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D.R.A.I.C.H. Best use of Power of Darkness 
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Corsair
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This thread aims at answering the following question:

How can I best use PoD to provide the ideal number of power dice (PD) to each of my sorceresses, with the smallest chance to tap the 2 dice from the common pot (C)?

Disclaimer: my posts below are based on theoryhammering.

I will be considering other sources of PD (staff, dagger…), in the second half ot the post.

If you are impatient, jump directly to the conclusions down below.


Step 1. How many PD do I need for each spell?
Ranging from the easiest Lore to cast to the most difficult Lore, here are the numbers of PD I would use (2+ means normally 2 PD but 3 won’t hurt; 3- is the opposite):

.1st.2nd.3rd.4th.5th.6th..spell of
..2...2+..3-..3...4-..4...Dark Lore
..2...2+..3-..3...3...4...Metal Lore
..2...3....3...3...3...4-..Death Lore
..2...2+..3...3...4-..4...Shadow Lore
..2...2+..3...3...4...4...Fire Lore

There are 2-PD-spells, 3-PD-spells and 4-PD-spells. Let’s call them DD, DDD and DDDD.
So further down, DDD+DDDD means a spell needing 3 dice to cast and a spell needing 4 dice.

Be aware that in this thread, I don't mention dispels dice (which also have DD as usual abbreviation). So here, DD means "a spell needing two dice to be cast".


Step 2: Which spell can I cast with my given PD?
Basically, each sorceress level x brings in x PD so she can cast a single x-PD-spell, without tapping the common pot, or using PoD.

Deduction: Without an extra source of PD, a group of sorceresses can cast normally only one spell each, plus one single DD.

Druchii cannot be satisfied with this fate shared by lesser races.


Step 3: Which spell can I cast with the help of PoD?
PoD cast with 1 die (1PoD) often (3/6 chances) wastes 1 PD, otherwise it adds 1, or 2, or 3 PD (1/6 each).
PoD cast with 2 dice (2PoD) seldom (3/36) wastes 2 PD and generally adds 0 to 2 PD (11/36 each). It may miscast (1/36) but I neglect it.

With PoD, a level 1 sorceress may have 0, 2, 3 or 4 PD, sometimes too many PD for her single spell!
With PoD, a level 2 sorceress may have 0, 1, 2, 3 or 4 PD, to cast one or both of her 2 spells.
With PoD, a level 3 sorceress may have 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 PD, to cast 1 or 2 spells among her 3.
With PoD, a level 4 sorceress may have 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 PD, to cast 1 or 2 spells among her 4.

The common pot C can be used to complement the PD. However, there are only 2 of them so I need to spare them as much as I can.

The difficulty comes from the uncertainty about how many PD will be brought by PoD, not forgetting that each PoD-PD must be used by the sorceress creating it – or burn her.
As we will see below, the distribution of 2PoD is more regular and there is seldom a use for 3 more PD so 2PoD must usually be preferred over 1PoD. Another argument for 2PoD is the greater resistance to dispel.


Step 4: How should I best combine the choice of spells and of PoD
to provide the perfect number of dice to a sorceress with the smallest chance to tap the 2 C?

Let’s review, for each level of sorceress:
- which spells can be cast without PoD;
- which spells can be cast with 1-dice PoD (1PoD);
- which spells can be cast with 2-die PoD (2PoD), then the reader can make sure the spell choice and the odds are better than with 1PoD;
- and what are the chances of needing to tap a die from the common pot (C) with a 2PoD, according to the selection of spells given to the sorceress?


Sorceress level 1:
No PoD: can cast a DD, which requires always to tap -C.
1PoD: (1/6) no spell, (1/6) DD, (1/6) DDD, (1/6) DDDD to cast on a single spell. Very unpredictable.
2PoD: always tap -C and get (11/36) DD, (11/36) DDD and (11/36) DDDD to cast on a single spell. Because of the risk of miscast with 4 PD not compensated by the value of a DD, it is better to renounce PoD if you have a DD, rather than to risk launching it with 4 PD.
C use: heavily needed and heavily unpredictable.

Conclusion: never accept a rookie level 1 in a group of sorceresses.

