Friday, March 31, 2017

KOW - An Eye on Unit Strength

One of the key developments stemming from the COK 2017 that I am keeping a beady eye on is "Unit Strength".

Unit Strength is the key victory determinant in three of the COK scenarios. It has been pointed out that there are 12 scenarios and so Unit Strength is not necessarily a dominating (see what I did there) factor. However, I believe that Invade, Dominate and Control will tend to be overrepresented in scenario choices as they are significantly different from the other more "Loot/Pillage" based scenarios.

Locally we are seeing about 1 point of Unit Strength per 110 points. This means you can expect 18 Unit Strength armies at 2000 points. This is based on a very small sample size but you need to start analysis somewhere.

Recently the TO from Clash of Kings at Adepticon posted nine of the top ten lists here

By my calculation the event was 2250 points so applying my modifier you'd expect around 20-21 Unit Strength lists. The actual unit strengths were as follows:

  • Orcs - 22
  • Goblins - 26
  • Ogres - 22
  • Undead - 22
  • Basileans - 20
  • Goblins - 24
  • Twilight Kin - 14
  • Goblins - 29
  • Dwarfs -18
Putting the three Goblin armies aside for the moment the rule of thumb seems about right (average 19.7). Kyle Przelenski's Twilight Kin seem quite low at 14. I'm not sure on the scenarios played but that would undoubtedly impact performance if they were skewed to the "US3 Scenarios".

EDIT: Found out that Invade, Dominate and Control all were played. So heavy bias to US.

Goblins are interesting. They've always been a high drop army and therefore will presumably always be a high Unit Strength army. They can deliver US more efficiently than any other army (with possible exception of Ratkin - though I'd contend Mawbeasts' strengths give Goblins the edge). While the individual De of the Goblin US is not high, the quantity provides and extra quality all of its own. 

The "internet" initially said Goblins and Ratkin would be hurt by the new COK 2017 rules due to the changes to cover rules on ranged attacks hitting on 4++. I think that such a conclusion may be premature as I do't think it factored in the impact of US and the predilection of TOs (myself included to choose the Invade- Dominate-Control scenarios when they select scenarios. In a four round event having 2-3 of those scenarios will likely skew the odds towards those that deliver US most efficiently.

Looking forward to seeing the Lonewolf Lists especially in the context of scenarios. I'd expect players to err on the side of higher US so expect to see a lot of 18-20 US armies with Goblins around the 23 mark. 


  1. Ogre list had 23us
    6 hordes
    2 monsters
    3 nonindividual heroes

    1. Silly maths and its exactness.

      Thanks for picking up my error. I struggle after 21 as that's all the toes I have!

  2. Good analysis. In the same breath that you discount goblins you should probably discount TK too, as their US is significantly off the median too - this gives a mean US 21 (with corrected ogre US).
    However, I don't think you can justify discounting goblins, just because including them skews your figures - they are valid lists and in this case represent 1/3 of the total. So including all lists gives a mean of 22. In both permutations towards the top end or higher than what you are seeing locally.

  3. Remember people this is not analysis, it is only observation. The size of the sample is far too small to make anything other than the most broadest of claims.

    The events looked at so far have been skewed to scenarios with US victory conditions. Those lists that have done well have generally had approx US1 per 100-110 points. In all cases there have been outliers but currently as a rule of thumb it's a starting point. If US scenarios only make up 25% of ongoing scenarios (3/12) then it may be less important and people will drift back to "scoring drops" as key characteristic.

  4. Mine is off because Mike has my Abyssal Rider horde as a troop for some reason. I do take loads of troops though, but it should be higher than 14.