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Power of Darkness and Sacrificial Dagger in 8th 
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Cold One Knight
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I did not see any article covering the math of this, so I decided I'll write a quick one we can put in the magic section.

First version will use simplified (cast PoD last and opponent already used up dispel dice.) but I might add dispel odds later.

For the very maximum possible power dice in a DE turn, I think the clear set-up is a Lvl.4 with Sacrificial dagger. Not only can you get multiple power dice from it per turn, but specifically because it vastly improves PoD.

You want it on the Lvl.4 because she is the one most likely to be able to cast a final spell using an average 3 power dice with her +4 bonus.

The way it goes is. Cast PoD at end of phase with 1 dice. If it's a 1 or 2, sacrifice someone and add a 2nd dice in.

With Sacrificial dagger and 1 power dice:
66.7% of the time
Succeeds without sacrifice (Gain D3 extra dice)


30.5% of the time
Succeeds after sacrificing (Gain D3 extra dice)


2.8% of the time
Fails after sacrifice. (Lost 1 dice)

That's a 97.2% chance to be holding d3+1 power dice, which might be able to cast another spell using your Lvl.4.

If you did not equip a Sacrificial Dagger the odds are simple with 1 dice:
66.7% of the time - Succeeds
33.3% of the time - Fails and magic is over.

Just completely averaging your luck out
with Sac. Dagger, PoD gives you an extra 1.9 average dice per turn.
without, PoD gives you an extra 1.00 average dice per turn.

The plus side about using Sacrificial Dagger method is 97.2% of the time you succeed and there's a ZERO percent chance of miscast! Because the only times you need a second dice are when the first dice was 1 or 2 (not 6.)

Using 2 dice to cast PoD without dagger,
31.5% chance you gain nothing extra.
31.5% chance you gain one extra dice.
31.5% chance you gain two extra dice.
2.8% chance it just fails.
2.8% chance of a terrible miscast:
S10 hits are fun. It'll even sacrifice some of your xbowmen for you! Or maybe you just lose d6 power dice and d3 wizard levels or something.

That's an average gain of 0.83 power dice per turn spending 2 power dice without sac. dagger and a risk of exploding. In addition, it requires you spare 2 power dice to the end of the phase. If any spell fails to cast before then, you lose those 2 dice AND PoD.


2 power dice earns you less on average than using 1 power dice, but fails less often. Although you have no chance to miscast at all using only 1 dice compared to 2.

Of course, using the Sacrificial dagger earns way more than anything else AND is more reliable than anything else.

(Thanks for corrections. Checked the rulebook.)


Last edited by Timz on Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:57 am, edited 3 times in total.



Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:02 am
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Beastmaster
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But remember that power dice caps at 12, and this includes iirc power of darkness and dice generated by the dagger?

so if you roll high on power dice, and then cast power of darknes, you might not be able to use the dagger to gain extra powerdice. In that case it would probably be better to wait with POD and instead cast other spells first.


But the dagger is brilliant on a lvl4, mostly guaranteeing that she will be able to cast all low level spells!


Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:34 am
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Borog wrote:
But remember that power dice caps at 12, and this includes iirc power of darkness and dice generated by the dagger?

Judging from the wording on the rules, it's very possible that, while you can only ever have 12 at a time, you can simply replenish that pool.

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Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:00 am
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Malekith's Best Friend

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Hrm, something in the first example is a bit off;

timz wrote:
With Sacrificial dagger and 1 power dice:
66.7% of the time
Succeeds without sacrifice (Gain D3 extra dice)

25% of the time
Succeeds after sacrificing (Gain D3 extra dice)

8.3% of the time
Fails after sac. (Lost 1 dice)


The only way PoD can fail on a level four with the dagger is rolling two "ones" in a row. Rolling 1+2 means a total casting value of 7, and the spell i successful. Therefore, the odds of failing after sacrifice are only 2.8%.

The correct table should read;


Code:
With Sacrificial dagger and 1 power dice:
66.7% of the time
Succeeds without sacrifice (Gain D3 extra dice)

30.5% of the time
Succeeds after sacrificing (Gain D3 extra dice)

2.8% of the time
Fails after sac. (Lost 1 dice)


Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:06 am
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Masked Jackal wrote:
Borog wrote:
But remember that power dice caps at 12, and this includes iirc power of darkness and dice generated by the dagger?

