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mhsellwood

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mhsellwood last won the day on June 14 2016

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  1. Had my first game with the Cabal last night which resulted in a win. I really liked the Shrike Talon's speed and hitting power, and generally the good damage output. Not too much to take away from it though as I was fortunate enough to have my deployment right where the objective arrived so kept control without too much hassle. One question that came up was around the Shrike Talon's Swooping Attack. The bonus move is obvious, but the bonus attack if ending a move 3" or more vertically lower is worded in such a way that it seems to be that you can take the bonus attack when you want. To put this in context Rampage says you make a bonus move, then a bonus attack. Swooping Attack says you get a bonus move, and if you meet the lower vertically condition you get a bonus attack, but this is not specifically stated to be immediately after the move. Is there a consensus on this?
  2. Haven't watched the GMG battle report but people elsewhere are saying that they got a fair number of the rules wrong. In this case, if they said the platform is not 3" high they are wrong - if you have access to the IMGUR scan on the page titled GENERAL RULES you will see a picture of a platform and it described as 3" high, so enough to activate the jump attack. Additionally you do not necessarily take impact damage. You take impact damage if you fall. Falling happens when you end a move action not on the battleground, not on a platform, and not climbing, and if climbing at the end of an activation. Climbing is just a fancy term for making a vertical move up or down on an obstacle. So, if you have a move of 6" and are on the edge of a platform, activate Death from Above, move 3" vertically down (which is actually the height of the starter box platforms) and 3" horizontally, you take no impact damage and have ticked the box for a 3" vertical downwards move so additionally get the +1 strength bonus.
  3. Love the aesthetic, so picking these dudes up as soon as they are available. From a stats point of view, obviously we don't have anything yet but I am expecting high move, decent attack and pretty rubbish toughness given the lack of armour. Interestingly a couple of models have spears, and the Unmade preview today would suggest these are range 2 weapons, so could be ideally suited to locking down enemy models, and supporting other models. With their abilities they feel more like an army that will overwhelm after a turn or 2 of positioning. The Leader ability is a really strong aura buff (at this point it is actually the only one I have seen) so doing something like holding onto your wild dice, getting your Leader into the right spot, dropping a Shrike Talon with a quad and in range of the buff for effectively a 4 action, +1 strength, +1 attack activation seems sound. The ranged attack is double is weaker than the Iron Golem version, but overall they are quite movement focussed. Very excited to try them out.
  4. I am finishing up some stuff that has been hanging around for a while - thinks like basing on 10 Dryads, finishing up a couple of Underworlds warbands, minor things like that. Also converting up and painting a Flesh Eater Court warband. First 5 models: Getting the core box, couple of card packs, and will pick up at least the Corvus Cabal, maybe the Splintered Fang as well...
  5. Also useful if you play just the base game but in a campaign as there is a lesser artefact of power that gives a +1 toughness bonus. So plenty of models that in a campaign could get to toughness 5. Personally not too fussed that in a straight out of the box battle some of the abilities are more or less useful than others given the scope of what is coming is obvious. In terms of the rules, and whether I like them. My first brief read through left me feeling a little flat to be honest. The core mechanics are solid, easy to understand and read well, but my first reaction was basically 'where's the beef?' Having had a while to consider it though I have to say I am really keen to get some models on the table and play some stuff through. I guess part of it was moments of revelation, like for example I looked at the single dice roll mechanic for damage and though that it would make it hard to make a unit feel tougher or stronger in subtle ways. But then I thought about how you could make someone tougher, and I came up with non exhaustive approaches: Higher toughness, higher wounds, faction runemark that allows wounds to be restored even while in combat, faction runemark that allows one model to heal another, faction runemark to boost toughness, faction runemark that allows teleporting. This also ignores impact of twist cards that may affect survivability, impacts of being in a campaign, warband choice focused on survivability, and just raw availability to a faction of models with decent toughness. I am really looking forwards to getting it on the table and actually playing it. I feel that to get best benefit I will jump in at the deep end - get in a few trial games and then get a campaign running to really layer in the various game aspects.
