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Subject: High Impact rule & -DEF DICE weapons rss

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Vasilis
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I think that the way this rule works per the latest manual is a bit unfair for weapons that provide -DEF DICE effects when they hit for more than 5 Hits. The effect is essentially neutralized.

For example,

1} if my attack rolled 6 Hits and -1Def Dice, the defender rolls 5 Defense dice.
2} If my attack was 5 hits without any other effects, he still rolls 5 defense dice.
3} If my attack was for 7, 8 or more hits with -1 Def dice, the defender still only rolls 5 defense dice.

We always assumed that the defense dice effect would apply AFTER the defense dice were reduced to 5 but after carefully reading the latest manual that is not the case.

Using my examples above and how we interpreted the rule the Defense dice rolled would be

1} 4 Defense dice
2} 5 Defense dice
3} 4 Defense dice

You can clearly see that the -1Def dice has always an effect every time it is present while in the way its written on the manual it is completely negated when rolling 6 or more hits.

I wanted to know if this is intentional because it greatly reduces the power of certain 'high hit ratio + def dice' reduction weapons like the Katana for example. (we liked how Mercury became more lethal with the High Impact rule but now I'm not so sure she is that lethal anymore)

Thoughts? Agent S any input on the matter?
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Skaak
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I was surprised when I noticed this quirk of the rules, too, but so far I haven't been minding it too much (been playing this way since I started the expansion; previously I also applied -1 def dice after High Impact). In the core campaign I think it would have been quite limiting, but for the expansion content I haven't minded so much because I have other methods for inflating my attack values so high that the difference is negligible (free action tactics, for instance).

I assume they did this because otherwise with High Impact on -1 def dice became too good compared to the other bolt powers; when it's taking down one of the five only dice available for defense, it really packs a wallop.
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Jason Kratz
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Skaak wrote:
I assume they did this because otherwise with High Impact on -1 def dice became too good compared to the other bolt powers; when it's taking down one of the five only dice available for defense, it really packs a wallop.
That might have been the rationale, but if so, the decision is incorrect.

Compare adding a hit to removing a defense die. Assume attack is already for 5 hits. Adding a hit is 1 guaranteed damage. Removing a defense die guarantees a damage that you had a 60% (I think there are 4 shields on a blue die, right?) chance of getting anyway. So, it might feel big, but really isn't (Math results below, assuming 4 shields on a die, no bolt powers). Note, some bolt powers for aliens will affect this so that removing a defense die is actually better than an additional hit (a re-roll for example), but it really isn't clear cut.

Removing a defense die actually has more power the fewer defense dice are being rolled.

-1 def die (numbers don't add due to rounding):
5 hits: 13%
4 hits: 35%
3 hits: 35%
2 hits: 15%
1 hit : 3%

Expected damage: 3.4

+1 hit:
6 hits: 8%
5 hits: 26%
4 hits: 35%
3 hits: 23%
2 hits: 8%
1 hit : 1%

Expected damage: 4

So using the High Impact rule, adding a hit is already better than removing a defense die in a typical case, even before nerfing the -1 def die bolt ability.
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Vasilis
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I believe Agent S may need to intervene here and clarify what was their intention for the -DEF DICE ability when this rule is used.
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D Squish
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I'm also a bit confused and unsure how the high impact rule should be treated in this case and even more if there is also an energy shield.

Reduces a energy shield of 2 the number of hits from 7 to 5 hits and the defender can use 5 defense dice or causes the energy shield that the defender needs to role only three defense dice and gets hit by hit 6 and 7 regardless of the shield.

Combining the energy shield with the -DEF dice effect increases my confusion even more.

I'm also applying the rules in such a way that I count the number of the virtual dice, remove from these the number of dice for the energy shield and any effects and if the remaining number of virtual dice exceeds the 5 dice limit the difference in applied as a direct hit. Of course the -def dice effect is useless in this case and I prefer to get +hit effect.

If the number of hits don't trigger the high impact time I prefer the -def dice too.

I would argue against the assumption that the -def dice effect would be boosted in combination with the high impact rule. The other effects aren't crippled regardless of the number of hits and the +hit even gets boosted, once you are already above 5 hits by other means.
 
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Vasilis
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Energy Shields are always counted first for hit reductions before any other effect.

So a 7 hit attack with -1DEF DICE against an Energy Shield of two will go like this:

The energy shield is depleted reducing the number of hits to 5 THEN the -1 DEF DICE is applied, reducing the defense dice of 5 to 4.

Problem is that the same attack with just one more hit (8) would provide 5 Defense dice as the High Impact rule is written in the manual. The -1 DEF DICE effect is completely useless in this case and that's a bit weird. I'm waiting for Agent S input on the matter.
 
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Jeffry Welfare
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Bowmangr wrote:
I believe Agent S may need to intervene here and clarify what was their intention for the -DEF DICE ability when this rule is used.
I think the intention behind the rule is pretty clear. I mean no one here in the thread has any question about what is written there in the rule. Why is it hard to believe that what is written is the intention. The -1 DEF DICE is a guarantee of some damage if you get past the energy shields with hits. The High Impact rule is a guarantee that a massive hit will do some damage. The interaction between the two rules is that the -1 DEF DICE effect doesn't turn the massive hit into an even more massive hit.

