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  #1  
Old June 14th, 2009, 04:31 PM
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How best to play the Mohicans: A mathemical investigation

Wave 9 has a provided a lot of units that don't play like anything we've seen before in Heroscape, such as the Mohican River Tribe. They get a bonus when close and a different kind of bonus when far away. Are they ranged units with optional melee power (like the 10th Regiment) or are they melee units with optional ranged attacks (like Agent Carr)? And what kind of units go best with their army (besides the obvious)? Raelin for extra defense or rats to tie up melee units? Or the Venoc Warlord to give them extra movement, allowing them to engage units quickly and frequently have a height advantage?

I decided the best way to begin answering these questions was to do some number crunching. Allow me to share with you what I've discovered. The follow graphs show the probability of a tribesman surviving an attack of 1-6 attack dice from various ranges. (Note that range 1 is melee). Don't forget that although Concealment works against most special attacks, it doesn't work if the Mohican is a secondary target from an "area of effect" attack like Zelrig's Majestic Fires or the Airborne Elite's Grenades. As a reference point I've included a "Krav Line" in each graph. Note that in melee situations Krav would have as much defense as the MRT.

The main lines of interest to me are the Red (2 attack) and Yellow (3 attack) ones, as these represent the mostly commonly attack values in the current squadscape metagame.









Some observations:

A Stinger attacking a Mohican from his max range has about the same chance to kill him as in melee.

A Rifleman (this includes 4th Mass, 10th Reg, and Harquebus), when faced the choice to move closer or Wait Then Fire from max range, should only move closer if he can get 2 spaces away from the Mohican. But the decision to move or wait will depend on the distance as well as whether the Mohican has the high ground. Sorry, Jexik, but it looks like you'll have to revise your flowchart

A Mohican from his own max range has better survivability if he moves to high ground than if he runs in engage the enemy on even ground although the latter may be the better decision if Brave Arrow is still alive.)

If Q9 is trying to pick them off he should roll 1-die attacks from a distance and 3-die attacks as he gets closer (the exact cutoff point varies depending on their defense bonus).

My initial impressions:

The concealment bonus is a lot better than I had expected. If you can afford both Raelin and Mittens in your army these guys will be really hard to kill! However, being a 3-man ranged squad with attacks of 2 puts them in the same category of uselessness as the Gorillanators and Samurai Archers -- what good is superior defense if you can't kill anything?

The "charge into battle" strategy gives them better attack and defense (and possible bonding with a very nice 50-point Indian) but I can't help but think people will just move their next squad of Stingers two spaces away and blast the River Tribe away. I think if you try to play them like a band of Agent Carrs you're going to want help against swarms of ranged commons -- bring along Zelrig, Q9, Krav, and the like. And as it's been already noted by a number of 'scapers, Deathreavers are much less effective against them:

"Ha, I tied up your MRT with my rats and now my ranged guys are free to shoot."

"Okay, now I get the extra defense and the concealment bonus. And bonding with Brave Arrow."

I never lay awake at night wondering how to design an army that will help me win 40% of my games. -- Jexik

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Old June 14th, 2009, 05:33 PM
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Re: How best to play the Mohicans: A mathemical investigatio

Interesting examination, As you said in the first paragraph "Wave 9 has a provided a lot of units that don't play like anything we've seen before" I find this true, and I really like that change. It almost makes an additional expansion on the current rules making it a much more strategic game.

I enjoyed reading this, I didn't understand some of the charts but thats just me.


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Old June 14th, 2009, 07:35 PM
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Re: How best to play the Mohicans: A mathemical investigatio

Nice discussion. I'd rep you if I hadn't already too recently.

I was contemplating running some numbers on them myself, but I got lazy. The one thing I'll point out is that it looks like your Krav line assumes that your opponent will roll at least one skull. With attacks of 2 and 3, the % of attacking whiffs is pretty noticeable. I'm not quite sure how that would overlay onto your graphs well at all though...*

*maybe you'd just have a small series of Krav lines? against an attack of 1, 2, 3, etc...

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(I've also played many matches with great, fun people who were using Q9. So using Q9 doesn't make you a tool. But being a tool sure seems to make you use Q9.)
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Old June 14th, 2009, 11:00 PM
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Re: How best to play the Mohicans: A mathemical investigatio

Excellent analysis + rep to you
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Old June 15th, 2009, 12:32 AM
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Re: How best to play the Mohicans: A mathemical investigatio

Quote:
The one thing I'll point out is that it looks like your Krav line assumes that your opponent will roll at least one skull. With attacks of 2 and 3, the % of attacking whiffs is pretty noticeable.
Yeah, I was originally going to have reference lines for Krav, Nakitas, Stingers, and others but the graph was getting really crowded.

