A Series of Articles on Tactics and Strategy
Part 3 – Hidden Mechanics
This is the third in a series of articles discussing the strategy and tactics of Godslayer, designed to provide players with tips for getting the most fun out of the game rules by understanding the most important points to gain victory.
In this third article we will examine some hidden game mechanics and see how to use these to your advantage. This articles is not for beginners. You should already have some good experience with Godslayer to grapple with this one. And it’s rather math-heavy.
Virtual Action Tokens
One of the core mechanics of Godslayer is the action-token system which regulates all actions of all models. The more ACT a model has, the more it can do in one turn.
This would be pretty simplistic but in Godslayer we have both individual models and units. Units behave rather like a single model on many bases, because the unit has only one set of action tokens, rather than action tokens for each member of the unit.
In this way, the action tokens of a unit are usually very valuable because ACT spent allows all members of the unit to perform that action. Usually two ACT buys an attack action, so when an individual model spends 2 ACT, it gets one attack, but when a unit of 10 models making an attack spends 2 ACT but gets 10 attacks.
For this reason it often makes sense to take as many models in the unit as you are allowed; in this way you get the most bang for your buck. So we could conceive of a unit of 10 guys with 4 ACT on its profile card as having a “virtual ACT” of 40. These are not real action tokens, but in game terms the unit functions that way.
Leveraging Action Tokens
Because of the nature of units, you get more virtual benefit when buffing a unit than buffing a single model. For example: warlords can assign action tokens, so when a Lord of Decay assigns one ACT to a Bard, the number of ACT in the warband remains the same, it has simply been transferred around. However, if the Lord of Decay assigns one ACT to a unit of Wycca Warriors that has 6 models in it, then the Warband has in effect gained 5 “virtual ACT”.
This we can term leveraging action tokens.
The same is true with many abilities and tactics, for example the Banshee’s Mortodyn tactic which adds +1 ACT to a model or unit. Another example is the Demarchon’s Sudden Feat tactic which costs one ACT to use but can allow a unit to use a 2-ACT tactic for free.
Conversely, effects which rob enemy models of ACT are far more effective when used against units rather than individual models. For example the Bladelsingers’ tactic used against a Hammerfist robs the model of 1 ACT, but when used against a unit of 10 Reaver Runts, it costs the opponent 10 virtual action tokens.
A similar effect occurs with knocking down models in a unit since standing up even one knocked-down model costs the entire unit 1ACT. The same is true when a model or two in a unit is suffering a continuous effect and the entire unit spends ACT to help remove the effect during an expiry roll
Whenever possible, try to increase your own warband’s virtual action tokens and decrease the opponent’s virtual action tokens as much as possible.
This leveraging will go a long way to increasing your chances of winning the game.
When a warlord etc applies a tactic, spell or special talent to a unit, it also is buffing that unit and leveraging the effect, but in most cases this is adding a bonus to a stat or enabling a special move etc. this is of course also very valuable, and in some cases vital, but we are going to stay focused on action tokens for this article. While assigning action tokens to a unit looks so simple and innocent, buffing a unit with additional ACT is one of the most powerful buffs in the game.
ACT-buffing also includes effects like the Syntarch’s ability Vanguard Valor which reduces the cost of a charge attack by a unit by 1 ACT. Effectively that could provide an extra 10 virtual ACT for the warband that round.
Further Down the Rabbit Hole
If you think about the game mathematically, each round can be conceived of as containing a total number of potential actions a warband could make. This would be all the virtual action tokens of your warband added together.
It follows therefore that there is a limited number of actions for the entire game which can be calculated by adding all the virtual ACT of the warband’s models together multiplied by 6 rounds for a typical game. For example, my opponent’s warband looks like this:
4 Amazon Hunters X5 ACT = 20 ACT
Godquester Warlord = 6 ACT
10 Hoplites X 4 ACT = 40 ACT
Total = 66 ACT X 6 rounds of the game = 396 basic virtual ACT.
