Take Command and Secure Victory in the Great War! Commander – The Great War features a Grand Campaign covering the whole war from the invasion of Belgium on August 5, 1914 to the Armistice on the 11th of November 1918 in addition to 16 different unit types including Infantry, Cavalry, Armoured Cars and Tanks, Artillery, and much more!
User reviews: Mostly Positive (59 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 12, 2012

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Recommended By Curators

"It's a grand strategy game that feels exactly as grindy and slow as World War I should, with a truly challenging difficulty curve."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (5)

March 13

Hoorah! Commander: The Great War is Updated!

I hope you gents wake up fresh and sufficiently rested, because today will be a long day. The enemy is awaiting us and he is heavily entrenched. But despite all the odds victory will be ours.
Because today is the day of the BIG update! Yes soldiers, Commander: The Great War is updated to version 1.6.2 and it's huge.

The changes are many and focused on giving more historical accuracy during the game. Now if a Capital city is captured a substantial national morale penalty will be applied, battleships have now been renamed DREADNOUGHTS and Britain has a larger navy than before.

Plus, two very useful functions have been added: "UNDO" for move and swap, and a "Go to next unit" button.

But it's not over!

Be sure to check the full list of changes and bug fixes here!


- UNDO for move and swap
- Go to next unit button

New on iOS:

- HD unit icons on Retina displays

Gameplay changes / balancing:

- Free Upkeep allowance is now zero,which means you now pay for each and
every unit on the map.

- Country PPs increased to offset the effects of the Free Upkeep allowance change.

- All Nations Man Power has been reduced, to a scale appropriate to
historic national forces levels per Country.

- Disband PP & MP returns have been altered,so that you now receive the
correct values.

- If a Capital city is captured a substantial national morale penalty
will be applied. (NOW A WAR CHANGING EVENT)

- Production & Research now shows time up to 50 turns.Allowing the a
player to keep track more easily off what new Tech will be available
in the future.

- Research Lab Upkeep cost reduced.

- Britain's starting land forces reduced to historical level.

- Britain now has a larger navy,twice the size of Germany for example. (RULE BRITANNIA )

- German navy now has research advantage,meaning her ships are
stronger,than any other fleet including Britain.

- The loss of a battlefleet in combat morale penalty has been

- Battleships have now been renamed DREADNOUGHTS!

- Dreadnought production cost reduced from 120 to 80 PPs.

- Pre-Dreadnought & Armoured Cruisers added to unit types,these can't be
upgraded or purchased.

- Cruisers have been renamed LIGHT Cruisers!

- NAVAL AI has been enhanced,making it more of a challenge.

- All air units have been toned down,as to there effectiveness,this is
World War One after all.

- Garrison,Infantry,Cavalry & Artillery now all benefit from Anti-Air
research upgrade.

- Garrison & Infantry benefit from Entrenchment upgrade.

- Additional historical event messages,and City Captured event
messages,are now in game.

- Various Commander entry dates fixed

- Austrian & German Level 3 Fighter in game images corrected.

- Increased starting research levels for Russia & Serbia (Slightly reducing German research advantage in game turns)

- Increased PP For Russia + added new Infantry unit near Moscow 1914 scenario.

- Increased PP For Serbia + added 2 new Garrison units near Skopje 1914 scenario.

- Increased Ammunition production for Serbia from 2 - 3 per turn.

- Slight increased to entrenchment levels.

- Fixed Research Tech Tree display Scroll for all Countries.

- Tweaked City Production Points distrubtion for for all Nations.

- Campaign Scenario 1918 game time increased to 60 Turns (Extending the war well into 1919 and beyond !)

- Plus many other minor tweaks to game balance across all scenarios.

Bug fixes:

- Fixed a crash that could happen during AI turn whend disembarking unit
- Fixed a crash that could happen during AI turn when seasons changed
- Fixed a crash that could with certain sound cards
- Various other stability and fixes.

4 comments Read more

November 18, 2014

Commander: The Great War Open Beta Patch 1.6.0 is now available!

Hi guys,

The Commander The Great War Open Beta Patch 1.6.0 is now life on Steam and for non-Steam users available in the Matrix Members area.

You don`t need to install any previous patches!

