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Subject: Comparing Commanders rss

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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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Creature Cards

The vast majority of Commanders have 3 Creature cards in their initial hand, so we will consider that the baseline.

Aliszandras: +1 Creature
Snig the Axe: +2 Creatures

Order Cards

Mode and median is 4 Order cards, average is 4.3. We will thus assume 4 as the baseline.

Delthrin: -1 Order
Lokar: -1 Order
Aliszandras: +1 Order
Tarkon: +1 Order
Morgana: +1 Order
Rhynseera: +2 Orders

Morale

Mode is 12. Median is 12.5. Average is 12.9. Baseline could be seen as either 12 or 13, I chose 12 because that means less bookkeeping.

Lokar: -1 Morale
Aliszandras: +1 Morale
Morgana: +2 Morale
Snig: +2 Morale
Valnar: +2 Morale
Drogar: +3 Morale

Leadership

Mode is 7. Median is 7. Average is 7.3. Baseline is clearly 7.

Snig: -1 Leadership
Delthrin: -1 Leadership
Tarkon: +1 Leadership
Kalteros: +2 Leadership
Lokar: +2 Leadership

"Tribal" Commanders

These Commanders have abilities that are only useful to warbands fielding a particular type of creature. If you are not fielding these creatures, you only get the following difference from a baseline commander.

Aliszandras (Spider, Drow): +1 Creature, +1 Order, +1 Morale, (+2 speed)
Kalteros (Drow): +2 Leadership, (1 Treasure = +1 Order card)
Lokar (Orc): -1 Order, -1 Morale, +2 Leadership, (initial deploy on Treasure)
Morgana (Undead): +1 Order, +2 Morale, (tap, -1 Morale: prevent 20)
Valnar (Adventurer): +2 Morale, (Standard: +Move)

"Generic" Commanders

While these Commanders might have abilities that synergize better with certain creature types, their abilities are available to all warbands.

Snig the Axe: +2 Creatures, +2 Morale, -1 Leadership, deploy in Refresh.
Delthrin: -1 Order, -1 Leadership, gains 1 Leadership per kill
Tarkon: +1 Order, +1 Leadership, cowering costs +1.
Rhynseera: +2 Order, can discard 1 Order per turn to draw 1.
Drogar: +3 Morale, ignore difficult terrain

This should allow better comparison for your Commander selection. For example we can see that Delthrin is all penalty except for his ability, so if you compare to other commanders you should consider the cost of that ability. Kalteros for instance starts at +2 Leadership with no ability in a non-Drow warband, while Delthrin has -1 Leadership and -1 Order, which means that for Delthrin to be better you need to gain at least 4 Leadership with his ability during your game and value 1 Leadership as worth more than 1 Order card. At Morale 12 or so on average, you would need to kill 4 creatures with average level < 3, which basically means this is only useful as an anti-swarm metagame choice.

Similarly, the new Orc commander Lokar is by definition going to be less good than Kalteros unless you play an Orc warband and you value this initial deployment as worth more than 1 Order card and 1 Treasure. I can see some warband designs where that might be the case, for instance if you are an aggressive warband using Orc Druids and you have enough Beasts to make him worthwhile without reducing the number of Orcs too much that the ability is inconsistent.

And Valnar is going to be inferior to Drogar in every warband except Adventurers, and even then I would seriously consider Drogar, as his ability is similar and doesn't cost a Standard action and isn't limited to a subset of your warband. Depending on your choice of tiles, Drogar might just be better. OTOH, depending on how much you value Order cards, Morgana might be superior to Drogar even in a random warband.
 
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Nate Scheidler
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Nice breakdown!
IMO, the top 3 commanders in no particular order are:
Tarkon - making cower a more costly play is great for aggressive bands
Rhynseera - Get the most out of your order cards
Drogar - Maximum manuverability; close the distance with melee pieces, or use the obstacles to greater advantage with your ranged pieces.

