View Full Version : Percentages (not really a maths question)

28-06-2005, 01:23
OK the title is a bit random but I have been doing some thinking and I have come to the conclusion that there are four main areas to a game of 40K these are...

1. Army selection
2. Set up
3. Tactics
4. Luck

Each of these can have a major impact on the game and determine whether you win or loose. What I am interested in is what percentage people view these as in order of importance. To extrapolate further I will give an example.

Player A views army selection as important to a game (and maybe given the title of min/maxer because of it). He does not really pay much attention to the setup phase but thinks that tactics are important. He also belives that luck only has a small part to play as it should even itself out over the battle. He will therefore probably put down scores such as these...

Army selection - 40%
Setup - 10%
Tactics - 40%
Luck - 10%

Therefore making 100%. This post is mainly here as an interesting view into the mind of the average 40K gamer. As well as posting up percentages also give a paragraph explaining why as well. This is mine below


Army selection - 10%
Setup - 20%
Tactics - 50%
Luck - 20%

Army selection is pretty easy IMO. Pick a balanced allround list and you should do OK in most situations. The setup is not that vital either as you can redeploy with your fast stuff to meet any threats that you missed during setup. Tactics IMO are vital. Get these wrong and you really are in trouble. Luck is also a factor but tends to average itself out over the battle. There are, however, critical rolls that you need to make during the battle and if you fail at these then your task is a lot harder.


28-06-2005, 01:35
On a per game basis without knowing opponent, mission or terrain, I'd say:

Selection: 30%
Setup: 30%
Tactics: 30%
Luck: 10%

However, on a career basis each game is:

Selection: 0%
Setup: 0%
Tactics: 0%
Luck: 100%

Because overall you should win about 50% of your games and you can't predict them ahead of time.

Which means that any day now I'm going on a winning streak blessed by the gods. :D

28-06-2005, 01:38
Army selection - 15%
Setup - 30%
Tactics - 40%
Luck - 15%

Knowledge and understanding of your armies tactical philosophy is useful.

Deployment determines which units can respond to threats presented. You usually win or lose the game based on your first turn.

Objectifying the battlefield, understanding statistical probabilities, tactical flexibility and secondary plans will form a hardline of tactics that should always help maximise effectiveness and minimise losses.

Luck is mathematical probabilities in my favour.


28-06-2005, 01:40
Errrr maths is not your strong point is it? Maybe I should clarify that it should add up to 100% :)


The Dragon Reborn
28-06-2005, 01:51
Army selection- 10%

army selection, its not hard to make a good balanced list
setup, very important, your units are of no use if they are not set up right
tactics, if this wasnt the most important part of the game then it wouldnt be much of a game
luck, terrible rolls, can change the game. great rolls do to

28-06-2005, 01:58
Army Selection - 40%
Setup - 20%
Tactics - 20%
Luck - 20%

I'm amazed you're all rating tactics so high. 40k has the most basic tactics of any wargame I've ever played, and there have been many. What little tactics exist, have far less of an impact on the game than they should.

I think in 40k, selecting the army, while it is pretty easy to do, is the biggest factor in determining it's chances to win. The others are all pretty even.

28-06-2005, 03:25
Army selection: 40%
Set-up: 30%
Tactics: 25%
Luck: 5%

My reasoning is as such:

Army selection is obviously the thing most people obsess over. Plus it's the overcategory; the one that's not affected by the other three. If you don't take the right tools for the job, the other three just fall apart.

Set-up is so important. Like some people said, games are won and lost on the first turn. In fact, a lot of game are won and lost during deployment. Set-up, in my mind, is not as important as army selection only because your set-up is determined by your army. You have to have a strong army to deploy before you can deploy them in an effective manner.

Going down the dependence chain, your tactics are influenced by your army selection and your set-up. Having a lower percentage than the other two doesn't really mean that tactics are less important to whether or not your win or lose; a good army and a great set-up will get wholloped without sound tactics. However, all the tactical genius in the world can't save you if your clutch units are stranded on the other side of the board, or if you simply failed to construct an army capable of dealing with the opposing threats.

Luck has its place. It really does. But it doesn't factor as much into who wins and who loses. A good general will take luck into consideration when planning for the other three categories. If your army list, set-up, and tactics are sound, your gameplay should never be ruined by chance. Like the great Spider Murphy said, "If someone has consistently good luck, it ain't luck."

