Commander's Strike Issue

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I am a little confused by Commander's Strike and find it a little boring if I am reading right.

From my understanding, the warlord can use this ability to give another player a basic attack. Does the Warlord actually get to attack also, or does this mean he just stands there and tells them to attack?
The Warlord does not get to make an attack as well no. He is giving up his own opportunity to strike in favor of giving another member of the party (who is in position) to make a basic melee attack. This kind of thing the Warlord would consider if the party's fighter has combat advantage over the enemy but the Warlord does not. Or if the fighter's basic melee attack has a significantly higher damage potential than the Warlord's.
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Okay, that is what I thought... it seems weird as an at will power and after awhile, sounds like it will just get boring for the player. Each round just picking who would get an attack...

Seems to lose the flavor of all the other at will powers that has an attack as well as giving an ally a benefit.
Its for the warlord who's Int is higher than Str.
This kind of thing the Warlord would . . . if the fighter's basic melee attack has a significantly higher damage potential than the Warlord's.

Presumably, the fighter's basic melee attack does have significantly higher damage potential than the warlord's. Moreover, the fighter gets to add the warlord's Intelligence modifier to the damage. Assuming the warlord has high intelligence, this is potentially huge damage for an at-will power.

By the way, you can increase this damage even further by buying bracers of mighty striking for other members of your party.
You are the leader so let the defenders do the dirty work!

when i first read about the warlord i understood that you don´t take the glory of killing enemies but to make other kill for a greater glory!
Okay, I will probably have to see the power in action before making any decisions on it. Although the power make sense, I still think it will become kind of boring for the player to use. The player doesn't have to roll any dice, just chooses who attacks....

I see some advantages to this, but it seems weird as an at will power.
One of my players is thinking about creating one, so I might see the power played and see how it works out.
Don't forget about the ability to set off a Rogue who has missed with a sneak attack before your turn.
Some powers allow a character to use them in place of a basic attack, like a wizard's magic missile. So sometimes, it's not just a basic attack, it's a power that also adds your INT mod. I am not sure if there are higher-level powers that have this property as well, but it would allow an ally to use an extra power this round.
It's a very cool power, though not the kind of power you want to take, if you perfer to be the "action hero".

Look at it this way, a typical fighter with a longsword is going to have an attack of something like

+8 (str:4, Weap:3, Talent:1) With a damage of D8+4

The warlord might have an attck of
+6(Str:3, Weap:3) With a damage of D8 + 3

using this attack allows the warlord to replace his attack with the fighter's attack, and then add his Int to the damage, so it ends up being...

+8; D8+8 (assuming the warlord has a +4 Int)

Nice!
The added damage works well in conjunction with a fighter (my warlord uses a longsword and the fighter uses a maul, so he does much more damage), but there is something else to keep in mind as well. A fighter can mark each enemy he attacks, so this helps him to lock down another enemy. As someone else stated, this also can give your Rogue another shot at a sneak attack if his attack missed during his own turn.
It also works very well in conjunction with other warlord powers. For example, suppose you use warlord's favor to grant the fighter a +5 bonus to attack rolls against the BBEG until the end of your next turn. On his turn, the fighter can attack with a +5 bonus (twice if he uses an action point), and then on your turn you can use commander's strike to let the fighter attack again with a +5 bonus (twice if you use an action point).
Okay, I will probably have to see the power in action before making any decisions on it. Although the power make sense, I still think it will become kind of boring for the player to use. The player doesn't have to roll any dice, just chooses who attacks....

I see some advantages to this, but it seems weird as an at will power.
One of my players is thinking about creating one, so I might see the power played and see how it works out.

Remember, you get to pick 2 At-Will powers to begin with, so the Warlord will have another option if he starts to get bored watching others get to make attack rolls.
Okay, that is what I thought... it seems weird as an at will power and after awhile, sounds like it will just get boring for the player.

If you don't like the idea of directing your flunkies, erm, friends, to destroy your enemies for you, then you're probably not that kind of Warlord player.
Remember, you get to pick 2 At-Will powers to begin with, so the Warlord will have another option if he starts to get bored watching others get to make attack rolls.

