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Commander: The Great War of a traditional turn- based war game played on takes the mechanics a hex field and transfers them to the touch screen of the iPad. Players control coalitions of the Entente Allies or the Central Powers, jumping into the conflict during one of five grand campaigns. The scope of the game is immense, covering all of World War I in Europe and the Middle East (only the war in East Africa is omitted).

During weekly turns, players maneuver armies, corps, battle fleets and air forces as they attempt to capture enemy cities and thereby gain valuable production points. Using military research and force management, they modernize and build up their forces to be fed into the meat grinder of the front. As in real war, gains are achieved through careful planning, accumulation of artillery ammo, and concentration of reserve troops at the point of attack.

The touch-screen interface is a joy to use and frees players to focus on strategy. Yet even though the game play is simple, Commander: The Great War accurately re-creates the historical challenges leaders faced during the war. It is an excellent game that should be on the iPad of anyone interested in World War I.


Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Jeffrey Paulding is a lifelong student of military history and science. He has been playing wargames since he was a child.

Originally published in the March 2015 issue of Armchair General.