Of course this basic virtual ACT can be increased through leveraging. The player who creates the most virtual ACT in a game has a good advantage.
Strategic Thinking in Terms of Virtual Action Tokens
So when we can look at the game in terms of total virtual action tokens, the things that will help you win the game are:
- Leveraging your action tokens by:
- Building your warband with large units and models which can buff them
- Buffing your units with spells and ordered tactics etc. to leverage their virtual ACT
- Assigning as many action tokens as possible to units, especially large units
- Taking steps to prevent your units from fleeing (fleeing units waste all their ACT running away, so 10 Hoplites fleeing is 40 virtual ACT wasted each round).
- Using your action tokens as effectively as possible:
- Using the right man for the job (e.g. using models with MAG & Enchanted attacks to attack Ethereal models, using models with Hardened Will against Horror causing models etc). It sounds like common sense, but some many times it is easy to get forced into making wasteful actions (for example archers making counter-attacks when they get engaged). So really try to use your models in their intended primary role.
- Fight with a higher strike rank so that you can kill enemies before they have a chance to counter-attack (remember if you have a higher strike rank the melee is no longer simultaneous).
- Causing the opposing warband to waste as many ACT as possible:
If I can cause my opponent to expend action tokens on useless actions, then I decrease the number of useful things he does in the game. If we assume the game is an Open Battle scenario where the object is to simply kill the enemy, every ACT he wastes is an ACT which is not spent on attacks against my warband.
This could be accomplished through many different ways for example:
- Causing your opponent to suffer failed charges
- Neutralizing opposing unit buffs with buffs of your own.
- Tying up an opponent’s unit with a single model so it is forced to spend action tokens on attacks while many of the unit’s models are unengaged.
- Action-token robbing tactics like the Bladelsingers’ Hail of Hornets used against an opposing unit
- Boosted expiry rolls for continuous effects from Fire, Acid, Plagues etc.
- Causing enemy units to flee
- Knocking down enemy models thus forcing them to spend ACT for standing up
- Causing the opposing models to spend ACT on moving to properly engage your models (through clever model placement or longer weapons)
- Certain spells and magical effects
The more virtual ACT you can leverage – the better your chances of winning.
If you want to be more precise when calculating your warbands effectiveness, then simply counting the number of virtual ACT is not enough. For example:
10 Reaver Runts X4 ACT each = 40 ACT
5 Einherjerr X 5 ACT each = 25 ACT
Because the Einherjer are far superior to the Reaver Runts, each of the Einherjers’ virtual action tokens is worth more than the action tokens of a Reaver Runt.
For a precise calculation we would need to multiply the number of virtual ACT by the awesomeness of the model. It just so happens we have a number representing the awesomeness of the model – its points value!
So we could use a formula like:
ACT of the model X number of models in unit X model’s points
10 Reaver Runts X4 ACT = 40 ACT X 5 points = 200
5 Einherjerr X 5 ACT = 25 ACT X 24 points = 600
So as you can see, the 40 ACT of the Reaver Runts is worth a third of the 25 ACT of the Einherjerr. This is because the Einherjer are serious killers.
So what is this figure?
Let’s call it “action value” or AV for want of a better name.
Thinking in Terms of Action Value (AV)
During play we can use AV to evaluate if an action, a turn or a strategy is really worthwhile. Most players already do this instinctively to some degree, but when you keep these mechanics in mind, it may help you refine your instinct and clarify dilemmas.
This is useful to an extent, because the 600 AV of the Einherjer is worthless if I use the unit stupidly (for example chasing through the forest after a fast, cheap enemy unit).
Keep in mind that sacrificing a model sacrifices all AV for every future round, so if you sacrifice a model on round-2 it is a much bigger sacrifice in AV than losing the model on turn-5.
One point now becomes clear – assigning ACT to a unit increases its effectiveness base not only on the number of models in the unit, but also the points values of the models, because they can do more effective killing with those extra ACT.
