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Commander Template Challenge: 12/15/2016 03:14:35


Beren • apex 
Level 63
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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 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
  • 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.
  • I set initial armies in picks to 4 and base income to 4. This allows a few different strategies on picks
    • 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.
  • 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.


Here is a sample game:
  • https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=12665666

Here are two old sample games with 5 base income:
  • https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=12493589
  • https://www.warlight.net/MultiPlayer?GameID=12493127


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.

Edit:
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
Commander Template Challenge: 12/15/2016 15:07:57


ps 
Level 60
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only commanders template worth playing is MA NS Poland, everybody knows that. good effort though.
Commander Template Challenge: 12/17/2016 01:31:18

player12345
Level 61
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Nice work. Maybe we'll see this in a WGL?
Commander Template Challenge: 12/17/2016 09:57:15


tomjh
Level 57
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Open your mind ps.
Commander Template Challenge: 12/17/2016 19:23:39


Glam 'd Slam Islam
Level 61
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5 in neutrals - more income for the player - to make comander not able to take aterritory every single turn without using armies
Commander Template Challenge: 12/18/2016 01:40:32

Kakuro
Level 54
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Uservoice being able to specify the strength of the commander instead of always counting as 7 armies. That could already solve the cheap-expansion-problems.
Commander Template Challenge: 12/19/2016 14:09:43

Hasdrubal
Level 58
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Let strength of commander be increased with the number of turns. One turn - one count more. So, in turn 20, commander will be worth 27 units.

Or let game creator decides, but count of 7 units should be basic worth (therefore cannot be less than that value). The way it is, commander is offensive weapon during first few turns, and after that commander is more burden than weapon.

Probably it would be OK, if games can be set with bosses, too.
Commander Template Challenge: 1/10/2017 04:25:58


Beren • apex 
Level 63
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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
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