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The High cost of Keeping your Character Alive

When most people build an army for Warhammer they start with their characters. These are designed for a purpose and almost become the personification of the player. As such no one wants their precious precious character to die. After all this must be a terrible loss to your army but is it really that bad?

In most cases a character is either useful in combat or not so useful in combat. If they are useful in combat then they need to fight and if they die it is the result of living a dangerous life where bad die rolls will always happen. The problem come with characters who are not useful in combat. It would be nice if they could stay outside of units and be safe but with cannons, template weapons, and non targeting missle spells this is a dangerous plan. To compensate for this the character sits in a unit for the look out sir but then they risk getting into combat. As a result most players put champions and other combat heros in the unit to protect the weak character. This seldom works as the opponent can use a champion to challenge and then if their hero touches the character they can swing at the character. Against characters in a unit it is sometimes better to be alone in the unit. This way you can refuse a challenge or move your character in the unit so they will not be touched by the opponent's heroes.

Of course sometimes there is nothing you can do to avoid combat so the question is what works against opponents. For some characters like Battle Standard Bearers (BSB) armor provides a cheap option for protection but it often only provides a 3+ or 4+ save. This works well against troops but most heroes will be WS5 S6 so the armor is for the most part worthless. Even a 1+ save becomes a 4+ or worse against most other combat heros and they only need 2 rounds to kill your character at most. In most cases though the question is will they kill you in one round so lets look at the chance of dying in one round based on some basic characteristics:

Chart 1 chance to wound

toughness

3
4
5
6
S3

.5
.33
.17
.17
S4

.67
.5
.33
.17
S5

.83
.67
.5
.33
S6

.83
.83
.67
.5
S7

.83
.83
.83
.67

Chart 2 Wound percentage hitting on a 4

number of attacks

3
4
5
6
7
8
2 wounds

56
69
81
89
94
97
3 wounds

12.5
31
50
65
77
86

To calculate a character rough chance to die find the percent wound chance on table one and mulitply it by the number of attacks on table 2. For example an Empire hero with toughness 4 attacked by a Saurus hero with s7 is wounded .83 and as the saurus has 5 attacks he will get 2 wounds 81% of the time and kill 67% of the time.

With the chance of death know it is important to figure out how to save a character. The easiest way to do this is by adding armor which gives a save chance of

Chart 3 save percentage

Save

6+
5+
4+
3+
2+
1+
percent

.16
.33
.5
.67
.83
.83/td>
reroll percent

.29
.55
.75
.88
.96
.96
Remember that save is modified by strength so when attacked by a character the 1+ which looks so good on paper often becomes a less impressive 4+ or worse. For example int he above example even a 1+ save becomes a 5+ and only lowers the death chance to 55%. But there is more that could be done as this could be rerolled and a ward save could be added. Thus with a 1+ rerollable save and a 4+ ward the chance of death could be lowered all the way to 16% which is a 77% increase the odds to survive the first round.

Of course in warhammer the question is not can you do something but what will it cost and what chance does it have to save a character. In most cases a 1+ save costs 25pts in armor and a reroll is another 25pts. A ward save is 15pts a level so a 6+ is 15pts and a 4+ is 45pts. Sure it is a little less in Elves but the characters are more expensive so you pay for the savings up front so we will use these numbers. Thus in our example it only costs 95 pts to get a 77% improved chance of living but you still die one in six combats and this assumes the opponent hits on a 4+. Now this would not be so bad if the character saved cost 123pts before adding the items to save him but that is unlikely to be true.

This might seem like an extreme caseas how often does a saurus hero have a great weapon and get to charge, so let us look at a specific example of improving the chance to live by 50% and finding out what this cost.


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Last Modified on Tuesday, 23-May-2006 13:55:03 EDT