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Clash of Monarchs» Forums » Strategy

Subject: COM Deck Analysis rss

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Sam Carroll
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This project started off from idle curiosity. I was reading an AAR in which a player commented that the French were forced to sit out almost a whole season since they didn't have any 3 ops cards to activate their CIC. Thus I found myself wondering which power has the highest average ops value in their deck, hence this table. I also counted up the number of interrupts in each deck, as these can be critical. Note: the first half is just the Early War cards; the second half is the whole deck.



A few items pop out already: the deck values stay pretty constant from Early War to Wider War, though France takes a significant hit; Prussia has a wicked lot of interrupts, particularly in the Early War, when 1/3 of the cards in its deck are interrupts; Britain has the lowest average ops value; Russia has by far the highest.

However, this table does not reflect the fact that some cards (Karl von Zinzendorf, for example) are rarely if ever played for ops. Thus I weeded out the cards that – in my experience – are played as events more than half the time. This obviously excludes all one-time events as well as those that are only useful in very limited situations, such as Saxon Army Impressment. It includes all Lt unit recruitment cards (such as St. Victor's Legeres), all reusable finance cards (Monmartel & Laborde), many key interrupts (Is the Czarina Dead?), and a few odd ones (Court Intrigue: Versailles) that were questionable. I chose not to discard the multiple-activation cards (Prussian Poltroonery, Converging Attack), since I am mostly interested in activations, which these cards give, so not counting these cards would skew the results to the low side. For those who are interested, here is the list of cards I culled: A3, A8, A10, A11, A13, A15, A17, A23, A24, A25; P6, P7, P9, P10, P11, P12, P13, P14, P15, P17, P20, P22, P24; R1, R3, R5, R6; B1, B3, B7, B9, B10, B21; and F1, F9, F10, F12, F15, F16, F17, F18, F20, F22, F23. This resulted in the following table:



Note that Prussia got a significant increase, particularly in the Early War section; this is because of those crucial low-ops interrupts. Russia still has much the highest average ops value. Britain lost the smallest percentage of its deck, since its strong cards are almost all one-time events (Fall of Quebec). This tells us that Britain will be playing more cards for activations and colonial ops than France, particularly in the later war.

Just for grins and giggles, I did the math again, but with each multiple-activation card counted as 6 ops, since you could in theory activate two 3-initiative commanders with each. Some (Converging Attack) might allow more, but in practice, two is usually all you'll see. This makes the “median ops” line even more useless than it already was, so I deleted it. Resulting table:




You can see that Prussia and particularly Austria benefit greatly from these cards; France and Britain slightly; Russia not at all. Of course, Russia could use the French Major Campaign card, but I didn't want to get into that. The British jump is questionable, since for much of the war, Britain will probably just have one army (Ferdinand's) worthy of the name, so their Major Campaign is frequently wasted.

This analysis is imperfect for at least two reasons:

Firstly, France and Russia can play many of each other's cards for ops. I didn't know how to take this into account, so I largely ignored it. It's worth noting that none of the high value cards other than Winter Operations, Major Campaign, and Russian Reinforcements are playable by the other power, so the effect on deck weighting will probably be small. I'd imagine the Russians, who have fewer cards, will likely be poaching some 2s from the French to activate Saltikov.

Secondly, the ops requirements for each power are different. This table attempts to deal with activation requirements, based on the most commonly seen senior leaders from each nation.



You can see that the Coalition takes a big hit here, with their CICs largely needing 3s to activate, while the AP need 1s and 2s. I haven't done any more rigorous analysis in this area, though it's intriguing.

Britain and France will be sending some ops overseas, and they'll probably want decent cards for that.

A big factor is that everyone needs Supply Actions. The Russians, for most of the game, will need twice as many as everyone else. This negates their high-ops cards. The Prussians, by 1759 or so, may need to buy SAs only once a year or less, since they should have KK advantage, have lots of light units, be doing a fair bit of raiding, and probably be setting fewer sieges than the Coalition. The French, on the other hand, will have to buy nearly all of theirs.

I don't know that I've proved a whole lot, though I've had fun messing with the data. We can see that Prussia and Britain have the greatest opportunity for a lot of activations, given their initiative-1 leaders. Austria does well in the Wider War, but depends heavily on its multiple-activation cards, so if those don't come up, Daun may be stuck. The French have difficulties because of their incompetent leaders (but we already knew that) and the Russians because of their horrible supply situation. (Yup, we knew that too.)

Given the balance (three powers vs. two) it seems right that the smaller side (with interior lines of communication) has greater flexibility and ability to respond to threats. This makes for a balanced, tense game.

EDIT: Got the tables up to full size. Thank you, Tricks of the Geek!
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bob kalinowski
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Thanks for the math and analysis, Sam! Excellent insight into the laborious task of balancing the card decks that took us several years on COM.
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Mark McG
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perhaps combine France & Russia, since it is one player.
 
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Sam Carroll
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They are played by the same player and out of the same hand, but the heavy cards (3 ops) are almost all playable by only one power. I considered the issue, but decided not to combine.
 
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