The Toughness (T) characteristic is closely related to strength. It is more malleable under the current magic edition than ever before with the easy access to buffs like Wissans Wildform, etc., but still more or less is the basic stat most of the time.
There is a much wider range of commonly seen Toughnesses. Monsters can play a large enough role in the battles that even difficult to wound targets often face a quiver full of shooting, thus calling the T characteristic in to play more often.
For line troops, the common T scores are 3 and 4. There are occasional 2s thrown in and Monsters frequently have T5 or even T6, with other targets having even as high as T10.
As we saw when looking at S, having T4 versus T3 is a huge boon. It often shifts how often a model is wounded by 16 – 33%. Just one point of T makes a huge difference. It is one of the real benefits the Dwarfs, Chaos Warriors and Knights, Gor, and similar troops have. Facing “typical” S3 strikes, they are wounded 16.33% less often which, as we saw with the extremely basic math-hammer of the S piece, can really add up over the course of a battle.
One issue with T is that typically the higher T a model is, the less chance it has a save. The new Arachnarok spider, Tomb King sphinx and the Beastmen models are all fine examples of this. If you penetrate their T defense, you inflict a wound as they have no save at all.
Naturally, there are some high T models that have an exception; The Shaggoth has a very nice 3+ save, as do many dragons, the Hydra has a base save and Regeneration, and the Abomination is all but unkillable* between T, save, regeneration, coming back again and again and again and again…
So exactly how important is T? As with virtually every other stat we have seen…”it depends”. A T4 Chaos Warrior is worth more than a T4 Dwarf Warrior or Saurus Warrior. Arguably, 16 of them are worth more than a T5 Shaggoth, even though the points costs are relatively equivalent.
But the reason he is worth more is because of his weapon skill and armor saves. His higher weapons skill means fewer enemies will strike him in the first place, and his3+ save (assuming hand weapon and shield) versus the 4+ for the Dwarf, mean he is more likely to survive. Saurus are theoretically nearly as good…they have the same S and T and base attacks, but their lighter armor and inability (?) to take shields for the parry save, combined with the higher weapon skill of the Chaos Warrior all combine to mean the Chaos Warrior gets hit less than the Saurus, resulting in his higher T being even more valuable to him than it is to the Saurus…for whom it is very valuable.
At the same time, for a Gor it is still very valuable…but not as valuable. Whereas a Saurus, Dwarf Warrior or Chaos Warrior who has their T4 penetrated will most likely still have some sort of save, the Gor is dead.
This does not mean the T4 is not valuable…arguably, it could seem even more valuable for the Gor as that is the sole means of defense…but it works better in concert with factors that combine to reduce the wounds.
Naturally, for the most part most armies do not get choices in T for their line troops. Elf and (non Chaos) human armies are T3, Dwarfs T4…but there are some armies that DO have a choice.
Lizardmen can choose between lot T skinks and T4 Saurus. Beastmen can choose between T3 Ungor and T4 Gor. Warriors of Chaos can choose between T3 Marauders and everything else.
But beyond that, many armies can choose in other slots between different T units; it might be a chariot versus a monster versus more basic troops. Obviously there are other things to consider, but how much should the T of your troop weigh into that decision?
For example, if you are filling your core slots for the Beastmen, you must choose between the T3 Ungor and the T4 Gor. Neither has armor, both are similarly equipped, WS, S. The Ungor are 2 points cheaper, the Gor are 1 point of T higher; how often should you take the Ungor?
It is actually a tough call. The Gor cost 19% more and are roughly 16% more resilient. So arguably the Ungor are the superior choice. However, other factors (LD, the difference in chance to run based on lost casualties in close combat due to the extra 16% casualties, etc) combine to make the Gor one of the best steals in any army book this side of Chaos Marauders…
Which brings up an interesting point. A Chaos Warrior with no mark and just the required upgrade will typically be 16 points. Marauders with no mark and no upgrades are 4 points. Are 4 Marauders worth 1 Warrior?
They will strike about 16% less frequently, wound 16% less often, and be wounded 16% more often…and only have twice as many attacks. Just for fun, lets see how much difference the T 4 makes.
160 points worth; 10 Chaos Warriors with Hand Weapon & shield versus 40 Chaos Marauders.I would go 10x1 with the Warriors and start in horde with the Marauders.
Round 1: Warriors strike first, 20 attacks, 13.34 hits, 8.898 wounds. Marauders have 31 guys in three rows able to strike back; 31 attacks, 16.5 hits, 5.445 wounds, 2.723 saves.
Round 2; 8 Warriors v. 31 Marauders. 16 attacks, 10.672 hits, 7.118 wounds. 24 Marauders strike back, 12 hits, 3.996 wounds, 2 saved.
Round 3: 6 Warriors v. 24 Marauders; 12 attacks, 9 hits, 6 wounds. 18 Marauders hit 9 times, 3 wounds, 1.5 saves. The first time I went in favor of the Marauders, this time in favor of the Warriors.
Round 4: 5 Warriors v. 18 Marauders; 10 attacks, 6.666 hits, 4.44 wounds; 14 Marauders, 7 hits, 2.33 wounds, 1ish save.
Round 5; 4 warriors v. 14 Marauders, 8 attacks, 6+ wounds; 8 marauders hit 4 times, 1.33 wounds, 50% chance to save
Round 6; 3 warriors, 6 attacks, 4 hits, 3 wounds. 5 Marauders, 2.5 hits, .83 wound, this time will say saved.
Round 7; 3 Warriors, 6 attacks, 4 hits, 3 wounds; 2 Marauders, 1 hit, .33 wound.
So in 8 rounds, the Warriors kill the Marauders. Lets re-run this with one change; we will drop the Warrior T to 3, equal with the Marauders.
Round 1: 10 Warriors v. 40 Marauders.
20 A = 13.34 h = 8.898 w. 31 A = 16.5 hits, 8.25 wounds, 4 saved.
Round 2: 6 Warriors v. 31 Marauders; 12 A = 9 hits = 6.67 wounds. 24 Marauders have 24 A, 12 hit, 6 wound, 3 saved.
Round 3: 3 Warriors v. 24 Marauders: 6 attacks, 4 hit, 3 wound. 21 Marauders, 21 A= 10.5 hits, 5.25 wound, 2.5 saves. Lets be charitable and keep the Warrior alive.
So in 4 rounds the Warriors die having done half as much damage.
How important is T4? Even in the case of the Chaos Warrior, an elite, hardcore close combat death machine, it is vital, vital, vital. Losing just one point changes the outcome from a close (losing 70% of the unit) fight to a devastating loss.
Of course, these examples ignore things like failed LD tests after combat, upgrades, etc., but they should fully demonstrate the power of higher T.
So how important is T overall? It ranges towards the top. It can keep your guy alive long enough to do what he came to do.
* not true…but fun to say.
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