On the other hand, a lonely level 1 scroll caddy can cast her DD or DDD with no PoD. If she gets a DDDD, by casting 2PoD she gets most of the time (22/36) enough PD to cast it; leftover C are discarded.
Now your 2-scroll caddy becomes interesting for her price because she’s going to cast, and cast hard! Give her the Fire Lore, hope to get spells #5 or #6, and have fun!


Sorceress level 2:
No PoD: DD, or DDD-C or DDDD-CC
1PoD: (3/6) DD-C; (1/6) DDD or DD+DD-C, (1/6) DDDD or DD+DD or DDD+DD-C, (1/6) DDD + DD.
2PoD: (11/36) DD, (11/36) DDD or DD+DD-C, (11/36) DDDD or DD+DD or DDD+DD-C.
C use with 2PoD, according to spell selection:
DD+DD: (11/36) -1C
DDD+DD: (11/36) -1C
DDD+DDD: better change one DDD for the DD spell #1.
DDDD+DD: (11/36) -1C
DDDD+DDD: (11/36) -1C
DDDD+DDDD: better change one DDDD for the DD spell #1.

Overall the C consumption is very low: 1C less than 1/3 of the time, 0C otherwise.

- In case the sorceress gets a DDDD+DD, then it is advisable to cast last in the magic phase.
With 2 C left, cast directly DDDD with no PoD.
If there is 1C left, with 2PoD you cast either (11/36) DD or (22/36) DDDD.
If no C are left, just cast your DD with no PoD.


Sorceress level 3:
No PoD: DDD, or DD+DD-C
1PoD: (3/6) DD, (1/6) DD+DD, (1/6) DDD+DD, (1/6) DDD+DDD
2PoD: (11/36) DDD or DD+DD-C, (11/36) DDD+DD-C or DD+DD, (11/36) DDD+DD.
C use with 2PoD, according to spell selection:
DDD+DD+DD: always 0C
DDD+DDD+DD: (11/36) -1C
DDD+DDD+DDD: better change one DDD for the DD spell #1
DDDD+DD+DD: (22/36) -1C
DDDD+DDD+DD: always 0C
DDDD+DDD+DDD: better change one DDD for the DD spell #1 => always 0C
DDDD+DDDD+DD: (22/36) -1C
DDDD+DDDD+DDD: better change one DDD for the DD spell #1

The C consumption is very low: 1C less than 1/3 of the time, 0C otherwise.
Many spells combinations require no C at all.


Sorceress level 4:
No PoD: DDDD, or DDD+DD-C
1PoD: (3/6) DDD, (1/6) DDD+DD, (1/6) DDDD+DD, (1/6) DDDD+DDD or DDD+DD+DD
2PoD: (11/36) DDDD or DDD+DD-C, (11/36) DDDD+DD-C or DDD+DD, (11/36) DDDD+DD or DDD+DDD.
C use with 2PoD, according to spell selection:
DDD+DDD+DD+DD: (11/36) -1C
DDD+DDD+DDD+DD: (11/36) -1C
DDD+DDD+DDD+DDD: better change one DDD for the DD spell #1
DDDD+DDD+DD+DD: always 0C
DDDD+DDD+DDD+DD: always 0C
DDDD+DDD+DDD+DDD: better change one DDD for the DD spell #1 => always 0C
DDDD+DDDD+DD+DD: (11/36) -1C
DDDD+DDDD+DDD+DD: always 0C
DDDD+DDDD+DDD+DDD: better change one DDD for the DD spell #1

The C consumption is very low: 1C less than 1/3 of the time, 0C otherwise.
Many spells combinations require no C at all.


Remaining dice at the end of the magic phase:
The level 3 or 4 sorceress will always have one uncast spell.
A level 2 sorceress will very often have one uncast spell.
In case there are still 1 or 2 C left at the end of the magic phase, they can be cast by anyone with her spare DD spell.


Conclusions:

- 2PoD is always better than 1PoD, because of a better predictability.

- A level 1 sorceress must be taken alone (as scroll caddy), never in a group of sorceresses; but she can efficiently cast spells requiring 4 PD.

- If your selection of spells include DDD+DDD but no DD, or DDDD+DDDD but no DD, then change one spell for the #1 DD spell.

