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Commander – Europe at War

August 9th, 2006 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Uncategorized

Slitherine Strategies has unveiled the first shots of its new World War II grand strategy game, Commander – Europe at War.

Though many people would point to Paradox’s Hearts of Iron as the ultimate WW2 game, I always look back to SSI’s Clash of Steel, a thirteen year old grand strategy game with a simple economic and political model. It had nowhere near the options available to me in Hearts of Iron, but it did have a certain simplicity that let me pick up and play with very little need to invest time in figuring out what I was doing.

Not that I mind the planning phase in HoI. It’s just that there are no really good beer and pretzel grand strategy wargames for this most celebrated of conflicts. As much as I love a good, deep game (Europa Universalis II never leaves my computer), there is a lot to be said for just getting down to invading France without trying to make sure I have enough iron coming in.

Judging from what Slitherine has said so far, this could be that game.

Slitherine’s games to this point have ranged from good (Spartan) to unimpressive (Legion: Arena). Despite their emphasis, to this point, on my favorite stomping grounds of ancient history, these charming British chaps haven’t quite won me over. I passed over Cult of Mithras entirely.

But all of a sudden I am excited about Commander. The look is simple, the demands on the player seem to be few and it has hexes. Slitherine’s games have always played fairly easy, though their battle engine has a lot more going on than it appears.

Commander has tech research (even Axis and Allies had that) but only 50 techs over five areas. Only 12 unit types, and somehow I doubt there is going to be a lot of national variation. Terrain, morale, leadership…all the things we expect from war games in this day and age.

No word on a release date.


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