General tips for PC and Steam:

As this is an OPEN BETA and we have so many big changes to test, if you cannot handle the occasional bug or dont feel like helping us out ironing out any bugs you can find, please DO NOT participate in the OPEN BETA TESTING.

Multiplayer games for this OPEN BETA are on the BETA server, so you CANNOT continue ongoing games you will have to swap back to the official 1.5.2 version. But please start new MP games with the 1.6.0 Open Beta Patch, as we need some help testing here.

For Steam go to your Library, right-click on the CTGW game, select Properties, tab Betas and select "beta-"

Important notes!!!:

- Verify the files before you fire up the game on Steam!!

How: Go to your Library, right-click the CTGW game, select properties, tab Local Files, select "Verify Integrity of Game Cache".

- As this is an Open Beta Patch MP games are handled by Slitherine`s Beta Servers!!

How: So you will not be able to continue ongoing MP games, but start please new MP games to test!

For non Steam PC users, you can download the CTGW 1.6.0 Open Beta Patch from the Matrix Members area, it does not matter if you purchased your game on Matrix or Slitherine it will work for both, just make sure you have your serial number by hand (in your original purchase email or printed on your DVD!

How: Go to http://www.matrixgames.com/members/members.asp
Select register your game (you will need your serial number), after this you can find your registerd game under "My Games". Select and click "Registered" to download the zipped patch, open and follow install instructions.

CTGW 1.6.0 Open Beta Patch Change log can be found here:


Thank you for your patience, happy testing and enjoy the game.

Kind regards,

The Lordz

5 comments Read more


“In my opinion Commander: The Great War is a must-have for anyone interested in this bloody conflict.”
The Wargamer

“I heartily recommend Commander - The Great War to any passionate PC general.”
84% – GamersHall (German)

“Accessible and well-documented, without sacrificing challenge or strategy”
Tacticular Cancer

About This Game

Take Command and Secure Victory in the Great War!
At the heart of the conflict, when men fought for every inch of land, only visionary leaders could make the choices that would lead their troops to victory. The remarkable sequence of events that inexorably led to the 'Great War' is written in our history books and pictured in our movies. Now a new turn-based strategy game captures this time of war with unprecedented realism, playability and accuracy. Developed by The Lordz Games Studio, Commander - The Great War is the latest release in the popular Commander series to bring the thrill, excitement and challenging decision-making of these difficult times to life. Gamers can enjoy a huge hex based campaign map that stretches from the USA in the west, Africa and Arabia to the south, Scandinavia to the north and the Urals to the east on a new engine that is more efficient and fully supports widescreen resolutions.

Commander – The Great War features a Grand Campaign covering the whole war from the invasion of Belgium on August 5, 1914 to the Armistice on the 11th of November 1918 in addition to 16 different unit types including Infantry, Cavalry, Armoured Cars and Tanks, Artillery, Railroad Guns and Armoured Trains and more!

For generals looking to test their mettle against other players, Slitherine’s revolutionary play by e-mail system will also bring a whole new level of excitement in Multiplayer battles while simultaneously offering near limitless replayability!

The game is now also available on iPad! The iOS version packs the same great gameplay and allows you to challenge PC owners in cross-platform multiplayer!


  • A huge hex-based campaign map that stretches from the USA in the west, Africa and Arabia to the south, Scandinavia to the north and the Urals to the east.
  • 5 Grand Campaigns, each starting in a different year of the war, at the start of a historical offensive: 1914 The Great War, 1915 Ypres Artois, 1916 The Battle of Verdun, 1917 The Nivelle Offensive and 1918 The Kaiserschlacht.
  • Over 40 unique historical and what-if events triggered by conditions on the campaign-map.
  • 18 different unit types including Infantry, Cavalry, Armoured Cars and Tanks, Artillery, Railroad Guns and Armoured Trains, Cruisers, Submarines and Battleships, Fighters, Bombers and Airships. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, based on their historical performance in the various theatres throughout the war.
  • Attach historical Commanders to your units. Each has their own specific strengths, so decide wisely which Commander is most suited to which front. Three types of Commanders are available: Generals for ground units, Admirals at sea and flying Aces to strengthen your air units.
  • Invest in research and technology to improve your units. Aircraft evolve from fragile tools of aerial observation to deadly ground and air attack planes. Artillery barrages become ever more accurate and powerful. Or focus on Armour technology and unleash a dreadful new weapon on the battlefield: the Tank.
  • Detailed and realistic combat that models supply, morale, terrain, leadership, equipment, training and fog of war.
  • Multiplayer via Slitherines revolutionary PBEM++ server system.
  • Easy to learn, hard to master game play.
  • An all new engine, supporting any display resolution from 1024x600 upwards and includes full wide screen support.
  • Extreme moddability using the Lua scripting language, allowing players to alter many aspects of gameplay including combat, research, unit statistics, terrain effects and many more