For example, my Warsmith has 1 ACT free which he can assign to a unit; either my 4 Einherjer or my 8 Fjell Warriors. Doing the math I quickly get:
8 Fjell Warriors X5 ACT = 40 ACT X 10 points per model = 400
4 Einherjer X 6 ACT = 24 ACT X 24 points per model = 576 Action Value
So this convinces me to assign the ACT to the Einherjer.
Notice I am not bothering to take into account the minor points difference for the core of the unit. Its enough just to think in terms of the regular trooper cost.
Now the above can be situational, because if my Einherjer were sitting at the back of the table with nothing much to do, while the Fjell Warriors had a juicy charge lined up, clearly the Fjell Warriors should get the assigned token, but this is an extreme example, and in most cases during the game that’s not something you need to consider.
So if we take it one step further, we can see that increasing Action Value of the warband by maximizing the effect of leveraging virtual ACT will create the best possible benefits.
Virtual Game ACT
As we discussed earlier, in each round, you should try to leverage your action-tokens to create maximum action tokens that result in the most Action Value.
Each round you have a realistic potential of virtual ACT you can generate.
Next you need to conceive the game as a 6 layered cake with each layer representing one round. You want to have as much of your cake left intact at the end of the game as possible.
However, here is the key point – the top layers of the cake are less critical than the middle layers, meaning the mid-game rounds are more important than the later rounds.
Okay we can forget round one because that’s usually consumed exclusively with movement actions and each model has an exhaustion limit, so generating tons of virtual ACT normally has no result.
Occasionally round-2 can be important and classed as a mid-cake level if both warbands had advanced deployment or if they are fast moving or are approaching a scenario objective on round2.
The mid-cake is generally round 3 and round 4. Here you get the majority of the most critical charges.
This is often the most critical part of the game in terms of strategy, movement and tactics, however, in terms of virtual ACT, the lower the level of the cake, the more important it is.
It’s because statistically if you lose your models in round 3, then their virtual act is wiped out for turns 4,5 & 6.
For this reason you want to try to keep your models intact for as long as possible in order to maximize Virtual Game ACT.
A unit of 10 Reaver Tribesmen gets charged and wiped out on Round 3, it has lost your warband 10 X 5-ACT X 3-rounds = 150 Virtual Game ACT. (I am assuming here that they would get buffed each turn with an assigned ACT from the warlord). The best you could hope for in this case is that they took some enemies with them to their graves and set you up to get a nice charge of your own in revenge.
However, if your Tribesmen get wiped out on turn 2 by shooting, then they don’t even get a chance to charge in turn 3. They don’t even get a chance to slow down the enemy and take a few enemies with them. They are just gone and you lost 250 Virtual Game ACT.
In order to avoid this you can do things like:
Use terrain for cover
Hide your high-points models or wounded models behind bases of other models
Use defensive tactics and spells
Use healing potions, spells and abilities/tactics
Try to leave wounded models just outside of melee if their unit charges or engages.
Put your minis with best DEF and ARM in front to absorb the as much of the shooting as possible
10 wounded Reaver Tribesmen with 1 life-point left each at the end of the game means the unit has suffered 42 life-points damage. However, this is totally fine, because they had 300 Virtual Game ACT.
However, if those 42 damage points are applied differently, that could also add up to 8 dead Tribesmen and two healthy tribesmen. If those 8 guys were killed on Round-2, then the unit had only
60 Virtual Game ACT.
So try to spread the damage you receive so that you lose as few models as possible. And try to limit the casualties to the later rounds. Again, statistically this will give you an advantage.
Sacrificing AV to Gain Advantage
At times it can be advantageous to sacrifice some models, and we can analyze this mathematically using Action Value or Virtual ACT.
Key here is to bear in mind that a killed model loses all its Virtual ACT for each remaining round of the game.
