Tag Archives: terrain

Merry Fleetmas

I already gave you some basic rules for how to pick which dice to reroll for fleet, but they are specifically for charging in the open.  Charging through terrain means 3d6 drop the highest, which means more complexity in terms of which dice to reroll.

For your benefit dear reader, I’ve gone ahead and worked out the optimal rerolls, but they do require a more clunky set of guidelines than last time.  A key distinction here is that when you make your initial 3d6 roll I’ve called the lowest die the min, the highest the max, and the middle one the mid – the best choice for a reroll depends on what you got for min mid and max in your first roll.

Without further ado, here’s what you need to get the most out of Fleet in terrain:

Range Reroll all 3d6 Reroll lowest 2d6 Reroll Lowest D6
3″ 111 Not 111 Never
4″ 111 or 112 All others 122
5″ max<=2 All others 123, 133, 223
6″ All others max>=4 mid=max=3
7″ max<=3 All others max=4, mid=3 OR 4
8″ max<=3 All others mid=max=4
9″ max<=3 All others max=5, mid=4 OR 5
10″ max<=4 All others mid+max>=10
11″ max<=4 All others max=6, mid=5 OR 6
12″ No 6s One 6 Two 6s

This probably seems a bit impenetrable at first, so here’s a few notes on reading it.  The range column is the range to your target, the three other columns are the conditions for a given range that you would reroll 1, 2, or 3 dice.  For example, say you are 3” from your target, if you roll triple 1, then you should reroll all three dice, otherwise reroll the lowest two dice.

As another example, say the range is 10”, if the highest of your dice (i.e. max) is 4 or less then reroll all three, if the sum of the highest and middle dice is greater than or equal to ten then just reroll the lowest 1d6, otherwise just keep the highest die and reroll the lowest 2d6.

Happy fleeting my friends!

Terrain Wreck

So I left you last week with a cliffhanger, namely how much does terrain impact your odds of reaching assault?  More specifically:

Is Barra the Berzerker better off charging guardsmen in the open 8” away, or going for a squad in terrain 6” away? What about with rerolls, or with Fleet?

When terrain comes into play, the assault range mechanic gets a little more complicated.  Instead of a straight 2d6 roll, it becomes 3d6 drop the highest.  To show the difference this makes, here’s a straight up comparison:


So the red line shows the probability of achieving an assault distance in the open, and the green shows the same for terrain.  Unsurprisingly, terrain always makes it harder to reach your opponent, but what’s more important is by how much.  I’ve highlighted two points here as they give us the answer to part of the question I posed.  At 8” the berserker has a 42% chance of reaching the guardsmen in the open, but at 6” he has a 48% chance of reaching the guard in terrain.  The guardsmen in terrain are the right choice of target.

But what about rerolls for the Icon of Wrath?  How does Fleet affect it?


The chart may seem daunting at first, but hopefully a quick bit of explanation will make it more accessible.  The three red lines are the odds of assaulting a certain distance in the open with no reroll, with a reroll, and with Fleet.  The three green lines are the same but for assaults through terrain.  To address our specific question about 8” in the open vs 6” in cover I’ve again added the relevant dots with percentages.  These clearly show that in a ‘like for like’ comparison (i.e. with a reroll, with fleet) it’s always better to assault 6” in terrain than 8” in the open.  So to answer the original question, Barra the Berzerker should go for the guardsmen in cover in all of our scenarios.

That said, I didn’t build the chart just for this one scenario, you can use it to compare all kinds of situations – and can draw some interesting insights from examining it.

For example, comparing the darkest red line with the darkest green line, we can see that a unit with Fleet charging through terrain has equal or better odds of making assault than a normal unit charging the same distance in the open.

Similarly, checking out the mid-tone green line versus the dark red shows us that when assaulting though terrain units that can reroll charge distance (not Fleet) are also better than normal units charging in the open but only for distances up to 6”.  After this point we see a crossover in the lines and a normal charging in the open is better from 7” onward.

Even simply taking a look at the normal line, vs the reroll line, vs the Fleet line can really highlight how big a difference these abilities can make.

I do have to apply the caveat that my analysis assumes that the player using Fleet always makes the optimal choice for which dice to reroll.  But you’ll have to wait for those rules until next week…

Poster Boy

As a quick break from the usual TheoryHammer, and just to show it’s not all about statistics, I’ve added some images to the resources section for those of you who are into terrain building.  It’s a set of miniature posters for the 40k/necromunda setting.

Gabriel_Pitt at the excellent Penny Arcade forums provided the source material – though he did mention that they apparently come from GW site (not that I can find them there now).

Here’s an example of how they were used in one of his terrain projects:

Downloads available here.

Going the distance

Starting with the simple stuff.

For the game of Warhammer 40,000 the normal play area is 6′x4′, more usefully in inches 72″x48″.

Most of the game activities revolve around actions that depend on distance (e,g, moving, shooting, assaulting) and these actions almost always have distances that are 6″ or a multiple thereof (e.g. 6″ moves, d6″ run, 12″ rapid fire etc). So, before the game starts, it is useful to imagine the tabletop in 6″x6″ squares (so the playing area will be 12 squares wide by 8 squares deep).

This grid will guide your judgement of distance

This will help gauge weapon ranges, how long it will take to get from point A to point B etc. It won’t give accurate results, but it will give you a ballpark, and will let you know if something is definitely impossible. It’s inexact because a) you’re guessing, and b) most of what you do will be diagonal – so the orthogonal distances that square counting gets you won’t be right.

To overcome A requires experience, good spatial reasoning, and some practice (ie set up a tabletop and guess the various ranges, measure and see how you did).

To overcome B I’d suggest the following – imagine the rectangle that has one corner on your starting point, and the opposite corner on your end point. Add the longest side of the rectangle to half the shortest side and you will get a good approximation of the true distance.

So when assessing the battlefield, consider the deployment zones, terrain, and objectives – imagine your 6″x6x grid and start to consider what you can do, not just in this turn – but right through to game end. Just as an example, say at turn 2 you want to decide which units to send to which objectives; it is easy to underestimate how long it will take to get there – the grid will let you know if reaching that point is possible at all within the time available. For example a footslogging unit walking on turn 1 in a dawn of war scenario will not be able to make it to the opponents edge of the table even if they go in a straight line with no obstacles – unless they forego shooting for running.

Before the game starts, and during every turn, look at distances and consider them in terms of game turns to get there, or ranges required to shoot there, etc etc. Look at your opponent’s position and do the same to gauge what he can do, and what he may be going for. Don’t forget to use legal measurement to check your estimates during the game, for example movement and range after declaring shooting (yours and your opponents!)

Now stop reading this, and go practice eyeballing the tabletop.

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