I Believe Command Cards Should Affect Your Army List! – part 1

Posted: 18 September, 2014 by nimthar in Article series, Discussion, Dropzone commander, Jens

Sometimes I will venture neck-deep into excel, trying to crunch some probability numbers when I am thinking about games. This article is the result of one of those times; I started to think about what is the probability to draw a certain type of card in Dropzone Commander with a certain command value (CV) commander. For example did you know there is a 45,3% chance to draw a Call for Extraction command card with a CV 4 commander in the sixth turn if you have not drawn one before and drawing four cards each turn except the first, well I did not. It all started as a simple thought and became me learning some new excel-skills. So now I know about fractions, cool hey! But that is not the point. The point is that the command cards in Dropzone Commander and their various effects have the possibility to really affect how the game is played. Thus I would like to propose the following: the command deck should be taken into consideration when constructing an army list. With that statement I do not think that all command cards should be considered on an equal basis. Certain cards like Tactical Withdraw are in my opinion more probable to affect the outcome of the game then other cards like Field Repair.

I do not claim to understand the mathematics behind my calculations, I have learned by reading on the internet, watching youtube and asking friends of mine with a good mind for mathematics. If anyone find discrepancies please send me an email at jensbeckman(a)gmail.com and point them out to me. The full excel spreadsheet will be available for download in the last article.

There will be some numbers but I will not discuss them in detail, the numbers is there as a reference rather than being the whole of the discussion. I started by designating the command cards a primary characteristic and a secondary characteristic. Then I listed their requirements followed by a judgment call, which I refer to as “Game Impact”.

The primary characteristics are:
Activation tampering command cards change the order in which activations are taken.

Enhancing command cards increase a certain unit type’s ability. These kind of cards cannot be used unless the player have units in their army list of the given category. These categories are airborne transport, aircraft and vehicle, fast mover, infantry, skimmer, transport, unit or vehicle. These refer to the wording used by Hawk Wargames when describing a unit and which movement rules or type of unit that should be used when understanding a unit’s profile.

Other command cards are the one which does not fit into the categories above neither plentiful enough to become a category of their own.

The secondary characteristics are:
Die modifier impacts a die or dice roll in a positive or negative way.

Flavour command cards are the cards with a very niche ability which emphasises the faction’s thematic feel.

An influence command card affects an opponent’s choices in one way or another. This could be messing with activations or taking control of your opponent’s units.

Mobility increased refers to command cards which increase the mobility of the affected unit type.

Rule-breaking command cards override the games basic rules and grant the user the ability to circumvent a certain rule in a specific way.

Survivability command cards increase one unit or several units’ survivability.
Game impact is divided into low, medium and high.

Low game impact mean the command card will probably have a low impact on who becomes the winner of the scenario in its own right. These cards will probably only affect the outcome of one die roll or act as a flavour card granting a certain kind of feeling to the faction which it belongs to.

Medium game impact mean the command card will probably have a medium impact on who becomes the winner of the scenario; these cards may swing the game in to the favour of the player choosing to use it if it is used at the right time.

High game impact mean the command card will probably have a high impact on who becomes the winner of the scenario. These cards almost always affect the flow of the game or actions in such a way it cannot be ignored even if it have a minor effect from time to time.

When reading the percentages represented henceforth remember that they have been generated with a CV 4 commander starting in readiness. First turn is considered to be CV 1, from the second turn the CV value is considered to be CV 4. The numbers also represent that all cards of the type is still in the deck and that you discard or have played your whole hand when drawing cards at the start of a turn when drawing cards, thereby drawing four cards each turn from turn 2.

To clarify certain conditions have been used and should be considered when reading the percentages published in this series of articles.
1. Turn 1, CV 1
2. Turn 2 to 6 as CV 4.
3. 1 card is drawn first turn, 4 cards turn 2 to 6.
4. The percentage represents the chance to draw a specific card with the condition that no copy of it has been drawn in earlier turns.

The excel formula is as follows:
P =1-(((FACT(N-x))/((FACT(y))*(FACT(N-x-y)))/((FACT(N))/(((FACT(y))*(FACT(N-y)))))
The P is omitted in the excel spreadsheet.

Where N is the deck size at the start of the turn, x is the number of cards of the chosen type, and y is the number of cards you draw.

The whole excel spreadsheet with all the command cards and all the probabilities for CV 1 – 6 will be available at the end of the article series. I expect readers to disagree with my judgement from time to time, therefore this is only a suggestion on how to consider each type of command card.

Part 2 will discuss the General cards which every faction has available.

  1. Snormumrik says:

    Hey Jens! Nice to here from you, this will be a really good reed! I look forward to se what results you are presenting!

    You will not get any math contradictions from me..

  2. egges says:

    Having more information on what the enemy can have for cards is a very interesting aspect. Linus used monorail cards to win a game some weeks ago . He got them turn 2 and kept them until turn 5 or 6. If one have more understanding of the likehood of a certain card in enemy hands you can better decide on how the espionage cards should be used. So I look forward to the other parts.

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