Saturday, December 24, 2016
Warpflame Math and You
With the new chaos books arriving I have decided to start a Tzeentch army; because three chaos armies aren't enough. Unfortunately, my first two games went terribly. My first game, I didn't have any board control and got bottled into a corner. The second game, I summoned as many squads of pink horrors as I could and had great board control. Unfortunately this left me with almost no warp charges to cast witchfires and I only ended up killing one unit the whole game.
To try and strike a balance, I decided to try and optimize my warp charges. I have discussed this topic previously, but this time things are less general and more specific to my army.
How should warp charges be distributed for Flickering Fire of Tzeentch? Should I invest in divination powers? When should I upgrade to warp charge 2 vs warp charge 1.
Don't spend the charges on prescience, dedicate those to flickering fire. If you are spending four or more warp charges on flickering fire, then upgrade it to level 2.
In a purely theoretical situation, given an infinite squads of horrors and infinite warp charge dice it would be best to allocate one warp charge per squad. Since I have neither the finances, nor the board space to accommodate an infinite number of models, I am limited by real numbers. Each additional warp charge provides diminishing returns, but boosting the chance to cast is easier than increasing the chance to hit.
Spread your warp charges as evenly as possible between all casters. Don't worry about trying to cast prescience. It costs more warp charges and limits your chances to cast flickering fire.
How many turns should I summon more horrors before focusing on using my warp charges for flickering fire?
Probably no more than two.
My setup here had a lot of assumptions that were specific to my particular army. I assumed I had two unit that could summon and one unit of horrors to start. I also assumed that summoning and flickering fire were the only two powers that I cared about.
With this in mind I ran two different scenarios:
For the first scenario, I assumed that each squad of horrors on the board uses one die on flickering fire and the remaining dice are used for summoning. I checked the potential damage output for the different combinations of summoning and compared it to the average damage output if I had just spend all my warp charges on flickering fire.
Secondly, I assumed that each summoner would use 5 dice (ideal for warp charge 3 abilities), and the rest of the dice would be evenly distributed amongst anyone that could cast warpfire. This different setup had a higher damage potential than the first, but resulted in the same answer to my original question.
With both of these setups (specific to my particular army), diminishing results kicked in after turn two.
Basically, if you summon squads on turn 3 or later they aren't going to have enough turns of shooting to make up for the loss of damage output that it cost to summon them. However, this is all moot if you are summoning to do anything other than shoot. Grabbing objectives or tying up units can't be factored into the calculations.
I still have a lot to learn about this army. At this point I am 0 and 2 for my record, and I am not sure how much I need to change about my list. More than that, I need to practice playing my psychic phase (something I haven't had to do extensively).