- Any sorceress may consume a maximum of 1 die from the common pot, and is very likely (22/36) not to consume any. So you can efficiently take a magic tsunami with 4 sorceresses.

- Always cast your 2PoD first, then burn your PD, then go to next sorceress.

- If your PoD is dispelled, then remember that you had anyhow (11/36) chances to get only 2 PD from it and be dispelled the same way; no big deal, and your opponent just burned 2 or 3 dispel dice.

- In case of PoD miscast, proceed on the other sorceresses. At the end, go back to miscast sorceress with remaining common PD.


=====================================================
EDIT - (inserted on Sept 6th)


What can be done with the arcane items providing more power dice?

Step 5: Sources of additional power dice?

We can use:
- the Black Staff (2 to 4 more power dice, for level 3/4 only),
- the Darkstar Cloak (1 more power die) and
- the dagger (1 more die available for each spell).
- The Powerstones (+2 power dice once) should be considered as well but its single use makes it good chiefly to compensate once for a missed PoD.
NOTE: remember that you can take as many powerstones as you want on as many sorceresses as you want (p.122). However, only one can be used at a time for casting a spell.

All object are arcane, they cannot cumulate on the same sorceress.


Step 6: Who needs even more power dice?

Only sorceresses who have some spells leftover with no additional power die must be considered.


Sorceress level 1

With Darkstar Cloak, she would get the Common Die she needs all the time.
But consider paying 10pts more and you get a level 2 sorceress with one additional die plus a better spell selection.


Sorceress level 2:

With the cloak, you could cast your 2 spells each turn but then you would have to use more often a common die (C) in addition.

So it is nice to take the cloak if you don’t have too many sorceresses, such as 1 or 2, in small games (1000 or 1500pts).


The dagger has a different use:
If you use the dagger up to three times (including the 2PoD) and cast a 2PoD, you’ll get for your other two spells 5 to 7 dice.
Of course, the higher the result of PoD, the lesser the necessity to use the dagger, so you can be guaranteed to benefit from 5 dice, and often (11/36) 6 dice.
This is very good if you want to cast 2 spells each turn with your sorceress without tapping the common dice:
DDD+DD, DDD+DDD or DDDD+DD.
It is advisable to avoid the choices DDDD+DDD and DDDD+DDDD because it would use too many common dice, and DD+DD because it wastes your magic item.
You will have to choose your Lore knowing that both spells must be cast each turn.
Avoid the spells that may not enter in your game plan, for example if you dislike short ranges (Fire #2, Shadow #1 and #3 and 4, Death #2 and #4, Dark #5) then only Metal is advisable.

Overall the dagger is very nice (except for the sacrified babysitting unit) when you plan to have a magic tsunami with many sorceresses.


Sorceress level 3:

With the staff and a 2PoD, you will have available, for your sorceress only, between 5 and 9 D, with a nice bell distribution
(5 D or 9 D (1/9), 6 D or 8 D (2/9), 7 D (3/9)).
Considering that you can tap the common dice in case the odds are not in your favour, then you can count on having 7 dice available!

You would use your dice by casting usually 3 spells:
DDD+DD+DD (but for that selection, PoD is not necessary) or DDD+DDD+DD-C or DDDD+DD+DD-C or DDDD+DDD or DDDD+DDDD-C.


Let’s look at what can be done with the dagger:
Cast PoD with 1 die plus 1 dagger die (spare one life if you got a “6”).
As you can spend 1 dagger die on each other spell you cast, you will be able to compensate with the dagger for a low PoD result.
Let’s put aside 0 to 2 dagger dice to complement the PoD to 4.
Then you can be guaranteed to have available, for your sorceress exclusive use, a total of 7 dice if you can cast all your 3 spells, or 6 dice if you can only cast 2 spells.
You would use your dice by casting 3 or 2 spells:
DDD+DD+DD or DDD+DDD+DD-C or DDD+DDD or DDDD+DD or DDDD+DDD-C.


The dagger is more predictable than the staff.
However, with the staff, you can count on having 7 dice to cast on your chosen spells, when you may have only 6 dice with the dagger if the spells have a high casting value.
For Fire Lore, the staff is better. For Shadow Lore, the dagger is better. For the other Lores, there is no clear advantage, so the dagger being cheaper, it is the best item to take.


