It is the general impression in our gaming group that levl 2 (skilled) commanders are only marginally cost effective for 50 points, and level 3 (exceptional) generals are well overpriced at 80 points.
Only once since publication have seen anyone field a level 3 commander, and he was a 'newbie' with stars in his eyes about all the things he could do with his stack of CPs. Needless to say he, 4 games to the wiser, immediately dropped the idea of fielding a L3 commander at the end of the tournament. A single L2 commander is sometimes fielded - often when you want 4 DCs but only 3 are allowed to be L1.
I don't mind high end commanders being a rarity, however I think that they have been priced too high - pretty much out of the game in the case of exceptional commanders.
How about this for an idea:
Page 101, left hand column: Replace the first sentence in '4.' (which covers deploying in blocks of 3) with:
"Players deploy their commands alternatively, 2 units at a time if the Corps Commander is Exceptional, 3 units at a time if Skilled or 4 units at a time if Competent, starting with the defender."
Item '5.' on the same page would need the '3 units at a time' amended to "2/3/4 units at a time".
This would provide an additional benefit for higher level commanders in that they are more likely to be able to finish deploying last, hence stack up their last units placed in an advantageous position. It would reflect the greater strategic ability of better generals.
It doesn't do anything to address the over-expensive L3 DCs, but it would give a small bonus to good CCs, with minimal amendment to the rules and no changes needed to the army list books.
I have to disagree about skilled corps commanders. For the additional 20pts you can allocate a command point to a DC outside command radius - or to an allied commander. To my mind a skilled CC is absolutely essential if you are fielding allies. The Exceptional Commander may be overpriced so it may be worth improving his value. I don't like the idea of only placing 2 units at a time (it just extends deployment time). I'd prefer the opposite approach of making your opponent deploy 4 units at a time if you have an exceptional CC and he hasn't.
I have no real problem with the cost of L2 generals either. That they are only 'marginal value' is ok - it means that competant commanders are more common than skilled ones - which seems reasonable to me.
It is really the exceptional generals that are overprice IMO. If their are some small ways to make them slightly more attractive without amending the lists, and with minimal change to the rules, perhaps this can be looked at.
During playtest versions, exceptional commanders could in fact have 2 rally attempts. This made them pretty good, a bit too good in my opinion.
- Terry your comment on making opponents of exceptional CCs deploy 4 units at a time may be worth developing.
Other random ideas might include: 1) an off table command that is led by a exceptional DC not having to indicate what side of the table he is arriving (he is better at taking the enemy by surprise); and/or 2) allowing a defending army led by a exceptional commander can ignore the 'can't move in the first 2 turns rule' (he won't be tied down).