How To Play: Combat Commander: Europe – Setup, rule summary and strategy

Quick Summary

Combat Commander: Europe is a captivating and historically accurate board game that promises hours of immersive strategic gameplay. With its engaging mechanics, card-driven activation system, attention to detail, and dynamic scenarios, this game offers endless possibilities and a rich gaming experience. Effective unit positioning, card management, and terrain utilization are vital to securing victory, while mastering combat tactics and prioritizing objectives will provide you with a tactical advantage. The game embodies the chaos and complexity of World War II, putting you in command of historical battles and challenging you to adapt, strategize, and emerge triumphant.

Whether you are a seasoned gamer or a history enthusiast, Combat Commander: Europe invites you to rewrite history and lead your forces to glory. Through thoughtful planning, creative thinking, and swift decision-making, you can shape the outcome of each battle, securing your place among the great commanders of the era. Prepare for epic conflicts, navigate ever-changing battlefields, and emerge as a cunning strategist in this exceptional board game that will keep you engaged and entertained for countless hours.


Welcome to our comprehensive strategy guide for Combat Commander: Europe! Whether you are a seasoned commander or a newcomer seeking to dominate the World War II battlefield, this guide aims to provide you with the knowledge and strategies to claim victory. Not only does this guide outline the game’s rules and mechanics, but it also delves into the proven strategies that will elevate your gameplay to new heights.

Combat Commander: Europe is a highly immersive and historically accurate board game that puts you in the shoes of influential commanders during World War II. With its engaging gameplay mechanics, strategic card system, realistic terrain, and dynamic combat situations, the game offers a rich gaming experience that requires careful planning, adaptation, and tactical finesse.

In this guide, we will walk you through the essential aspects of the game, starting with an outline of the rules and mechanics for rookies to get up to speed. From there, we will dive into the best strategies for mastering unit positioning, card management, terrain utilization, combat tactics, and objective prioritization. By mastering these key areas, you will enhance your chances of securing victory and solidifying your reputation as a skilled commander.

So, ready your troops and prepare to outsmart your opponents as we delve into the intricacies of Combat Commander: Europe. Your path to triumph awaits!

What’s in the box

  • 1 game board
  • 3 counter sheets
  • 3 scenario player aid sheets
  • 4 battle dice
  • 200 cards
  • 2 d10 dice
  • 1 full-color rulebook
  • 1 playbook
  • 20 full-color scenario cards
  • 10 wood blocks
  • 6 stickers sheets
  • 1 cover sheet

How To Play Combat Commander: Europe: Rules Summary

Objective of the Game

  1. The aim of Combat Commander: Europe is to achieve the specific objectives outlined in the scenario being played.
  2. Objectives can include capturing key locations on the battlefield, eliminating enemy units, completing mission-specific goals, or reaching certain victory point thresholds.
  3. The first player to achieve their victory conditions wins the game.


  1. Choose a scenario and gather the corresponding terrain tiles, counters, and cards.
  2. Place the terrain tiles to create the designated battlefield.
  3. Each player sets up their units according to the scenario instructions.
  4. Shuffle the cards and create the draw deck for each player.


  1. The game is played over a series of rounds and player turns.
  2. In each turn, the active player draws a Command card and chooses one of their units to activate.
  3. The activated unit can perform actions, such as moving, attacking, rallying, or conducting special abilities.
  4. Actions are carried out by using the appropriate counters and resolving combat or other game effects.
  5. After the active player completes their turn, play passes to the next player, and they activate one of their units.
  6. The game continues with players alternating turns until the victory conditions of the scenario are met.

Card-driven Activation System

  1. Activating units is dictated by the Command cards drawn during each turn.
  2. The card’s activation value determines which units can be activated, with higher values providing more options.
  3. All units of the same side can be activated, allowing for coordination and strategic decision-making.

Combat and Resolution

  1. Combat occurs when units engage in ranged or close-quarters combat with enemy units.
  2. Each unit has specific combat ratings, which are used to calculate combat results.
  3. Combat outcomes are determined by rolling dice, with modifiers applied based on terrain, unit abilities, and other factors.
  4. Units that sustain enough damage may become disrupted, wounded, or eliminated.

