Echelons of Fire is a collectible card game for two players, who assume the roles of military commanders of the United States of America and the Soviet Union in the 1990s. It is a sister game to Echelons of Fury, which pits players as World War 2 German and American commanders.
Players build up their armies in the form of their own deck of cards, which represent supplies, units (air and land), weapons, equipment, and orders. The objective is to destroy the enemy headquarters (HQ). To go on the offensive, deployed units have to be ordered with maneuver cards, which direct the attack along one of three terrain cards between the players. The defender can freely choose among his deployed units to meet the attackers on that terrain. The outcome of the resultant combat depends on the influence of the terrain card, the involved units and their attached equipment. If the attack is not defended against, the attackers inflict damage on the HQ.
The game ends in a victory to the attacker when he or she has inflicted enough damage (typically 20) to their enemy's HQ.