Captains have the ability to Command other units, and knowing when to use this powerful ability, and what type of units to command, can often result in a victory.
COMMANDING A UNIT WITH A CAPTAIN:
Captains generally have an above average Rank attribute, meaning they usually will have a chance to activate to move or attack early in the round. Often, however, there is the opportunity that a lower-ranked unit could have a much more impactful activation than the Captain, but they’d have to wait for the higher Ranked units to activate. By the time it actually gets to that unit, that window of opportunity could be slammed shut.
That is where commanding comes in! If a Captain has the activation, but a different, lower ranked unit you control has a more advantageous opportunity, the Captain can Command. This means that the lower ranked unit gets to activate in the Captain’s place!
Commanding units is a great way to swing the momentum of Battle or to gain an insurmountable Victory Points lead. A Captain does not give up their activation completely for the round, but rather they have to wait until all other units on the Battleground have activated, then they would get their chance (they DO activate BEFORE the Reinforcement Phase, however.)
Captains indicate they have commanded with the Captain token, as this example with the ASANBOSAM SWIFTBLADE demonstrates.
While all Captains can command, Some Captains have a lot of powerful spells or are strong melee units on their own, making the choice to Command a bit more difficult. Ideal candidates to focus almost solely on Commanding are units like VUKAZI GENERAL. She has a solid Rank, (an average rank is 2) which means she will activate before units with a 2 rank. She is cheap, at 4 Gold. She generates Gold, always helpful. Other than that, she does nothing exciting, and is nothing to write home about as a melee fighter.
BUT, putting her in a space near your basecamp, away from the primary area of combat, and letting her chill and Command bigger, stronger melee units and powerful spellcasters? Then racking up 1 Gold each round? She becomes one of the most important units on the board.
Some Captains have a lot of powerful spells or are strong melee units on their own, making the choice to Command a bit more difficult. I like to use an powerfully skilled, versatile Captain that can score Victory Points, and then also make sure I have a “lesser” Captain focused entirely on Commanding. This can be a great combination.
As for commandees- simply put, the bigger the unit the better to Command! Anytime one of your biggest monsters has the chance to eliminate something- take that chance. Beyond that, there are some units and situations where a Command can be the absolute turning point.
These situations are whenever enemies are in a position in which one of your units could potentially eliminate more than one in a single activation.
Here are a couple of big-time melee units that have this potential, but it can only usually be leveraged if you have a Captain that can command them to take advantage of the fleeting opportunity before enemies move away. OGRE MAULER is a great example of a unit to look for the opportunity to utilize Frenzy via Command.
FRENZY: If this unit eliminates an enemy unit with a melee attack, it can make another immediate melee attack on another adjacent enemy.
This means that the Ogre can cut down another enemy unit if the enemies are on the right spaces. Units tend not to stay too close together or on the same space for multiple rounds, so seizing this opportunity is important. At a 2 Rank, it is not going to activate early enough to take advantage of enemies before they move, but a Captain with a 3 Rank could still have that window open, and the Ogre is going to wreak a lot more havoc than most Captains. Units with Frenzy tend to have great Attack attributes, and the ability can be maximized with Commanding Captains.
FIRESKY WYVERN has a single-use melee ability called Scorchblast that allows it to do 5 damage with a melee attack as opposed to it’s normal 3 damage.
SCORCHBLAST: 5 damage to an adjacent enemy (Melee attack) (1 use).
FIRESKY WYVERN is mobile and aerial, meaning it can get in position to use Scorchblast easily. The issue, however, is that at 2 Rank, it’s choices on a target might be limited. Why not make sure that you can unleash the extra damage at a time of your choosing rather than having to take what you can get? Keeping a Captain watching for opportunities to get the most Victory Points out of 5 damage can really help the Wyvern use the Scorchblast against the unit that will yield the most VPs.
Keep in mind, Captains CANNOT move or attack or do anything before commanding, and they CANNOT command from the basecamp, and they can only Command once per round!
What are some of your favorite units to Command? What are some of your favorite Captains? Join the conversation in the replies!