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FOTS: Tactical Command is the tactical game in the Fire on the Suns universe of strategic games.

From their website:

What good is a space combat game if can't rip gory chunks out of your friend's battlecruiser?

Fire on the Suns: Tactical Command is an easy to learn set of rules for starship combat. You can play it using the included V_MAP software or you can print out all the components and play Tactical Command like a traditional board or wargame.


TCOM2 is a game of tactical combat in the depths of space. It's fast, fun, and flexible carnage as capital ships and their escorts rip into each other. Use the Fire on the Suns game universe or create your own epic tales of ships locked in mortal combat.



6/23/2008 - A new Fire on the Suns page is up at but it doesn't have any info on Tactical Command.


2/9/2006 - The website isn't currently working but I did just get this news item from Greg Ellis:

It is with deep regret and heartfelt friendship that Ellis & Company Publishing announces the retirement of partner, friend, long-time Fire On The Suns community member, and FOTS contributor Todd A Zircher from active participation in the company and the FOTS community. Known for his contributions to Fire On The Suns and FOTS: Tactical Command, TAZ also developed the acclaimed FOTS Tactical Command 2 and Cluster War game systems. TAZ has been a valued member of the E&CP partnership since it was formed in 1995 and he will be missed. He moves on to pursue other projects.

As part of his retirement from the FOTS community and partnership TAZ retains his copyrights to TCOM2 and Cluster War and will be re-publishing them in a future, non-FOTS product of his own.

Fire On The Suns: Tactical Command is currently out-of-print and is undergoing a complete facelift. Ellis & Company Publishing expects that the product will be re-released by March, 2006 with the tentative title of Fire On The Suns Fleet Strike.

FOTS Fleet Strike will be a 60-100+ page pdf-format rulebook available via the web or on mini-CD or regular CD or DVD. A printed version is not expected to be made available at this time. FOTS Fleet Strike is the grand tactical (6 light minute per hex) and tactical (1 light second per hex) replacement for FOTS Tactical Command and will include ship designs and fleet listings for all of the major and minor powers in the Fire On The Suns strategic campaign game, and new, updated tactical rules which will include ship facing, ship heading, ship thrust, weapons firing arcs, four different types of FTL drives and how they effect the game at the grand tactical and tactical levels, local space "weather" and objects rules, and a complete listing of the basic FOTS technologies and how they work in the game system.

Much effort has gone into making FOTS Fleet Strike completely compatible with Fire On The Suns. The rules will allow a prospective admiral to command his fleets with much more control and detail than that experienced by players of the strategic game.

Pricing for FOTS Fleet Strike is yet to be determined, but we expect it to be in the $15-$20 range.

Fire On The Suns Fleet Strike was written by Greg Ellis and edited by Todd A Zircher, Brad Clarkston, and Jeff Engel.


4/26/2003 - URL of the FOTS website updated to 


1/30/2003 - Here is a section of the latest press release from Ellis & Company dealing with TCOM2 and Fire on the Suns:

Early sales of Todd Zircher's Fire On The Suns: Tactical Command 2nd edition are also extremely promising and Ellis & Company Publishing plans to release several additional supplements for TCOM2 modeled off FOTS The Quintera Cluster War and FOTS The Xaban Cluster products which are nearing release. This has delayed, slightly, releases of additional Fleet Books for TCOM 1st edition. Todd has also developed a node for TCOM or TCOM2 for use on the OpenRPG server for face-to-face combat between opponents via the web.


12/16/2002 - Fire on the Suns: Tactical Command, 2nd Edition (TCOM2) is now available.  Here are the contents of the CDROM - Over 100 megabytes of programs, images, and more:

- 65-page rulebook (PDF format)
- 140-page Fire on the Suns Campaign Book (PDF format)
- Dozens of printable maps, counters, box miniatures, and control sheets.

10/22/2002 - Fire on the Suns: Tactical Command, 2nd Edition (TCOM2) is gearing up for release and I've gotten some information about it from the designer, Todd Zircher.  TCOM1was intended to be a paper version of the FotS battle engine and be able to handle fast kill fleet action.  TCOM2 will have more tactical detail than TCOM1, yet won't be overloaded with it like some other game.  It uses a a hexagonal damage allocation template (DAT) that  also doubles as a ship design tool.  TCOM2 will also try something new as it will be distributed on a CD-ROM including the rules and much more.  I'll let Todd describe the game and the CD-ROM contents:

"What good is a space combat game if you can't rip gory chunks out of your friend's battle cruiser? TCOM2 is a high tech slug fest where your custom designs can tear into each other. Using the elegant damage allocation template, one diagram contains your design, determines the angle of attack, and allows you to apply damage based on the kind of attack. 

