I Believe Command Cards Should Affect Your Army List! – part 3

Posted: 25 September, 2014 by nimthar in Article series, Discussion, Dropzone commander, Jens, PHR
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PHR

Activation tampering
Spy Ring (1)
T1: 2,5%, T2: 10,3%, T3: 11,4%, T4: 12,9%, T5: 14,8%, T6: 17,4%
Requirements: None
Characteristics: Influence
Game impact: High

Reasoning:
The Spy Ring command card is a way for PHR to higher the chance of gaining the initiative in the next round and maybe even paralysing an opponent’s opportunity to play command cards in the following turn. Since this command card is played in the roundup phase it is useless if played in the last turn of a scenario. Since this both affect initiative and the opponent’s ability to draw new command cards I rate it as of high game impact, winning the initiative is often crucial and negating the opponent command cards limits her/his options greatly.

Aircraft and Vehicle enhancing
White Nanomachines (3)
T1: 7,5%, T2: 28,4%, T3: 31,3%, T4: 34,9%, T5: 39,5%, T6: 45,3%
Requirements: Sphere of Influence, Aircraft or Vehicle
Characteristics: Rule-breaking
Game impact: Low

Reasoning:
The White Nanomachines command card could save an entire squad or make no difference it’s a Hail Mary in my opinion and should probably be used early or when trying to get a transport out of danger or saving a victory point winning unit in a focal point scenario. Since some of the PHR’s units already have a P5+, or better, the usefulness of this card is restricted to the units which do not have a passive save. Since it is a plentiful card and it is applied to a specific shooting action and to a whole squad it could be especially effective to use against Scourge or PHR because of their high energy shots and thus it might blunt the attack and saving a unit or two.

Infantry enhancing
Nanocloaks (2)
T1: 5%, T2: 19,7%, T3: 21,8%, T4:24,5%, T5: 27,9%, T6: 32,4%
Requirements: Sphere of Influence, Infantry
Characteristics: Die Modifier
Game impact: Medium

Reasoning:
The Nanocloaks command card may be used to pro-long a CQB with Immortals, together with the Stand Firm command card. This opens up an interesting strategy for PHR for dealing with other factions elite infantry. The Immortals may not go toe-to-toe with elite infantry but the ability to lock an opponent’s elite infantry in CQB for more than one turn with a squad of Immortals may be of a great tactical advantage. This combination should in my opinion be considered a high game impact use of command cards. This card may also save an Immortals unit which have manned the walls to use their Sniper Rifle. I believe this card really favours Immortals and may affect a PHR commander to get away with not including Sirens.

Stand Firm (3)
T1: 7,5%, T2: 28,4%, T3: 31,3%, T4: 34,9%, T5: 39,5%, T6: 45,3%
Requirements: Sphere of Influence, CQB
Characteristics: Die Modifier
Game impact: Medium

Reasoning:
The Stand Firm command card should either be played together with Nanocloaks on an Immortal squad or on its own on a Siren squad, granting the Sirens even more survivability. But since the Sirens have a Dodge 2+ it is in my opinion the better alternative to save it for a Nanocloaks combo to be used on an Immortal squad. This combination should in my opinion be considered a high game impact use of command cards.

Unit enhancing
Countermeasures Hack (2)
T1: 5%, T2: 19,7%, T3: 21,8%, T4:24,5%, T5: 27,9%, T6: 32,4%
Requirements: Friendly Squad, Enemy Squad
Characteristics: Rule-breaking
Game impact: Medium

Reasoning:
The Countermeasures Hack command card may be used to snipe an important target like a commander or a specialist unit. It also grants the PHR a way to utilise the Enyo, Odin or Phobos at peak performance, combining a high quality unit with infinite range and in a way disregarding the slow movement speed of the PHR walker army. But since it is still dependent on some good dice rolls I rate is of medium game impact and should be used to the greatest effect by targeting either loaded dropships, objective carriers or focal point holders. An opponent which is aware that PHR have this command card, must always consider their positioning even at long range where they may be safe when playing other factions.

