Dungeon Command By The Numbers: Order Cards
In my previous Dungeon Command By The Numbers, I crunched the numbers on the creatures in the first two factions packs (Heart of Cormyr and Sting of Lolth) for the new D&D miniatures skirmish game. But creatures only make up half of a warband. The other element of play are the order cards which allow you to command your creatures to perform special abilities. Again, I’ve crunched some numbers to give custom content creators something to start with.
Order cards range in level from 1 to 6. For the two released sets, a majority of the cards are level 1 or 2 (see stat breakdown below). The combined level of the 36 order cards in each set is 66 (Cormyr) and 68 (Lolth).
Number of Cards
The two released sets have 36 order cards each. Hearty of Cormyr has 14 unique cards and 11 cards that appear twice. Sting of Lolth has 8 unique cards and 14 pairs of cards that appear twice.
For a creature to use an order card, it must be of the same level or higher and be based on the same stat. The stat required for order cards largely depends on the effect and the theme of the deck/warband. The breakdown for the two released warbands appears below–Cormyr is mostly based on STR with a couple of INT, and Lolth relies heavily on DEX with a few INT and WIS. Neither have CON or CHA cards/creatures, both of those will appear in future faction packs. Both sets have a few cards that can be used by any creature.
Powers can be Immediate, Standard, or Minor. Creatures generally only have one Standard action on their turn and one Immediate action on the opponent’s turn (in both cases they “tap”), but any number of Minor actions on their turn.
Much like creature powers, the balance of command card powers and the interaction among the various characteristics of a command power (i.e. level, stat, and type) are known only to the designers. As more sets are available we should be able to form a clearer picture of how to balance our own custom powers. I have pored over the available command cards, however, and made a few conclusions. Keep in mind that these are based on the small set of available data and could be wildly inaccurate.
Powers that Prevent Damage
So far, powers that prevent damage appear at level 3 or lower. They are all Immediates and almost always tied to a stat.
- If the power does nothing but allow a creature to prevent damage to itself from any one source, the baseline appears to be:
- 1st Level Power: Prevent 20 damage from any one source. (see “Intercept”)
- 2nd Level Power: Prevent 30 damage from any one source.
- 3rd Level Power: Prevent 40 damage from any one source. (see: “Close Call”)
- If the power has some restriction, like prevent damage to an adjacent creature, or allowing the opponent to draw a card, the amount increases by 10 (see: “Defend Ally”, “Recoil”)
- If the power allows the creature to also make a melee attack, the combination of the damage prevented to the creature and the melee damage it does generally adds up to the baseline above. So, a second level power that would prevent 30 damage can prevent 20 damage and allow a melee attack that does 10 damage. (see “Seize the Opportunity”, “Riposte”)
- If the power allows the creature to untap, it prevents 10 less damage. (see “Near Miss”)
- If the power allows the owner of the creature to draw an order card, it prevents 20 less damage (see “Parry”).
Powers That Heal
There are only two card thus far (“Healing Potion”, “Invigorating Smash”) that heal damage, and one that removes an attached card (“Saving Throw”). Healing is likely 20 points of damage per level, and by itself is a Minor action.
Powers That Grant Movement
Shifting, moving a creature’s speed, and sliding (forced movement), all appear as various 1st level Minor action powers (see “Stalk”, “Into the Fray”, “Shove Aside”).
Powers That Do Damage
Powers that do damage are generally Standard actions and, in most cases so far, grant melee attacks. Powers with Minor action attacks (see “Quick Jab”, “Quick Shot”) generally just grant an additional basic creature attack (and are 1st level). Damage-dealing Standard action powers come in two forms: those that deal fixed damage, and those that add a bonus to the damage a creature does with its basic attack. Some observations:
- Standard action, grants a melee attack that does damage, or the creature’s basic attack with bonus damage, and sometimes other effects.
- Whether fixed damage, or bonus damage, the amount is generally 20 per level (see “Power Attack”, “Killing Strike”).
- If the power also allows a shift or slide, or similar simple effects, the amount is general 10 damage less (see “Shadowy Ambush”, “Blast of Force”).
- If the power also heals, the damage might be less the heal amount (see “Invigorating Smash”)
- If the power allows nearby creatures to assist, it might do 20 less damage (see “Sneak Attack”)
- If the power also allows a creature to untap, or forces the enemy to discard, it might do 30 damage less (see “Daring Attack”, “Disrupting Attack”).
- If the creature’s owner must discard a card, it might add 10 damage (see “Sacrifice”).
- Attacks that target multiple enemies might only do 10 damage per level (see “Fireball”).
Order Cards By The Numbers
Finally, here are some statistics about the order cards for the two released faction packs.
|Heart of Cormyr||Sting of Lolth|
|Duplicates Cards||11 pairs||14 pairs|
|Allow Assist w/o Requirements||0||1|
|Do Melee Damage||14||13|
|Combined Melee Damage||410*||320*|
|Do Ranged Damage||3||1|
|Combined Ranged Damage||30 to 750*||20 to 500*|
|Do Ongoing Damage||0||2|
|Combined Ongoing Damage Per Turn||0||20|
|Do Bonus Damage||0||2|
|Combined Bonus Damage||0||20|
|Do Unpreventable Damage||0||2|
|Combined Heal Amount||20||0|
|Combined Damage Prevented||240**||180**|
|Combined Morale Gained||4||0|
|Attach To Own||6||2|
|Attach To Opponent||0||6|
|Draw Order Cards||2||6|
|Discard Order Cards||0||3|
|Opponent Discard Order Cards||2||0|
|Opponent Draw Order Cards||1||0|
* Some cards simply allow an attack or do damage in addition to weapon damage which varies by creature.
** Two cards prevent all damage to a creature.