For example on round 5 of a game, a unit of buffed Amazons Hunters of my opponent will be able to charge my precious unit of Ironhide Brutes this turn, but unfortunately my Ironhide Brutes have a much shorter charge range. I could move my Brutes forward three times but I would still not be able to engage the Amazons and then have only 2 actions tokens left to counter-attack them when they charge. However, I have a Packlasher nearby. Alone he will not stand a chance against the entire unit, but I can use him to tie up the Amazons. I engage the amazons with my Packlasher and even manage to almost slay one of them.
Now that the Amazons are engaged with me they cannot charge my Ironhide Brutes. When the Amazons activate, they can either disengage and suffer some free strikes from my Packlasher or they can surround and destroy him. My opponent decides to finish off the annoying Packlasher because there is no other unit currently able to charge the Amazons this round so they are not in imminent danger. My Packlasher dies a noble death as I position my Ironhide Brutes to hopefully charge the Amazons next round.
A wasted model?
Well yes it is, and no it isn’t. He not only saved my Ironhide Brutes from a powerful charge, and enabled me to neutralize their main advantage (speed), he also caused the Amazons to waste their action tokens. The point is this – a unit of 5 Amazons with 4 ACT means the unit has 20 actions virtual ACT tokens per round in terms of game effect. Conversely, the Packlasher just has his own 5 ACT.
Keep in mind my opponent killed my Packlasher in Round 5 which means my Packlasher’s ACT for round 6 are also gone. His Amazons spent 1 Round X20 ACT against my Packlasher who spent/wasted 2 Rounds X 5 ACT.
In this way, I still had a net gain of 10 ACT!
Intuitively it’s pretty easy for an experienced gamer to know that this was a good move, but reducing it to the raw mathematics shows exactly how effective the move was.
Analyzing your tactical your tactical decisions according to the math can provide some interesting insights.
Of course the battle is actually decided on kill points, so if I only waste my opponents ACT and do not use my own ACT wisely for attacks, then I will still lose!
The point is that the gain of virtual ACT increases my chances and improves my strategic position enabling me to score more Kill Points.
Not only that, this sacrifice also prevented the Amazons destroying my Ironhide Brutes. That would have gained my opponent many more kill points than simply killing my Packlasher, and it would have cost me more virtual ACT than the 10 sacrificed by the Packlasher. In this case 5 Ironhide Brutes X 4 ACT X 2 rounds = 40 ACT.
So the Packlasher not only wasted 10 ACT of the Amazons, he also prevented me loosing 40 ACT. If I now spend those 40 ACT of the Ironhide Brutes for round 5 and 6 on moving into position to charge, then charging, then I have a good chance to wipe out the Amazon unit and gain 83 kill-points for it. That’s a lot better than my Brutes getting wiped out and perhaps taking 1-2 Amazons with them to the grave through counter-attacks.
So looking at the Packlasher’s sacrifice in terms of Action Value, we get:
The Packlasher was 1 model X 5 ACT X 2 rounds = 10 ACT X 24 points = 240 AV
The Amazons were 4 models X 5 ACT X 1 round = 20 ACT X 83 points = 1660 AV
The Ironhide Brutes were 5 models X 4 ACT X 1 round = 20 ACT X 80 points = 1600 AV
So I sacrificed 240 AV and forced my opponent to waste 2040 AV, while preventing myself losing 1,600 AV. It seems the sacrifice was a very smart move.
So in summary, be aware of the virtual ACT in play during the game. Work to maximize your own Virtual ACT and decrease your opponents virtual ACT.
Action Value is virtual ACT X model points value.
Analyzing a situation according to Action Value can be helpful for checking tactical effects.
The 2D6 System
Warning: now we are about to get deeper into the math, so prepared to be bored. (Yawn)
After the action token system, the 2D6 roll is the next most important rules-mechanic. It is integral to MEL attacks, MAG attacks, MIS attacks, spell-casting rolls and damage rolls where in each case you need to score as high as possible.