To be honest, if you prefer your way just do it that way. But I think the intent of the rule is fairly clear.
 
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Jason Kratz
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JeffryW wrote:
The -1 DEF DICE is a guarantee of some damage if you get past the energy shields with hits. The High Impact rule is a guarantee that a massive hit will do some damage. The interaction between the two rules is that the -1 DEF DICE effect doesn't turn the massive hit into an even more massive hit.
I think the problem that some of us have with this is that it unnecessarily (to our minds) nerfs one power, but doesn't affect other powers that are actually stronger. Having run the numbers in my spare time (yes, I'm a math nerd ), the -1 DEF DIE bolt power is always inferior to +1 hit in expected number of hits (neglecting the possibility of bolt powers on defense, which do swing things a bit more in favor of -1 DEF DIE powers). So, if the purpose of is to prevent massive hits from becoming more massive hits, wouldn't it make as much sense (or more) to also prevent +1 hit powers from turning massive hits into more massive hits?

Given that logic, and the fact that the High Impact rule wasn't part of the original ruleset, it is possible that this was an oversight, which would certainly be understandable in a game as complex as GD. Certainly it is possible that the intention is to nerf certain weapons for thematic reasons, but clearly it is not a balance issue (since given a choice between adding a hit and preventing a die, you should always add a hit to maximize expected value - therefore the weaker power is being made even weaker by this rule).

I think part of the issue stems from that removing a die from the defense roll just intuitively feels like a stronger play, and it does decrease the variance in the number of hits.

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Vasilis
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JeffryW wrote:
Bowmangr wrote:
I believe Agent S may need to intervene here and clarify what was their intention for the -DEF DICE ability when this rule is used.
I think the intention behind the rule is pretty clear. I mean no one here in the thread has any question about what is written there in the rule. Why is it hard to believe that what is written is the intention. The -1 DEF DICE is a guarantee of some damage if you get past the energy shields with hits. The High Impact rule is a guarantee that a massive hit will do some damage. The interaction between the two rules is that the -1 DEF DICE effect doesn't turn the massive hit into an even more massive hit.

To be honest, if you prefer your way just do it that way. But I think the intent of the rule is fairly clear.
I hear you. The rules are pretty clear. They explicitly mention how -1 DEF DICE works. It just feels weird to penalize a specific effect when you get a really good roll, so it might just be an oversight. That's why I posted.

Having said that unless something changes from Agent S along the way we will use the rule as written because there is no denying how it works and I do hate using house rules when the rules are clear about a specific situation.
 
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Jeffry Welfare
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Stryker1979 wrote:
JeffryW wrote:
The -1 DEF DICE is a guarantee of some damage if you get past the energy shields with hits. The High Impact rule is a guarantee that a massive hit will do some damage. The interaction between the two rules is that the -1 DEF DICE effect doesn't turn the massive hit into an even more massive hit.
I think the problem that some of us have with this is that it unnecessarily (to our minds) nerfs one power, but doesn't affect other powers that are actually stronger. Having run the numbers in my spare time (yes, I'm a math nerd ), the -1 DEF DIE bolt power is always inferior to +1 hit in expected number of hits (neglecting the possibility of bolt powers on defense, which do swing things a bit more in favor of -1 DEF DIE powers). So, if the purpose of is to prevent massive hits from becoming more massive hits, wouldn't it make as much sense (or more) to also prevent +1 hit powers from turning massive hits into more massive hits?

Given that logic, and the fact that the High Impact rule wasn't part of the original ruleset, it is possible that this was an oversight, which would certainly be understandable in a game as complex as GD. Certainly it is possible that the intention is to nerf certain weapons for thematic reasons, but clearly it is not a balance issue (since given a choice between adding a hit and preventing a die, you should always add a hit to maximize expected value - therefore the weaker power is being made even weaker by this rule).

I think part of the issue stems from that removing a die from the defense roll just intuitively feels like a stronger play, and it does decrease the variance in the number of hits.

Except as your previous number crunching pointed out yourself. - 1 DEF DICE is the more powerful ability if you roll less hits. Or the alien has bolt effects of its own, and plenty do. Sure if you are always rolling 6 hits or more you would rather the extra hit because the guaranteed damage is more. But if you roll only 4 or less hits (and there is no dice face with a bolt and a hit) then the -1 DEF DICE guarantees damage. +1 HIT does not. So I do not accept your premise that -1 DEF DICE is always a weaker power.

I think you need to do more maths to determine exactly what each character, firing at each alien is likely to roll, what their maximum damage is, and just what that is likely to be the results of that against a given alien. I think you will find the characters with the -1 DEF DICE perform better against certain aliens than others with +1 HIT.
 
