Tuesday, April 24, 2012

On Cards and Commanders... Part 3: Land (part a)

Ah, the land commander. This guy is the great balancer when it comes to 2210 gameplay. Land strategy is equal parts offense and defense. It's all about being prepared for anything. I recommend the land strategy for all players but especially to those a little new to the game.

Land Commander
The official rules of the game state that every player starts with a land commander. My friends and I toss this rule as we think this would cause everyone to naturally use a land strategy every time since the other commander (except for the dip, but we don't allow starting with him either) costs energy. Also, I for one do not believe the other commanders are superior to the land guy in any way.
Anyway, this guy gets to roll with an 8 sided die anywhere on land in an attack only whether he is moving to land or from land. (The moon is not considered land). It is good to keep him in an attack position surrounded by plenty of other MODs. You may also want to keep him within your territorial borders or on a station for safety's sake.

Land Cards
The land deck contains some great cards for all sorts of different strategies. Let's have a look at some.

Stealth MODs:
Stealth MODs allows you to place 3 additional units onto a space that is under attack and it is free to use. Many times you will only have one of these cards at your disposal, so use it wisely. Using the card when a base is under attack is smart because all the MODs will be rolling 8 sided dice. Try not to waste your card. Putting up an extra 3 men when the battle is already 35 to 4 is probably not a good idea. There will be times though when you have several cards (up to 4) in your deck. My advice is to use them all at once. First of all it is very likely that you will not get the chance to play them again. When people see you with a stack of land cards they think twice about attacking you or they use a frequency jam. Second of all, playing them all at once can be a huge deterrent to an attacker. Your foes will rethink their advances if a poorly defended spot with one guy becomes an army of 13 in an instant, and you are left with a nice attacking force for the counter.

Assemble MODS and Reinforcements:
These are great for a little extra umph when you need it. Assemble MODs allows you to place 3 units on any 1 territory you own at the beginning of your turn for only 1 energy. Having several of these cards means the ability to quickly build an army that your opponent may not have seen coming. Use these cards as you see fit, they come in handy.
Reinforcements allow you to place 1 man on any 3 territories you own at the beginning of your turn for free. This seems useless but there are a couple of things I think this is great for. One is what I like to call "fearing the mother" or "mothering up". If that darned ol mother hasn't been played yet (not to mention random land strikes) you may want to make sure all the territories in a continent you control have at least 2 MODs on them. That way you won't lose your bonus if that pesky old woman pays you a visit. The reinforcements can help make this happen. Of course some people look at this as a waste of perfectly good units who will now never be able to fight or defend a border. The debate goes on.

...to be continued


  1. The main problem with a full land commander card deck is the frequency jam card. I experienced two turn 5 where I bid last and others players played this card against me because they thought that my deck was very defensive... I had 4 stealth mods cards et 1 land mine card :(

    I played these cards on turns 3 and 4. I'm strongly convinced that land cards are usefull to take a military advantage to build defenses and to surprise other players on turn 1 & 2. This strategy is awesome if you place your mods near devastated territories. Colony influence cards are also interesting but you need to defend your land commander and this is tricky because I place it on first line.

    Scout force card is also powerfull if you keep a focus on land territories and not on water or lunar.

    But the main disadvantage of this strategy is that taking an advantage on first turn, enemies would have a focus on you to reduce your army !!! And that's why I try to create a lot of counter attack points to block others players. You shouldn't be too greedy at all but you must keep an reinforcement advantage not far from 25% of the average of other players.

  2. Great insight my friend. Frequency jam is certainly a problem and my friends and I constantly complain that it doesn't cost anything to play. Of course the best strategy is to have some offensive cards as well as relying on some of those defensive gems.
    I like the idea of doing land stuff early on to build an advantage and then maybe venturing into something else afterwards. Say nuke or diplomat maybe?

    1. I tried the diplomate but not a good strategy !!! You loose your military advantage staying in a defensive stance.

      I prefer making a blitz on turn 3/4 with 8 nuke cards. The first 4 cards are useful (If you are lucky) to continue the conquest of the board more particularly with rocket strikeland !!! On turn 4 I make a strong defense on every place to prepare for the final turn where I bid last. I take 4 nuke cards expecting rocket strike moon to counter rush on the moon and to open a safe path to take it on the final turn.

      But I agree with you, land commander is well balanced and permit you to avoid a specific strategy like a full moon or a large blitz on water & land conquest. If others players predict this kind of strategy, you can be out of the game quickly