Best Combat Commander Europe Strategies

Mastering Unit Positioning for Victory

Unit positioning is a crucial aspect of achieving success in Combat Commander: Europe. The strategic placement of your units on the battlefield can mean the difference between triumph and defeat. Here are some key strategies to dominate the game through effective unit positioning:

Secure Key Objectives First

  1. Identify and prioritize important objectives on the battlefield.
  2. Position your units strategically to quickly secure these objectives before your opponent.
  3. Consider the potential risks and rewards of each objective and adjust your unit positioning accordingly.

Take Advantage of Cover and Elevation

  1. Exploit the terrain’s natural features for cover, such as buildings, forests, or hills.
  2. Position your units on elevated positions to gain better line of sight and defensive advantages.
  3. Use terrains that slow down your opponent’s advances or create chokepoints to control the flow of the battle.

Flanking Maneuvers and Ambushes

  1. Coordinate flanking maneuvers to attack your opponent from multiple angles.
  2. Position units on the flanks to surprise and disrupt your opponent’s formations.
  3. Ambush enemy units by positioning hidden or concealed units strategically.

By mastering the art of unit positioning, you can gain a significant advantage over your enemies in Combat Commander: Europe. Utilize cover, seize key objectives efficaciously, and employ flanking maneuvers to outwit and outmaneuver your opponents. Remember, careful positioning can make all the difference in achieving victory on the battlefield.

Mastery of Card Management for Dominance

Card management is a crucial aspect of achieving victory in Combat Commander: Europe. Skillfully utilizing your cards can give you a strategic edge over your opponents. Here are some essential strategies for effective card management:

Plan Ahead and Keep Resources Available

  1. Consider the potential uses and benefits of each card in your hand.
  2. Strategically save powerful cards for critical moments.
  3. Ensure you have a reserve of cards for unexpected needs or opportunities.

Maximize Unit Activation and Coordinated Actions

  1. Use cards to activate units strategically, ensuring efficient utilization of your forces.
  2. Coordinate actions among units to maximize effectiveness and exploit tactical opportunities.
  3. Plan your activations to execute well-timed attacks or defenses.

Adapt and Respond with Event Cards

  1. Utilize event cards to your advantage by adapting to changing battlefield conditions.
  2. Respond to unexpected events with flexibility and creativity.
  3. Anticipate the potential impact of event cards and plan accordingly.

Effective card management can drive you towards victory by maximizing the potential of your resources and providing you with a strategic advantage. Think ahead, coordinate your unit activations, and adapt to events to gain an upper hand in Combat Commander: Europe. Remember, mastering card management can be the key to conquering the battlefield.

Maximizing Terrain Utilization for Triumph

Effective terrain utilization is a key factor in achieving victory in Combat Commander: Europe. The strategic use of the battlefield’s layout can provide you with tactical advantages over your adversaries. Here are some essential strategies to master terrain utilization:

Study the Battlefield

  1. Analyze the terrain features and their impact on movement and line of sight.
  2. Identify key positions that offer defensive advantages or control over important objectives.
  3. Consider how the terrain might affect your opponent’s movements and plan accordingly.

Create Defensive Zones

  1. Identify natural defensive positions, such as buildings, forests, or ridges.
  2. Deploy your units strategically to control these areas and limit the opponent’s advances.
  3. Use chokepoints and bottlenecks to channel the enemy into areas of disadvantage.

Exploit Cover and Line of Sight

  1. Utilize terrain features to provide cover for your units.
  2. Place units to maximize line of sight and maintain advantageous firing positions.
  3. Consider elevation to gain an advantageous vantage point over your opponents.

Mastering terrain utilization can be the key to victory in Combat Commander: Europe. Use the terrain to shape the battlefield, create defensive zones, and exploit the advantages provided to you. Remember that understanding the terrain and its influence on the battle will greatly enhance your strategic decisions and ultimately lead you to triumph.

