The CV difference. What level do you take?

Today I wanted to note the difference between Command Levels. This is a basic important thing in the game and very important to have a grasp of so you can decide what you want for your army. Some armies use low level commanders and some higher. Same thing with players.

So one of the most important things are; how important is it to get priority for you? This is individual as I know there are many players who saves in on the commander and are prepared to move second each turn. But to much difference in CV makes it much simpler to win activation and sometimes you want to hold the enemy back from a guaranteed first activation so they can not position themselves so very effectively. In Dropzone Commander you can move a dropship far, drop the load, move further and then your units are very often in a very good position to strike if you get the first turn.

See extremely complicated chart below.

0 difference: 50%
1; 66%
2; 76%
3; 82%
4; 86%
5; 86%

This is the difference of favorable outcomes for the player with higher CV. I have noticed some calculations out there are based on the odds of winning on a specific rolls. That means they include a draw. I have calculated what the odds are that you will win priority and thus included that any draw are re-rolled until an outcome is concluded.

The second question is how much are the cards worth? In some cases you need to consider the amount of chance of stopping the opponent again. Everybody has espionage cards and those are worth something. You can stop a quick thinking, a false diplomacy or a jink and weave with that. Many players that use low lvl commanders consider that the cards they get are “useless” but do not consider the odds of stopping the enemy’s cards which will roam free if you are not careful.

Especially I have seen this on UCM whose cards are weak. But they do have several cards important and useful I do think it is worth considering a higher CV. A high CV also stops your opponents cards. You get 40 cards. You have 3 Espionage cards. That means during a game you should get 2 espionage cards. Those can be stupid important.

The third question is of course how much points do you want to spend? 120 pts for Scourge lvl 5 commander is a lot of points.

So in the end I do think that people should never go below 3 in CV. That means you get three cards (1 Espionage) and the worst case scenario is that the enemy has a 76% chance to win priority. 1-2 won priorities per game against CV 5. It also means that if you kill the enemy commander you will now get priority 82% of the times. I also think it is one of the most point effective commanders.

I have seen lower level commanders winning tournaments and while I do think it is possible a player need to know what it means. But I prefer higher end commanders (even with UCM and Shaltari) so for me a Lvl 4 is always a minimum.

What do you use and how do you reason for that?


3 Responses to The CV difference. What level do you take?

  1. J.D. Welch says:

    In general I never want to go below a CV3 with any of my factions.

    With PHR, a lot depends on which Command Unit you take, IMO. I’m happy to have a CV3 Commander in my Nemesis or Hera, because they tend to die relatively early, if focused upon. But with a Zeus I want to go no lower than a CV4, but have a hard time justifying a CV5 since for the difference in price I can take one more Apollo-A (IIRC). But a CV5 in a Zeus is not out of the question; PHR cards are just too good.

    With UCM I definitely go lighter, no less than a CV3 again, I just don’t think a CV2 is worth it compared to what else you could take in your list. I’m looking forward to 2.0 for the deck building for UCM the most, as there tend to be a lot of very focused cards for things like CQB and FMs. However, if FMs become more viable in competitive lists, then those cards will become more relevant…


    • J.D. Welch says:


      I recommend CV5 for Scourge players because of their excellent cards and their benefit of likely to always go first. Very important for Scourge!

      Shaltari have very good cards, too, so I’d go with a CV4 most of the time, I think, but could see the need to go to CV3 due to the extreme high cost of Shaltari Units.

      Good topic, Egge!

      • With fm becoming a smaller part but more regular part of the armies I think the ucm cards will be slightly better. I think both lorn and Mike used low cv in their Phr and shaltari armies. So I think either can be successful.