I never lay awake at night wondering how to design an army that will help me win 40% of my games. -- Jexik

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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:31 AM
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Re: How best to play the Mohicans: A mathemical investigatio

I am really looking forward to trying these guys out. I like the choices one has to make with them. My only fear is that they lack the offensive power necessary to take down guys like Q9 and Q10, or face down hordes of 4th Mass. It seems to me that one should only really add Raelin when planning on using them as more melee than ranged.

I wanted to see the reverse numbers: the damage they could do, so I went back to Sisyphus' Probability Tables to check out the numbers. Turns out, Stingers have a 66.7% chance of surviving an even-ground ranged attack from a MRT, while they have a 49.1% chance of surviving against a melee attack. If BA is there, then the Stinger has a 35.5% chance of surviving.

It seems to me that its better to engage when facing squads, as the survivability is vastly improved from weaker melee attacks than weaker ranged attacks. When facing a heavy hitter (4 or more dice), it seems the best option to stay away.

The numbers I found seem to put MRT roughly on the same level as Stingers, especially when you take into account BA and their slightly superior range (and potentially move more)
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:51 AM
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Re: How best to play the Mohicans: A mathemical investigatio

Quote:
Originally Posted by S1R_ART0R1US View Post
The numbers I found seem to put MRT roughly on the same level as Stingers, especially when you take into account BA and their slightly superior range (and potentially move more)
I like your overall analysis, but I don't see how you're drawing the conclusion in the above quote. I would be astounded if the MRT turned out to be as competitive as the Stingers...
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Old June 15th, 2009, 03:00 AM
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Re: How best to play the Mohicans: A mathemical investigatio

As individual units, they are roughly on the same level, but Stingers mesh much better with other units than the MRT. Against the Stingers, the MRT would want to engage them. They would also be getting the first strike with greater range: they move, attack from range, are attacked by stingers, defend, then move in and engage, bringing in BA. My definition of level was not correctly defined. I meant level as in they are a fair match for each other.
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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:14 PM
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Re: How best to play the Mohicans: A mathemical investigatio

Great stuff, Clarissimus! RunaRep for you.

My favorite Wave 9 unit easily. They can be played a lot of different ways and give your opponent some frustrating decisions.

One thing about the Brave Arrow bonding - it's really tough to use against non-Deathreaver squads. When you engage with a Mohican, you want to attack really bad. But if you kill what you're attacking, you're not engaged anymore and don't get to move Brave Arrow. He only gets to come in and help if you fail.

I've found that, against Raelin, engaging her with a couple of them is great fun. I attack her once a round maybe, but spend the rest of my time killing squad figures with BA and the other Mohicans. If their ranged figures shoot at you, they have the +2 and Concealment.

Venoc Warlord is a must IMO. He gives them the speed they need to nearly always get the first shot and the high ground, and makes it much easier to engage for the bonuses. They really need to be moved together though (as in, spend some early OM's to bring up reinforcements rather than rushing them out one squad at a time) so they can continue engaging as they die (and they will).

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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:43 PM
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Re: How best to play the Mohicans: A mathemical investigatio

I was thinking this was a great analysis...and really getting into the reading and the math, until I made the mistake of thinking "wow, Clarissimus explains it all" Now I can't get that annoying theme song out of my head.

Great article

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Old June 15th, 2009, 02:56 PM
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Re: How best to play the Mohicans: A mathemical investigatio

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryougabot View Post
I was thinking this was a great analysis...and really getting into the reading and the math, until I made the mistake of thinking "wow, Clarissimus explains it all" Now I can't get that annoying theme song out of my head.

Great article
Wow - that really needs to be his title. I can't believe someone else besides me remembers that show. Thankfully, I can't remember the theme song - just that her dad kept calling her "sport" and her annoying brother's name was Ferguson.

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Old June 15th, 2009, 04:25 PM
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Re: How best to play the Mohicans: A mathemical investigatio

So at what range does it pay off for unboosted Mohicans to have Concealment instead of a couple more defense dice? Turns out it's range six versus attacks of three and range four against attacks of four. It's also a much better deal against Omnicrons (who we will presumably be seeing quite a bit more frequently). That makes Mohicans one of the few units that deals effectively with Nilfheim - who for the most part loves Wave Nine.

Still, the task for which the Mohicans look to be designed is engaging a (non-Rat) melee screen. Once they're engaged, even versus an attack of three, at a range of three they have the equivalent of four defense and at a range of six it goes to an equivalent of five dice. Naturally those numbers just get better the more attack dice are being thrown and Brave Arrow complements the anti-screen role perfectly. He gives some oomph toward beating the four defense units and is extraordinarily difficult for ranged units to pummel.

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Last edited by Aldin; June 15th, 2009 at 04:36 PM.
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