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
    • Processor: Pentium 4
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Graphics: With OpenGL 1.3 support (GeForce FX / Radeon R300)
    • Hard Drive: 2 GB available space
Helpful customer reviews
17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
11.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
This game is excellent! It requires a lot of strategy on an entire war scale. I have spent minutes deciding what to spend the few precious resources I had on. Fighting a war on multiple fronts allows you to use different strategies at the same time.

"Should I beat the enemy down in a war of attrition or win through superior strategy?"
"Should I reinforce the western front or prepare an attack on an ungaurded location?"
"Do I have enough manpower to sustain an assault?"
"If I attack the enemy now, can I keep the pressure on long enough for me reinforcements to show up?"
"My centre is in a stalemate. If I attack in the north can I break through and surround the enemy and win the war?"
"Is that a gap in the enemy line, or do they have plenty of men just out of sight that would destroy me if I advance?"

These are some of the many very exciting questions I had to ask myself while playing this game.

If you enjoy strategy or using your mind to win rather than your ability to click buttons really fast, then this game is for you.
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
16.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 11, 2014
Ive owned this one since before the Steam release. Many hours played. This game is fantastic and deserves a much higher score. In order to play properly you might want to brush up on your WW1 history so you have an idea as to what the situation is. Highly recommended.
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7 of 8 people (88%) found this review helpful
402.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 31
Commander the great war is an exceptional world war 1 tile based strategy game with an extraordinary amount of depth and replayability. After reading other negative reviews this game has recieved i was struck by how ridiculous they were. Well over half of them state that the ai cheats. That the ai has huge production bonuses and can produce three times as many units as human players. That the ai's units recieve combat bonuses that make them twice as strong as the human players units. All these claims are simply not true. However i can understand how many players have come to these false conclusions.

- The ai are very good for a turn based strategy game and may provide a serious challenge to newcomers.

- The strategy's you must use to triumph are so vastly different to all other strategy games, simply because the first world war was and still is so vastly different to any other wars that have ever been fought.

- The attacking unit will always take far more damage than the defending unit (up to four times in fact!!!) therefore to overwhelm a single enemy infantry unit is not uncommon to have to attack it with 3 of your own infantry units and only after you have weakened said enemy infantry unit with artillery bombardments and harried them with fighters.

Many players have also claimed that artillery, fighters, armoured cars, bombers, zeppelins and cavalry are useless and unbalanced. While there may have been some serious balance issues in 1.5 the recent release of the 1.6 beta patch has fixed 90 percent of these balance issues. As for these units being useless even prior to the patch this was never the case. Artillery may appear to do little damage but the small amounts of damage they do in addition to the damages in efficency they cause to enemy units are invaluable and are almost required to make any kind of serious pushes into enemy territory. Fighters and bombers function as aerial artillery and there large range and high sight values make them very usefull as scouting units. Zeppelins have the highest range and sight and this more then makes up for there lack of durability and the drain they will inflict on your precious ammo stockpiles. Armoured cars are twice as fast as infantry units can see four time as far. This makes them usefull scouting units. What cavalry lack in defense they make up for in speed, sight and offensive capabilitys.

Commander the great wars singleplayer will eventually get dull. However the multiplayer never will i hope you have enjoyed my rambling review and that you will like it to prevent any firther loss in sales this game may suffer due to false accusations of cheating ai.

Good day
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
43.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
To dispel any rumors, according the developers the AI does not cheat. It simply knows how to play the game. This game is definitely hard, that is true, but if you watch the AI closely you will see the method to its madness.