This is true, but given only four choices is fairly limiting. It won't be as bad I guess as they release more powers.
I was noticing the exact same thing when I statted up a tiefling warlord for fun. It doesn't seem like fun on the player's behalf, but it is well-balanced.

One thing to keep in mind is that in fourth edition re-training is already built into leveling. As such, it is not difficult to change it any time the player wants to.
This is true, but given only four choices is fairly limiting. It won't be as bad I guess as they release more powers.

If you would like a third at-will power, consider choosing human as your race. I did that for a cleric that I will be playing in a game today and it made me insanely happy to have three at-will options :D
The hardest part of the Commander's Strike issue is setting it up. You and your ally have to be adj. to the same enemy. However, standing next to the fighter can help. When the fighter uses the Commander's Strike to hit a mob, he gets to mark him. It lets the fighter 'hold' an extra mob. If you have a pally tank, you can't use Commander's Strike, but you can use Viper's Strike to help keep it in place.
The hardest part of the Commander's Strike issue is setting it up. You and your ally have to be adj. to the same enemy. However, standing next to the fighter can help. When the fighter uses the Commander's Strike to hit a mob, he gets to mark him. It lets the fighter 'hold' an extra mob. If you have a pally tank, you can't use Commander's Strike, but you can use Viper's Strike to help keep it in place.

Actually, you don't need to be adjacent. You just need to be able to target the enemy with a melee attack.
Hence another reason that Reach weapons are so amazing for a Warlord.
You can stand behind the front-liners and still get off your powers, as well as allow anyone adjacent to the enemy to get off an attack using Commander's Strike (like the flanking Brutal Scoundrel Rogue who's 3 squares away from you since you both threaten the same baddie).
Fighter: "I hit it with my sword!"

Warlord: "I hit it with my Fighter! Roll again, buddy."

Cheers, -- N
In a session a few nights ago I used this power to great effect.. telling people to attack is great, especially if they missed on their turn, it gives them a feeling of extra contribution ;)

I really enjoyed one round where the rogue missed a critical attack and the fighter missed as well, we were in a corridor and surrounded and someone needed to kill some guys so that we could break free and get out of there.

So, on my turn I used commanders strike and told the fighter to attack his guy again, and he killed it. Then I spent an action point and told the rogue to attack again, and he killed his guy. Much fun! ;)


Actually, you don't need to be adjacent. You just need to be able to target the enemy with a melee attack.

I dont even think this is true really. The power is put together oddly but I believe that the target is actually chosen by the ally and the target must be in melee range for him. To read the power otherwise is to 1) seriously underpin its potential in an unfun and unnecessary way, 2) can lead to confusion as to who needs to be standing where, and 3) goes against the flavor text.

I still havent seen any balance issues with my interpretation of the text, I'll be sure to speak up if I ever do ;)
I must say I really don't think the intent or rule of this power is to have Algred the Warlord shout, "Bob! Attack something!"

Rather, it is the Warlord who selects the target as implicated in the power's entry. Your Warlord targets an enemy, then an ally of your choice gets to make a basic melee attack against the target.
To err is human. To fail a Fear save is unforgivable! IMAGE(http://statcdn.worldoftanks.com/comcom_v2/uploads/signatures/wotuserbar04.jpg)
I must say I really don't think the intent or rule of this power is to have Algred the Warlord shout, "Bob! Attack something!"

You might want to read the flavor text ;)
The flavor I get from the power is that the Warlord creates an opening by threatening the target with his melee weapon. Then, instead of taking the opening himself, he calls out to his ally nearby to take the opening. By letting his ally take the strike, his ally can take advantage of the Warlord's insight -and- his own brute strength.
Excellent!

I emailed CustServ earlier today about Commander's Strike, and how it works.
Specifically I asked if it would apply to any ally within Line of Sight, or if you had to threaten an enemy who was also adjacent to an ally in order to give that ally the basic attack. Well, here was the short and sweet answer...

Subject
Commander's Strike question

Discussion Thread
Response (Support Agent) 07/06/2008 02:00 PM
Brad,

Hello. You can grant the attack to an ally within your line of sight. You were reading it correctly.

