Echelons of Fire

Echelons of Fire CCG – A guide to card strategy, rules & winning instructions


Echelons of Fire is one of those CCGs that caught my attention with its unique blend of strategy and collectibility. So, what’s this game all about? Echelons of Fire is a collectible card game, released in 1995, where players build decks and battle it out using a mix of units, tactics, and special abilities as commanders in the US Armed Forces and Soviet Union. The game has a military theme, and it’s all about outmaneuvering your opponent on the battlefield.

The game quickly gained a following for its deep strategy and engaging gameplay. It’s not just about having powerful cards; it’s about how you use them. As for the cards, they are no longer in print (Echelons of Fire is out of print), so it can be a bit tricky to get your hands on them. Either way, whether you’re a seasoned card game player or new to the scene, I’d say Echelons of Fire offers a challenging and rewarding tactical card game experience.

Quick Tip for Echelons of Fire

Always keep an eye on your resources. Managing them wisely can be the difference between victory and defeat!

Rules for playing Echelons of Fire

Alright, let’s get down to business and talk about the rules of Echelons of Fire. The game is played with a deck of cards that you put together yourself. Each player starts with a hand of cards and a certain amount of resources that you use to play cards onto the battlefield. The goal is to outsmart your opponent and reduce their life points to zero.

During your turn, you’ll draw cards, play units, and execute tactics. Units are your soldiers on the field, and tactics are special actions that can turn the tide of battle. There’s also a cool feature called ‘command points’ which you can use to activate powerful abilities. The game goes back and forth until one player wins.

There are a few key rules to remember: you can only play one unit per turn unless you have a card that says otherwise, and you can’t attack on the same turn you play a unit. Also, each card has a cost, and you need enough resources to pay for it. It’s a game that’s easy to learn but hard to master, with plenty of depth for those who love strategy.

Card Types for Echelons of Fire

In Echelons of Fire, there are several types of cards you’ll need to know about. First, we have unit cards. These are your troops, and they come in different varieties with their own strengths and weaknesses. Then there are tactic cards, which let you pull off special moves or mess with your opponent’s plans.

There are also resource cards that provide the fuel for your actions. Without them, you can’t play your other cards. Some starter sets come with a balanced mix of these card types to get you going. As you get more into the game, you’ll start to customize your deck with the cards that fit your strategy best.

How to Play Echelons of Fire and Game Mechanics

Playing Echelons of Fire is a blast once you get the hang of it. You start by setting up your deck and drawing your initial hand. Each turn, you draw more cards, gather resources, and decide what to play. You can put down units, set up your defenses, or go on the attack.

The key game mechanics involve managing your resources and knowing when to hold back or push forward. It’s like a game of chess with an extra layer of complexity. You’ve got to think about your moves and anticipate what your opponent might do next.

As for the end of the game, it comes when one player’s life points hit zero. But getting there is a journey full of twists and turns. You’ll need to adapt your strategy as the game unfolds and make the most of the cards in your hand.

How to Win at Echelons of Fire

Winning at Echelons of Fire takes a mix of skill, strategy, and a little bit of luck. For beginners, focus on learning the cards and understanding how they interact. Intermediate players should start to look for combos and synergies between cards. And for advanced players, it’s all about mind games and predicting your opponent’s moves.

One key to victory is to control the pace of the game. If you can dictate when and how engagements happen, you’ll be in a strong position. Also, don’t forget about defense. It’s tempting to go all-out attack, but sometimes playing it safe and building up your forces can lead to a more certain victory.

Best Strategies for playing Echelons of Fire game

When it comes to strategies, there are a few that stand out. First, always try to have a balanced deck. You want a good mix of units, tactics, and resources. This way, you’re prepared for anything. Another strategy is to learn the common plays and then figure out how to counter them. If you know what your opponent is likely to do, you can plan ahead and catch them off guard.

Also, don’t underestimate the power of bluffing. Sometimes, making your opponent think you have a certain card can be just as effective as actually having it. And remember, every card you play gives your opponent information. Be sneaky and keep them guessing!

Deck Building and Best Cards in Echelons of Fire

Building a good deck is crucial in Echelons of Fire. You want to think about how each card fits into your overall strategy. Some cards are just naturally powerful and can work well in many decks. But it’s not just about power; it’s about how cards work together.


In Echelons of Fire, you’ll face all sorts of scenarios. Sometimes you’ll be ahead and looking to close out the game. Other times, you’ll be on the back foot, trying to mount a comeback. The key is to stay calm and think through your options.

If you’re ahead, don’t get cocky. Keep applying pressure but be ready to switch to defense if needed. If you’re behind, look for opportunities to turn things around. A well-timed tactic card or a surprise attack can swing the momentum in your favor.

Frequently Asked Questions about playing Echelons of Fire game

Got questions? I’ve got answers. Here are some common ones:

Q: How many cards can I have in my hand? A: You can have up to seven cards in your hand at the end of your turn.

Q: Can I play more than one unit in a turn? A: Normally, no. But some cards let you bend this rule.

Q: What happens if I run out of cards? A: You’ll keep playing with what you have, but you won’t be able to draw more.

And there are plenty more where that came from. Don’t be afraid to ask more experienced players or look up the rules online if you’re unsure about something.

If you really want to test your skills, competitive play is where it’s at. Just remember to have fun and keep learning. That’s what gaming is all about!

Echelons of Fire cards are fairly rare and have a nice vintage collectibility. Some listed on eBay here.