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Dungeon Command: Heart of Cormyr» Forums » General

Subject: Advantage: Drow? rss

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Andrew Gross
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(Originally posted in response to a session report, when I was done it seemed clear to me that it was better off in General so I moved it.)

My opponent and I have the Drow 3-0 vs. Cormyr. Last night in the final game I won without losing a creature and had 11 morale left. I had 6 creatures either in or adjacent to his starting area.

Granted, I started with a good draw, but still.

I hope it's just the learning curve, and not a huge imbalance. Even before playing for the first time, Aliszandra's ability to make all Spiders and Drow move an extra 2 seems enormously powerful compared to all the other commanders. I suspect it should have been one or the other and not both.

In addition to the base movement, the Drow also have much more powerful movement cards than Cormyr. And they have scuttle. It's just really, really hard for me to see how they aren't always going to get more treasure and always be able to get favorable ratios of individual combats-- 2:1 and 3:1 pretty frequently.

The Drow only have 3 cards in their deck that they're ever going to have trouble playing. They have 3 WIS cards and only 1 creature with WIS. Other than that, the only other 4 cards that aren't DEX based are Web, which can also be played by any Spider; and Faerie Fire, which can also be played by any Drow.

In contrast, Cormyr has 6 INT cards, and only 2 creatures that have INT. One of those 2 creatures is the Copper Dragon, which is the most expensive creature to deploy in the game and which will often be better off using its base attack than spending a standard action to cast a spell. They also have 2 copies of Quick Shot, which can only be used by 3 Creatures, 2 of which you'd ideally like to get out very early and treat as expendable.

If all of this were compensated for by the Drow having fewer hit points or significantly few attack/defense cards, that would be one thing, but this isn't the case, and in fact the Drow have advantages in both areas. Hit point wise, Cormyr has 660 hit points, the Drow have 690. Card wise, Cormyr has 8 defense, 10 offense, and 2 that are both whilst the Drow have 8 defense, 14 offense, and 2 that are both. Cormyr does have the Cleric, which can certainly be a good defensive piece, probably cancelling out the 4 extra offense cards the Drow have if you draw it.

Base ability wise, Cormyr probably has a small advantage; it's difficult to compare directly. Cormyr has 4 creatues that don't have any special ability at all to 5 for the Drow, so the remaining 8 would have to have very large advantages over the Drow in order to add up to anything significant, and just eyeing them non-numerically I don't see how you could argue that they have that.

All in all, I just don't see how these factions could be balanced; but my opponent and I are only 3 games in, so maybe there's some subtle advantage Cormyr has that compensates for these advantages (the movement advantage being massively in the Drow's favor).

[Edits for typos and grammar]
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Robert Wyant
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I beat the Drow pretty regularly with Cormyr. I do think Drow have the best Warlord so far (Aliszandra Malistros) But the the starter boxes seem pretty balanced to me.
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Nate Scheidler
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Yes, the two play differently. Cormyr has tough units that can absorb, prevent and heal damage, and the Drow have to avoid getting toe to toe while avoiding the long range attacks.
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Mark Campo
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i see the drow advantage too in that most card are dex and mostly allways usable, while Cormyr has a spread, also if Cormyr get no ranged in the 1st few creature draws there hard to get in into battle, there str characters are either to weak or too strong, and both slow!
still a good mixed hand for cormyr is a very good game,
the +2 speed is the best commander by far,

balanced probably as much as it can be, but I agree drow are favoured,
it is there year!
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I don't see anything wrong with trimming the decks a bit. Remove the INT Orders from the Cormyr deck (and maybe the War Wizard), and the WIS Orders from the Drow deck. Sure, they're not tourney legal, but you're not playing a tourney.

Intro decks are commonly not perfectly tuned. I mean, what fantasy army *doesn't* have a wizard? And, yes, the Copper Dragon is there because of the brand name!
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Andrew Gross
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Sam and Max wrote:
I don't see anything wrong with trimming the decks a bit. Remove the INT Orders from the Cormyr deck (and maybe the War Wizard), and the WIS Orders from the Drow deck. Sure, they're not tourney legal, but you're not playing a tourney.

Intro decks are commonly not perfectly tuned. I mean, what fantasy army *doesn't* have a wizard? And, yes, the Copper Dragon is there because of the brand name!


I believe you can remove 6 cards and still be tournament legal, since the minimum deck size is 30 and the deck has 36 cards. I believe the Limited rules only say that you can only use the contents of one box. I don't see any reason why you couldn't ditch 6 cards.

Getting rid of a creature wouldn't be tournament legal because it violates the minimum of 12 creatures. However, for the Cormyr, if you ditched your INT spells, the War Wizard is still awesome; 30 damage at range 10 is brutal, and if you're not drawing INT cards for him, it just means you're drawing STR cards for someone else; since the INT cards aren't inherently better than the STR cards, it shouldn't be any loss to miss out on them.
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Ian Toltz
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Just played tonight, first time for both opponent and myself. I played Heroes.