Of course, spending 10pts more, you drop the dagger and get a level 4 sorceress, with 1 more spell to choose and 1 more power die available, which seems even more interesting than a level 3 with dagger.


Sorceress level 4:

With the staff and a 2PoD, you will have available between 6 and 10 D, with a nice bell distribution
(6 D or 10 D (1/9), 7 D or 9 D (2/9), 8 D (3/9)).
Considering that you can tap the common dice in case the odds are not in your favour, then you can count on having 8 dice available!

You would use your dice (and some common dice C) by casting 3 spells:
DDD+DDD+DD, or DDD+DDD+DDD-C, or DDDD+DDD+DD-C, or DDDD+DDDD (only 2-spells combo).
All combinations are covered except DDDD+DDD+DDD+DDD: better change one DDD for the DD spell #1.


Let’s compare with the dagger:
Cast PoD with 1 die plus 1 dagger die (spare one life if you got a “6”).
As you can spend 1 dagger die on each other spell you cast, you will be able to compensate with the dagger for a low PoD result.
Let’s put aside 0 to 2 dagger dice to complement the PoD to 4.
Then you can be guaranteed to have available, for your sorceress exclusive use, a total of 9 dice if you can cast all your 4 spells (hardly ever possible), or 8 dice if you can only cast 3 spells (what you’ll get usually) or 7 dice guaranteed if you intend to cast 2 spells.

You would use your dice (and some common dice C) by casting 3 spells:
DDD+DDD+DD, or DDD+DDD+DDD-C or DDDD+DDD+DD-C or DDDD+DD+DD.

Or, with a selection of spells that are more difficult to cast, you would use your dice (and some common dice C) by casting 2 spells:
DDDD+DDD or DDDD+DDDD-C.


The dagger is superior to the staff: you cast easily any spell selection combination, the predictability is maximum.
Much better, you can always choose to use the dagger after having seen the result of the first die.
If you have not too many sorceresses, the common dice can be allocated to the supreme sorceress, giving another opportunity to use the dagger in combination.


For the cloak, the same reasoning as for a level 2 remains valid:
with the cloak, you could cast one more DD spell each turn but then you would have to use more often a common die (C) in addition.
So it is nice to take the cloak if you don’t have too many sorceresses, such as 1 or 2.


(EDITED PARAGRAPH)
Single level 4 sorceress with dagger

With Power of Darkness spell, the dagger, your 4 power dice and the 2 common dice, you can be guaranteed (almost) to have 11 dice available each turn if you can cast your 4 spells (PoD not included).
Average dice available per spell is 2.75.
If the spells are too difficult to cast, you might be able to cast only 3 of them. Then you would have only 10 PD available guaranteed.
Average dice available per spell is 3.33.

Powerdice origin
Let's call white (W) PD the 6 powerdice you get as level 4, including the common dice.
Let's call red (R) PD the powerdice produced by the dagger.
Let's call black (B) PD the 2-4 powerdice produced by the PoD spell.

Each turn:
receive 6 white PD (W).
Spend 1 W and 1 R on the PoD spell.
Receive between 2B and 4B, and prepare to "produce" accordingly 2, 1 or 0 R.
Now you have 5W + 2B + 2B/R = 9 PD.
Either you cast 3 spells and you can get 1 more R, or you cast 4 spells and you can get 2 more R.
Total 10 PD on 3 spells or 11 PD on 4 spells.

PD distribution on spells:
On 3 spells: 4, 3, 3 or 4, 4, 2.
Good for Dark, Shadow or Fire Lores. One single spell will remain unused.

On 4 spells: 4, 3, 2, 2, or 3, 3, 3, 2.
Good for Death or Metal Lores... if you are certain that all spells you'l get are good to cast.

How can the opponent best use his dispell dice?
Well, dispelling PoD is no more nor better than dispelling any other 2-dice spell because the dagger will compensate for the missing extra dice.
Dispelling PoD just forces the sorceress to kill 1 more own troop.
Dispel dice are better spent on nastier spells.

How many of your own troops will you be likely to kill?
In average you will get 3 PD from the PoD spell and you will need 1 more PD from the dagger.
In average, in order to cast 4 spells, you will need 4 PD from the dagger.

