If a command card loop is created, players
resolve all but the slow command in initiative order first, treating the
loop as if it is a tie.
Well perhaps it is because of me being German but what does 'in initiative order' mean? In OPs Example player 2 before player 3 and so on?
'As if it is a tie' sounds like the solution johnsmith proposed, but I find that a bit confusing...
This is a little different. You're resolving in initiative order (except for player 1 who chose the slow card) which means the person with the '2' hammer goes first, the person with the '3' goes second, and the person with the '4' goes third, regardless of what strategy their cards show. And, finally, player 1 with his slow card goes last.
If I understood correctly, what Johnsmith proposed is that you just treat player '2' as being player '1' for that loop, which would mean he would most likely go second. (In fact, I think that would mean he always went second.) The rule here is that you treat everyone as if they had tied, or thrown down the same type of card, say bold for instance, instead of looking at how they should line up in comparison to any other card.
My guess is that this is done because the first player gets some serious advantages by having initiative, and the last player gets some serious advantages by being able to select the scenario, place the first piece of terrain, and select the first deployment card, whereas the middle player(s) receive very few benefits.