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Wound Allocation in 5E
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Old 18 Jul 2008, 14:54   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Wound Allocation in 5E

From the first time I read the wound allocation rules in fifth edition, they struck me as odd. You go through all that trouble to allocate wounds to individual models, but then you scoop up the dice for the same models and roll their saves together. Different models, on the other hand, get their saves rolled separately.

I sort of understand GW's motivation for the system -- it is designed to speed up rolling saves, rather than doing them individually. But in doing so I think they have created a system with the potential for abuse.

As many have already noted, if you have multi-wound models it is better to give them different equpment, since you will get to carry more partial wounds (a single wound on a two-wound model, for example) in a unit, rather than have to apply two failed saves to a single model, killing it.

However as I thought about it more I realized that this would also affect single wound models, if you have more wounds then models. If you can allocate two wounds to a single wound model, then there is a chance that it may get excess wounds, which would lessen the overall effect on the unit.

To test this I calculated some probabilities, running two test cases.

Test Case A: Three single-wound models, six wounds, 4+ saves, identical units

In this example, we assume that a 3-model unit has suffered six wounds, so two are allocated to each model, and that the models get a 4+ save (simpler for calculating).

If all of the models are identical, we just roll six dice and see how many wounds are not saved, losing that many models.

Here are the probabilities:

[table]
[tr]
[td]Loss[/td][td]Prob[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]0[/td][td]1.6%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]1[/td][td]9.4%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]2[/td][td]23.4%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]3[/td][td]65.6%[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

So there is a 65.6% chance of losing the entire unit. Any roll that results in 3, 4, 5, or 6 missed saves results in complete elimination.

Test Case B: Three single-wound models, six wounds, 4+ saves, all different equipment

Now let's take a look at the same situation, except that all three units are different, So here each unit is rolling it's saves separately:

[table]
[tr]
[td]Loss[/td][td]Prob[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]0[/td][td]1.6%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]1[/td][td]14.1%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]2[/td][td]42.2%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]3[/td][td]42.2%[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

Quite a difference! Why is this? Well, now the rolls are 'allocated'. So, for example, if you get four wounds, there is a possibility that only two units are killed if those wounds are all on two units. The third unit skates off unharmed, whereas if you just rolled all the dice together for identical units, four wounds would kill all three.

So giving 3 units different equipment reduces your chance of being eliminated by almost 1/3. That's a big difference in keeping some firepower (or a scoring unit) on the table.

The advantage of giving units different equipment only grows as the size of the unit increases. Let's take a look at 5-model units suffereing 10 wounds:

Test Case C: Five single-wound models, ten wounds, 4+ saves, identical

[table]
[tr]
[td]Loss[/td][td]Prob[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]0[/td][td]0.1%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]1[/td][td]1.0%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]2[/td][td]4.4%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]3[/td][td]11.7%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]4[/td][td]20.5%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]5[/td][td]62.3%[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

Comparable numbers to case 'A' -- 62% chance of the whole unit is eliminated. Compare with:

Test Case D: Five single-wound models, ten wounds, 4+ saves, all distinct

[table]
[tr]
[td]Loss[/td][td]Prob[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]0[/td][td]0.1%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]1[/td][td]1.5%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]2[/td][td]8.8%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]3[/td][td]26.4%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]4[/td][td]39.6%[/td]
[/tr]
[tr]
[td]5[/td][td]23.7%[/td]
[/tr]
[/table]

This is a huge difference! In the identical model case (Case C) the chance of elimination is 62% -- now it's down to 24%.

So the lesson is clear:

Differentiate your models as much as possible. This may have to be balanced with tactical, load-out, and point considerations, but maximizing the number of different models you have on the board will pay big dividends in survivability over the course of the game.

Personally I think the rules should just be changed to you ALWAYS roll saves separately for each model if there is more than one wound allocated. I do not think this will add significant time to the game, as if you just have single wounds on models you can still roll them together and it WILL NOT change the outcome. This only comes into play if there are multiple wounds on models, or wounds on multi-wound models.

Hope this is useful info!

Geoff
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Old 18 Jul 2008, 15:27   #2 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Wound Allocation in 5E

This works even better if you are hit with a mix of weapons some that negate saves and some that do. For example if you have a unit of 5 space marines 3 with bolters and two with plasma guns. The unit gets shot at by a unit with bolters and plasma guns. The way it works now is all wounds are calculated first for all shooting before saves are made. So say after all the shooting there are 2 wounds from plasma and 5 wounds from bolters. You can place a wound from the bolter on each plasma guy so they get a save. This leaves 5 wounds left to distribute over 3 guys. In this case you could put a bolter wound on two guys a plasma wound on the other guy than place another bolter wound on one marine and a plasma wound on the same guy who already took a plasma wound. In the end if you make all your saves only one marine dies, instead of the old version where two would automatically die.
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Old 18 Jul 2008, 15:43   #3 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: Wound Allocation in 5E

Excellent post. Karma to you and ... err...