I think Delthrin's special ability is too hard to pull off to be worth the setback. Snig is a lot better if you can use the Orc Warlord, but otherwise a little restrictive for the early game.
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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My top 3 would be

Snig
Tarkon
Drogar

Rhynseera is close but I think Snig's deploy on Refresh phase is just the best ability in the game, and I'm quite willing to pay -1 Leadership for it... but I do get +2 Creatures as a bonus, which makes him really versatile. And consistent, because you will typically always draw your creature combos.
 
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Nate Scheidler
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XDarkAngelX wrote:
My top 3 would be

Snig
Tarkon
Drogar

Rhynseera is close but I think Snig's deploy on Refresh phase is just the best ability in the game, and I'm quite willing to pay -1 Leadership for it... but I do get +2 Creatures as a bonus, which makes him really versatile. And consistent, because you will typically always draw your creature combos.


Deploy on refresh is huge if your opponent has already managed to beat you back to your start area, or if you are running pieces that let you deploy adjacent to them on the battlefield. I think the +2 order cards and ability to pitch something you don't need gives you more flexibility with more bands. Both are applicable to very different builds, but a lot of pieces don't do much without strong order card support.
 
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Jean-Philippe Thériault
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950Rav wrote:
Deploy on refresh is huge if your opponent has already managed to beat you back to your start area, or if you are running pieces that let you deploy adjacent to them on the battlefield.


Deploy on Refresh is +1 activation for all your post-initial deployment guys. The vast majority of deployments you make in a game are due to losses on the battlefield, with fewer of them resulting from turn to turn increase in Leadership. These occur during the opponent's turn, which means that you have to play one full turn at lowered capacity until you get to your Deploy phase. Whereas if you can deploy during Refresh you can deploy right after the creature died. This is well worth -1 Leadership. The ability is stronger the more deployments you make in a game, thus it fits better in swarms (this also works well with +2 Creature cards).
 
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Marco Fattimiei
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My favorites are:

- Morgana: solid stats, and a great ability that can transform an already solid undead army in an unbreakable defensive testudo. (keep your best units alive with a much cheaper price than cowering)

- Snig, a lot of creture cards to chose from and great ability for ambush (shadow mastif but also with portal or priestess/necromancer)

- Tarkon, solid stats and an ability that really discourage your opponent from cowering (it's less useful if he has Morgana)

I've great expectations on Drogar, while I don't understand Lokar: even if you grab a couple of extra morale on your opponent tiles and manage to keep that creature alive (not an easy task) ... you will have an average commander with no special ability for the remaining match
 
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K.Y. Wong
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950Rav wrote:
I think Delthrin's special ability is too hard to pull off to be worth the setback.

I've tried Delthrin twice and I figured his strategy would be to deploy big hitters from the offset and try to get some early kills. The problem is that a starting Order hand of 3 very often doesn't help get you quick kills. What do you guys think of modding Delthrin to start with an Order hand of 4?
 
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Nut
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chromaticdragon wrote:
What do you guys think of modding Delthrin to start with an Order hand of 4?

Well, it would make him less terrible, but I doubt it would be enough to make me actually want to play him.
 
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Nate Scheidler
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BigBoar wrote:

- Morgana: solid stats, and a great ability that can transform an already solid undead army in an unbreakable defensive testudo. (keep your best units alive with a much cheaper price than cowering)


I will just tend to avoid commander abilities that determine my warband composition until more pieces are in circulation.

Quote:
I've great expectations on Drogar, while I don't understand Lokar: even if you grab a couple of extra morale on your opponent tiles and manage to keep that creature alive (not an easy task) ... you will have an average commander with no special ability for the remaining match


The morale gain isn't as important as the board placement here, as you're already hit by -1 morale just for the ability. Consider this with an Orc Druid, and then using its ability to spawn a bunch of your beasts in short distance from enemy forces. Or getting an Orc Archer out where it has a critical sight line at the beginning. There are a number of ways you can get good use from this, but it definitely requires a skilled player.
 
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corum irsei
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My favorite is definitely Snig and I consider Delthrin to be the worst. Unfortunately, I've played too few games to have a good idea how well most of the other commanders work.
 
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Thomas Haver
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Here is a follow-up to Jean's post on Commanders in Dungeon Command.
 
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