Command HQ

Platform: PC
Editor Rating: 6/10, based on 2 reviews
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 1 vote
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Command HQ
Command HQ
Command HQ
Command HQ

What if you give up on capturing your enemy's cities and try to shut down his oil Helds instead?

Command HQ is a wargame for the rest of us. Serious, but not too serious. Details, but not too many. You're the commander-in-chief; small questions are no concern of yours. When you move a plane, you're really moving hundreds of aircraft. When you place a soldier somewhere on the global map, you're deploying tens of thousands of troops.

But when the conflict starts, an innovative animation window lets you see ail the action as if you were right there on the front lines.

With its modem and direct connect capability, Command HQ lets you and a buddy send taunting messages back and forth as you maneuver to drive each other into submission. If your friend's not around, no problem... the shrewd computer opponent will give you all the action you can handle. From Dan Bunten, award-winning designer of M.U.L.E. and Seven Cities of Gold.

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

Are Risk and Empire fun, but too simple? Does the name Gary Grigsby send shivers up your spine? If this description fits your affliction (wargaming), then Command HQ is the cure.

Command HQ is actually five highly addictive global strategic scenarios that share both a common interface and command structure. Of course, both 1918 and 1942 are represented. The former limits players to infantry, cruisers and submarines. The latter adds carriers, aircraft and tanks to the mix.

Hypothetical World War III and World War IV scenarios also include nukes, satellites, satellite killers, intelligence scans and the ability to sway neutrals with foreign aid. The final scenario, cryptically entitled "111" presumes that the world order has disintegrated into city states, much like ancient Greece, and players must assume an "Alexander the Great" mentality to conquer the world. At this stage, all the ingenious weapons that got the world in this mess to begin with (i.e., nukes, satellites, etc.), are things of the past.

Karl Von Clauswitz would love this game. It reinforces his axioms that logistics and economics win wars, not guns. Although the game may be won by occupying the enemy's capitals, Command HQ is far more than a slick rendition of "capture the flag." Players must build a strong economic base and adequate resources to fuel their war machine.

The economic model is vastly simplified for ease of play: oil wells provide fuel, and each city generates $5 million per turn to the owner's coffers for the purchase of new units. Each unit ranges from $5 to $20 billion in cost, so winning players develop an appreciation for the principle of "economy of force" and do not squander units on unnecessary assaults.

New units are used in the same turn they're built, but production limitations disallow the particular building city from placing additional units for a period of time. Thus, even with unlimited funds, it is impossible to build an invasion force in one area overnight. This forces players to use some strategic foresight in their planning. Finally, units damaged in combat may retreat, garrison in friendly cities or bases and regenerate their strength at no cost to the player, a much better option than purchasing replacements.

Even with units depicted as simplified versions of the weapon mix one would expect in the real world, combined arms tactics are possible, and recommended. Also, one should strive to achieve "concentration of force," attacking an entrenched enemy in the flanks or rear after pinning him with a frontal assault. Armor can conduct overrun attacks for additional damage, and air power is capable of dropping infantry behind the lines to further disrupt the enemy. Air power can also eliminate units at sea, but only reduce targeted land units to half strength. Advanced tactics, like "Amphibious Assault," are simplified by allowing land units to move at sea, albeit at a slower rate, without requiring transports to be loaded and unloaded.

The screen presentation is a "war room." The top two-thirds are a world view, which may be zoomed and re-sized to focus on any theater, and the lower third is divided into four "monitors" on which various information and animations appear. The animations of battles are a nice touch, but once they've been seen a couple of times, they can be toggled off.

Other features that add to the long-term replay value are hidden movement (the fog of war is preserved), variable difficulty settings for the computer opponent and the capability for null or online modem play. The latter includes a "chat" mode for message passing. A mouse is not required but is strongly recommended. The documentation is thorough, contains two tutorials and also serves as the copy protection for the program.

Command HQ is not intended to be a primer for serious strategists, but it does remain faithful to a lot of strategic principles. Unfortunately, most players won't realize this because they'll be too busy having fun!

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