It also functions in a reversed form in Leadership tests where you need to score under a certain number.
Let’s look first at attack rolls. MAG, MEL and MIS attacks all call for you to roll 2D6 and add the relevant stat, then compare it to the DEF of the opponent.
The 2D6 Bell-Curve
When you roll 1D6, there are 6 possible outcomes, and each has an equal probability of being rolled – a 16.66% chance. The 2D6 roll is completely different because there are 11 different outcomes (2-12).
Each number from 2 to 12 has a different probability of being rolled.
Let’s take the number 7. There are six possible combinations to score a 7 (6+1, 5+2, 4+3, 3+4, 2+5, 1+6) giving a 16.66% chance, compared to the chances of rolling a 12 (6+6 only), which has only a 2.77% chance. And so each number between 7 and 12 has a dramatically decreasing chance of being rolled. These varying possibilities form a bell-curve – so called for the vague resemblance to a bell-shape, as you can see here in this diagram.
Here you can see a graphic representation with the dice roll number at the bottom and the percentage chance of rolling that number along the top.
Rolling a Value or Higher
Here you can see the chances of rolling a number or above.
12 02.77% chance
11+ 08.32% chance
10+ 16.65% chance
9+ 27.76% chance
8+ 41.64% chance
7+ 58.30% chance
6+ 72.18% chance
5+ 83.29% chance
4+ 91.62% chance
3+ 97.17% chance
2+ 100.00% chance
This means that when you shift the required score necessary to hit, each one-point step higher increases the chances of missing by a different probability. The 2D6 system enables game designers to create a much more refined rules system than a 1D6 system since we can more accurately predict a wider range of results from the various dice rolls.
Okay you say, that’s fine but how does this help me win games of Godslayer?
Well there are many small ways in which the bell curve applies, but let’s look at one very common application – choosing the right fighting style.
Buffing the Bell-Curve – Choosing the Best Fighting Style
When you make melee attacks during your standard activation you have the option of using either:
Offensive fighting style (gaining +1 to hit)
Powerful fighting style (gaining +1 damage)
So which to use?
This is a matter of statistics. In general it is best to use the one which provides the greatest statistical improvement, but there is also one other factor to consider.
Rolling to hit is a Yes/No result – either you hit or you don’t, whereas with the damage roll you get an incremental result depending on your 2D6 roll + POW vs. ARM of the target. So generally it would make more sense to fight with Offensive fighting Style since it is better to hit and do low damage than to miss.
This is indeed true up to a point. When the opponent has high armor and the attacking model has a low-POW attack, then it doesn’t matter if you hit or not because you will have a very low chance to do any damage. Although the damage roll is incremental we can also express the chances of doing damage (one or more points) or doing zero damage.
For example, some Legionnaires are attacking buffed Einherjer. The Legionnaires have a POW of 2 with their Gladius attack vs. the Einherjer’s ARM of 10. This means the attackers need to roll a 9+ on the damage roll to do 1 point of damage. In this case the Legionnaires have a 27.76% chance of scoring any damage on the damage roll.
Compare that with their roll to hit – MEL 6 against DEF12 means a 72.18% chance to hit. So in this case it clearly makes sense to choose the powerful fighting style since this will increase the chance to do damage from 27.76% to 41.64 (a gain of 13.88%). If they instead chose Offensive style to gain the +1 to hit, they would have only increased the chance to hit from 72.18% to 83.29 (11.11% gain).
If they apply the Offensive fighting style, they will almost certainly hit, but most likely cause no damage.
Actually the legionnaires have:
2.77% chance of doing 4 points damage
5.55% chance of doing 3 points damage
8.33% chance of doing 2 points damage
11.11% chance of doing 1 point damage
27.76% total chance of doing any damage
Unlike a 1D6 based game where each of the 6 numbers has an equal chance of being rolled, in the 2D6 based games like Godslayer each number has a different chance of being rolled because of the possible combinations. To roll a 12 there is only one possible combination 6+6, but to roll a 7, there are six possible combinations (6+1, 5+2, 4+3, 3+4, 2+5, 1+6).
