duelcommander: A framework, at best

I think ordinarily I would pass over something like duelcommander. But since I’m a day or two behind on my promise to post a title a day, and since duelcommander won’t take long to look over, we can give it a brief rundown.


duelcommander got lumped into my “game” category but I almost hesitate to call it that. It appears to me to be more a framework for a combat system, much like you might expect in larger, more complex games.

Opponents have a 100-point reserve of “health” and are afforded 10 action points per turn. If your health drops to zero, you lose. Taking a course of action — attacking or defending — requires a portion of your action points, depending on your particular mode of action. Your turn ends when you have no action points, or when you dismiss what points you have left and allow your opponent to take a turn.

But that’s it. There’s no overarching storyline, or premise for the fight. There’s no customization or note of equipment or abilities or technique, aside from two modes of attack or two modes of defense. It’s a very sterile experience.

On the other hand, that might be the point. What you have in duelcommander is a fundamental combat system, presented in a very clear and easy-to-navigate format, with accommodations for name, style and game mechanics that are probably quite easy to adjust to your own game creation needs.

So if I say duelcommander needs a lot — and I mean a lot of work before it becomes a true “game,” I don’t necessarily mean that in a bad way. What you get here is the framework that you could probably build around. If you were so inclined, that is. 😉


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