«Combat Commander: Europe» review

Combat Commander: Europe

About 70 years ago one of the most violent wars ended… A lot of countries and nations were interacted into this madness and it was all about the freedom and peace.

Today we are going to discuss about the game that influenced the strategy genre. It is «Combat Commander: Europe» by “GMT Games”!

This board game was designed by Chad Jensen who has many awards and respect in the world of board games. This game was illustrated by a very big and talented artists’ team. They are well-known for such projects as “Hannibal” and many others.

Combat Commander: Europe Game Contents


This game uses a wide card system (you can purchase a container for cards, they work really well). One of the players is the Axis alliance (Nazi Germany) and another one leads the Allies (USA or USSR). Players take turns to play “Fate” cards to move their units on the mapboard for different warfare events. Players can achieve victory by moving their forces across the game map to attack their opponent’s combat units. Also, players need to complete as many missions as possible.


It’s time to look at our small but valuable tutorial and also you can look through the manual or playbook (also, there are plenty of game examples on youtube and they are described fully). So, how to play this game?

It begins when a player performs the first “Turn”.

Player chooses one out of two actions to perform during the Turn:

  1. Make an Orders using cards;
  2. Discard any quantity of Fate cards.

There is no player may give an Order without the play of a card. A player can notice the results of the Order before making a decision if it’s necessary to play another one.

Combat Commander: Europe Succesful Melee Attack

End Game and Victory conditions

The game will end in following cases:

  • Player has been forced to place one of his destroyed units in the space of the Casualty Track which is occupied by his Surrender marker;
  • Player’s last unit on the map is destroyed;
  • Player’s last unit on the map exits the map by his will;
  • A “Sudden Death Roll” is less than the number in the place occupied by the Time marker.

Player will win the game if he has more VPs than his opponent when the game ends. Player can get them one of the situations:

  • Elimination of enemy units;
  • Leaving of friendly units off the opponent’s map edge;
  • Controling the mapboard Objectives.

Also, there is an option to play solitaire. A lot of players developed their own way to play this cool game solo. You can look through it in the forums of boardgamegeek.com.

Combat Commander: Europe Gameplay

Game Scenarios

This game has a lot of very good scenarios and all of them match the historical facts. Let’s take a look at one of the best scenario about the breaking period of the World War II – the Stalingrad battle! It is called «Rubble Roses».

Rubble Roses

So, German and Russian forces are taking positions in ruins of Stalingrad. This scenario has special rules.

Here they are:

  1. Each player, beginning with the Allies, alternates setting up one piece at a time. Each side’s set up area is defined by a “No Man’s Land” that runs directly from hex A2 to O9—no player may set up units within these fifteen hexes. The Axis set up ‘southwest’ of this string of hexes (the area encompassing Objective 4); the Allies ‘northeast’ of it (the area around Objective 5).
  2. FORTRESS STALINGRAD: Each side receives a Bunker Complex during set up (as per the Fortification OB in the playbook: 3x Bunker; 3x Trench; 3x Wire; 3x 8-FP Mines). Fortifications can be set up in No Man’s Land.

    : Because of the debris clogging the streets, ignore all Roads—they do not exist in this scenario.

  4. After set up is complete, flip a coin: “heads” the Axis player takes the first Turn; “tails”, the Allied player


Combat Commander Tournament Battle Pack

Each scenario is designed specifically for tournament play with situations and scenario special rules crafted to test a player’s skill and Combat Commander knowledge. The twelve scenarios cover actions from 1939 to 1944 with each of the combatants in the Combat Commander Series represented in at least one scenario.

Combat Commander: Battle Pack #1 – Paratroopers

Combat Commander Battle Pack 1 - Paratroopers

The theme of this first Battle Pack is focused on the exploits of American, German and even Russian Airborne forces.

