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Posted on Apr 21, 2008 in Boardgames, Electronic Games

Field Commander Rommel – Boardgame Review

By Bill Bodden

The components are solid. The maps feature a light, matte finish that successfully repels water (at least briefly). The counters are clearly identifiable and attractive, and the box has a glossy finish to help it endure years of punishment. The rulebook is complete and adequate, though the information could be a bit better organized. A player log sheet is also included to help players keep track of the results of their campaigning. Since there is only one log sheet included, players may want to make a couple of photocopies or print additional ones from the Dan Verssen Games website before pressing it into service. The rulebook promises that additional material for this game, in the form of optional rules, scenarios, or add-ons, will be forthcoming and downloadable for free from the DVG web site.


I was impressed by the ingenuity and simplicity of design in this game. With a minimum of charts to consult, Dan Verssen has produced a game that boils all the complexities of twentieth-century warfare into its most basic elements without sacrificing historical accuracy or playability. The numerous optional variations provide significant variety for each scenario, truly giving players dozens of different games instead of the three advertised.

Certainly, Dan Verssen is no stranger to quality game design, having created Zero, Hornet Leader and Rise of the Luftwaffe, among many others. Field Commander Rommel will do nothing to harm his solid reputation.

Field Commander Rommel is an excellent solitaire simulation of the World War Two exploits of one of history’s most famous commanders. Fast-moving and designed for optimal player convenience, Field Commander Rommel looks like a classic in the making. As a high-quality solitaire game—and one of the few solitaire titles currently on the market— it should be considered an indispensable part of any armchair general’s collection.

Bill Bodden has worked in the hobby game industry for over 23 years, including stints in the retail, distribution and publishing sectors. His humorous fiction was nominated for an Origins Award in 2003. He currently serves as sales manager for Green Ronin Publishing and is a part-time freelance writer. A complete goober for miniatures, he paints them on rare occasions when he has spare time. Bill lives in Wisconsin with his wife, their four cats, and a whole lot of games, books and miniatures.

If Rommel or the war in North Africa intrigues you, be sure to check out War Without Hate, an blog by author Steven Pressfield (Killing Rommel, Gates of Fire).


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  1. Great review of a truly fun game.

  2. Finally took France after 5 tries – that scenario felt fairly balanced once I figured out why I kept getting defeated. Now, onward to North Africa. You are right, the rules need a little clarifications.

  3. Re: North Africa. I’ve played the game several times, and unless the Axis get unusual good dice rolls and the Allies get unusually bad dice rolls, the Axis don’t win. I’ve even tweaked the rules a bit, like starting 15th & 21st Panzer as Elite, and not allowing the Allies to start with forces in the operations area on turn one, and only one force on turn two, and allowing the Axis to have one more force in a region than is allowed, and STILL only got as far as a couple areas past Tobruk, and sometimes, not even that!

    Re: D-Day. The rules state if the ALLIES occupy all 3 objectives, the player wins. HUH??!!! The goal of the real war was for the Germans to STOP the Allies from breaking out of the Normandy beachheadsl Is this a typo? So far, I’ve only played the North Africa scenario, and until I’ve somehow made it “fair” (maybe by not having the Allies have more than a d6 roll of units to start?), I’m very disappointed. Has anyone else encountered any of the situations I’ve mentioned? Thanks.

  4. As far as D-Day goes I always just took it as a “high score” kind of thing.
    Just hold off the Allies as long as you can, get more VP depending on what turn they finally do take all 3 objectives. I’ve never even been close to making it through all of the turns so I kind of assumed it was nearly inevitable that they take the objectives..


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