Command and Colors for kids

I recently picked up Command and Colors ancients, and must admit I am really impressed.  The card activation system is an elegant means of introducing tactical restrictions, and the simple combat resolution allows for fast, simple and fun games.  (Yes, I realize that I am arriving very late to this party, sorry.)

That said, the other great application is that it has provided me with a fun mechanism to play basic Wargames with my son.  He expressed a fascination with Daddy's hobby since the age of three and loves to create little worlds with me on the table top.  I've tried some basic dice resolution games with him as he always wants to 'play a game with dice'  That said, he has the standard attention span of a six-year old.

With that, I found that Command and Colors gives a very simple command and resolution system he can grasp.  Here is the game as we play it:


  • Cavalry 3
  • Chariot 2
  • Infantry 1

Attack Dice

  • Green 2
  • Blue 3
  • Red 4
  • Shooting:  Range 2, 1 die if moving, 2 if stationary
  • Symbols:  
    • Sword and base color always hit (even for shooting)
    • Commanders make a unit hit with purples as well
    • Flag: fall back 1 hex per flags

Damage Capacity

  • Infantry: 4 hits
  • Cavalry/Chariots 3 hits

Command deck:

  • Roll a d6 at the start of the game.  This is how many cards you hold in your hand.  
  • Remove all cards except the 'move  [#] units right/center/left' cards.  If feeling adventurous leave in the move green/blue/red unit cards.  My son can read basic text and understands the pictures and numbers.  

Other helpful rules:

  • Units can move back through other units.
  • Command rolls only occur when a unit with the commander is destroyed.
  • Units do not fall back on their own.
  • Rivers block movement.

So far we have played a few games using the basic game board and 6mm miniatures on 1.75" by 1" stands to represent entire units.  We use little markers to denote hits.  He thinks it is really fun, which is really all that matters to his old man....


  1. You have found wargaming gold, may you reap it's rewards for years to come.


  2. Regularly. In the last two games I have rolled a '1' for command cards and he has gotten a 4 and a 5. Also, I tend to hedge his force a bit.. You need to bait the hook early.

  3. "You need to bait the hook early"

    Works the same for adults...

  4. I managed to lure my wife to play a game of Battlecry. She likes it and has returned for a couple more helpings of the game. C&C games are a good way to get the casuals to try a bit of wargaming.

  5. Nothing better than having fun sharing your hobby with your son! It may not continue, or he may become a bigger fan than his dad over time.

    Grerat picture, BTW!


  6. "Great" - can't type worth a damn, LOL!

  7. "he has the standard attention span of a six-year old."

    Me too!

    It's good to see the next generation of war gamers engaging with the subject.

    1. Fortunately he is still at the age that considers stuff dad does as 'cool' in 7 years I expect him to reverse that position as teens are want to do...


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