by Philip Nelson
In PG3, all units have special abilities; some have more, some less. Most specials apply only to equipment within certain classes.
Infantry have access to eight specials, easily the most of any class. All infantry units have Entrenchment and Close Support, while only specialists have access to Air Transport, Bridging, All Terrain, Air Drop, or Combat Engineer. The U.S. Rangers have the distiction of being the only infantry unit to have every one of those specials.
All tanks have Overun. All recons have Recon Move; and at least one has Air Transport, while another has Bridging. All anti-tanks have Entrenchment, and one or two have Air Transport.
All artillery units have Support Fire and Long-term Suppression. All air defense units have Support Fire, while at least one has Air Transport. All air units have Weather, and all bombers have Long-term Suppression as well.
Most of those are undoubtedly familiar to anyone who's played the PG series, but here are their descriptions(and a few notes):
Entrenchment allows a unit to entrench to level three, which is considered close terrain. Anti-tanks at level three have first strike.
Any friendly unit adjacent to a unit with Close Support does not have to engage in close combat. That is very helpful when assaulting entrenched infantry with armor. Normally the armor would be mauled by the defenders, as every attack against infantry in close terrain is a close combat; but with infantry support, it can attack successfully.
Air Transport allows a unit to fly to any friendly airfield, regardless of distance. Bridging simply allows a unit to move across rivers more easily. All Terrain allows a unit to move across rough terrain more easily. Air Drop allows a unit to paradrop anywhere within range of the transport plane. Combat Engineer allows a unit to ignore entrenchment.
Overrun allows a tank to attack for free, excepting ammunition and refitting, if the odds show that it will destroy an enemy unit without taking damage. Recon Move allows recons to use their first movement free with no penalty save refitting. Support Fire allows artillery and air defense units to fire defensively in support of any applicable combat within range. Artillery will not fire support indefinitely; but air defense will, as long as ammunition is available.
Long-term Suppression allows artillery and bombers the ability to suppress units for an entire turn. This is probably the single most important concept in the game, and is essentially the cornerstone of all "rock-paper-scissors" relationships.
Weather is not a bonus, but rather an impediment for air units. In cloudy weather, air units attack with partial effectiveness; and in snow or rain cannot attack at all. Though Weather is not listed for air defense units, it applies to that class, as well.
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