Combat Commander: Battle Pack #2 – Stalingrad

Combat Commander Battle Pack 2 - Stalingrad

The theme of this second Battle Pack shifts to the East Front in late 1942 as German and Soviet forces clash in and around the vaunted city of Stalingrad.

Combat Commander: Battle Pack #3 – Normandy

Combat Commander Battle Pack 3 - Normandy

The theme of this third Battle Pack shifts to the West Front in June, July and August 1944 as various Allied forces landed on French soil to fight the occupying German forces.

Combat Commander: Battle Pack #5 – The Fall of the West

Combat Commander Battle Pack 5 - The Fall Of The West

The theme of this Battle Pack shifts to actions in France, Belgium and Norway from late April to June 1940, looking at critical moments in this brief span where the forces of both sides tested each other sorely. To reflect this, the scenario special rules are designed to make the Allied Minor hand exhibit flexibility.

Combat Commander: Battle Pack #6 – Sea Lion

Combat Commander Battle Pack 6 - Sea Lion

The theme of this Battle Pack carries forward from BP #5 and presents a what if situation of a successful invasion of Great Britain. The early and successful conclusion to the Battle of Britain allows the Luftwaffe to dominate the skies over southern England and the Channel Ports of Southampton and Portsmouth.

Combat Commander: Mediterranean

Combat Commander Mediterranean!

The main theme of Mediterranean is the addition of three new “nationalities” to the Combat Commander family:

  • Britain & the Commonwealth;
  • France & the Allied Minors;
  • Italy & the Axis Minors.

Combat Commander: Resistance!

Combat Commander Resistance!

This fourth volume of the Combat Commander wargame series features special rules and components for fighting with Partisan forces against the Axis nations of Europe.

Similar Games

This game has a lot of similar games because it inspired a lot of people to create strategies. Let’s compare vs «Memoir 44» and vs «Combat Commander Pacific».

Combat Commander is nothing like Memoirs ’44. In M’44, each unit is an entire platoon, company or battalion. CC is smaller-scaled and has much more granularity as far as different types of Squads, Teams, Leaders and individual Weapons — each with different stats and varying capabilities.

While utilizing Combat Commander: Europe’s basic rules, CC:P includes numerous rule tweaks and additions in order to more accurately portray tactical warfare as experienced by the participants in and around the Pacific and Indian Oceans. Just a few of the additions include:

  • Banzai attacks;
  • BARs and Thompson SMGs;
  • Beach landings & river crossings;
  • Hidden movement;
  • Tanks… and etc.

Combat Commander: Europe Last Stand

Online version

You can play this game online on your PC using game engines like Vassal and Wargameroom. Games are played in real-time. Rules are enforced automatically, which makes the games very fast and easy to play. Players join the chat room to find opponents. Each player must have Java and the most recent game file on their computer. Downloads of both can be found from links from the site’s front page. One player hosts the game, the other connects for peer to peer play.


Q: Can broken units Advance into an enemy hex for Melee?

A: Yes. Broken units can do almost everything unbroken units can, just not nearly as well.

Q: If the range is small enough, it is possible for a Leader to contribute his FP (+1) and his Command value as part of a Fire Group?

A: Yes. At 1-hex range a Leader participating in a Fire Group will confer his Command bonus to the lead piece’s FP (assuming he is stacked with it) and then add +1 for itself.

Q: When both sides have reinforcements coming in on the same Time! trigger, who sets them up first?

A: The inactive player always does things first whenever there is cause for simultaneity. This is covered in the Glossary.

Q: Can reinforcements be placed into an enemyoccupied hex?

A: Yes.

Q: If yes, is the Melee resolved immediately or after the Tim trigger is finished.

A: Finish the Time trigger first (and see O16.4).

Combat Commander: Europe Artillery


So, what do we have? One of the greatest classical strategy games (like «Risk» or «Twilight Struggle»). One of the big pluses of this game is that the rules are strict and there is not much eratas in it and also it’s rather hardcore strategy! You can buy it here!