Saturday, October 15, 2011

I don't like math part two (the ripple effect)

I made an oopsie.

Chances are good that if you're reading this post you've read the last one, wherein I detail the latest tabletop clash between EV and myself.  If you aren't familiar with that post I'm curious how you got here.  More to the point you should go and read up so you'll have the context for this post.

While shamelessly promoting my blog over on the PP boards, one of the replies I caught concerned Kovnik Joe and his (lack of a) place in my list.  My first thought was "Of course he was in the list, who fields Winter Guard without Joe?"  Upon further review, it looks like I do.  At least in theory.  Turns out Joe wasn't in the list since I was intending to use the WGI as a support squad instead of a central component.  This is a bit unusual for me, especially since I first ran them with an Iron Flesh caster, but I wanted to try something new with them.  When I told EV of my error he pointed out that Joe didn't affect the game much and it probably would have turned out the same regardless of whether he was on the table or not.  This was my initial reaction as well.  I forgot to activate Joe until I had started moving the Winter Guard once, the unit ran once, and they remained unactivated when the game ended in turn four, so he only boosted attack rolls once (which was really gravy since it was a 5-6 piece CRA that he was boosting).  Tough is nice and all, but Joe is there to boost attack rolls.  Granted the boosted attack did hit, and I did make a Tough roll for one of the Guardsman, but ultimately Joe didn't do a whole lot.  That was my line of thinking, but since I worked this morning and didn't have a whole lot to do I had plenty of time to think about the game.

While I think my initial conclusion is solid, I got to thinking about what would have happened if I had included Joe in the list to start with.  His two points probably would have replaced the Manhuntress who played a large(ish) role in the game by securing an objective and drawing Eiryss out of the main fight.  Without the Manhuntress I probably would have put the WGI on the right flank, where they wouldn't have been in range to shoot Siege and soften him up for the barrage that ultimately took him down.  Had the WGI been on the right, I would have had to spread out my jacks and Bombardiers more to cover the center and left objectives, which would have opened up more room for Stormblade charges.  There probably would have been more Stormblades to charge since they wouldn't have caught so many templates advancing.  Eiryss probably wouldn't have gone off into the woods on her own against the WGI, so she would have been sowing chaos in the center.

Why yes, I am available for graphic design work.
On the other hand, I could have swapped the Koldun out for Joe instead of the Manhuntress.  The Koldun also had a large(ish) role in the battle by stripping Disruption off Ivan while also boosting the damage roll of his shot against Eiryss.  (That shot scattered into nothing, but the point remains).  He also sprayed out some Stormblades in a (futile) attempt to clear out charge lanes.  Without the Koldun Eiryss could have shut down one of my jacks with Disruption and I would have had no counter.  This would have been especially bad on the Juggernaut since Ivan got to boost his attack roll through the affinity regardless of Focus load.  My deployment and strategy wouldn't have changed much, but that Disruptor bolt would have been much more disruptive without Power Booster lurking to negate it.

I could also have taken out the Man-O-War Kovnik to put Joe in and gained a Rocketeer in the process, or upgraded the Juggy to a Kodiak, or any number of things.  The ripples from this one event are boggling.  The most important one of all is a lesson I should have already learned: double check your list and army.

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