Because of the bell-curve, you want both the to-hit roll and the damage roll to be a 7+ roll or better.
So for example if you have a 7+ to hit and 6+ to cause any damage, then you should chose the powerful fighting style so that you gain the +1 on the damage roll.
But what if you need a 6+ for both rolls or a 5+ for both rolls, which do you chose then? In that case select offensive fighting style to gain the +1 to hit.
Once you get the 7+ on both rolls, then follow the same system – if you have an 8+ to hit and 7+ to damage, then take powerful fighting style to increase the chances of causing damage by +1.
Once you get the 7+ on both rolls, each +1 thereafter provides an ever decreasing quantity of benefit, and so the bonuses and buffs after 7+ are not a crucial as the buffs that get you to 7+
As you saw from the bell-curve diagram, if you increase the probability from 6+ to a 7+ (16.66% gain), you have a much greater gain in probability increase than if you increase the chances from an 8+ to a 9+ (11.11% gain). Knowing how the bell-curve works will help you chose the correct fighting style.
So clearly moving both roll’s to a 7+ for both, or the nearest to that is the best option unless you are already better than 7+ with both.
If both are equal then it definitely makes sense to add the bonus to the roll to hit, because as we already know, hitting is a yes/no result instead of a quantitative result.
Other Applications for buffing the Bell-Curve
There are many moments in the game when the 2D6 roll is used and where knowledge of the bell-curve can be helpful. Here are a few common ones:
A) Choosing which Buff to use
When you have a character or warlord ready to buff one of your units with a spell, tactic, talent etc., knowledge of the bell-curve informs you the best target for your buffing and which buff to use.
For example when your Reaver Tribesmen are facing Hill Ogres (MEL5 vs. DEF12 and POW4 vs. ARM7) it makes more sense to boost the Tribesmen’s MEL with a Bugstalk Eyes spell rather than giving them +1 POW with a Bulging Biceps spell.
B) Choosing which unit to buff
Similarly, you are often faced with a number of options about which unit or model to buff.
1) In general – buff the Unit not the creature or the character. This way you get leveraged buffing.
2) Stack your buffs so that you magnify the effectiveness of each, especially if you assigned the unit action tokens or cast spells on them. Stacking buffs works more like multiplication than addition, so the more buffs you add the better value you get out of each of them.
For example take a unit of Halodyne Hill Ogres, and assign them 2 action tokens (through Archon Aura spell) and the ordered tactic Sudden Feat (allows them to use a 2ACT tactic for free), then cast the spell Killing Machine (allowing them to roll 3 dice for attacks and remove the lowest). Activate their circular slash tactic (allowing them to attack multiple targets with each attack), then select Powerful fighting style. You now have a unit with effectively 9 action tokens, with great chances to hit, attacking multiple models in their 2-inch MEL range, and striking with POW8. That’s a recipe for a bloodbath.
3) At times it can be useful to buff a melee warlord if he is going into a serious melee confrontation with multiple enemies. Melee warlords are already like super-buffed models due to the excellent basic stats and their items they take, so this is rather like stacking buffs.
4) Buff the unit with the greatest Action Value (Virtual ACT X points). This is rather like stacking buffs again. If the unit has great POW, then buff the MEL and vice-versa.
5) If you have relatively even units to chose from in terms of action value (points value and number of models), then chose based on the statistical increase they gain from the buff. Here we come back to the bell-curve. Check what you need to hit or damage the enemy, and give the buff to the unit that gains the greatest statistical increase from the buff.
For example, a unit of Bladeslingers with MEL5 and +1 for offensive fighting style needs 8’s to hit a unit of Hoplites. That’s a 41.54% chance to hit. Meanwhile your Scabhta Huntres are attacking a DEF 11 statue with MEL5+1. That’s an 83.29% chance of hitting.
