Sunday, June 12, 2011

Warhammer; What stat is most important? Wounds

Wounds do not have a whole lot to talk about on the surface. The vast majority of troops have the same number; 1. Whether you are the mighty Grail Knight or the humble Gnoblar, you have one shot at life. Take a single unsaved wound and you are done for this game.

There are, of course, exceptions. Most characters,chariots, war machines, monstrous infantry and war machines have multiple wounds.

Count the wounds in this mess

It is indeed in the realm of wounds that monstrous infantry have their strongest advantage and that relates to the concept of frontage.

Not everyone has played a wargame for long, so if you just stumbled upon this in some random search, let me explain frontage.

Every model takes up a certain amount of space. A goblin, for example, is on a 20 mm base. A Troll has a 40mm base, so takes up twice as much space.

This matters hugely for how much potential damage you can deal within the realm of a specified distance. One of the reason frenzied troops are so powerful is they add so much power to such a small amount of space; if you have 5 troops on a 25mm base with 1 attack each, the most damage you can deal in 5” is 5 wounds. But give those troops 2 attacks each and you have doubled their potential output in the same amount of space.

By the time you get configurations like 5 Chaos Warriors with extra hand weapon and frenzy, you can pump out a whopping 20 attacks in the same space.

As a result, space considerations are important when considering damage output.

What does this have to do with wounds?

As a general rule, the models that have multiple wounds have multiple attacks. They also tend towards a higher toughness which helps their survivability.

Generally a high T, high W model will take fewer wounds in any one round which means they are more likely to still be there when it is their turn to strike, whether on that turn or the next go-round.

Each additional wound helps with this exponentially. A model with T4, 3 wounds can reasonably expect to last 2 – 3 rounds against even the most lethal opponent, and if he has something like T5, 6 wounds he is going to stand there for a long, long time.

So how many extra points are an extra wound worth? Is it as few as 10 or as many as 50? Some other number?

Unfortunately, I am going to drop back to my Texas Hold-Em stock answer; it depends.

If you have the choice between giving your model an extra point of T or an extra wound, for example, what is worth more?

I think it is clear from earlier postings I would rather have an extra W than WS or BS, but it is a closer thing when looking at S or T. Sticking around long enough to attempt even a task with a low probability of success is obviously superior to dying before getting to attempt a task with a high probability of success.

So which is better? For line troops (think monstrous infantry here) the extra wound is arguably better than S, worse than T as you will block more wounds with T than you will gain extra wounds. If you have monstrous infantry that one unit has W3 and the other W4, take the W4 even if it is 20 points more.

For characters, often they will be armed and armored well enough that the extra point of S or T will be more valuable in performing their assigned role.

And for all the guys with just 1 W…well, tough luck, bub. Next time, keep your head down, other guys in front of you and fight better.

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