  6. For this entry we will consider the concept of most likely result, and standard distribution. Most likely result is important when thinking about the difference between a theoretical result and an experiential result. As an example: a single attack that is 4+ / 4+ versus a model with no save has a mean (often simply described as average) outcome of .25 wounds. Needless to say you will never roll .25 wounds. Instead what is the most likely result? Clearly 0 wounds as 3 out of 4 times the result is 0 wounds. How do we though work this out on a rough basis sufficient to give us useful game information without necessarily having to work through an entire map of outcomes to calculate probabilities and the most likely single result? As a rule of thumb, do the maths hammer for an attack round against a 4+ save model* and look at the mean damage. Use the calculated damage as a numerator, and the damage characteristic as the denominator, and this will tell you how many attacks you can expect to deal damage. As an example using the single attack above, the outcome is .125/1 - so very close to 0. Expected outcome from 1 attack is... nothing. For a Stormcast Liberator Prime with a Greathammer though the number is 1.33/2 = .66 or more likely than not to actually inflict damage, with 0 damage being the next most likely result, then 4 damage, and 6 damage at a very small chance. Why is this useful information in a game of Age of Sigmar? Basically it applies to adequate application of force without over committing or wasting force. As an example of this, lets consider two units: Rockgut Troggoths and Fellwater Troggoths. For the sake of our example lets consider that there is a Stormcast liberator blocking a path, and only one model can charge. Would you send in a Rockgut or a Fellwater? By quickly doing the calculations we can work out that a Fellwater does an average of 2.4 damage, and a Rockgut 2.2. On average both kill the Stormcast so does it matter? Using the rule of thumb from above we can see that there is a difference - the Fellwater will most of the time inflict at least one hit, while for the Rockgut a fairly substantial amount of the time they will do 0 wounds. If we need to inflict 2 damage, choose the Fellwater as it will more consistently achieve this. Other examples of when this kind of maths is useful: you have two models in a position to inflict the last wound or 2 on a character, who do you choose first? Does a unit need a buff to achieve what you want or should you place it somewhere else). Finally a brief discussion of a normal distribution (also known as a bell curve). Basically this is where there is a single high point on the Y axis (horizontal in our discussion likelihood of an outcome) which reduces in a linear fashion the further from this you travel. A simple example is the distribution of a 2d6 roll; The most common result is 7, and then the further you move from that the less likely the result is. What is relevant here is that when you consider how much you benefit from a plus or minus within the context of a normal distribution the closer you are to the mean the smaller the impact. This means that if you are rolling a 2d6 charge, a +1 to your roll triples your chance of rolling a 12, but is a improvement of about 25% when you are trying to roll a 7 or more. Next post will be about how you can use excel to perform a Monte Carlo simulation.
  7. Pretty much my situation. Counting up all my pennies, pulling forwards hobby budget, focussed gift suggestions (along the lines of give me gift vouchers ta). Going to be painful but also really good. Only thing that could be worse for me is if the Sylvaneth battletome is up for preorder on the 13th of July...
  8. Thanks for the comment, and agreed with your point about it being a great start point. Something I intend to get to is how to basically work out a units offensive output and defensive output per point, to allow some basic comparisons. Important thing to keep in mind for AoS is as you touched on how much important the availability of buffs and debuffs is to how well an army works in total.
  9. Fundamentally to calculate a probability you need to work out how many possible outcomes there are, how many outcomes represent a desired result, and then doing a fraction based on this. Quick note on jargon: Numerator means the top number on a fraction - therefore with 2/6 the numerator is 2. Denominator is the bottom number on a fraction - therefore with 2/6 the denominator is 6. For a simple example of calculating probabilities: You roll a 6 sided dice, and you want to roll a 4, 5, or 6. There are 6 possible outcomes and 3 outcomes represent what we want. The likelihood is therefore 3 (the number of outcomes that we are interested in) over 6 (total possible outcomes) which translates to a 50% chance. N.b 1/6 is roughly 16.6% but is not exactly this amount. The next step from this is how to calculate multiple probabilities (i.e. if you roll a dice needing a 4+, then a dice needing a 5+, what is the chance of succeeding?). Following on from the example above we can work out that a 4+ is a 3/6 simplifying to 1/2, and a 5+ is a 2/6 simplifying to a 1/3. To calculate the chance of both succeeding we multiply both the likelihoods of success together. Maths below: Numerator 1 (1) x numerator 2 (1) = 1. Denominator 1 (2) x denominator 2 (3) = 6. Final result is therefore 1/6. From a practical point of view, the fraction tells us that on average if you hit on 4+ and wound on 5+ you will need around 6 attacks to inflict one hit. Again, remember the difference between theoretical and experimental probability. That is, theoretical says for every 6 attacks, you get one wound. Experimental, i.e. actually rolling the dice, says if you start with 6 attacks, you may end up with no wounds, or you may end up with 6. Over the course of many thousands of rolls you will end up with 1/6 of your attacks doing a wound, but any given set of rolls is not likely to be exactly 1 wound per 6 attacks (in fact the most likely result on any single roll of 6 dice is no wounds). An extended example, and to provide some additional discussion: A Liberator with a Warhammer attacks a Blood Warrior. Calculation: 2 (attacks) x 1/2 (to hit on a 4+ therefore 3 (number of desired outcomes) / 6 (number of potential outcomes) simplified to 1/2) x 2/3 (to wound on 3+ therefore 4 (number of desired outcomes) / 6 (number of potential outcomes) simplified to 2/3) x 1/2 ((note this is the chance of the Blood Warrior FAILING their save - a high save will lead to a lower chance of doing a wound, low save the reverse) to save of 4+ therefore 3 (number of desired outcomes) / 6 (number of potential outcomes) simplified to 1/2). Calculation for numerator 2 x 1 x 2 x 1 = 4 Calculation for denominator 1 x 2 x 3 x 2 = 12 Final result: 4/12 simplified to 1/3. Final point related to these calculations: note that absent external modifiers, order makes no probability difference as all rolls are independent. That is, if the liberator hit on 3+ and wounded on 4+ the end result is the same. Similarly, if the Liberator hit on 4+, wounded on 4+, but the Blood Warrior saved on 5+, the final result is the same. Next blog post will be about most likely result, and how we can think about bounded or capped results.