In a full game, that means killing 24 of your own troops. :x
I imagine that if ever the enemy comes to contact, the troops are going to rebel against their sadicist masteress... :evil:

Effective pts cost
By this way, the effective cost of the dagger will be... 169 pts.
Taking into account the need for 13 more troops for the sole purpose to survive so as to avoid testing for panic, it raises the final cost for the dagger and its "accessory shrine" to... 247 pts!
That is the price for getting a reliable and extremely powerful magic phase with a single sorceress.

Total: naked sorceress lev 4 + dagger + 37 masochist troops = 507 pts.
46pts per PD.



Conclusion:

- No arcane power dice for a level 1 sorceress, this rookie would spoil it.

- For a level 2 sorceress, consider the cloak if you have 2 sorceresses and you want to cast whatever 2 spells you get. The dagger is good to have if you have 3 or 4 sorceresses and you want 6 dice available for one of them.

- For a level 3 sorceress, the staff grants you 7 dice (with possible complement needed from the common pot) while the dagger can guarantee you 6 (no need from the pot). For Fire Lore, the staff is better, otherwise the dagger may be a better bargain. Also, a naked level 4 is worth considering instead.

- For a level 4 sorceress, the staff grants you 8 dice while the dagger guarantees you 7 or 8 dice. Usually the dagger is better, especially if there is only 1 or 0 other sorceress needing the common dice. If you are magic-heavy, then the staff is good and you can give the dagger to a level 2 sorceress.


The magic tsunami
(everyone using 2PoD as much as possible, not counting, in the total below, the dice spent for PoD):

Level 4 sorceress, PoD staff: 8 dice a turn guaranteed for 3 spells.
Level 2 sorceress, dagger: 6 dice a turn almost guaranteed for 2 spells.
Level 2 sorceress, cloak: 4 dice a turn in average for 2 spells.
Level 2 sorceress, powerstone: 3 dice a turn in average, immune to the first PoD miscast, for 1/2 spells.

Total: 21 dice to plan to cast on your chosen spells (not taking PoD in the total), and you get often more dice available, and seldom less dice available.
In average, 8 spells are cast each turn.

Cost: 790pts. Or 35% of 2,250 pts

For 475 pts, you can have the lesser Magic Wave: same without the level 4. That makes 30% of 1,500 pts. But you get "only" 13 power dice each turn...

Remember also, if you want the focus familiar, you have to renounce some other arcane item.


=====================================================
EDIT - (inserted on November 29th)

Must PoD always be cast first?

During your magic phase, before casting anything, you must plan in which order you will cast spells and object-bounded spells. See Game-Winning Magic in 7th Edition Warhammerfor the best order to choose.

After you have planned your whole magic phase, you know which sorceress must cast first all her spells, who is next, et caetera, and who will be last.
Take into account that because of PoD, you will better cast all spells from one sorceress before proceeding to the next one, with very few exceptions (this is because you don't want remaining PoD-dice to explode your sorceress if ever another sorceress miscasts and ends the magic phase).


As I said, always cast your 2PoD first, then burn your PD, then go to next sorceress.
The reason for starting with PoD is because you must know the budget for your casting sorceress:
- cast PoD,
- see if the opponent dispells it,
- determine how many dice are provided by PoD
- then allocate all these dice for your sorceress: so many dice for the first spell, so many dice for the second spell, so many dice for the last spell.

Burn immediately all dice brought by PoD.
If you need to consume one of the common pot dice, so be it.
Remember, you never NEED to consume both common pot dice.


A single exception to the "cast all at once" rule:

There are cases when you don't have to burn immediately the dice that are not brought by PoD.

If, for your sorcerss' last spell, you would need a common pot die and non-PoD dice only, then you could choose to wait until the end of the magic phase, in case a more important spell needed the very scarce common pot die.

However, if you see no real good reason to postpone that sorceress' last spell, just cast it immediately as well:
- it is likely to be of low value, so the sooner it is cast, the better
- it is better to cast it now and have it taking effect, rather than waiting and taking the risk of miscast from next sorceress' PoD and spells, that could end the magic phase and waste this spell.


