The strategic community has a strong hatred of commander templates and the no-army left behind setting in general. There are several reasons for this.
- It encourages you to hit your opponents with indiscriminate attacks of 1 as there is no downside to it - you either kill 1 and lose 1 or you take a territory for free.
- It makes the already cheap expansion of 0% SR ridiculous. Expansion with neutrals of 2 and SR costs a mere 1 army per territory, and expansion with commanders is entirely free.
- Commanders can kill 4 armies on their own, so they are easily able to eat up unpicked warlords on standard settings further cheapening expansion.
- Having your commander automatically sent to your first pick can make the game into a bit of a pick lottery.
With all of this in mind I set myself the challenge of creating a strategic template with commanders that would be able to alleviate as many of these concerns as possible.
In order force deployment to take unpicked warlords with a commander I set them to 5. This is another very slight increase to the cost of expansion.
- In order to mitigate the advantage of attacking your opponent with attacks of 1 I used 0% WR, since attacking with 1 on WR only has a 60% chance of killing 1 army.
- WR already slows expansion a bit, but with neutrals of 2 you still have a 40% chance of losing only 1 army when expanding into a new territory, while at worst losing 2. So in WR with no armies left behind expansion is still cheaper than in standard SR which already has cheap expansion. Therefore I set neutrals to 3.
- This means that 5 armies are required to take a territory which is similar to the 5 armies you would have in a territory to attack with 4v2 in standard WR.
- On average 3 defenders will kill 2.1 attackers meaning that expansion will usually cost 2 armies per territory as in standard SR, and 10% of the time will cost 3 armies.
- Thus expansion without commanders is a bit more expensive than in standard SR, but cheaper than in standard WR
I set initial armies in picks to 4 and base income to 4. This allows a few different strategies on picks
Finally, for map balance I decrease the value of West China to +5/7 and West Africa to +3/4. With West China higher Asia became too rich, and with West Africa higher it became too dominant a pick in Africa.
- A commander can take a 6 territory bonus like Australia in 2 turns as a single pick.
- With a commander you can get a double pick FTB on a 4 territory bonus like Scandinavia.
- Without a commander a single pick can take a 4 territory bonus like Scandinavia in 2 turns.
- Without a commander a double pick can take a 5 territory bonus like West Russia in 2 turns.
Here is a sample game:
Here are two old sample games with 5 base income:
I couldn't figure out any way to address the potential pick lottery aspect of commanders, and I'm not sure that this template is completely balanced to avoid completely overpowered first picks. However, I do think this represents a good start to try to create a strategic commanders template, which really had not existed before this at all.
I challenge any community members to try to make a better one than this!
Shout out to Wick for suggesting some of the ideas I developed here and thanks to MoD, AG, and Motoki for testing with me.
With a base income of 5, it was possible to get a single pick FTB of a +3 bonus using a commander with a 40% chance. Having roughly a coin-flip to get an FTB is not ideal, so I decreased base income from 5 to 4. This means you only have a 16% chance of getting a single pick FTB, which seems better to me. It doesn't impact any of the other starting combinations I mentioned in my first post.
Here's a sample game with 4 base income: https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=12665666
Edited 1/10/2017 04:33:42