The game has some stability issues, but it has not stopped me from having a ton of fun trying to defeat the challenging AI. If you don't like challenges in your game, I guess you should stay away, but otherwise pick this game up.
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
23.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2014
This game at first glance appears to be a simple, thoughless turn based wannabe game...though that couldent be further from the truth. This game is a challenging, well thought out and interesting addition to the turn based strategy genre. The game offers 4 different campaign starts, 1914, '15, '16', 17 and 1918. Each start can be played as either the Central Powers or Triple Entente. You take control of multiple countries, which may sounds troublesome and un-needed, though it actually allows for greater strategic and tactical depth. As nations join your faction, you the have access to that nations troops, research and production controls. The game features seperate panels for each nation within your chosen faction to choose production, research or check logistical matters. The AI is much improved in the newest 'beta' update, improving upon the gameplay. The gameplay itself requires more thinking than actions, you will ask yourself many questions such as "should i move up that extra hex?", "Should i divert troops to flank around and leave my front open?" These questions force you to really think about the actions you take. And trust me when i say it, you'll know for sure when you made a mistake. Though that is also the beauty of making mistakes in this game, you can right it, unlike some strategy games similar to this, once an enemy unit breaks through it is not game over, you can hold them off, adress the line, and push back. For anyone looking for a great Turn based strategy game set in WW1 with oppurtunity for replayabilty, making choices that mean something, for experienced strategists and amatuer tacticians alike, this is a must-buy.
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4 of 6 people (67%) found this review helpful
16.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2014
While not the best made game it is pretty well done. It is also challenging as well, the AI hammers your armies every chance it gets. For me it not only turned into trench warfare on the Western Front but on the Eastern Front as well. Here is how my first game went.

When Russia joined the fray things were pretty tricky in the east. I lost Warsaw immediately before I could get enough troops to the border and spent the next two years trying to retake it even though it had bordered three of my units with several replacement units handy, including artillery and bombers. When I finally retook it I had to deal with the city behind it (which took up a majority of my time there.

For Serbia I had to keep just about everything on Serbia's borders just to hold out the Austro-Hungarians and the Germans. Things were like that for so long I actually got worried by the second year what I would do when Bulgaria joined the war, with everything to the north and west fighting the Germans and Austro-Hungarians after all.

The Western Front went pretty similar at first to how the real WWI went. I lost most of Belgium immediately, the French troops I had handy to respond were pushed back quickly and I lost Brussels, Liege, and most of Belgium rather quickly. The only place still in Allied hands by the time the front stabilized was Antwerp that was completely surrounded. The French and British Armies were pushed so far back that by the time the north stabilized they had reached Dunkirk. In the South things were hardly better. After being pushed all the way back to Verdun, and sometimes beyond that where they got close to Paris, things stabilized and turned into WWI trench warfare. Most of my troops were concentrated there in fact and the fighting grounded slowly on.

When the Ottomans joined the war I was at least ready. I had deployed British troops to Egypt and, after losing some inital ground, pushed my forces into the Ottoman Empire. I had managed to take Jerusalem rather quickly and the crushed most of the Ottoman military. I would have actually laughed at the low amount of troops to the south if it wasn't for something that had completely slipped my mind: Russia had a border with the Ottoman Empire. Since I had forgotten that I sent all my troops to the Russian-German/Austro-Hungarian front. I managed to react quickly to contain the damage yet I had lost quite a bit of ground. The only reason why things weren't worse was because of the Garrisons and that I had a couple infantry divisions close to being finished.

Overall I did manage to win the war by Christmas 1915 but I have a feeling that was because I tried it on the lowest difficulty, and the fact that by halfway through 1915 I had sunk the entire German Navy probably helped (morale and all that). In my opinion it is a must buy if you want something to kill time but also have you think.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
This game is great, deeply strategic, I had to comprehend my moves one at a time as if it were an advanced boardgame.

