Games > Advanced Military Commander

Title Screenshot

A little warning for those of you who've been playing too much Realtime Strategies: this is a Turn Based game (you know since it's made for Mega Drive), so make sure you're in the right place.

And with that out of the way... well, let's humbly start by saying that this game is a classic, no less. The game was the make-famous hit for the Military Commander series, or Daisenryaku (literally: Great Tactics), released by the forever strategy game company KOEI.

You Ride The Panzers...
Field Map Yep that's right, you're Gernamy. This game is set in the time of the Second World War, in the place of Europe. For a lot of subtle historic reasons, your campaign is on Germany side, and your color coding is blue (the conventional 'our' color in Turn Based War Sim...), and your theme BGM music is the goddamned best out of all the nation's.
But We'll Overlook That...
Mad Man As the game itself officially states against Hitler and his Nazism, I'll just leave it as is (though I'm sure many of you may not be so benevolent...) Thankfully, all scenarios are pure battle and strategy; there's no misleading education anywhere; you're just playing like a soldier you are. (fortunately they could not fit any FMVs into this game... eh?) Anyway, what you should be focused on now is that it has a brilliant strategy system. Let me elaborate more.

In the game, each unit has some 10~20 parameters that make it act the most similar way it should be in a real war. From the basic speed (distance), armor, fuel, ammo, range, carriage; to the not so conventional EXP, unit-number (out of 10), sight-range; to the tedious adjustment values for each weapon attacking against air, ground, and naval unit, every conceivable parameter that can be useful in a strategy game is present.

Medium Tank, Heavy Tank?
PzKw38tA Stats Rest assured that no simplified names are to be found; all mechanical units are named by their production codes (probably also according to historic records). One of the most well-used German tank throughout the middle of the game, for instance, is named simply "PzKwIIIE". There's no real descriptive names except for infantry troops and some.

And the AI? The one that just ate my planes for lunch...?
I'm actually stuck somewhere in one of the middle scenarios and couldn't finish it... The enemy's destroyers blasted my airforce like papercraft, the enemy's unfairly-accurate (ha!) artilleries decimated my elite tanks too much, and I was really just playing it retro. I personally have some degree of confidence in terms of playing turn-based strategy; no matter what, the AI is not to be underestimated.

Sunny Day, Muddy Ground from yesterday Storm
The whether is one big killer parameter in this game. In some bad days with heavy clouds, not even the best bomber can throw a thing; and how about getting trapped on a muddy road just because your wheels aren't made that well... And combating in blizzards? It's just something that I grow to love to hate in the game, nevertheless it can be disabled, it is not to be!

What Happened Then? A whole lot more about this game, things like beautiful animation and atmosphere, to-the-point sound effects, ranking up and upgrading, and historic references, can be said, but I'm out of strength already so I'll just wrap up with a little of what you call personal impression.

I remember when I first set my eyes on this game I thought 'how do you play this thing?' while my older cousins were all over it. I tried, tried, and... well, tried very hard, and finally finished some scenarios, my reaction was already "this game was so complicated, but it's so cool".... even though my tactics sucked, and finally I only watched my big-brother cousins play.

A few years later now I lay my hands on it again, a lot of things make sense now, and I really made use of the parameters and thought a lot better than in the old days... (not to mention being able to READ it!) in a way, I really get a good taste of this game after I played it retro. I'll never be as hard core a turn-based gamer, but I highly appreciate having played it.

If you want to play it you don't have to settle for this old classic... there's a remake of it on Dreamcast, with battle scenes in 3D and millions of colors display, and full campaign support for all the major nations involved, it shouldn't be hard to enjoy. But, with the trend of all these modern games, maybe it takes an old fan to really appreciate such mind-bending tactical mania...

Ray Chien, June 2001



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