House of Cards: Mighty Swing

There are a few things to note about Mighty Swing. Like Thunderous Blow it requires being armed with a great weapon. The attack also has a penalty of 2 Black dice. In order to make the results comparable to the other attacks I used a dice pool of 5 characteristic dice, 1 Yellow, 1 Purple, and 2 Black. The same base difficulty used for Thunderous Blow and Reckless Cleave plus 2 Black for the attack penalty.

Action Card

The card has some special effects.
On the conservative side the weapon Critical Rating is reduced by 1 to 1.
On the reckless side, if the target has 3 or more points of armor then the attack ignores 2 points of armor, effectively increasing damage by 2 points.

Conservative Reckless
1 success base damage +1 1 success base damage
2 successes D +1 dam
3 successes D +3 dam 3 successes D +3 dam
4 successes D +5 dam
1 boon +1 dam
2 boons +3 dam 2 boons +3 dam
3 boons +5 dam
2 boons# +1 critical 2 boons# +1 critical
-2 boons 1 fatigue, delay this attack -2 boon 1 fatigue, 2 if target
has 3+ armor
-2 boons* 1 fatigue -2 boons* 1 fatigue
1 comet +1 dam +1 crit 1 comet +2 crit
1 chaos delay this attack

# from the Critical Rating of the weapon
* all physical actions have this as a possible result so it isn’t listed on the card

Assumptions

Comet use
On the conservative side comet priority was: increase 0 successes to 1 > increase 1 boon to 2 > increase 2 or 3 successes to 3 or 4 > comet line.
On the reckless side comet priority was: increase 0 success to 1 > increase 2 successes to 3 > increase 1, 2, or 4 boons to 2, 3, or 5 > increase 1 success to 2 > increase 0, 3, or 5 boons to 1, 4, or 6 > comet line

Results

From a pool of 1 Yellow, 1 Purple, and 2 Black 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 86% 83% 79% 76% 76% 78% 80% 81%
Average Damage 13.4 12.8 12.1 11.4 11.3 11.7 12.1 12.4
Versus 3+ Armor 12.8 13.3 13.7 14.1
Average Criticals 0.34 0.32 0.29 0.27 0.04 0.04 0.05 0.06
Average Fatigue 0.04 0.04 0.05 0.05 0.05 0.27 0.46 0.63
Percent 3+ Armor Fatigue 4.1% 6.7% 9.7% 13.2%
Percent Delay 49% 36% 20% 0%
Percent Delay Attack 4.0% 4.2% 4.5% 4.7% 12.5% 12.5% 12.5% 12.5%

Chance of Doing Damage or Higher

mit

Thoughts

Interestingly, this is the only card I’ve examined so far that yielded better damage on the conservative than reckless side for 5 Blue dice. While the reckless side has some very high damage potential, D +12, it isn’t so much better than the conservative side, D +9, and requires 6 boons and 3 successes. The steep requirement for boons from Red dice combined with a 2 Black die penalty means that those really high results are quite rare, only around a 6% chance of scoring D +7 or higher damage with 3 Red dice. Without the bonus piercing effect the reckless side fairly consistently yields lower damage than the conservative side, making this actually a very nice attack for a conservative fighter. However, against high armor opponents reducing their armor by 2 on the reckless side effectively increases the damage by 2. This makes it a very strong attack against armored opponents as seen in the figure showing a damage curve for 5 Blue dice.

Comparison with Armor Reduction at 5 Blue Dice

pierce
The extra Black dice also result in a high overall chance of missing, around ¼ for 5 Blue dice. Given the short duration of combats missing is pretty horrible. This, combined with the very low chances of scoring the high end rolls, suggests that Mighty Swing is better for more skilled characters. It would be interesting to see how increasing the positive dice pool would affect Mighty Swing especially compared to an attack with fewer lines like Reckless Cleave.

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