Is it worth $30? Eh, maybe, but I'd say get it on a sale.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
302.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 3
Good game, even beter when play against other players.
Bit of a learning curve though, read some AAR's on the forums.
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2 of 3 people (67%) found this review helpful
64.2 hrs on record
Posted: February 4
After reading other reviews, I am strongly convinced most of negative opinions are based on poor understanding of this game's mechanics. Also reviewers mentioning balance problems mostly posted before the recent 1.6 patch which I base my experience on.
CTGW is a nice addicting hex-strategy title, which provides a depth approximately compared to the Panzer Corps series (being totally different though). It is not too heavy to chew to keep you occupied a whole evening to do one turn. Still it isn't too light to bore you. The shallow approach (compared to grand strategy titles of a Gary Grigsby level) turns out to open up the chance of plenty of quick fun. The well known one-more-turn-desire might catch hold of you very soon.
People complaining about not succeeding in any kind of Blitzkrieg advances should remember this game is all about WW1. This means trench warfare and the chance to see frozen fronts for long durations of time. It is possible to break through after all, but this requires some patience and the application of accurate forces.
Overall after the 1.6 patch I perceive the devs did a very good job in balancing forces. AI may have some flaws but like any other strategy title you will find the real challenge in a play against another human only.
MP is handled via external servers very similar to PBEM. It is Igougo sending your turn to the slitherine server. The server then informs your opponent by mail. The Opponent then logs into the game which loads down your turn, and so on.

Considering the mid segment pricing I can without hesitation recommend to get this, if you generally like strategy titles and also share the interest to lay hands on the remarkably underrepresented WW1-theme.
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99 of 106 people (93%) found this review helpful
79.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 26, 2014
Early review -
I've been a wargamer for a long long time, so I perhaps have a bias towards games like this. This is a grand operational level game where you control one of the two alliances in WW1, with a choice of 5 start dates. It's a bit like Panzer General etc. in that it's turn based - you move and attack with all your units one at a time, then your opponent takes his turn and does the same. It's not like PG in that it is one continuous campaign - no linked scenarios with core units gaining xp, Also, you have to control both land and naval units, as well as manage research and unit production. There is multiplayer, but I haven't tried it so far, and there is only AI for your opponent (you're thrown in the deep end - you have to manage everything for your side yourself).

I suggest you check out some of the let's plays by RiotHouseLP if you want to see what the gameplay is like. One thing about those LP's though - they're a year old, and it looks like the game has had one or more updates since then.

The AI is reasonably competent - on land it knows how to break through weak spots in your line and encircle and cut off units. My advice on either side of the 1914 start is focus on cranking out cheap garrison units until you have enough to maintain continuous fronts with some reserves. The AI wasn't so good with the German Navy though - when I loaded up my first BEF units to cross the channel, it sent a battleship and cruiser into the channel to attack a transport. This might have been ok if he was certain to sink it, but he didn't, and anyway I don't think it's worth sacrificing a battleship just to kill one land unit. So the AI doesn't know the value to the Germans of just keeping a fleet in being. It seemed to handle the Allied fleets better.

OK, back to my 5th start - maybe this time I can make it through the end of 1914 at least ;)

After another couple tries starting as CP in 1914, I've given up for now trying to win with them until I get better at the game. One of the things I like most about historical wargames is when by playing them you can learn a real historical lesson. In this case, the lesson is that the Central Powers have almost no chance of winning if they can't knock out at least one of their 3 opponents in the first year. After that, the numbers are all on the side of the Entente for winning any war of attrition.

I've now played a complete game as the Entente. I won through to a complete victory in 1917. I defeated Germany and Austria-Hungary early in 1916, but the pesky Ottomans wouldn't surrender until I moved some armies all the way across the map to Egypt and the Caucasus to start putting a hurt on them. It was worthwhile though because learned how to perform an amphibious invasion and I got to see the importance of massed airpower, artillery, and shore bombardment in punching through otherwise hopelessly strong static trench defenses.

So, a definite thumbs up!
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37 of 41 people (90%) found this review helpful
79.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 27, 2014
It's a rarity in terms of World War One games: there's enough depth of strategy to make the war feel winnable, while keeping things simple enough to avoid getting bogged down. The dev team also put together a genuinely challenging AI, too: even on "Balanced" mode, you'll find yourself fighting for every battlefield advantage you can muster.

Speaking as an old-school tabletop-wargaming grognard, The Great War is definitely worth the $20 it's currently on sale for.