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Customer (Brad Pitt) 07/06/2008 11:59 AM
Hello,

I'm curious about the ability of the Commander Strike Warlord at-will to give another character a basic attack.
Does the other party member just have to be within line of sight to me, or do we have to be engaging the same enemy in melee?
Or, alternatively, do I have to be able to reach my party member with a melee attack?

I believe that if I'm reading it as intended, I should just be able to grant a melee basic attack (and ONLY melee) to an ally within line of sight. However, I've heard different interpretations.
But if indeed I need to be within melee range of either the enemy they are attacking or even the ally him/herself, would a Reach weapon (like a Halberd) allow me to utilize the Commander's Strike ability without being adjacent?

Thanks for the help.

********************
Page Number: 145
Book Name: 4th Edition Player's Handbook




To be honest, this was how I first read the power and how I interpreted it.
It was only after reading these boards a lot that I assumed I was wrong.

Hmmm.... definitely worth taking, in my opinion.
It took us a few reads and currently our interpretation is:

If you can attack a target in melee, then you use your standard action to get an ally who is also able to attack that target, to make a basic melee attack instead of you.

I can see why people don't like it but personally I rather like the idea of yelling
[u]"CRUSH HIM MY OVER-MUSCLED MINION!" [/u]
and getting your fighter mate to smack him one.

Certainly in one of the games I'm in I've been using it frequently to effectively replace my (still respectable) +6 vs AC, D10+3 bastardsword attack, with +7 vs AC, D12+4 highcrit from the Str: 18, greataxe wielding fighter

A few local DM's are also being a bit more liberal in allowing ranged attacks and/or the warlord not being in melee combat as well.
Does Commander's Strike's Ally’s basic attack damage include your ally's extra modifiers over his damage (Str/Dex, Flaming, Thundering, Sneak Attack, etc.)? Or is it just his "Basic" attack damage (d6, d8, d10)?
Does Commander's Strike's Ally’s basic attack damage include your ally's extra modifiers over his damage (Str/Dex, Flaming, Thundering, Sneak Attack, etc.)? Or is it just his "Basic" attack damage (d6, d8, d10)?

Yeah, it includes all mods, plus bonus damage based on your intelligence mod.
You might want to read the flavor text ;)

I did, that and the rules both point to the Warlord deciding just who Bob should smack. Not simply a generic 'hit someone!' call.
To err is human. To fail a Fear save is unforgivable! IMAGE(http://statcdn.worldoftanks.com/comcom_v2/uploads/signatures/wotuserbar04.jpg)
I did

Then you should know it basically is a 'hit someone' call.
I do not believe the custserve answer is accurate. The power is a 'melee weapon' power, and the 'melee' tag spells out clearly what the range is. ie- within your melee range. Also, the person using a power chooses the target of the power, in this case the creature attacked, unless a power says otherwise.

So no, regardless of what an individual Custserve guy said, the power is not range: line of sight, it's range: melee; and the target is not chosen by the ally, it's chosen by the warlord. Also it should be noted that neither the warlord nor the ally need to be adjacent to the target, just within melee range, which matters if one or both of them are using reach weapons.

And it's still a plenty good at will power, especially with all the to hit bonuses that the warlord can hand out to his allies.
A different Customer Service answer we got earlier stated that 'Melee Weapon' means that 1)the Warlord has to HOLD a melee weapon and 2) the ally must be in range to make a basic melee attack. This answer was just shorter.

Its a lot more fun in practice than one would think.

I find that an inspiring warlord does get gimped when it comes to At Will though... so far my Furious Smash has barely been useful... I guess it'll change when we go against our first solo... I did ended up using it against one of those pesky swarm of rats!
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Then the power is written entrely wrong and needs errata. The power you're describing looks like this:

Warlord Attack 1
At will, ranged X (or 'Close Burst X')
Target: One ally you can see (or 'one ally you can see within the burst')
Effect: The target (or 'the Ally') may make a melee basic attack.

Note that it is ranged, or burst, not melee.