28-06-2005, 04:02
1. Army selection
2. Set up
3. Tactics
4. Luck

A big factor is the army your using. So army selection is probably 40% of your win. Wether this is from the over all army ((Eldar, marines, orks etc)) or from the units you include in your list.

Set up varies in importance with the army you have. A poorly set up mobile eldar army will have less care, than a shooting marine army.

Tactics ((again according to the army your using)) will be either a big factor or a smaller one. Good tactics will always yeld a better win precent but a marine army is more flexible to a poor tactical choice than a less resiliant army.

Luck, well there is always that. The time a single guy can make 45 cover saves and still take down 3 tanks will inevitably happen, just as the 20 strong sisters of battle squad dieing to shricats in a single shooting phase.

Army Selection: 40%
Set Up: 20%
Tactics: 25%
Luck: 15%

But it will adjust according to what and how you play

Son of Morkai
28-06-2005, 04:39
Army Selection: 0% - Good tactics and luck can make up for underpointing and a bad list. Given enough luck, I can take down my opponent's entire army with a single Space Marine, if I use him properly. I build my models to look good (meaning a number of characters lack even a pistol), and I build my armies out of those models. I have underpointed myself by over 500 points because I was too lazy to pull out my calculator and still won. For some players, army selection may be important, but not to me.

That, and I have seen games that rely far more on army selection.

Set Up: 40% - Good tactics are useless if you are not in the right place to use them. Even luck can't get grots to move 18" a turn.

Tactics: 30% - Not just tactics with your troops, but also jedi mind tricks. I love using mind games. It doesn't matter if I'm about to lose as long as my opponent thinks I'm about to win. If they consider the Leman Russ to be a bigger threat, the will ignore the Guardsmen with grenade launchers. If I play up one model, they will target it over other, more useful models that are in the right position to cause serious damage.

Luck: 30% - Sometimes the plan doesn't work. Sometimes your opponent is immune to mind tricks or you're so drunk you can't think straight. That's why you've got to keep your dice gods happy.

28-06-2005, 04:58
Army Selection: 30%
Set Up: 20%
Tactics: 25%
Luck: 25%

Now to defend my percentages.....

I gave army selection the highest because, let's face it, if you don't bring the right tools for the job it won't get done...... army dependant as to the measures you need to take in getting said "tools". So basically, I think this is most important because, if I'm playing a big time assault army mounted in tanks, and you're playing an imperial guard army that didn't take any or at least enough or strong enough heavy weapons selections i'm gonna win..... unless of course there's some kind of sneaky surprise I'm unaware of.

Set-up recieved the lowest ranking because in 40k it really doesn't matter too much. Sure cover is important, not making a power unit an unprotected target is good too, and of course making sure that if your army needs to get into assault you don't set-up in the back of your deployment zone is always good thing (not to mention, knowing what not to set-up ofr reserves, deep strike, and infiltrator purposes) (and even other little things like making sure that you take advantage of 2" coherency rules when your opponent has a ton of template weapons :p). But overall, I've found that bad set-up can be overcome, it just hurts your army a bit when you do a bad job. Things like army selection and just plain out doing stupid things can't. (though I do believe it can be very important).

Tactics, though not as emphasized as they are in fantasy, knowing how to use what you've got is by far one of the most important parts of ANY wargame.
Then again, i guess army selection and deployment in itself is tactic related........ because you gotta have a purpose in mind when you put something on your list and then put it on the table...... so I guess technically, tactics in my calculation is 75%.

I gave luck, the wild card, a very high ranking. Because in my experience, you can have great tactics, and good troops, but if your rolls just aren't there, then you're definitely not gonna have a good day, and the rolls could potentially lose you the game. Then again that's the price we pay for having a game based on the almighty D6. (I'm just saying that if I have a five terminator squad take 10 wounding hits and I fail 4 saves and then I fail my stand alone test, I'm tempted to say that luck plays a pretty big part in the game).

Well, that's what I think anyways.

28-06-2005, 09:07
Army Selection: 40%
Set Up: 15%
Tactics: 15%
Luck: 30%

Army selection- i play ulthwe eldar vs allcomers so getting the right balance in my force is essential, finding ways to keep the seer council from being a point sink, right aspect/guardian ratios, how much mobility?,starcannons/scatter laser ratio! All of the se are the foundation stones of victory , once they are laid the other 3 factors can come into play when you actually play the game.

