considerable damage, but can be fired every second turn, while auxiliary weapons can be used on each turn while being especially effective against smaller units engaging from a shorter distance.
Submarines received a considerable bonus to camouflage. Afloat submarine units can only be detected by placing a unit on a neighboring field. If a submarine managed to submerge, the only way to detect it is by employing a sonar. Nevertheless, the submerge can only last a few turns (the length depends on the type), and the vessel has to swim out to recharge its batteries.
The expansion introduces over fifty new units, including a hydroplane tender. This alternative version of an aircraft carrier can carry and supply various types of hydroplanes, including recon, fighter, or bombing planes.