Last edited by Calisson on Sat Nov 29, 2008 9:43 pm, edited 28 times in total.



Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:32 pm
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Calisson --

I like this summary. It would be much easier to read though if it were all in one post!

As a couple of other people have pointed out, the Sacrificial Dagger is great for casting Power of Darkness since it lets you do it reliably on only one die. In fact, if you cast it successfully on one die, you can just let things be instead of sacrificing since your opponent will generally need 2 dice to try to dispel it in any event. You may not get any extra power dice, but if you force your opponent to burn 2 dispel dice, you make the rest of your magic phase easier.

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Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:48 pm
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Carllisson, is there a reason this is in 10 posts? Or I'll just add em together. Post if you would like me to keep it how it is.

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Tue Sep 02, 2008 11:09 pm
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Great Summary but I started to get a bit confused towards the end.
What does DDD+DDDD mean?
Does D stand for dice? Dispel Dice?
Or are you saying your Sorceress starts of with 3 dice and then gets 4 dice from Power of Darkness?

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Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:14 am
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My understanding is that it is a generic way to refer to a spell by the number of dice that it takes to reliably cast. So "DDD+DDDD" might indicate a level 2 that has two spells that have pretty high casting values.

That's the way I read it, and it made sense that way.

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Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:01 am
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DDD+DDDD means a spell needing 3 die to cast and a spell needing 4 die.
I try to adopt a simple, visual code rather than long sentences. If there is a better idea, I am glad to take it into account.

In this thread, I don't mention dispels dice (which have DD as usual abbreviation). So here, DD means "a spell needing two die to be cast".

The reason why I divided in many posts is simple: I will get sooner to my 1000th post... no, just kidding, I don't need to do that.
The real reason is a (possibly bad) habit of mine: editing short posts is by far easier than editing long posts, as I learn everyday with the D.R.A.I.C.H. ToC.

I did not realize it would hamper the reading.
so Azure, if you can merge the posts, I don't mind at all.

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Wed Sep 03, 2008 6:31 am
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You could keep going and use the sac dagger and darkstar cloak for each one, as well as the black staff impact for lvl 3's and lvl 4's.

But great job on what you did so far.


Wed Sep 03, 2008 1:14 pm
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Calisson wrote:
The real reason is a (possibly bad) habit of mine: editing short posts is by far easier than editing long posts, as I learn everyday with the D.R.A.I.C.H. ToC.


That's actually a problem I have with the DRAICH as it is currently structured -- all the short posts make the it lack continuity.

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Wed Sep 03, 2008 3:34 pm
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May I make a suggestion for you, then?

I have learned from my messing about in RPG's that the way to edit humidonculous posts is to paste them into Word or similar, edit them there, then paste that back into dnet.

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Wed Sep 03, 2008 11:41 pm
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rebmonk wrote:
You could keep going and use the sac dagger and darkstar cloak for each one, as well as the black staff impact for lvl 3's and lvl 4's.
Just did it!
I edited my first post.

You will see easily what's new: it is below the double-bar separation
===============================================

D.R.A.I.C.H.-style, the important information is in the first post and is edited as much as necessary.

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Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:01 pm
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Shade

Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 5:14 pm
Posts: 122
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awwwwwwwwwesome.

I love to use the sacrificial dagger sorc first. While it means lots of dead spearmen, you can overload your spells and usually use up the opponents dispel dice so the other sorcs are free to go at it. Unless your opponent actually thinks ahead, but then thats 2 spells getting through.


Sun Sep 07, 2008 2:36 pm
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Corsair
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Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 8:57 pm
Posts: 80
Location: Vienna
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Great article, thank you very much sir! :)


Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:19 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2003 4:48 pm
Posts: 1031
Location: Naggaroth...where the ice cream never melts
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Good stuff. Here's a question:

When do you recommend casting PoD? Once it's cast the caster needs to use those dice immediately, obviously, but should each caster throw it before anything else?

Just curious about your thoughts on this.


Fri Nov 28, 2008 10:54 pm
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Corsair
Corsair
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 8714
Location: Hag Graef
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Quote:
- Always cast your 2PoD first, then burn your PD, then go to next sorceress.

I edited the main post (bottom of it) to develop about that.

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Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:41 am
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