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useheadbutt

"Tough" characters too tough

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Let me preface this by saying that I run a "repair" based team and so the new "tough" update has directly benefited my Posse.  I am not whining because other teams have gotten stronger, I am arguing against something that helps me win.

Previously Tough did not allow you to reroll crit failures, so no matter how much grit the character had there was always at least a 10% chance per hit that he would fail his grit check.  After factoring in cover, hunker, durable, and piercing, a grit of 8 meant 10% chance to fail, grit 7 meant  12%, grit 6 meant 16%, and grit 5 meant 22%.  Of course, then they would be stunned and you would still have to wound again (and bypass take one for the team and quick and the dead counters).  So they were hard to kill, but it was still possible.  This was nice because no matter how tough you were you shouldn't walk head first into their entire army.  That has now changed.  A modified grit of 8 or higher means 1% chance of failure, grit 7 means 4%, grit 6 means 9%, and grit 5 means 16%.  To stun a modified 8 grit character you have to HIT them an average of 100 times, and then another 100 times to actually finish them off.

"Ok" you say, "But how often are you actually going to see a grit that high?"  More frequently than you might expect.  Rolling thunder is a durable grit 9 support that any union posse can take and with cover can have a grit of 8 against any weapon of piercing 3 or lower.  King scarabs fill the same role for watchers, and Doomsday vehicles are only 1 grit behind them and are available to almost all posses.   For something really unpleasant to deal with, try shooting at a hunkered Creation VII with 1 cover.  Grit 7, plus hunkered, cover, and creation means a grit of 7 vs a piercing 3 weapon.  An average of 25 hits per failure means an average of 75 hits to blow through mettle, tough, and actually wound them.  And then they get reanimated and you have to do it all again.  Seeing as how most high ROA weapons are only piercing 2 (and thus require an average of 100 hits for 1 failure) you can see how this is a bit absurd.

"Sure, but what about stun weapons? That will cut the number of shots in half and cause the following shots to be lethal."  Sure, that USED to be a counter, but the new stun/disorder weapons don't work that way.  Disorder/stun keywords now trigger on failed grit checks and are usually low ROA or low piercing weapons (thus less likely to wound).  Additionally because of the timings, they are only effective against characters with the other status defense.  For instance, assume you shoot a character with a stun weapon: if they don't have mettle/tough and they fail the grit check they just die.  If they have tough and fail a grit check they become stunned from tough and then get stunned again from stun weapon causing no additional benefit.  If they have mettle then they get disordered and stunned.  Afterwards the weapon counts as lethal which is nice, but why not just have used a lethal weapon in the first place?  By nerfing stun weapons like this, "tough" has be indirectly buffed because it is now harder to counter.  Lethal weapons ARE a useful against tough though.

"Oh, that is bad.  But these are all expensive units, I can include some simi-cheap piercing 4 weapons and destroy your posse right?"  And you are about half right.  Piercing 4 is hard to come by and is usually ROA 1 or a forceful/creation melee strike.  The king scarab and/or rolling thunder from earlier, if you get into melee (and thus bypass cover) would have a grit of 5 resulting in a 16% wound chance per strike.  Assuming you hit 2 strikes (Sasha tanner's bladed gauntlets being forcefully used or two attacks from Kingsely's stern hammer) you have around an 11/36 chance of them failing either grit check and thus a 30ish% chance of killing them.  If you hit both and they don't gun you down first that can be a nice counter.  Until we introduce legendary Tesla.  A nice durable 8 grit model with shield generator and an 18"/-3/4 weapon.  Head long charges at him will get you gunned down and if somehow you manage to get into melee with him that is still a less than 20% chance of killing him with 2 swings.

Note: all these stats are assuming auto hit because % to hit is a function of fight/aim and thus model dependent.  All the stats should assume somewhere from a 25-50% miss chance and thus be multiplied by between 4/3rds and 2 times.

The tough rule should not allow you to reroll 1s, otherwise you need to auto-include piercing 4 or lethal weapons and hope for the best.

