Commands are issued through a series of menus and movement is grid-based. All units have a set number of action points which determine how many times they can move or attack per turn. This allows for strategic flexibility and makes it possible to run a unit from a short distance, launch an attack, and then pull back to safety. The movement grid will shrink based on the number of usable points, taking some of the guesswork out of planning.
As you uncover more of the map, you'll also come across special tokens. If collected, tokens will either grant special bonuses to your unit or some kind of punishment. This adds a bit of risk/reward to the game, though the negative effects sometimes feel a little cheap to the point where you probably won't want to fool with them. Battles also showcase a bit of randomness; some attacks will randomly glance off their target. It's great when your units are the beneficiary, though it seems to take a little away from the overall strategy. Granted, random stuff like that happens in a real battle, though the hint of realism doesn't really mesh with rest of the mechanics.
Similar to Advance Wars, each army also comes with a Commanding Officer (CO). CO's are extremely powerful units that possess passive and active skills that can easily turn the tide of battle. Passive skills are always active and affect any friendly unit close to the CO, such as a defense bonus. Active skills are governed by a skill gauge that, once full, allows you to unleash a powerful move - such as an attack that hits everyone within a certain range. Knowing how and when to get the most out of your CO's power is just as big a part of the game's strategy as knowing how to use units. However, it is really easy to become too dependent on COs - which is a sizable drawback. These units are so powerful and costly that, if you lose one in battle, it is difficult to recover.
Though Commanders: Attack of the Genos doesn't do anything new, it puts on a good enough show. Gameplay is fun and addictive, though it doesn't do much to grab anyone who isn't already a fan of the genre. At the same time, since it doesn't push many boundaries, even some hardcore fans will be turned off. Either way it is probably best to try the trial version before you buy. If you do decide to drop 800 points on the game, know that it is money well spent.