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Field Command
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Store:  War Games, 2-Player Games
Theme:  Napoleonic Wars
Genre:  War & Combat
Format:  Board Games

Field Command

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Ages Play Time Players
10+ 60-180 minutes 2

Designer(s): Walter Johnson

Manufacturer(s): PBM Graphics

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Product Information

  • Designer(s): Walter Johnson

  • Manufacturer(s): PBM Graphics

  • Year: 1991

  • Players: 2

  • Time: 60 - 180 minutes

  • Ages: 10 and up

  • Weight: 1,155 grams

  • Language Requirements: An English translation of the rules is provided.

Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.5 in 6 reviews

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by J.Q.
I told them we've alreay got one...
December 18, 2006

Very lucky to own this board game. Absolutely love it - if I could only find someone to play it at least 36 hours in any given week I'd be much happier. :)

Simple, no chance involved, pure strategy - each side starts off with the same pieces, knowledge of terrain and piece movement / strength, and the rest is PURE strategy. [It also helps to know a little bit about your opponent.]

Would certainly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys light [easy to get into] wargames for 2 players, but you certainly can't have my copy of the game :)


Excellent 2 player brain burner
April 20, 2004

I actually heard about this game on the internet years ago. I ended up calling the designer, who at the time was still waiting for the plastic pieces. When they came in, he emailed back, I sent a check and got a copy.

Quite a bit of effort, but well worth it. The game has a great deal of strategy and tactics in positioning. The simultaenous movement system means you're never assured you'll win, but if you've got a superior mix of troops you can be pretty confident you're going to prevail. Good troop mix and position means that for most possible move combinations, you've got your opponent beat.

Movement is simultaeous and combat is rock/scissors/paper based, but a bit more complex. You'll find bunching your troops causes you problems as they get in each other's way, but on the flip side having them too spread out means you can't create localized advantages where you've got rock and he only has scissors in some quadrant of the board.

Over an individual turn, you might get outguess on the rock/paper/scissors moves, but over the course of a game, the one that makes the best decisions will win. You also can't rely on just slowly steamrolling an opponent. There are fast piece and you can't simply leave an area undefended for fear a rogue piece will sneak in for a quick kill on your general (the piece you must kill to win).

This quick strike threat helps keep the game interesting even when one person has clearly taken the worst of it.

by Bart
an unappreciated classic
May 02, 2003

I've been playing this game for about 8 years now. I bought it at FAO Scwartz in NYC. The box alone is (almost) worth the price: beautiful! The playing pieces are also pretty well done, considering the price (I paid about $40--I don't know who sells it anymore or at what price but I just saw one on ebay that had been bid up to $76 or so).

What I most admire is that the entire set of rules is limited enough to be printed on the cardboard divider that's placed across the board during 'deployment.' None of those big fat manuals, like in most military games.

Picture Stratego, except that the identity of your enemy's pieces is not disguised (so there's no guessing involved). And you move up to ten pieces per turn--simultaneously with your opponent (you write the moves down in secret, then exchange lists).

Each space on the board has both altitude (1 of 3 levels), which affects the range of the artillery pieces (unlike Stratego, there are cannons, not bombs--and they can move!), and a terrain type (open or wooded), which determines the outcomes of various conflicts (i.e., certain pieces are stronger on a particular type of terrain).

I've hooked a few friends on the game and we have very intriguing games, lasting typically 2-3 hours. As noted, the rules are simple, so anyone can play more or less immediately--but experienced players can lay waste to the newbies.

Too cool.

by Rich
Excellent two person strategy game
September 28, 2001

This is one of the most underappreciated and hard to find games. It has the elements of chess, and 2-player Diplomacy. There are no dice. Moves are executed simultaneously like Diplomacy. It also has a 3-dimensional board whereby movement is executed on tiers reflecting topography. There is no doubt that this is not a quick game. Strategy can be agonizing and I would recommend a time limit for moves, otherwise you will analyze your moves to death. This type of game is not for everyone, but if you enjoy long, grueling games of pure strategy, then this is right up your alley.

This game is not easy to find. It is produced by the creator. I did obtain a copy in a store and I have seen it in a few specialty gaming stores.

What a find.
April 19, 2004

I just found this one in my local game store. This was a good find. It has apparently been out of print for some time, but I guess it can be found if you know where to go. It is similar to Chess and Stratego with shades of Diplomacy. Neither Chess nor Stratego appeal to me in the least, but I was pleasantly pleased with Field Command.

Two players each have an army of 40 units, cavalry, infantry, guerrillas, artillery and 1 general. The goal is to capture the opposing general (units are not secret; the similarity to Stratego is in the play). The board is 11x11, divided into forest and plains spaces, and has 3 levels of terrain, which is only important when determining artillery range.

All units defeat a general and artillery if they end movement in the same square. In a plains square cavalry defeats guerrillas and infantry, guerrillas defeat infantry. In a forest square infantry defeats cavalry and guerrillas, guerrillas defeat cavalry. Artillery removes all units within its range, which is dependant upon the elevation of the artillery and the relative elevation of nearby units. Guerrillas are safe from artillery fire.

Units of the same type that end movement in the same square, use a rock, paper, scissors mechanism to determine the winner. Triangle units defeat circular units which defeat square units which defeat triangle units.

Play is simultaneous, similar to Diplomacy. Each turn players secretly write 12 units to move and their destinations, conflicts are resolved after all the movement is complete. Cavalry and guerrillas can move up to 3 spaces, infantry 2 spaces, generals and artillery one space.

I do not foresee this game getting played too often, simply because it is only for two players. Most of the two player games I play are 'fillers', short games played while waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. Field Command is at least a 2-3 hour game, and could drag on for longer with timid players. This will be my preferred, two-player-with-time-on-my-hands-game for the foreseeable future. However, I won't be changing my preference from multi-player games to 2-player games any time soon.

A timer may come in handy to avoid analysis paralysis, this has the potential to be a brain burner. Good 2-player game. :)

Beautiful but slow
September 12, 2001

The components of this game are tremendously satisfying: lots of large, very detailed plastic soldiers on a 3-dimensional board with rising hills and plunging valleys.

Playing requires a fair amount of focused concentration, since both players simultaneously write out their moves in secret, which requires a lot of brain crunching because you need to visualize all possible moves and responses for an entire army. If you write an illegal move, or two friendly pieces collide on the same point, the moves are invalidated, so you're forced to be meticulous. This can lead to long and ponderous planning phases. An imposed time limit would probably help, but it would cut down on the opportunity to execute grand strategic moves.

A beautiful game, nonetheless.

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