Unfortunately it suffers from three problems:

1) While much of the game is highly intuitive to grasp, there's zero in-game help for the more obtuse bits. Until you give the out-of-game manual a read-through, you'll inevitably make small but crucial mistakes that end up hampering your strategy. I highly recommend playing one game for familiarization and then skim the manual for the bits that seem confusing.

2) All moves and decisions are both immediate and irreversible. Did you misclick, sending a unit out of the front line and opening a gap for your enemy to exploit? Your only recourse is to load a save, and hope you did it recently. "Save Often, Save Well".

3) Although you can play in a window, I don't recommend it. Doing anything outside the game seems to slow it down dramatically, the more so as the game progresses. It was only the second year of the war by the time single-unit moves were taking the computer several minutes to analyze and execute.

But if you're interested in this particular conflict and are willing to devote yourself exclusively to it for the duration of gameplay, "The Great War" offers an enjoyable challenge.
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37 of 44 people (84%) found this review helpful
32.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 26, 2014
Well my review is the game seems pretty solid. I still havnt got all the mechanics down yet, but it is a engaging game. You have to think about precisely what you are going to do with every unit. I wacthed some olf lets plays dated 1 year ago and the game now is different as far as I can tell, more updates. I understand people are waiting for a 1.5 patch but ive found it a challenge.
I started out as the Central powers and found the AI a good challenge, didnt finish the game, was getting clubbered by the AI in my first game, then switched to Entente(spelling?) etc, and found it just as challenging. This is my current game and ive managed to hold in Serbia though I am bieng wittled down. France was a fright but after tossing units, the milita type ones into the breech the germans started shifting east, and clobbered my Russian army before I could mass enough to make a imapct. Its in sort of a stalemate now.
The game has a constant sense of tension, as I commented above you have to THINK about each units move, the production at first glance dosnt seem that deep, but it is...because there is a finite limit where you will suffer for overproducing, and you also need to weigh tech development against this. I havnt played a complete campaign yet but I ponder all the points I spend.
I will say this, the German fleet is too agressive early on. I destroyed thier navy off the coast of Belgium, some crusier units were still in the baltic and I wiped those out with my Russian fleet.
The submarine warfare aspect seems interesting, from both sides.
Anyway the land warfare model aspect of the game is quite a challenge, this coming from someone who started wargaming when I was 10 years old. My most memorable victory was defeating our wargaming club sponsor, a US Army Colonel playing Napolean in SPI's enhanced version of the Battle of Waterloo.
My conclusion so far is this game is without a doubt worth what it is currently bieng sold for. I give it a wargamers thumbs up and a 8/10 rating.
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30 of 35 people (86%) found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 26, 2014
This year there is 100 years since the beginning of the "war to end all wars". Well it did not pan out as expected, but this also means that we will see some World War 1 games this year. Which is cool :)
If you are a history buff and you like this period you have probably noticed that there are not many games set into this period. World War 2 is by FAR popular, but at least this year this will change.
Here we have a nice and pretty 2D turn based game, that could simply be described as Panzer General set in World War 1. In fact Siltherine has made their own engine pretty similar to already mentioned classic on which this game and Panzer Corps are based.

Good sides of this game:
- its pretty fast paced
- its easy to learn
- it has nice and clean graphic for a turn based wargame
- it was made by the guys who know A LOT about history, are modding veterans from another well known game and their attention to details is simply amazing

Not so good sides:
- the scale of the game is a bit too small to realistically simulate trench warfare and fighting for every town. While it works great for games set in World War 2, this war was something completely different.
- the game is quite simplified, but I would prefer a better diplomacy model and the ability to have some influence over it. Here the events are more or less hard coded. There is no way to not attack Belgium as Central Powers and to play some "what if" situations like "Russia First".
- engine has its own limitations and it seems that is not possible to have air and land units on the same hex. This can be frustrating as the map is, as already mentioned, pretty small and it gets overcrowded pretty quick.