  10. Compendium specifically means warscrolls that are only available in the compendium's Games Workshop released at the same time as Age of Sigmar was released. At this point that mainly means Brettonians and Tomb Kings but there are some other models that are compendium only - for example for Dispossessed the old Anvil of Doom model was in the initial set of compendium rules but have never subsequently been reprinted. There are plenty of units / warscrolls that are only in the respective Grand Alliance books but are not compendium armies. For example Order Draconis (who are a really good army) is solely models from Grand Alliance: Order and it is certainly not a compendium army.
  11. The intent of this blog is to do some really basic discussion on probability, and how that can inform thinking about your games, and a bit of thinking about how we can model outcomes. First then, what this blog is. I will aim to keep this relatively straightforwards in terms of what I am describing, and I will aim to not use excessive amounts of jargon or technical terms. Although I intend to focus on Age of Sigmar most of the logic is applicable to any dice rolling game and I would like to do some looking at Underworlds as well. What this blog is not. Full disclosure I am not a mathematician. I have been playing Games Workshop games for about 25 years, I am post graduate qualified in accounting, and I do a lot of work with numbers, but I do not hold a tertiary mathematics degree. Therefore it is very much focused on real world probability and application rather than academic level discussion. For this first blog then, let's look at a really basic concept that helps to put some context around mathhammer (by this I mean the discussion around the 'hard' aspect of the game being the numbers versus the 'soft' aspects such as the social contract, positioning, decision making etc.) and how it is useful or is not. Discussion of probability within games must be considered using 2 different lenses: theoretical probability versus experimental probability. Theoretical probability is the probability that is produced through pure calculation. As an example, the probability of rolling a 6 on 1 dice is 1/6 (~16.6%) so if we roll 6 dice theoretical probability indicates 1 of these dice will be a 6. Experimental probability is the result of actually doing the thing we are discussing. So to contrast the example above, for the experimental probability of rolling a 6 on 6 dice, we would roll 6 dice, count the number of 6's and that would give us the percentage of 6's rolled. The importance of this is probably obvious; intuitively we know that 6 dice 'should' include a 6, but from personal experience I know this is all too often not the case. Thus, when we talk about probability and what 'should' happen always keep in mind that we are discussing theoretical probability, and that experimental probability is quite significantly different. The other thing to consider is the concept of independent versus dependent probabilities. Independent probabilities are probabilities that are in no way influenced by another probability. I.e. if you roll a dice the chance of getting a six is 1/6. If you roll a six, then the next roll has a chance of rolling a six of... 1/6. Dependent probabilities are where probabilities change. As an example the chance of pulling any given card (let's say Great Strength) from your deck in Underworlds is 1/20. After you draw your first card, the chance of the next card being Great Strength is 1/19. Why is this important? If a thing is an independent probability then a player has no control over the outcome (you rolls your dice and you takes your chances). If a thing is a dependent probability you have a degree of control - if you draw and discard cards then in order to increase your chances of drawing a specific card you need to draw more cards as each card drawn increases the odds of drawing the card you want. Next blog post will be basic mathematics of working out the possibility of something happening.
  12. half of season 1, all but one from season 2. Thinking of going back and picking up a couple more from season 1. Love playing Underworlds.
  13. A fair point Still-young. I would however refer you to the design of the iconography on the Barad-Dur miniatures from Games Workshop. Picture below: Note the shield design - although clearly an eye, it is the Eye of Sauron, and the stylised flames around it are related to the description of the Eye as a "flame of red" in the Lord of the Rings book. Hence my reference to the stylised flames - they are the iconography around the eye.
  14. I reckon Shyish on the far left - some king of cannibal death cult, maybe an aspect of defying Nagash by taking the dead inside yourself? Then Aqshy to the right of that - stylised flames so maybe some kind of flame cult?
  15. Good point re. Soul Wars. Had forgotten they had hands on for that.
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