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Warhammer: Diskwars» Forums » General

Subject: Just how swingy is the randomness? rss

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Nick Clinite
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Specifically, how many are there of each symbol on a die, and how often does it feel to you that ranged combat sways between "too ineffective" and "way too effective"?

I have a fondness for mitigating and controlling randomness, so WH Diskwars' scatter mechanic sounds intriguing to me; it sounds like you want to spread your units out enough so that scatter results turn into misses, when you can. Plus it sounds like range units cannot both move and attack in the same round, making entrenched melee fighters behind cover a real risk.
 
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Chris G
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In theory the ranged combat randomness is not all that random. In play it always fails for you horribly and succeeds masterfully for your opponent.
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Marcus Lind
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Some ranged units CAN move and attack in the same round, with their own abilities, support from others, or by playing certain command cards. But there is always a cost, which evens things out.
 
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Benjamin Bottorff
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I'd actually say that it's very difficult to give you any definitive answer there. I'd say that the card play more often causes swings than the dice but the dice definitely have the potential to do so. It's a lot dependent on your army.

You can definitely build an army that is very non-reliant on luck and still strong but can you protect yourself from potentially swingy luck on your opponents end if they do build a very 'swingy' army? -Yes but only at other tactical costs.

Most games are basically decided by deterministic interactions and/or by a rock/paper/scissors interaction to go first (one player will have the advantage in going first however the other player will have several strong strategic advantages in addition to higher odds of going second when he wants to move after his opponent can't react). However, there are a large number of massive variance interactions throw into the fray by various abilities, cards, and ranged attacks. The difference between a 1/2 Fists of Mork a 4, Fists of Mork, and a 6 Fists of Mork, is that the first do nothing, the second will take most of your army in a decent area out of fighting condition, and the last one will destroy all the fodder in that same area and put everyone else out of fighting condition (unless you have arcane resistance.

Ranged attacks, particularly those on siege units with random damage, are a very high variance proposition with the average for most range units being on the weak side. Despite this, nearly every ranged unit has a chance to shine far above its cost. Also as every ranged attack has a chance to stun the target, just having a key unit under fire before it moves has a chance to remove that unit from the equation. On the other hand, that isn't as bad as it sounds when if your opponent moves first they can pin that key unit with any of their pieces and likewise disable it but without the chance involved (aside the chance to go first).

In the end, disk wars is about as chaotic as you and your opponent want it to be but chance will be an always present force. There are a few things you can do to mitigate many of the random effects but in general if you don't want any of your games to be decided by one crazy roll, or one rock/paper/scissors with cards, you'll probably find disk wars frustrating as both of those will certainly happen at some point or another.

EDIT: Worth noting that even if things are fair in average, a game like disk wars will feel swingy due to the number of binary results. By and large, a unit either dies/takes a wound or it survives unscratched, and the difference between having a unit on the field and not can be immense. A unit is either pinned/stunned or isn't (which again can be immense). Ect.

Scatter really normally has only a very minor effect on most games if at all. It mostly serves to make firing at a unit you're already engaged with in melee more risky.
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Nick Clinite
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So can anyone give me the count of sides on the dice? How many are hits/scatter/misses? And, generally-speaking, the range of how many dice are typically rolled and how base range damage compares to melee? The rulebook gave an example of 3 dice with 3 potential damage each, I believe, while melee damage seems to be about 4 usually.
 
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Benjamin Bottorff
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x2 miss
x1 chaos
x1 hit
x1 crit
x1 scatter

Ranged and melee damage both vary widely.

Units with only medium range and no 'mobile' ability tend to have pretty powerful attacks simply due to how difficult it is to get off those kinds of ranged attacks. Long range attacks tend to average out to about half the damage you'd get on a similarly costing melee unit. Short ranged attacks tend to only be on units with the 'mobile' ability and so can be used while attacking and thus have power highly relative to the purpose of the unit using it (anywhere from the sea guards 2 damage to the river trolls 10 damage [and yes, there are ways you can survive a 10 damage hit]). Siege range units also vary widely and many of them have high variance on the damage inflicted. Worth noting that at siege range they only hit on crits.
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