My final score would be 7/10 as it is still a nice game with its good and not so good sides. I would recommend it for people who want a quick take on World War 1, but would not recommend it to the ones who want a deep game with custom strategic and tactical decisions.
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22 of 25 people (88%) found this review helpful
19.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 26, 2014
This is an early review, as I only played the game for 5.3 hours at the moment.
In Commander: The Great War you either play as the Entente or the Central Powers. The war starts with just Austria-Hungary (Austria for short) and Serbia going at it. But within a few turns, other nations start to get involved. Eventually, you'll be taking charge of the land, naval and air forces of all nations of your alliance. As the Entente, that means fighting off a German invasion of Belgium and France in the west, an Austrian invastion of Serbia in the Balkans, a joint German-Austrian invastion of Russia and you'll need to keep your enemy at bay on the North Atlantic and Mediterranean. As time passes, your attention is needed in even more areas as more nations joint the fight. At the same time, you're in charge of unit production, research and logistics (in terms of: make sure you have enough industrial capacity to support your armies and keep some of it in reserve to actually build new units, repair units and upgrade units when needed) of each individual nation in your alliance.

We all know about the trench warfare of the Great War: millions of men trapped in trenches and mud for years with high numbers of casualties and little or no gains. I started this game with the tought: 'I'm not going to get bogged down in trench warfare.' Guess what: I got bogged down in trench warfare. Actually, soon I was happy I managed to stop the German and Austrian advances at all. I was happy the front stabalized and trences were dug (you can actually see more and more trenches on the map if your units stay in one place long enough). My western front is just as static as the western front historically was. The AI really looks at your frontline's weak spot and throws one unit after another at it in an attempt to break through your lines and encircle your units. My Russian front collapsed 4 times in the first year of war (even after it stabilized a few times), resulting in loss of units, one massive retreat, alot of lost ground and a giant hole in the Ukraine where a single German cavalry unit is wreaking havoc at the moment with only a few small garrison units in my cities to slow it down. I simply don't have any unit to spare to go after the German cavalry unit, since my Russian frontline is to unstable because of continued AI attempts to outflank me (and I'm not even using the high difficulty setting here).

The horrors of war also have a negative effect on your units' fighting efficiency. If your units are at the front for to long and get attacked time and again, their efficiency drops (even if you constantly repair the unit). It is absolutely necessary to rotate your units on and of the frontline. When a unit's fighting efficiency drops, take it of the line a few turns so the troops can get some rest. If you keep them on the line, eventually the unit will crumble and start to lose battles they would have won if they were rested. At times, it's better to put a rested garisson unit on the line instead of a regular infantry unit with low morale. It's small things like this that give this game an extra strategic layer.

The only thing I'm a little worried about is the way the alliances advance through the war. It appears that the alliances are set and the moments that other nations like Italy, the Ottoman Empire and Bulgaria join the war is (to a great extend) fixed. It would be nice to not play every game knowing Italy or Bulgaria are going to join at a certain side at a certain moment. Italy was a member of the Central Powers before WW1, so it would be nice to occasionally see Italy joining in with Germany and Austria-Hungary instead of with the Entente, just to keep you on your toes and force you to keep some units in reserve near the Italian border just in case. That being said: I must stress that I only played this game for a few hours so far, so it might well be possible that the alliances might turn out not to be as set as they appear, but for the moment they appear to be set. Time will tell.

So far I'm very happy with this game and it will propably keep me busy for a long time. It gives me a challenge I usually only get from Paradox games like Hearts of Iron. If you even have a slight interest in WW1 or like a strategy game with a challenging AI, this is a great game for you.
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15 of 16 people (94%) found this review helpful
18.4 hrs on record
Posted: July 27, 2014
I played the regular campaign yesterday. I chose the entente and squished prussia from both the french and russian sides while maintaining a pretty active skirmish in Serbia. I didn't get to the point of feeling the computer cheats, like I do with civ. I was able to win in 1915, which is early historically, but I was still satisified with my day long campaign.

You really get a sense of the different theatres of the war and it heavily emphasizes defence over attack, which makes sense in trench warfare.

Anyway, I'm happy I picked it up. Looking forward to trying out the multiplayer.
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
7.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 30, 2014
So, this game is pretty good. The strategy wargame genre has a pretty bad (and in most cases deserved) reputation for producing opaque, dense, hard-to-understand niche games that appeal to a very specific and small crowd of history and military nerds. However, Commander: The Great War hits the formula perfectly, as a balanced, fairly transparent and easy-to-understand wargame that anyone can pick up and begin playing pretty quickly. The UI is fairly intuitive and well-designed (which already places it in a league far above most other "grognard" games), the graphics are solid, the AI is competent, and the pacing of the game is really genius.