Judging from the wording on the rules, it's very possible that, while you can only ever have 12 at a time, you can simply replenish that pool.


Hmm, that sounds like it could be easily abused, and mostly just by dark elves... brutal..!


Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:07 am
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@Setomidor
i THINK that if you roll a total unmodified casting value of 3 or less you automatically fail your spell, even if mods would bring it up to the required casting value.

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Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:41 am
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Lord Tsunami wrote:
@Setomidor
i THINK that if you roll a total unmodified casting value of 3 or less you automatically fail your spell, even if mods would bring it up to the required casting value.


I'm pretty sure when I read through the rules today it was 1-2 its a fail and end of that wizards casting phase. In fact if you fail to achieve the minimum casting value the wizards is no longer able to cast that phase, I don't think this should be a problem for DE though


Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:51 am
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Lord Tsunami wrote:
@Setomidor
i THINK that if you roll a total unmodified casting value of 3 or less you automatically fail your spell, even if mods would bring it up to the required casting value.


A casting roll of one or two is always considered a failure, but we can assume the dice from the dagger would be considered as part of this casting roll. so only if you roll a 1, and then another 1 from the dagger, would the spell be a failure.


Mon Jul 12, 2010 11:54 am
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Exactly like Borog said, a casting value BELOW three is considered a failure. :)


Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:03 pm
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couldn't you then just kill another guy and then get another dice pushing it past 3 to prevent you from failing?


Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:08 pm
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Cold One Knight
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cam.ron wrote:
couldn't you then just kill another guy and then get another dice pushing it past 3 to prevent you from failing?


Nope, you can only sacrifice once per spell.


Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:24 pm
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right.. BELOW 3. sorry for the confusion :?

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Mon Jul 12, 2010 12:36 pm
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Thank you again Timz for this excellent little nugget of contribution! :D

So, just to summarise - its best to use PoD at the end of the phase by a level 4 Druchii sorceress with the dagger;
- use 1 PD to cast PoD
- if failed then sacrifice a model

That way you avoid the 'failed' attempt pretty effectively and are able to cast many 'higher powered' (14/15 casting value) spells.

And, for the record and whats its worth, IMHO the 12 pool can be refilled - typical GW not to fully clarify this...

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Mon Jul 12, 2010 1:46 pm
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Played a practice game in store, and was specifically told: 12 is the cap (regardless of sacrifices, or darkstar cloak) but you can hypothetically just use PoD as a recharge on a 3+ (and when I went for the cast, he let me add my levels, so I'm GUESSING 1+).

So It's still near the same function: 1D3+1 PD. If the PD generation or Channeling doesn't give you much use it early. Otherwise (even with statistics making a mess of things) it's a good minor recharge in the middle of the phase after the scroll or dispel has gone off (or, as in my case, they actually use the scroll on THAT lol he was scared of PoD more than FIREBALL!)

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Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:09 pm
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Timz - Great analysis :P .


If I may just add a little pointer,

I don't have any books with me at the moment (I'm in my summer residence)

but the sacrificial combos is just as effective on a lv, 2 as it is on a lv 4.

so why not have it on a support mage, which can replenish your dice pool, for your lv. 4 who is away from your unit's, casting carnage at your opponent's lines.

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Mon Jul 12, 2010 5:58 pm
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KillerK wrote:
Timz - Great analysis :P .


If I may just add a little pointer,

I don't have any books with me at the moment (I'm in my summer residence)

but the sacrificial combos is just as effective on a lv, 2 as it is on a lv 4.

so why not have it on a support mage, which can replenish your dice pool, for your lv. 4 who is away from your unit's, casting carnage at your opponent's lines.


Well, the dagger would enable the lvl4 to cast several low magic spells on just one dice without much fear of the spell failing. Also, all the dice generated by the dagger or POD can only be used by the sorceress herself, it does not go into the pool.


Mon Jul 12, 2010 8:57 pm
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Masked Jackal wrote:
Judging from the wording on the rules, it's very possible that, while you can only ever have 12 at a time, you can simply replenish that pool.


I'm not 100% on this, I thought the cap was 12 per phase, no matter how they were generated but I don't know if that's at one time, or at any time during the phase.

