Thursday, April 28, 2011

Well err...

I just wanted to post to tell you that the plans for merging this blog with the Troll Tales one is on ice for now, grounded by the evils of Blogger-mechanisms...

Anyway, this blog will continue as usual, bar this week's standstill.

I'll also advice you to read my post over at Troll Tales - an tactics report about the combat reform.

The post quoted from over there. Enjoy!

Hi guys. Today's post will highlight on of the most important and defining rules of 8th edition WHFB – The Combat Reform. Sure, magic is awesome, monsters are big and have thunderstomp and infantry are steadfast bla, bla, bla. All of that is another story. Haven't you been taken unawares by a combat ending in your turn letting a enemy unit combat reform and charge you in your turn? I bet you have, and I bet you would like to do it to your opponent. The combat reform happening in the ”wrong turn” for you might be devastating, implicitly giving a unit 360 degrees of freedom and a whole lot of unpredictability, which may be the worst thing for a game where the key of winning is predicting the ebb and flow of battle. A good player will defend against this and use it to his full potential.

 Well how then? The trick is basically to never let an enemy break you in your turn and trying to break the enemy in his turn. This is more easily said than done, as you might have expected. Nothing is certain in games of Warhammer and the dice will betray you. This is something you have to live with. What I try to do though is to try and predict how long a combat will last, i.e. when will a unit lose steadfast. Often the case nowadays, when many wounds are inflicted, the losing side will lose by a handful. Even combats are hard to predict, although you can try to be aware of a possible combat reform and not giving the opponent your flank for example.

For me the most common situation regarding this is when I'm sending in the slaves – a unit that most often will lose combat and will rely on steadfast to stick around. How many wounds will the enemy do per phase? Should I charge the enemy to lock him down and suffer an extra round of combat? Should I march up in his face giving him the charge but one less combat phase? This is crucial. Timing is everything for dictating the tides of battle. Well now, I don't expect you guys to be mathematically autistic and calculate the exact average of wounds, thats not even necessary as the dice have their own say to that. I always quickly estimate the average kills per side of a potential combat to decide wheter I want to go in and if so, how long will I/the opponent last. This helps you predict if you'll have time to move up for a supportive charge or if you should direct your attention elsewhere.

Example: 40 Slaves vs. 25 Dark Elf Spearmen (This is my thought progress and not the exact statistics)

Slaves (not too important in this case as the obvious outcome is the spearmen eventually breaking steadfast before slaves do too much damage, often I skip this train of thought to save time):

10 attacks - 5 hits - 2,5 wounds - 2 kills

Spearmen (charging, no spears, with hatred roughly equal to 2nd round with spears without hatred):

10 attacks - 9 hits - 4,5 wounds - 4 kills

This gives me the fact that this is a neverending combat, as 4 rounds of combat will result in 24 slaves fighting 17 spearmen far too long to predict other units movements and possible charges, right now.

OK, this might not have been such a mind-blowing fact that 40 slaves will hold up 25 spearmen, but it's a principle.

Let's see how the slaves will fare against Savage Orc Big Uns:

Slaves - no kills

Savage Orc Big Uns (first round choppa bloodbath, following rounds - little less)
24 attacks - 16 hits - 13 wounds - 11 kills

This will go down the drain rather quickly, roughly meaning I'll break in the third round of combat. Of course depending of ranks, magic etc. But then I'll possibly be better off not charging him as otherwise I might end up blowing up in my turn.

Bear with me. Don't tell me that magic might screw you, everything isn't as easy and the dice will deviate from average. It will, it isn't and it will. This is a principle that I encourage you to at least consider sometime. I've met many a opponent that fights on ”feeling” - i.e. how have their unit performed earlier in their opinion. This occasionally leads an opponent to be disappointed over a unit, when maybe it actually have performed average, giving me an advantage in late game prediction.

It's OK to whine when something down-right crazy happens, it does. It's not when you actually perform average, but below your own inflated expectations.When this happens, I don't have the heart to tell my opponent right there. I write this article here instead."

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