In Commander: The Great War, you don't play an individual country - rather, you take control of one of the sides of the Great War (the Entente and the Central Powers). At first, this may seem a little daunting to the new player. "Oh crap, I have to control HOW many countries, and simultaneously at that?" This is where the pretty clever design comes in. As a new player, you're given control of the Entente, and on Turn 1 you have direct control of only... Serbia, a small but compact nation in the Balkans where the whole tragic story of the Great War started. Since at the beginning you're only managing the one country, it's easier to get ahold of simple game concepts before you're tossed headfirst into one of the biggest conflicts in human history. A turn or two later, and some other allies join in, gradually building the game up in scope. You never feel like you're in over your head, and that's why I say the pacing is great. As the game goes on, it gradually adds more and more layers, and you never feel like it does so before you're ready for it.

The game reminds me a lot of 2x2 Games' "Unity of Command" (also available on Steam and also recommended), which takes a similar, approachable, and downright fun approach to the strategy wargaming genre. Both developers have taken the core of these complex strategy games, chewed them up, refined them into their most fundamental parts, and dropped them into a package that is accessible, unintimidating, and a load of fun for newcomers and veterans alike.

All in all: if you're interested in getting into turn-based strategic wargames, or are a World War 1 nerd, pick up this game. It's strangely addictive, and definitely scratches that "just one more turn..." itch.
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13 of 15 people (87%) found this review helpful
6.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 26, 2014
I purchased this a few weeks ago (on July 3, 2014) from Matrix (for $40) so my playing time is low on Steam. I like CTGW and recommend it. Even though it cost a lot on Matrix, I feel I've already gotten my money's worth. I have played the 1914 campaign twice: once as the Entente and once as the Central Powers and had fun both times. I've probably spent around 20-30 hours on it so far and will continue to play it. I find it's a lot easier to learn how to play (+ has a more intuitive interface and is less overwhelming) compared to games such as Civil War 2 (which is still good), Time of Fury (which seems kind of meh so far), or Darkest Hour (which seems awesome, I just have not yet spent enough time on it in order to figure out WTF I'm doing). My previous favorite WW1 game was Strategic Command WW1 Breakthrough, but I now prefer Commander: The Great War. SC WW1 BT is still good, but I have more fun with CTGW. CTGW is simpler, cheaper, looks better, sounds better, has a better UI, and is faster to play (the turns in SC WW1 BT seem to take forever). If you like turn-based wargames, this one is a good one to get. I hope they re-make Commander: Europe at War to CGTW-standards so I have a decent operational-level WW2 turn-based wargame to play.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
80.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 11, 2014
This is a good wargame. The UI is straightforward. The gameplay is not hard to learn if you try. The developers encourage modding. I also, found myself looking up events and such to learn more about WW1 because I'm playing the game.
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7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
Posted: July 27, 2014
Only a few hours in, but this is a solid game. You control an entire alliance and have to plan your moves well in advance. It's turn base, similar to Panzer Corps. 8/10
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22 of 38 people (58%) found this review helpful
79.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 15, 2014
Disappointing game.
If you are looking for a historical wargame dealing with WW1, look elsewhere! Here are some examples of the game design:
1) Artillery was a major component of the war while air power was weak and slowly evolving. In CTGW, it is reversed. Artillery is useless and Air power, particularly bombers are insanely overpowered, almost nuclear.
2) The Russian army which was a basketcase in the real war, is uber powerful in CTGW.
3) As the Entente, the game won't make it to 1918, because the idiot CP AI does not defend the Italian Front!
4) If you play the CP, you will be fighting a Russian army that is actually stronger than the German troops! THe game quickly becomes a stalemate.
5) The AI does stupid things like putting air units, trains, and artillery on the front line which gives you a big edge.

In short, there are much better designed games with better AI out there. This game will provide you with some enjoyment initially but will end up gathering dust on your hard drive. Save your money for something better. I'll be pleased to change my review if and when these flaws are addressed
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