Particle beams slash. Missiles explode and dig into the hull. Deadly X-Lasers burrow in seeking delicate internal components. Is your death dealing cruiser sleek or a flying meatball? Size (and shape) does matter. That needle cruiser may be hard to hit from the front or rear, but it very vulnerable from the sides. Your hull designs, choice of weapons, and the placement of equipment have a direct impact on the tactical capabilities of your vessels. 

TCOM2 is nearly unlimited in its configurability and can be used with just about any genre, movement system, or technology base. Besides the core rules, the TCOM2 package includes the Fire on the Suns Campaign Book, DAT Builder software, dozens of maps, counters, box miniatures, and the V_MAP play by e-mail software."


10/29/2001 - FOTS: TCOM1 and Fleet Book 1 showed up in my mailbox today so they must be shipping.  More info when I have a chance to go over it a bit more.


10/1/2001 - Greg sent out the following update:

"Work is moving ahead smoothly with FOTS: TCOM1 and its first supplement Fleet Book 1. I've found less-expensive cover and counter material and am confident that I can lower the prices on both of these products to more reasonable and completely affordable levels without losing my proverbial shirt.


Thus, the new pricing schemes for these products, which are on-schedule to be released on October 15th are as follows, 


Fire On The Suns: Tactical Command 1st edition 

Contents: One 52-page rulebook 

     Four 5-1/2x8-1/2 cardstock countersheets (416 counters) 

     Two 11x17 hex-maps 

     Two 5-1/2x8-1/2 Fleet Control cards 

     Pricing: $6.95 


Fire On The Suns: Tactical Command 1st edition Fleet Book 1 

Contents: One 36-page rulebook 

     Four 5-1/2x8-1/2 cardstock countersheets (416 counters) 

     Two 11x17 hex-maps 

     Two 5-1/2x8-1/2 Fleet Control cards 

     Pricing: $4.95 


Advance orders are being taken. Official release date is October 15, 2001."


9/19/2001 - Due to a few more tweaks and changes to things like fire arcs, the release date for TCOM1 and Fleet Book 1 is now October 15th.


9/7/2001 - Greg Ellis let a bit more info on TCOM1 slip in discussions on SFCOMSIM-L though it looks like a few more additions to the game will be added thus delaying its release a bit:

"FOTS is supposed to be the Emperor's game, TCOM1 is supposed to be the Admiral's game. TCOM2 is supposed to be the Captain's game."

"TCOM1 has everything it needs to be a fast, fun, and furious game (think "Ogre" with starships)"

"TCOM2 has everything (thanks to TAZ and George Velez) - firing arcs, sweeping weapons, damage silhouettes, detailed damage, etc. Unfortunately, it's scheduled for next year release as it has yet to be fully playtested (or even partially at this stage)."


8/22/2001 - From Greg Ellis of Ellis & Company Publishing:

Fire On The Suns: Tactical Command 1st Edition (TCOM1) has gone through a complete rewrite and thorough update to fit within the existing rules and design system. By August 31, we will begin publishing printed versions of TCOM1 as a complete game. This game will include 416 color cardstock ~3/4" counters, two 11x17 hex maps, 2 fleet control cards, and the rulebook in 5-1/2x8-1/2 folio size format. A 4-scenario mini-campaign, a random scenario generator, and 2 partial 1st Generation fleet lists are included in the main rulebook. FOTS: TCOM1 will be priced at $10 (56 pages, color cardstock cover).

In addition to the main TCOM1 rulebook and game, an additional supplement - Fire On The Suns: Tactical Command Fleet Book 1 will be published at the same time. This supplement will include another 416 counters, two more fleet control cards, an 8-scenario mini-campaign, two 2nd Generation fleet lists, an alternate, vector-based movement system, special and optional rules, and more. This book will run approximately 40 pages in 5-1/2x8-1/2 folio format and will be priced at $8.

Both TCOM1 and Fleet Book 1 are in final edit.

Following Fleet Book 1 will be at least an additional 3-4 Fleet Books containing counters, multiple 2nd Generation fleet lists, mini-campaigns, campaign setups, more 1st Generation fleet lists, histories, and more. We would like to see these supplements issued every month, but it's more likely that they will come out every 2 months instead. It's highly likely that The Quintera Cluster War, The Xaban Cluster, The Swarm War, The Unspeakable War, The Creator War, and Vampire Wars will first see publication as TCOM1 Fleet Books or related materials which means we'll definitely be seeing some of these before the year is out.