P.S. I am sorry if I am coming off as too negative.  Over all this recent update has made me very happy.  There are a lot of amazing new things and you can see how much work and care they put into the details.  I wrote all this because I wanted this change play tested a bit more before the rules get physical prints or become habit to the gamers.

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  This is a good analysis. We general play 1500 pts, and I played against  "The King in Yellow" hex posse.  Every unit [ and he had just 9 models ] has this, PLUS  "Elite", and "Durable".  It's an impossible list to beat or even make a dent in it. I hope they address this issue, because it's a cool idea, just way OP. Like you, I really like the new edition and the changes, it's just that this one was overlooked, or not tested enough.

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Most of the units who get Tough it's their last line of defence. Without the ability to reroll "1" you can just throw away Wendigo, Lokees, Vaquero Heavy Buggy, Judgment, King Scarab, Great Elk etc. 

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 I think you may be missing the point here? As I read it, you need to get 2 wounds to kill each of them in "The King in Yellow" lists. And you better kill them in one turn or the next turn you again need to kill them with 2 hits. The best I ever did was kill 4 of the 9 and that was just pure luck. It take so much fire\melee from multiple units just to do a single hit [ as noted in the initial post ] that it's very hard to do.

 

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Hahaha it is funny seeing this thread being necro-ed (or carpathogened in this case) since warcraddle did a survey on facebook and came to the conclusion that tough needed to be changed. The rule change is still in the works but I am eager to see what they modify.  

@dzikkithe closer to 50% grit a unit has, the less they are effected by the lack of rerolls.  As noted above, for a grit 8 unit there is a difference of 9% between being able or unable to reroll (the difference between 1% and 10% is HUGE).  For grit 5 (such as the heavy buggy you mentioned being hit by a -2weapon) there is a 6% difference (22% and 16% is less noticeable).  Whether or not the unit has durable has a much bigger impact on middle grit units than the crit failure rule.  Yes, if the unit is shot at enough times this 6% difference will add up, but that is true of any grit modifying rule.  With both moving target and tough the buggy is far more survivable than a VAST majority of face units.  I don't see that as cause to "throw away" the unit.  You say that tough is their "last line of defense" but how is that not the case for mettle as well?  Perhaps there is an example you have of a unit without tough and around the 180 point cost that can survive a barrage nearly as well as the buggy can even with the reroll rule?

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I just copy what I've written in a different place ;] 

I hear from time to time voices "Tough is too Tough".
This is only partially true.
Yeah, You can reroll "1". But most of the units, who got this ability do not have Mettle or Quick&theDead. This is their line of defence. Usually, they are not even fast enough, they often have Limit 2. Wendigo has got reach of 10" with his gun - like a revolver ;] And his ROE 3 with PRC-2 ? Bandit Outriders cost 100 points less and have ROE 4 with PRC-2 ;] and range of 15"
So for one Wendigo you can buy two of deadly bikes who can place a hail of bullets.
Some people say "yes, but they have high grit and only with weapon PRC -4 you can kill them".
Seriously? I've lost Wendigo and Vaquero Heavy Buggy because of an unlucky roll of dice and to the unit, who I couldn't kill with my "tough" ;] unit because he used q&td and mettle. I could just get stunned;] and die.
And if you are attacked with high ROE weapon chance of saying bye bye to Kansas is not much higher than a typical unit.
 

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Hmm ok, a lot of topics to cover, but I appreciate that you are using examples.  It definitely helps the discussion and helps me see where you are coming from.

Firstly I agree, the windigo is not a game breaking unit.  It has bloodthirsty and frenzy on a ROA 1 melee weapon (why???) and only a 10" range on it's gun.  It does well up close so it should excel in small enclosed areas..oh wait, it is XL sized.  That being said, between unstoppable, ROA3 gattling gun, and torrent it is decent at destroying grouped units and quick 6 is not too unreasonable.  It is not fantastic but honestly it isn't too bad.   The heavy buggy a bit of a trade off.  With moving target but without durable means it is more vulnerable than the windigo but the massive amount of firepower it brings to the table helps make up for it.  It doesn't have the DPS of 2 bikes (maybe with blast against grouped units) but it is pretty close.