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Tue Jul 13, 2010 12:28 am
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Cold One Knight
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KillerK wrote:
Timz - Great analysis :P .


If I may just add a little pointer,

I don't have any books with me at the moment (I'm in my summer residence)

but the sacrificial combos is just as effective on a lv, 2 as it is on a lv 4.

so why not have it on a support mage, which can replenish your dice pool, for your lv. 4 who is away from your unit's, casting carnage at your opponent's lines.


It's less effective on a lvl.2 than a lvl.4 somewhat.

Reasons Lvl.4 is better than Lvl.2 for Sacrificial Dagger
1. A lvl.2 only has 2 spells + maybe PoD. A Lvl.4 has 4 spells + maybe PoD. Dagger helps with each spellcast, and a Lvl.4 casts more spells.

2. Lvl.4s get +4 to cast spells, meaning he can cast more and less chance they're dispelled. It's a waste to kill someone to cast a spell on the lvl.2 if it gets dispelled.

3. If 1 or 2 of the Lvl.2s spells are bad ones (steed of shadows, or some other short range spell he doesn't want.) then your lvl.4 will be suffering and the dagger will be going to waste.

4. The dagger significantly reduces chances of miscasts. Since your Lvl.4 both casts more spells AND costs more points, it's much worse for him to suffer a miscast than your lvl.2 nobody mage. You'd lose the +4 bonus if he dies.

5. Your Lvl.4 should have the largest bodyguard unit, since he is the most important. That means he'll have more people to sacrifice. If you bring a 30-man Xbow unit and a 10-man xbow unit, I think the Lvl.4 should be standing in the 30-man one.

6. The dice generated by sacrificing do not go to the pool, they're locked with the mage who is casting the spell. If your lvl.2 is out of range with his measly two spells, then you can't utilize the dagger at all to help your lvl.4.

7. Power of Darkness dice also are specific to the wizard who cast it, so it's more important that PoD works on your lvl.4 than your lvl.2, because his dice are worth more.

8. Spells - chances are your really important spell was chosen by your Lvl.4 because he has like a 90% chance of getting the spell that he wants. The sacrificial dagger is very helpful for making sure your good spells using several power dice cast without risking a miscast. If you roll a 6, you can save dagger. If there are no 6s on the super spell, you're free to add another dice to make sure it's not getting dispelled. Can't do that if dagger is on your lvl.2 instead.


That having been said... The dagger is a great magic item and helps any magic-heavy army overload the enemy's dispel ability, so it can be taken by a lvl.2 and still win. It just leaves your Lvl.4 in risk of dying or failing a really important spell.


Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:55 am
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I agree on your arguments Timz (although labeling a Lvl 4 mage as "he" is heresy!), but in my view sometimes the Focus Familiar can be even better on a Lvl 4 than the dagger.

I'm aware I've mentioned this in several threads already, but there is a very nice synergy between the Death lore (many 12" range spells) and the Focus Familiar, giving you an effective range of 18" without increasing the casting value. Spells like "Fate of Bjuna" (2D6 - toughness in hits that wound on 2+) is plainly sick with the increased range, and other spells that can be increased to 24" on a higher casting value now can reach 30" instead, a considerable difference when starting 24" apart. The LD 9 of the High Sorcs will also be important when casting the Death signature spell (Fantasy version of Mind War).

As you said, putting the dagger on a Lvl 2 instead is not as much gain (especially since you don't know which kind of spells you are going to get), but there are really good signature spells that the Lvl 2 mage is guaranteed to have.

I'm planning on a lvl 2 Metal with the Dagger and a Lvl 4 death with the Familiar, and I envision my magic phase to be something like;

- Lvl 2 casts PoD using the Dagger
- Lvl 2 casts the signature spell of Metal on some juicy target using the PoD dice + Dagger again
- Lvl 4 casts Death signature spell on some monster / character within 30"
- Lvl 4 casts Fate of Bjuna (or the Similar Strength spell) on some monster / character within 18"
- Any wounds done with the above two spells will generate new Power Dice on 5+
- Lvl 4 either casts Purple Sun or a one-die PoD if low on dice
- ...


Tue Jul 13, 2010 6:43 am
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