"The player is in charge of a squad (the titular "cannon fodder") of between one to eight men that can be, for command purposes, split up to three groups (referred to as Snake, Eagle and Panther squads). All men have a machine gun with unlimited ammunition, as well as limited caches of grenades and rockets that can be found on the map. In later levels, the player is provided with some grenades and rockets at the start of the mission. The player's machine guns do not harm its own soldiers, but friendly fire from grenades and rockets is possible, which are also the only weapons capable of destroying buildings and vehicles. Men can also die if hit by debris flung from exploding buildings and vehicles, get caught in man-traps, mired in quicksand, and hit by enemy fire. Men usually walk, but several vehicles are available in some missions. The game is split into several missions, which are usually sub-divided into phases. Dead soldiers are replaced by new ones at the start of each phase. Each soldier that survives a mission is promoted and receives a small increase in the rate of fire, accuracy, and range. The player is only able to save the game upon completion of a whole mission.
Each phase is structured around mission objectives which range from "Kill all enemies" or "Destroy enemy buildings" to "Rescue all hostages". Some phases are complex, and require the player to use their imagination, pre-planning and strategy. For example players may have to split their team into two or more groups and leave one group to defend an area or route, assigning its control to the game's artificial intelligence, while taking control of another group."
Source: Wikipedia, "Cannon_Fodder," available under the CC-BY-SA License.