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Jason Kratz
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JeffryW wrote:
Except as your previous number crunching pointed out yourself. - 1 DEF DICE is the more powerful ability if you roll less hits. Or the alien has bolt effects of its own, and plenty do. Sure if you are always rolling 6 hits or more you would rather the extra hit because the guaranteed damage is more. But if you roll only 4 or less hits (and there is no dice face with a bolt and a hit) then the -1 DEF DICE guarantees damage. +1 HIT does not. So I do not accept your premise that -1 DEF DICE is always a weaker power.

I think you need to do more maths to determine exactly what each character, firing at each alien is likely to roll, what their maximum damage is, and just what that is likely to be the results of that against a given alien. I think you will find the characters with the -1 DEF DICE perform better against certain aliens than others with +1 HIT.
As requested, more math.

Expected number of hits after rolling shields:
Assuming -1 DEF DIE:
1 hit rolled: 1
2 hit rolled: 1.6
3 hit rolled: 2.2
4 hit rolled: 2.8
5 hit rolled: 3.4
Additional hits, add 1 additional hit if we only roll 4 dice

With rule as written:
6 hit rolled: 4


Assuming +1 hit:
1 hit rolled: 1.2
2 hit rolled: 1.8
3 hit rolled: 2.4
4 hit rolled: 3
5 hit rolled: 4
6 hit rolled: 5
Additional hits, add 1 additional hit.

So other than guaranteeing 1 hit, the expected number of hits is always less for the -1 DEF DIE power. Additionally, the -1 DEF DIE power takes a big comparative loss to +1 hit at 5 rolled hits even if we only roll 4 defense dice, where the +1 hit power begins to add an automatic hit.

The point I am making is that given an attack roll, on average, the +1 hit power is better than the -1 DEF DIE power. Given the vast number of skills and tactics and weapons, I'm not going to try to figure out how each character would roll against each alien - that would take more time than I have.

I will admit to being wrong in my earlier post about -1 DEF DIE being stronger with less hits. What it is stronger in is when you need to get that one hit with 100% certainty.




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Thibaud Dejardin
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On the plus side, the "-1 def dice" is extremely great against aliens with strong bolt effects on their defense dice.
And it's excellent against "reroll all failed dices" bolt effects, too.
That, for sure, does worth the "0.2" wounds loss compared to +1 hit effect.


And even if the "+ hit" has more "expected wounds", as your math show, the "-1 def dice" makes one SURE wound, and that often makes the difference.


Let's not forget that 5+ hits are not that common, especially with base game. So it's good that both weapon types have their own strength and weaknesses. I'll favor a -1 def dice for little attacks, and i'll take the risk of the +1 hit when I try to pack a lot of punch in only one shot.
 
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Jeffry Welfare
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Stryker1979 wrote:
JeffryW wrote:
Except as your previous number crunching pointed out yourself. - 1 DEF DICE is the more powerful ability if you roll less hits. Or the alien has bolt effects of its own, and plenty do. Sure if you are always rolling 6 hits or more you would rather the extra hit because the guaranteed damage is more. But if you roll only 4 or less hits (and there is no dice face with a bolt and a hit) then the -1 DEF DICE guarantees damage. +1 HIT does not. So I do not accept your premise that -1 DEF DICE is always a weaker power.

I think you need to do more maths to determine exactly what each character, firing at each alien is likely to roll, what their maximum damage is, and just what that is likely to be the results of that against a given alien. I think you will find the characters with the -1 DEF DICE perform better against certain aliens than others with +1 HIT.
As requested, more math.

Expected number of hits after rolling shields:
Assuming -1 DEF DIE:
1 hit rolled: 1
2 hit rolled: 1.6
3 hit rolled: 2.2
4 hit rolled: 2.8
5 hit rolled: 3.4
Additional hits, add 1 additional hit if we only roll 4 dice

With rule as written:
6 hit rolled: 4


Assuming +1 hit:
1 hit rolled: 1.2
2 hit rolled: 1.8
3 hit rolled: 2.4
4 hit rolled: 3
5 hit rolled: 4
6 hit rolled: 5
Additional hits, add 1 additional hit.

So other than guaranteeing 1 hit, the expected number of hits is always less for the -1 DEF DIE power. Additionally, the -1 DEF DIE power takes a big comparative loss to +1 hit at 5 rolled hits even if we only roll 4 defense dice, where the +1 hit power begins to add an automatic hit.

The point I am making is that given an attack roll, on average, the +1 hit power is better than the -1 DEF DIE power. Given the vast number of skills and tactics and weapons, I'm not going to try to figure out how each character would roll against each alien - that would take more time than I have.

I will admit to being wrong in my earlier post about -1 DEF DIE being stronger with less hits. What it is stronger in is when you need to get that one hit with 100% certainty.




But you are still making that same assumption that you are rolling 5 attack dice. And you are not considering defence bolt effects. Not every attack is rolling dice that give you those range of hits, and by not taking into account the defence effects you are not looking at the whole picture so cannot make an informed basis of what is more effective in a given situation.
 
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