Well technically there arent THAT many multiwound units. But I see how my ork nobs should from now on all be different.
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Old 18 Jul 2008, 16:06   #4 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Wound Allocation in 5E

Quote:
Originally Posted by Esque
Excellent post. Karma to you and ... err...

Well technically there arent THAT many multiwound units. But I see how my ork nobs should from now on all be different.
Definitely good for nobs. Tau Crisis suits are multi-wound and are easy to equip differently.

But my analysis was for single wound units, not multi-wounds. So just about anyone that can take different gear can benefit.

Geoff
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Old 18 Jul 2008, 16:17   #5 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Wound Allocation in 5E

Actually your wrong on a few points.

As long as the number of shots are the same as people you keep placing wounding hits until you don't have any more. Then you roll for the damages/armor saves.

Like in Test B and maybe beyond (I don't fell like checking Mathammer) , those 3 guys still have to save two wounds each. They just take saves individually, whereas in your other part to Test B you say
Quote:
So, for example, if you get four wounds, there is a possibility that only two units are killed if those wounds are all on two units.
There is a chance for the third model to be unharmed, but not the way your presenting it. You'd have to place one wound on two and two wounds on the third if you took four wounds.
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Old 18 Jul 2008, 16:20   #6 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Wound Allocation in 5E

Quote:
Originally Posted by enderwiggin
Actually your wrong on a few points.

As long as the number of shots are the same as people you keep placing wounding hits until you don't have any more. Then you roll for the damages/armor saves.

Like in Test B and maybe beyond (I don't fell like checking Mathammer) , those 3 guys still have to save two wounds each. They just take saves individually, whereas in your other part to Test B you say
Quote:
So, for example, if you get four wounds, there is a possibility that only two units are killed if those wounds are all on two units.
There is a chance for the third model to be unharmed, but not the way your presenting it. You'd have to place one wound on two and two wounds on the third if you took four wounds.
Sorry -- my wording was imprecise. In this context I meant 'unsaved wounds'. What I was saying that when I roll ten dice for saves if I miss four saves in the first case four units will die. In the latter case it is possible that those four misses will only be on two units (since I roll two at a time).

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Old 18 Jul 2008, 17:04   #7 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Re: Wound Allocation in 5E

Quote:
Originally Posted by geoffe
Quote:
Originally Posted by enderwiggin
Actually your wrong on a few points.

As long as the number of shots are the same as people you keep placing wounding hits until you don't have any more. Then you roll for the damages/armor saves.

Like in Test B and maybe beyond (I don't fell like checking Mathammer) , those 3 guys still have to save two wounds each. They just take saves individually, whereas in your other part to Test B you say
Quote:
So, for example, if you get four wounds, there is a possibility that only two units are killed if those wounds are all on two units.
There is a chance for the third model to be unharmed, but not the way your presenting it. You'd have to place one wound on two and two wounds on the third if you took four wounds.
Sorry -- my wording was imprecise. In this context I meant 'unsaved wounds'. What I was saying that when I roll ten dice for saves if I miss four saves in the first case four units will die. In the latter case it is possible that those four misses will only be on two units (since I roll two at a time).

Geoff
Ahh I see, I just read the wounds (plural) on the units(again plural) and thought you were shoving all four wounds on two guys out of the three man squad.
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Old 18 Jul 2008, 17:07   #8 (permalink)
Vxx
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Default Re: Wound Allocation in 5E

The thing that confuses my feeble mind is what do you do when a unit like the one mentioned above just takes 3 wounds. So 5 marines, 3 bolter 2 plasma, takes 3 wounds. Who do you allocate it to? Can you throw it on the 3 bolter marines to save your plasmas or do you have to put a wound on the plasmas as well? Because its a rare occurrence in my shop when units take more wounds than they have models and it seems like people are making things more complicated than they should be.
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Old 18 Jul 2008, 17:30   #9 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: Wound Allocation in 5E

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vxx
The thing that confuses my feeble mind is what do you do when a unit like the one mentioned above just takes 3 wounds. So 5 marines, 3 bolter 2 plasma, takes 3 wounds. Who do you allocate it to? Can you throw it on the 3 bolter marines to save your plasmas or do you have to put a wound on the plasmas as well? Because its a rare occurrence in my shop when units take more wounds than they have models and it seems like people are making things more complicated than they should be.
You can put them all on the bolters. As long as every model has one wound before you apply a second wound to someone, you can give them out however you want.
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Old 19 Jul 2008, 17:00   #10 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Wound Allocation in 5E

I think the rule is a bit over complicating, but it does make it easier to kill things that are hidden away in a squad.

For example: Last night I was playing a game and my terminator squad was being shot at. They took quite a few wounds, thankfully I got my 2 up save, but in the process my Veteran with the company standard and cyclone missile launcher was killed.

Basically, the rule hurts anyone that has different models in a squad, like a space marine SGT or heavy weapons.
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