On the other hand, I love bikes.  Seriously before brutal got nerfed bikes were absolutely unstoppable and even now they are some of the best firepower/point value you can find .  15", PRC 2, ROA 4, brutal linked weapons on a 75pt model which also has moving target? Sign me up any day.  Usually if you want to kill something, sending a fleet of bikes is a very good way of doing it.  That being said, vs a Legendary Nickolai (shielded but outside cover and within 12") if you focus every aiming action and each set of bikes takes 2 firing actions you need an average of 22 bikes to fully kill him in 1 turn.  Is it possible for him to roll 4 1s in a row? absolutely.  Is it likely? no.  Conversely you only need an average of 2.5 bikes to fully kill an uncovered Wendigo and if the Elk even thinks about stepping out of cover he will just kind of fall over and die despite the tough rule (the buggy is around 2 bikes).  The original purpose of this thread was to draw attention to how absurdly unbalanced high grit + tough was.  I realize one solution is to just nerf all the top tier tough grit units (and yes i would include your previous examples of judgement and King scarab in that because they require an average of 5.5 bikes in this idealistic situation in order to die) while also removing the grit boosting action cards but I thought stopping tough from rerolling 1s was a more elegant solution.  

Ok so you mentioned tough is their last line of defense and that most units with tough do not have other defenses.  I would argue that tough + durable is the equivalent of or better than most other defenses.  Because any total roll of 10 or higher is considered a success, a modifier of 4 is the 50/50 mark.  Since most stats are higher than 4 (with cover partially countering most PRCs) success is the most likely outcome and thus things that let us reroll checks will often be better than things that make opponents reroll checks.  Thus I would argue that rerolling grit is better than making them reroll aim checks (like shroud, moving target, or smoke bombs).  Mettle vs tough is odd because disordered vs stunned are very different debuffs.  Disorder effects your offensive/maneuverability while stunned only effects your defense (unless you are on lookout).  If we are talking pure survivability than yes the debuff mettle inflicts on a failed grit check is weaker than a failure on tough.  The last defense to look at is quick and the dead (QTD).  This one is odd because timing actually matters (you want to use it after failing with mettle) and it completely bypasses ROA.  Because there are a lot of variables I will make it it's own paragraph:

Lets bring back the bikes as an offensive benchmark:  bikes focused have a 88% chance to hit within 12" due to link and shoot 4 times with brutal so we can ball park it at an average of 9 hits every 2 firing actions (it is 9.04 but I think I will just round it off).  A grit 7, quick 6 guy with mettle/QTD outside of cover has a 60% chance per hit of making his grit check.  Odds of failing 1 grit check or less per action and surviving is 40.5% and so when you factor in odds of QTD triggering vs the 2nd action your total odds of surviving 1 bike taking 2 combat actions is about 28%.  This is a lot better than the mere 7% odds of surviving if you just have mettle.  That being said, you can reroll non-1 failed grit and quick checks with fortune chips.  Assuming unlimited fortune chips and mettle your odds of surviving 1 action is 65% and surviving both actions by using QTD with fortune is 54%.  With the current tough rules your odds of surviving 2 rounds of firing is also 54%.  If we take away rerolling 1s, the odds of surviving with only tough become 30% (about on par with a fortuneless mettle/QTD).  As noted above though, most tough units are also durable (except elks. those are useless).  A tough and durable unit in the above example has a 82% chance of surviving the round if it can reroll 1s and a 54% chance of surviving if it can't.

So a 7grit tough durable model with the rule change we suggest has the same odds of surviving 2 firing actions from a focused bike that a 7grit 6quick model with unlimited fortune (usually 2-3ish) does while with the current rules it is roughly one and a half times as survivable.

 

**note: I did not include the grit loss from stunned because adding conditional modifiers to the probability calculations makes the math sooooo much worse.  Feel free to lower the % numbers for tough a bit.  That being said, cover has a higher impact on tough units than on non-tough units so maybe it all balances out?

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