After streaks, I have come to believe that Crimson Commanders are the single most important strategic element of the Fiery Warpath. I cover the mechanics of attracting and catching Crimson Commanders below; I want to start by considering the strategic role of Crimson Commanders.
As you make multiple passes through the Fiery Warpath, you gain progressively better control of impact of the Crimson Commanders. You gain this control directly through Warpath Commander charms, and indirectly through the new traps (because the new traps give you better control of streaks, and the farther you are into a streak, the greater the impact of catching a Crimson Commander.)
You can use your growing control of the Crimson Commanders to optimize your path through the Fiery Warpath, as it were. For example, with the Oasis Water Node and super mage charms, Magmarages are moderate. As Magmarages have the most points of any mice in wave three, a hunter wishing to maximize points would do well to begin with the Magmarages, as they may offer the best chance of getting a streak of nine in wave three. Whether to take that streak all the way to nine before trying to attract a Crimson Commander depends largely on how likely the hunter believes getting more streaks of more than six to be. After catch seven, you run the risk of attracting a Gargantuamouse instead. The chances of attracting a Crimson Commander rather than a Gargantuamouse decrease with each catch after the seventh, even with a Commander charm armed.
Switching to a Warpath Commander Charm before the ninth catch sacrifices substantial momentum, however, which is modeled in the game as follows. If you switch to a Warpath Commander Charm, you will attract one of two mice: a Crimson Commander or a Gargantuamouse. You will not attract the mouse you were previously hunting, therefore you sacrifice the opportunity to cause six more of that mouse to retreat for at least another six hunts. Whether the sacrifice makes sense depends on how many other mice are still in play: in wave 3 with none of the mice defeated and a goal of reaching the Warmonger as quickly as possible, switching early is clearly a good idea. In wave 1 on your last mouse, leave the Commander charms in your pocket and switch after the ninth catch as discussed in the next section on the Gargantuamouse.
Warpath Commander's Charms At the end of waves one, two and three, you are awarded one Warpath Commander's Charm, for a minimum of three each pass through the Fiery Warpath. The Warmonger drops zero to two Warpath Commander's Charms each catch, so that is a range of three to five charms per pass. If there is a pattern to the Warmonger's drops it has not yet emerged.
Effect of Bait Larry tells us that SB+ attracts more Crimson Commanders and experience thus far supports the scouting report. It is not as dramatic an effect as the use of Maki in the Dojo, however.
The following trap types are very effective against Crimson Commanders. While we do not yet know whether the types listed farther down the list are less effective than the types above them, we do know that they are, at most, equally effective, as the order in which trap types are listed is significant.
Crimson Commanders are one of only two mice that have any very effective trap types in the Fiery Warpath. (The other is the Gargantuamouse, who we will explore next.)
The fact that draconic is listed second has led to a highly successful strategy when switching to a Commander's Charm after catch seven. Arm your Ice Maiden and Spellbook base (you really should not be in the Fiery Warpath without one) with the Commander's Charm. That way you are prepared for either the Crimson Commander or the Gargantuamouse.
Crimson Commanders and Caravan Guards, the Support mice, retreat when you have defeated 90% of the mice in the wave. Thus in wave one, the Support mice retreat when there are 10 or fewer mice left, in wave two, when there are 18 or fewer mice left, and in wave three when there are 26 or fewer mice left. When planning a Crimson Commander strategy, keep in mind that they are not always around.