Vehicle enhancing
Adaptive Camouflage (2)
T1: 5%, T2: 19,7%, T3: 21,8%, T4:24,5%, T5: 27,9%, T6: 32,4%
Requirements: Sphere of Influence, Vehicle
Characteristics: Die modifier
Game impact: Low

Reasoning:
The Adaptive camouflage is a rather weak card which should be used to draw out fire in my opinion. Use it on a high priority target which you most certainly know your opponent will open fire against, reducing the opponent’s use of her/his shooting phases. Together with a Zeus P3+ it may soak up a whole turn worth of shooting, this probably unlikely though since most opponent’s know the resilience of the Zeus and will probably favour a different target. Since this card is played in the Initiation phase it grants its bonus for a whole turn even if you loose an initiative roll.

Walker enhancing
Experimental Gyros (2)
T1: 5%, T2: 19,7%, T3: 21,8%, T4:24,5%, T5: 27,9%, T6: 32,4%
Requirements: Sphere of Influence, Walker
Characteristics: Mobility Increased
Game impact: Medium

Reasoning:
The Experimental Gyros command card may best be put to use on a Hades or a Phobos squad. The added mobility may grant the opportunity for an essential shooting opportunity or granting the extra inches needed to contest or dominate a focal point. It may also be used in a defensive capacity to shoot and then withdraw behind cover. But since the movement allowance is low for most of the PHR walkers from the beginning I do not see it being used reliably and need some really good eyeball mk.1 measuring skills to see if it would make a difference or not.

Other
Black Nanomachines (1)
T1: 2,5%, T2: 10,3%, T3: 11,4%, T4: 12,9%, T5: 14,8%, T6: 17,4%
Requirements: Sphere of Influence, Enemy Vehicle
Characteristics: Flavour
Game impact: Low

Reasoning:
The Black Nanomachines command card is in my opinion just a flavour card which will probably have a low game impact. The only real use for it should be to try and finish off a high priority target, this card should be played as soon as possible to make room for better cards. Since it is a to hit roll passive countermeasures can negate the effect, if possible, pick a target without one.

Drive Hack (2)
T1: 5%, T2: 19,7%, T3: 21,8%, T4: 24,5%, T5: 27,9%, T6: 32,4%
Requirements: Sphere of Influence, Enemy vehicle moving
Characteristics: Influence
Game impact: High

Reasoning:
The Drive Hack command card could be used to great effect. This may be to negate either cover or firing opportunities.  But most importantly deny a chance to deploy infantry into a building or stopping an opponent’s vehicles to contest or dominate a focal point, it may even be used in some cases to stop an objective being carried off the table edge. Since the command card have the ability to cause these effect I believe it could be worth hanging on to for that perfect moment, if it is combined with an Espionage card it could almost be guaranteed to be played which is even better. The only downside is the dependency on Sphere of Influence demanding a wide spread of either scouts or a high command value commander to be able to put it to great use.

Weapon Hack (2)
T1: 5%, T2: 19,7%, T3: 21,8%, T4:24,5%, T5: 27,9%, T6: 32,4%
Requirements: Sphere of Influence, Enemy Vehicle
Characteristics: Rule-breaking
Game impact: Med

Reasoning:
The Weapon Hack command card’s ability to change a target may be fatal or just a minor nuisance. Targeting a powerful weapon like a Shaltari Particle Cannon or a template weapon may cause some really interesting effects. The command card’s dependency on Sphere of Influence may limit its use to frontline units which may or may not have equally powerful weapons but could still be used to shoot down transports or buildings. Timing would be essential and therefore it could be worth saving for a turn.

Conclusion
The PHR have a good spread of command cards affecting most aspects of Dropzone Commander and they could be used in a wide variety of scenarios. I find the Nanocloaks and Stand Firm combination the most interesting and if pulled off could affect a game’s outcome greatly. Since the PHR command cards are not focused around a specific kind of unit and with just a few infantry based cards some walkers are recommended but almost also guaranteed since it is, well, let us be honest you did not pick PHR for their skimmers right?! Therefore my conclusion is that the PHR command deck does not really prefer a special kind of army composition leaving it open for some really interesting army lists which all could be supported by the faction specific command cards. The only units the command deck promotes is a high command value commander leading from the front or a good amount of scouts to guarantee your opponent’s units to be within Sphere of Influence so Drive Hack and Weapons Hack could be used optimally.

I hope you enjoyed this third part.  Please feel free to comment and discuss. Next time we will take a look at the Scourge specific cards which will be published on Sunday.

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