As per usual, the internet is saying that the world is ending because Cygnar will be able to perform a caster kill at top of 1!! Yes, ladies and gentleman, Kara Sloan with 9 hunters can get 9 boosted to hit shots 3 inches into the deployment zone at the top of 1.
Now, many people are trying to put out this fire out by pointing out how it is actually really hard to get the 9 hunters to all obtain LOS, after all, the warcaster opposite of Kara is going second and can choose the defensive table side and deploy models in a way to block LOS. This is certainly one way to pacify all the Chicken-Littles on the forum, however, has anyone actually checked the math on this turn one assassination? Well, as a Cygnar player, I had to! So, first of all, let’s set the basis for this article, we want to measure the probability of killing a caster, that is:
The damage done to the caster would be the sum of the damage done by the 9 hunters, right? Therefore:
Now, what is the probability of causing damage on one of the rolls?
Now let’s measure the probability of the sum of only two shots:
that, ladies and gentleman, is called a discrete convolution and if you are familiar with them, I’m sorry we probably have to suffer through the same classes…
This can be easily generalized to three, four… up to nine:
The fact that focus can be used to negate damage can be added into the model by adding 5 points of pseudo-armor to as many damage rolls as focus is on the caster. Since Hordes functions differently with warlocks transferring lots of damage to the beasts, this article is centered only on warmachine warcasters. However, if the hunters did try their turn one assassination on a warlock who held onto his fury, they will fail.
Now, the trick comes at testing all the casters, unfortunately that data has not been released, so we can only apply this to the casters spoiled by Privateer Press, such as Severius 2, Denneghra 1, Karchev, etc., etc.
- The odds of Severius 2 dying to a turn 1 assassination by Kara Sloan are 35.5%.
- The odds of Denneghra 1 dying to a turn 1 assassination by Kara Sloan are 28.5%.
- The odds of Karchev dying to a turn 1 assassination by Kara Sloan are 0.0%, there is no way of chewing through 34 boxes.
- The odds of Kaelyssa dying to a turn 1 assassination by Kara Sloan are 28.5%.
- The odds of Durgen dying to a turn 1 assassination by Kara Sloan are 39.95%.
I fixed the focus to 6 and 7, given a fictional caster 17 boxes and seen its survivability in relation to armor and defense:
so, if a caster has focus 6, 17 boxes, and an armor of at least 16, the odds of a Sloan assassination are less than 50%. If a caster’s defense is at least 16, there is no way that the odds of an assassination are higher than 50%.
The code for this estimates is here.
In conclusion, Kara Sloan’s threat is scary good and she should be feared, but not because of top of 1 assassinations; the math just isn’t there for it to be reliable.