Battle Commander, by Sozi Tafri Productions, is a series of turn based tactical battle games that are well known for their extremely high level of detail and realism, as well as the breadth of the time periods they cover. Battle Commander utilises high quality 3D graphics. Although it is typically played from a "bird's eye" view, the player can also zoom in and down to get close and personal to the action.
Battle Commander represents battles at the squad and platoon level rather than the larger scope usually employed by such games.
Gameplay consists of a planning phase, where the player(s) determine the actions of their units, and a 60 second execution phase, where both sides' orders are carried out simultaneously. It is the uncertainty that this generates that has helped lead to the game's popularity. However, the AI of each unit is smart enough to respond on their own initiative if necessary. For example, a tank engaged by an anti-tank weapon will automatically try to fire on it, or failing that deploy a smoke screen and reverse into the nearest cover or concealment.
Units, their performance, and their equipment are painstakingly detailed. Indeed, a unit's appearance and equipment can change depending on the season, the environment, their experience level, their supply situation, and several other factors. Morale and fatigue are intricately tracked, with the unit AI's behaviour changing as a result. A realistic damage and injury system means that units can be degraded without necessarily being killed outright.
An editor, singleplayer campaign, and multiplayer are included in each entry in the series. Victory or defeat is calculated based on points, which can be accrued or lost depending on casualties inflicted/sustained, key terrain held, units evacuated, and more.
A simulated C3 system and LOS tracking further enhances the experience, as units may end up never spotting an opponent - or they may do so, but be unable to radio in the sighting and alert their comrades.
Games in the series Edit
- Battle Commander: Unification War
- Battle Commander: Reconquista
- Battle Commander: Kaladian Storm (Verandi-Kaladian Wars)
- Battle Commander: Empire vs. Union
- Battle Commander: Liberation (Freedom War)
- Battle Commander: Essllea
- Battle Commander: Unification War 2
- Battle Commander: Galactic Free For All
The latest game in the series, Galactic Free For All, allows players to pit every major military force in the galaxy (and quite a few obscure ones) against any other army, regardless of how implausible it may be.
Critical Reception Edit
Battle Commander has met minimal reviews in the Kuhneebo Conglomerate, with most reviewers giving it "three thumbs down" and citing the requirement of "electricity" and a computer as a major turn-off for the game.
Keikaku Magazine reviewer Panal Nuea gave the game a 7/10, calling it "a military fan's dream wrapped up in a solid turn-based strategy game, with good graphics to boot!" Nuea praised the game's commitment to depth and detail, but said the complexity made for a difficult learning curve and that the strict realism could be alienating to anyone "just looking for a cool military game." Despite this, he gave the game a conditional recommendation, saying that potential purchasers should know what they're getting into before they buy it.