Commanders is playable though Tabletop Simulator, a downloadable program that lets you play several of your favorite board games on your computer and online with your friends. For instructions on how to use Steam to purchase Tabletop Simulator click the Install button on the right.
What sets Commanders apart?
…Dice-based combat, tile-based resource gathering, and a variety of upgrades to spend resources on.
Commanders was developed as a byproduct of being frustrated with the lack of viable strategies in most combat board games. Economy-based games allow for much more creative strategies, but tend to lack the thrill of dice-based combat. Commanders perfectly merges the best of both genres.
Commanders is a dice-based combat game with an economy mechanic that allows for diverse and creative tactics to be used by each player. Many tabletop games attempt to do this by giving each player a unique role or faction which dictates your tactical options. How creative a player can get with their strategies depends on what abilities they've been assigned in the game or how far they've climbed a linear tech tree. Commanders gives each player the same opportunity for creating unique strategies without pigeon-holing players into a set strategy. Each player has the same number of soldiers and abilites available. Resources gathered from tiles in the game are spent on upgrading your armies' abilities, so your options for strategic creativity are dependent on board control and personal preference, not on prescribed roles or paths of more linear games.
This combination of traditional dice-based combat with tile-based resource gathering provides a great variety of strategies and great opportunities for new tactics and combos to be discovered - while still remaining incredibly balanced! Players can develop strategies and techniques which fit their own unique play styles. The player who spend resources on improved technology (like nukes or auto-turrets) remains balanced with the player who chooses to focus instead on building a small army of highly upgraded soldiers (such as by upgrading their attack range or adding additional experience points to each dice roll). Likewise, the player who chooses instead to focus on resource control (by focusing on rapidly building a large army and expanding across the board) will still be competitive with the other players even though he or she lacks some of the abilities or upgrades that the other players have purchased. Furthermore, players aren't limited to one path or the other, but can flow seamlessly between the various styles to maintain a fluid strategy that suits the ever-changing battlefield
No more unofficial alliances between other players
Something else that sets Commanders apart from other games is the Alliance mechanic. If you've ever played a game where two other players agreed not to attack each other or made some other informal agreement (or if you agreed not to attack another player and they attacked you anyway), you know how frustrating unofficial alliances can be.
Commanders has an official alliance mechanic built in, where players can trade Alliance Cards to agree not to attack each other for a certain number of turns.
Alliance cards can be exchanged to keep track of the number of turns players agree not to attack each other. Allies can benefit from each other's resources, but there is a penalty if you attack a player before your alliance with them is completed.
Players in an alliance also share some resource gathering benefits. However, there are penalties for breaking an alliance early. Players can ally with more than one player at a time and as often as they'd like, but are limited by the number of Alliance Cards they have available to trade. This not only contributes to the strategy and economy of the game, but it also discourages unofficial, non-trustworthy alliances from forming.
Dice-based combat games have a reputation for eliminating certain players early on, and then continuing for hours - leaving the eliminated player with nothing else to do but watch. Once again, the mechanics for Commanders solve this problem while contributing to the game's arsenal of strategies. In Commanders, you'll place soldiers on the board, and you'll have a pile of reserves that have not yet been placed on the board. If all of the soldiers you have on the board get captured, but you still have reserves in your pile, you're not out of the game yet. You lost the battle, but you can still win the war. There are 6 re-entry scenarios built into the game. If you don't have any soldiers on the board, rolling a die on your next turn tells you which re-entry scenario you'll use to rejoin the game. Each of the scenarios is designed to scale with the current status of the game, so a player who is re-entering will still be a serious contender for the win but they won't be overpowered in the early game or underpowered in the late game. Once all of one player's soldiers have been captured and they have no more reserves, the game is over and the player who captured the most enemy soldiers wins.
Q: Is Commanders available as a physical board game?
A: Not yet. However, if we can generate enough interest, we'd certainly like to publish a physical version. If you'd like to help us with that goal, please check out the investor section of our Connect page.
Q: How much does Commanders cost?
A: Commanders is a free download for Tabletop Simulator. Tabletop Simulator costs $20 on the Steam Store, and is available in a 4-pack for $60. It occasionally goes on sale, but we are not affiliated with Tabletop Simulator and have no way of knowing when those sales are.
Q: Are there any expansions for Commanders?
A: Visit the Expansions section on this page to view current and upcoming expansions.
Q: Can I command some of the soldiers on one tile to do one thing, and command the others on the same tile to do another?
A: No. You receive one command for each tile, not each soldier. If you command some of the soldiers on one tile to move to a new tile, any soldiers remaining on the tile you commanded must hold. You cannot move them to another tile. Likewise, you cannot command some soldiers on a tile to move and command some of them to attack. You must chose one or the other. The only exception is when you successfully attack an adjacent tile and are permitted to move the soldiers from your attacking tile onto the conquered tile even though the attack command had already been given. This is a bonus move for successfully killing all the soldiers on a tile and it only applies to the soldiers and tiles that were involved in the attack.
© Copyright 2016 Sean Gilbertson | RedCricket Design, Inc.