Command Points are a system used in Valkyria Chronicles to determine how many units can be controlled in a single turn. Generally, a Command Point allows a unit to move as far as their Action Points allow, and carry out one Action. Command Points can also be used to give Orders to individual units or the whole squad.
Basics of Command Points
During any turn, the first thing to happen after the arrival of reinforcements will be Command Point icons appearing along the top of the display, with each medal representing one CP. Command points regenerate at a set rate per turn, plus a bonus of 1 CP for every Leader that side has still on the battlefield. They are carried over if not used on the current turn; for example, in a battle where 6 CP are allocated per turn, ending the turn with 4 CP unused will result in starting the next turn with 10 CP. This can be extremely valuable in missions where the player has to wait for the enemy to do something before they can act. The maximum number of Command Points that can be held in this way is 20; any further command points are lost.
It takes one CP to control an infantry unit and 2 CP to control Tanks. Controlling a unit is referred to in-game as starting its "Movement Phase." Each Movement Phase allows for one Action; these include firing weapons, throwing grenades, and using Ragnaid or the Engineer Tool. A unit can still move after performing their Action, as long as they have AP remaining to do so. Free or "context" Actions, such as using X-button prompts on terrain or defusing Mines, can be done an unlimited number of times. Controlling a unit multiple times is possible, but their available Action Points decrease every time, in the following fashion:
- First CP: maximum AP
- Second CP: 2/3 maximum AP
- Third CP: 1/3 maximum AP
- Fourth CP and later: 50 AP
Potentials can alter what an infantry unit is capable of in a single CP; Double Movement triggers if a unit is out of AP, and restores 100% of their maximum AP, even if they have been controlled multiple times. Double Action and Lynn's Personal Potential Hard Worker allow a unit to perform two Actions on the same CP. Double Attack and Musaad Mayfield's Personal Potential Bloodthirsty follow up the current attack with a second, directed at the same target.
Several actions other than controlling infantry have CP costs; calling for reinforcements from a flag costs 1 CP per request. Orders cost between one and six CP.
There are also some Actions and Potentials which will alter what a unit can and cannot do during their Movement Phase, or end it prematurely. For an example of the former, having a unit use the Context Action of entering the Cactus APC in Valkyria Chronicles 4 during their Movement Phase will instantly end it. An example of the latter would be Susie Evans's fourth personal Potential, Humanitarian: if this triggers, she will instantly end her Movement Phase when ordered to attack an enemy.
The enemy and Command Points
The Valkyria Chronicles AI has some odd behaviours regarding Command Points; most obviously, the AI seems unable to control any unit more than twice in a single turn, no matter how advantageous it would be for it to do so. The AI also frequently uses CP on units which are not engaged in combat, simply having them patrol at their current location; seemingly, this is for game balance, to prevent the AI building up too many CP in reserve.
As with the player, the AI uses 1 CP to control infantry (including many Fixed Weapons) and 2 CP to control tanks; however, complex multi-part tanks often have a 2 CP "body" and individual turrets as separate 1 CP units. For example, a Heavy Imperial Tank can control its chassis and fire its hull gun (2 CP), but cannot fire the turret gun without spending another CP to control it, and cannot move the hull while controlling the turret.
The AI has one ability the player completely lacks: it can directly enter Aim Mode from Command Mode without no delay, meaning an enemy soldier can open fire on one of the player's soldiers without them getting off Interception fire during the enemy soldier's weapon-aiming animation. The AI also always enters Aim Mode with the weapon it intends to use selected.
Some actions, including assigning and firing Artillery and moving certain Boss vehicles, are performed for no CP cost.
In Valkyria Chronicles 2
Valkyria Chronicles 2 adds the option for players to use artillery of their own, should their tank be equipped for it (4 CP), and grants access to APCs and Light Tanks that move for only 1 CP. The player has the option of, instead, using a Heavy Tank that requires 3 CP for every move, as well, or a variant of Light or Medium tank that uses 2 CP.
Retreating a unit from outside a camp is no longer an Order, and costs 1 CP. Placing reinforcements now allows the unit to move and attack for its 1 CP cost of deployment. Repairing sandbag emplacements (and disarming mines) as an Armored Tech is considered a free action. The Bloodthirsty and Double Attack potentials now permit the player to change the facing and/or target of the second attack, but do not allow a move between. Double Action and personal potentials that have similar effect (such as Cosette's Beautiful World) deviates from this; The unit may reposition before taking another action, should it trigger.
The AI still cannot save up points between turns, but it will occasionally move extremely powerful units (generally, only named boss units like Dirk, Baldren or Geirolul) multiple times, without any loss in AP. In post-game combats, the AI will begin moving its units repeatedly more often, especially if a player unit is near death - it still does not lose AP by doing this.
- There is a rather convoluted infinite command point exploit in Valkyria Chronicles 4 which involves using a Shocktrooper Elite to kill four allied infantry Leaders with their flamethrower, then using an Engineer with the Double Action potential to resurrect them with their Recovery Ragnaid: this will cost 3 CP per repeat, but regains 4 CP when the Leaders are bought back. This is never really necessary, and requires a huge amount of saving and loading as it requires Double Action to trigger on every turn the Engineer takes, and for none of the Leaders to evade.