If you give the +1 to-hit buff to the Bladeslingers, they need only 7’s to hit, gaining a statistical bonus of 16.66.
If you give the1 to-hit buff to the Scabhta Hunters, they need only 4’s to hit, gaining a statistical bonus of 8.33.
So giving the bonus to your Bladeslingers is twice as beneficial.
B) Selecting Targets for your Attacks
The Bell-curve also helps inform you which units to use against which other units.
For example: my Wyldfolk Scabhta Hunters and Beasthunter are both in a position to make shooting attacks on Ironhide Brutes and Reaver Runts. I can estimate that the ranges are the same for both target units. I know the Reaver Runts have high DEF (14) and low ARM (5). Conversely, the Ironhide Brutes have an average DEF of 13 and an average ARM of 7.
My Scabhta Hunters have MIS 7 and POW 3, while my Beasthunter has a MIS of 6 and a POW of 4.
|Rolls Needed to Hit:|
|Reaver Runts||Ironhide Brutes|
|Percentage chance of Hitting:|
|Reaver Runts||Ironhide Brutes|
It would be wasteful for me to use the Beasthunter to shoot Reaver Runts since they are more difficult for him to hit, and his high POW is not needed. My Scabhta Hunters will have a better chance to hit the Reaver Runts and their POW3 bows will cause less damage to the Ironhide Brutes than the Beasthunter. So in every way it is better to use the Beasthunter against the Ironhide Brutes and the Scabhta Hunters against the Reaver Runts. This is quite in addition to the fact that the Beasthunter gains
|Rolls Needed to Wound:|
|Reaver Runts||Ironhide Brutes|
|Chance of Causing Damage:|
|Reaver Runts||Ironhide Brutes|
|Average Damage Caused:|
|Reaver Runts||Ironhide Brutes|
C) Choosing the best Items
Warlords have access to items which can buff the defensive capabilities, generally ARM or DEF. These come in the form of armor, shield and talisman items. So when you are faced with several similar options which is the best to take – a DEF-buffing item or an ARM-buffing items?
Well actually this is exactly the same situation as the fighting-style question above, but in reverse. Instead of MEL and POW, we have the option of DEF and ARM which are the opposing statistics used in melee.
So in this case it makes sense to follow the same principle. Since most models in Godslayer have a MEL of 5, 6 or 7, we could take MEL 6 as a kind of game-average MEL. Similarly we could take 4 as a game-average POW. These are not particularly accurate but they will suffice for our purposes.
We then have an average foe as a benchmark with MEL6 and ARM4. Now let’s have a look at that chart again.
I am equipping my Mortan Centurion warlord and I need to decide if I will take the Alchemite Scutum (+2 DEF, +1 ARM) or the Reinforced Scutum (+1 DEF, +2 ARM). I have no special plans for him, and I want him to be generally well protected. I know that my Centurion has a basic DEF 12 of and a basic ARM of 8. Using our “average foe” profile of MEL6 and POW4, I can see that my Centurion will be hit on a 6+ and receive damage on a 5+.
Using the same concept as the fighting styles I want to get both profiles up to 7+. Therefore I select the Reinforced Scutum which means the average foe will need a 7+ to hit and to wound.
If my plan for the scenario had the Centurion specialized for taking down enemy characters, elites and warlords then the “average foe” profile no longer applies, and I might instead take the Alchemite Scutum.
These might seem like relatively inconsequential benefits, but in a low-points game they can have significant impact. Also, if you play by these principles consistently, the benefits will add up throughout the game, giving you better statistical chances of winning than if you did not obey them.
So it’s been a lot of mathematics in this article and probably not so exciting, but I hope useful nevertheless. A lot of this is just common sense, but looking at the game statistically can really emphasize how important some obvious things are.