Early in the game I was dominating; particularly taking out his 100-HP Drider in one turn with my dragon knight (played the attack card that does 100 damage; opponent blocked 40; I heroic surged to untap and attack again for 40 damage) really devastated him.

After that, he stabilized and proceeded to dominate the treasures. Things were looking pretty bad for me. I was down to 1 morale with a dwarf on the field of easy pickings; I lucked out and drew a level up to buff his HP, which helped him survive that round, and then I was able to hide him behind my dragon to prevent an easy ranged kill while I gathered treasure. Then next turn I got up to 3 morale and there really wasn't anything else my opponent could do, so he conceded.
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Chris Jackson
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My biggest problem with Cormyr out of the box is that dragon.

He's not an adventurer, so he doesn't synergize with the way the rest of the box plays. And at level 6, he's probably just going to sit in your creature hand for a while once you've drawn him, limiting your flexibility.

On the other hand, the dragon knight and war wizard are amazing. (With proper support, at least.)
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MC Shudde M'ell
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I haven't played enough to agree or disagree, but I can certainly see how Cormyr seems to be tactically begging for purer optimization while being (according to me) thematically near perfect. Assuming that this imbalance is real, I submit that a great way to balance the sides would be a simple handicap - 1 point to Morale, Leadership, Order Hand, and Creature Hand at the start of the game. Either add to Cormyr or subtract from Drow (or do both if you think the balance is that far off). It's simple and requires no new purchases, nor does it mean taking away elements like spells for spellcasters which add flavour if not advantage (I particularly love that the Dragon can cast spells, for reasons that have nothing to do with the board game as a board game).
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Michael Off The Shelf Board Game Reviews
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Currently I am seeing 7-5 Win/Loss Ratio Favoring Cormyr. My vote is great balance so far.

EDIT: This is out of the box unmodified war bands.
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Darren Eskandari
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So far I have it balanced out thusly:

Cormyr is stronger and has the advantage in creatures, damage, HP, and band synergy. Unfortunately, the order deck is less refined than Lolth.

Lolth has the advantage in the order deck of having primarily a single stat shared by all the creatures, but lacks the firepower to handle most of Cormyr's might.

In the end it's almost a wash straight out of the box unless one side gets a luckier draw than the other. In fact I'd say a slight edge goes to Cormyr unless the Lolth player has a better flare for tactics and is more suited to using finesse to their advantage.

However, when optimized, I think Lolth has the edge with the Dex based order cards allowing for more streamlined tactics.
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chrsjxn wrote:
My biggest problem with Cormyr out of the box is that dragon.


D&D sets have had that problem in the past -- when asked why the D&D Basic Set circa 1977 had a section on dragons for a game that was only for 1-3rd beginning-level characters, the creators responded, "Well, what if you picked up a product that said Dungeons and Dragons and it didn't have a dragon?"

laugh
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Mike
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MikeWyant wrote:
I do think Drow have the best Warlord so far (Aliszandra Malistros)




My first impression was pretty much the same with regards to Aliszandra, but after closer inspection/testing I'm not sure that I agree that she is the best.

Lets be honest when you first play with the Drow, you read the Abilities that both Hero's have and you choose. Aliszandra's ability is simple and affects 75% of your units. Wow!, so you take her...

But I think Kalteros might have a leg up on her.Anyone notice that he has 9 leadership to start? This is pretty significant in my eyes. Furthermore, his ability is probably way better as well. Being able to draw an order card instead of a morale, when taking a treasure, is huge.

Let me put it this way... Morale at the start of the game isn't very useful, its a longterm thing, so in the shorterm taking extra order cards is better. Kalteros allows you to have a larger army (9 leadership) and more order cards from the get go.

Aliszandra's ability is useful, but its really not needed, that factions units are already moving fast enough as it is.
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Terry Simo
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Our games have Drow 1 win / 2 losses.
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Mike1977 wrote:
MikeWyant wrote:
I do think Drow have the best Warlord so far (Aliszandra Malistros)




My first impression was pretty much the same with regards to Aliszandra, but after closer inspection/testing I'm not sure that I agree that she is the best.

Lets be honest when you first play with the Drow, you read the Abilities that both Hero's have and you choose. Aliszandra's ability is simple and affects 75% of your units. Wow!, so you take her...

But I think Kalteros might have a leg up on her.Anyone notice that he has 9 leadership to start? This is pretty significant in my eyes. Furthermore, his ability is probably way better as well. Being able to draw an order card instead of a morale, when taking a treasure, is huge.

Let me put it this way... Morale at the start of the game isn't very useful, its a longterm thing, so in the shorterm taking extra order cards is better. Kalteros allows you to have a larger army (9 leadership) and more order cards from the get go.

Aliszandra's ability is useful, but its really not needed, that factions units are already moving fast enough as it is.


If you play the Drow you have two options: win fast or loose. Aliszandra help to get into combat faster but I don't thik that this helps to much. With Kalteros you can get order cards and having more order cards than your opponent is a HUGE advantage. And with the higher leadership you can send 8 levels of cretures into battle (1 more than your opponent) and you have a spare level 1 creature to collect treasures ie cards. Yes, I also think that Kalteros is the best leader so far.
 
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