A melee power can only be used on a target within melee range. It's very simple. Custserve has the weight of FAQ - where the rules are unclear or contradictory they have a say. In this case, the power is clear, and is not self contradictory. It just doesn't do what people, apparantly including the individual custserve guys that replied to you, want it to do. Regardless, the rules are the rules until an errata rewrites them, and I doubt that will happen as the at will is perfectly serviceable, and even very good as is, depending on the composition of your adventuring party.


Unless your DM has clearly house ruled this particular issue, and has stated that he will use that house rule regardless of whatever faqs or errata are printed, I would reccomend assuming the more conservative direct interpratation until a published Errata or FAQ specifically says otherwise. As it is, if you build your character based on this custserve ruling, there is a good chance you're going to have the rug pulled out from under should an official FAQ answer this question according to the rules as written.
My current build is made under the assumption that the Warlord only needs to be adjacent to either the ally or the target. It is sufficiently conservative without being too restrictive.

We'll see about house rules next session.
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Just check with your DM about it, and be sure she's aware that that interpretation has neither the RAW nor custserve behind it.

As it is, my own experience says the power is quite good, even in its RAW state.
I do not believe the custserve answer is accurate. The power is a 'melee weapon' power, and the 'melee' tag spells out clearly what the range is. ie- within your melee range.

I think that, in this case, cust serv is actually on the right track.

Under 'attack type and range' the melee weapon bit has the following:
A melee attack power that has a range of "weapon" allows you to attack a target within reach of the weapon you're wielding.

However, commanders strike doesnt actually have the warlord attack the target. I would say that this is a case of the ability having the wrong tag for its effect. Unfortunately, there isnt really a proper tag in the game yet to use.

As such, I believe that the tag, in this case, is actually refering only to the ally in question. The ally is the one that actually needs to be in melee range and attack with a melee weapon.

I would propose that the power should say something like, 'Ally melee weapon' or 'weapon melee (ally)' and attack line replaced with an effect line.


If we go by a strict reading of the text then the target and the ally need to be within the warlords weapon reach, the ally doesnt get a choice about whether or not to make the attack, the ally need not be conscious, and 'possibly' the target need not be within melee range of the ally.


I'm definitely all in favor of treating it a bit looser than that though. ;) I see no problem with it being used anytime the ally can hear the warlord and I'm also fine with the ally getting to choose the target (and being able to say no to making the attack if they choose).
Personally I think that if CustServ is frequently ruling in the Line-of-sight interpretation, then that's how the power was intended. Now I agree that it could be written better, like some other powers or rules, but the designers intention seems clear.

An example of this is Mike Mearls response to the Stealth debate.
Among other things, he stats he's always allowed an attack if you were already hidden. You don't get unhidden until AFTER the attack resolves.
I think that is a case of RAI over RAW. As one of the designers of 4e, he (and the other developers he researched and gamed with) ran it with that intent. It just doesn't come out as clearly when you are going by complete RAW.

We'll see what the ruling is if they ever include it in an errata or FAQ though.
Until then, I could see either interpretation as appropriate and up for discussion on what the entire game group (notice I didn't just say the GM) thinks is fair and fun for everyone.
Custserve can say what they want, but the books are clear. It's a 'melee weapon' power. Those keywords include in their definition the range of the power from the one who activates the power (the warlord) to the target of the power ('one creature', not the ally).

I've seen custserve give contradictory answers, wrong answers, outright insane answers, and answers later contradicted by more official FAQ to know not to trust them if they're saying something that goes against what the book says.

Especially when the book version is A) perfectly good, B) more appropriate to the class (which is very specifically a lead from the front melee class), and C) not in the least obscure or self contradictory. The rules as written work just fine in this case. There's no more reason to measure range from the ally then there is to measure line of sight or line of effect from the ally - ie, none at all.

The worst you can say about commander's strike is that it isn't intuitive. But even then it makes sense as a feint that creates an opening that an ally can exploit.
Custserve can say what they want, but the books are clear.

Certainly, but that doesnt count for much considering what that actually means.
Er, your link just goes back to this thread.

I know ;) It was the post where I explained what following the exact letter of the rule led to and showed where it was internally inconsistant besides.