Mastering Combat Tactics for Victory

Effective combat tactics are essential for achieving victory in Combat Commander: Europe. The way you engage in battle can greatly impact the outcome and determine your success as a commander. Here are key strategies for mastering combat tactics:

Identify and Exploit Weaknesses

  1. Identify the vulnerabilities in your opponent’s position or defenses.
  2. Exploit weaknesses in their formations, terrain positioning, or supply lines.
  3. Focus your attacks on key targets to maximize damage and disrupt their plans.

Coordinated Assaults and Firepower

  1. Coordinate simultaneous assaults from multiple units to overwhelm your opponents.
  2. Focus your firepower on priority targets to neutralize threats or weaken defenses.
  3. Plan your attacks strategically by combining infantry, armor, and artillery support.

Defensive Tactics and Positioning

  1. Carefully position your units to create strong defensive lines and counter the enemy’s advances.
  2. Utilize cover, natural obstacles, and defensive terrain to strengthen your positions.
  3. Employ flanking maneuvers and ambushes to catch your opponents off guard.

Mastery of combat tactics is crucial in Combat Commander: Europe. By identifying weaknesses, orchestrating coordinated assaults, and adopting effective defensive strategies, you can outmaneuver and outmatch your opponents. Utilize these tactics to turn the tide in your favor and secure victory on the battleground.

Prioritizing Objectives for Victory

Prioritizing objectives is a critical aspect of achieving victory in Combat Commander: Europe. Making effective decisions about which objectives to pursue and when can greatly influence the outcome of each battle. Here are key strategies to prioritize objectives successfully:

Assess Objective Importance

  1. Evaluate the significance of each objective in relation to winning the scenario.
  2. Consider the potential strategic and tactical advantages each objective provides.
  3. Rank objectives based on their overall impact on achieving victory.

Control Key Locations

  1. Focus on controlling key locations that provide advantages or deny opportunities to your opponent.
  2. Deploy your units strategically to secure and maintain control over these critical areas.
  3. Allocate additional resources and reinforcements to protect and defend vital objectives.

Adapt to Changing Priorities

  1. Reassess objective priorities throughout the game to adapt to evolving tactical situations.
  2. Modify your strategies based on the shifts in control or changing priorities of your opponent.
  3. Be prepared to seize new opportunities and adjust tactics accordingly.

Prioritizing objectives is a key decision-making process in Combat Commander: Europe. By assessing the importance of objectives, controlling key locations, and adapting to changing priorities, you can effectively direct your resources towards securing victory. Remember, strategic objective prioritization significantly contributes to achieving success on the battlefield.

Conclusion: Conquer the Battlefield with Skill and Strategy

Congratulations! You have now gained a solid understanding of the rules and strategies to master Combat Commander: Europe – a game that combines historical accuracy with immersive gameplay. With your newfound knowledge, you are ready to embark on thrilling World War II battles, commanding your troops with precision, and making strategic decisions that will shape the outcome of each engagement.

Remember to prioritize objectives, make efficient use of your cards, think tactically about unit positioning, exploit the terrain to your advantage, and employ effective combat tactics. By mastering these key aspects, you will empower yourself with the tools needed to achieve victory on the battlefield.

Combat Commander: Europe offers a rich and dynamic gaming experience, where each scenario presents unique challenges and opportunities. Through careful planning, adaptability, and decisive actions, you can outmaneuver your opponents and etch your name into history as a master tactician.

So, gather your troops, strategize your moves, and prepare to command with confidence. May each battle bring you closer to triumph, and may you leave an indelible mark on the turbulent landscape of World War II.

Want to know what we think of Combat Commander: Europe? Read our detailed review of Combat Commander: Europe here

Jamie in his proper element: With all of his board games
Jamie Hopkins

With years of dice-rolling, card-flipping, and strategic planning under my belt, I've transformed my passion into expertise. I thrive on dissecting the mechanics and social dynamics of board games, sharing insights from countless game nights with friends. I dive deep into gameplay mechanics, while emphasizing the social joys of gaming. While I appreciate themes and visuals, it's the strategy and camaraderie that truly capture my heart.