House of Cards: Reckless Cleave in Warhammer 3rd

Having already generated the dice pools to analyze Troll-Feller Strike I figured I might as well see what would happen if I applied those results to a different action card, Reckless Cleave.

Weapon Change

For reasons that will become apparent in future articles I chose to switch the base weapon for the simulation. Instead of using 5 strength and a hand weapon I used 5 strength and a great weapon giving a base damage of 12 and a Critical Rating of 2. For those unfamiliar, a Critical Rating is the cost in boons for any attack made with that weapon to generate a critical hit, as will be seen in the card description.

Action Card

Here are the available results for Reckless Cleave

Conservative Reckless
1 success base damage +2 1 success base damage +1
3 successes D +3
2 boons +Str^ dam, delay this card 1 boon +Str^ dam, delay this card
2 boons# +1 critical 2 boons# +1 critical
-1 boon -1 soak -1 boon -1 soak
-2 boons* 1 fatigue -2 boons* 1 fatigue
1 comet +2 critical
1 chaos delay defense 1 chaos delay defense

^ assumed to be 5 for this example
# from the Critical Rating of the weapon
* all physical actions have this as a possible result so it isn’t listed on the card


Comet use
On the conservative side comet priority was: increase 0 successes to 1 > increase 1 boon to 2 > +1 critical
On the reckless side comet priority was: increase 0 successes to 1 > increase 0 boons to 1 > increase 2 successes to 3 > comet line

For boons extra damage was chosen before the critical and reduced soak was chosen before fatigue.

Results: Reckless Cleave

From a pool of 1 Yellow and 1 Purple die plus 5 characteristic dice from 3 Green to 3 Red

3 Green 2 Green 1 Green 0 Green (Blue) 0 Red (Blue) 1 Red 2 Red 3 Red
Percent Hit 95% 93% 91% 88% 88% 89% 90% 91%
Average Damage 15.7 15.3 14.9 14.3 15.7 15.7 15.7 15.7
Average Criticals 0.16 0.15 0.14 0.13 0.27 0.30 0.32 0.34
Average Fatigue 0 0 0 0 0 0.20 0.37 0.51
Percent Delay 49% 36% 20% 0%
Percent -1 Soak 7% 7% 7% 8% 8% 12% 17% 23%
Percent Delay Defense 12.5% 12.5% 12.5% 12.5% 12.5% 12.5% 12.5% 12.5%



Several of the patterns seen with Troll-Feller Strike were repeated here. The reckless side was stronger without stance dice. Adding in Green dice increased the chance to hit and average damage. However, there were some differences. While for Troll-Feller Strike the conservative side gained lower and middle damage hits in exchange for the high damage hits from the reckless side, here there are no middle damage hits on the conservative side. However, its big damage hit is only 1 point lower than the reckless big damage hit and more likely. So it is a solid conservative attack. However, reckless damage is usually better. 3 Red dice give better damage than 3 Green dice 62% of the time while 3 Green does more damage only 32% of the time. Some favoritism towards the reckless side didn’t seem unreasonable for an action called reckless cleave.

Ironically, however, you don’t want to be too reckless using the attack. Average damage did not go up as Red dice were added. Actually it went down slightly but not enough to change the rounded numbers in the chart. Given that Red dice increased the chance to hit this meant that any extra damage the attack was gaining from hitting more often it was losing in high damage attacks. For attacks that hit, 5 Blue dice did on average 0.6 more damage per hit than 2 Blue plus 3 Red. This is because of the large damage boost from rolling 1 boon and the lack of higher value boons that add damage. Red dice roll fewer boons than Blue dice. So as Red dice were added the chance of getting the boon result, which is the entire reason people take this attack in the first place, goes down. This can be seen in the 18 or better damage line in the figure. Red dice can result in rolls with really high numbers of boons, but with no more damage boons to spend them on they were mostly wasted. Maybe it should have been called Sort-of-Reckless Cleave, though it is still a great attack. This also implied that characters in reckless stance may really have to manage their stance from round to round while conservative characters can just go more and more conservative.

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