Set-Up-Alot of my setup is determined by my list . Guardians,Farseers,Wraithlord and Avatar all need to deploy as a phalanx to provide mutual protection and buffing most of the time . falcons and waveserpents deploy to keep themselves out of los to stop em dying first turn . Scorpions infiltrate so go wherever they can cause havoc. Variability in setup is not one of my armies strengths, but overall setup is vital to my armies sucess .

Tactics-Push the flank, shoot everything till its dead and jump up and down on its head . My tactics aren't genius they just tend to work .

Luck- i try to do everything else right and then let fortune take its course . Luck makes or breaks games, and excesively bad luck can really somesones enjoyment of the game . But i'm not one of those people as i sacrifice small children to the dice gods and am willing to try insanely risky tactics as 'who dares wins' and its far more fun than playing conservatively.

28-06-2005, 10:13
Nice idea for a thread.


Army list: 15%
Set up: 15%
Tactics: 25%
Luck: 45%

Picking a list and deploying it in the right place, in response to the board and to your opponents army, is about a third of the game, IMO. Deciding what to do with your toy soldiers over the ensuing two or three hours is almost as important as the other two elements combined, even if your options amount to nothing more than to sit in cover & shoot or to charge forward.

However, at the end of the day it is a game based on the roll of a dice. Every single key moment in the game is determined in a random fashion. If you are very unlucky, you will not win.. no matter how sound your tactics or deployment are. Therefore, luck takes it for me.

28-06-2005, 10:21
Army selection - 25%
Deployment - 30%
Tactics - 35%
Luck - 10%

Army Selection - As other people have said, constructing a half-way decent and well rounded force is important. If you don't take enough heavy weapons, Armour will give you a problem. Not enough models and enemy shooting will be disproprtionately powerful. Vehicle heavy armies suffer in escalation, and so on.

Deployment - A heavy weapon placed in the wrong spot might take two or three turns to get into position. Thats three turns (over half the game) when it isn't firing. Wasted points. An assault squad which is denied units to assault will not make it's points back. A tank placed with it's side armour facing that tank-hunting squad of devestators is as good as dead, and so on.

Tactics - Knowing what to do during the game is the most important. How to move, where to move, when to move, what to shoot at, how much to shoot at it, when to cut your losses and fall back, when to sacrifice squads, and so on.

Luck - Good tactics plan for poor rolling. One lascannon failing to pen/glance a Landraider is average luck. Someone who fires two lascannons and fails to do anything hasn't suffered from poor luck. They've suffered from poor planning. Given the odds and available targets, you should direct four or more lascannons at said landraider.

Your plans should factor in poor rolling. You should expect to roll poorly, and still achieve your objectives.

28-06-2005, 10:25
Selection: 33.3%
Setup: 33.3%
Tactics: 33.3%
Luck: 0%

Selection--I think its fairly important in the game, I certainly spend enough time obsessing over it.

Setup--Wow, I always do poorly at this and it screws me every game. If I jsut paid more attention in deployment and set roles for my units, I'd do a lot better.

Tactics--Also fairly important. If you don't know what you're doing you are going to lose.

Luck is perhaps the most game deciding factor of all, but you can't control it so it isn't really worth taking into account. While there may be game deciding runs of good or bad luck, in a game with as many dice rolls as 40k, it quickly balances out, perhaps not over one game but definently over your gaming career.

28-06-2005, 10:33
Your plans should factor in poor rolling. You should expect to roll poorly, and still achieve your objectives.

Quite correct.. but even allowing for this how many times have you shot those las cannons and not done a thing? And, more importantly, how many games have you played where at the end of the day the result depends on your ability to roll over or under a certain number on a d6? Unless your fight is a total mis-match, there will always be those one or two crucial rolls per battle.

PB is quite right to say that the luck will balance out over a gaming career, but I'm assuming we're talking about individual, stand alone battles here?

28-06-2005, 10:38
I'd like to expand on my previous point and say that most of the time, I do not lose due to luck. I lose due to a combination of luck and failing in at least one of the three other areas. Sure, having an opponent roll really well will damage you a little, but if he has failed in one of the other areas it most likely won't make a difference.

Also, even in cases of extreme luck, I've found if you live through it something crazy good will happen to you too. I once played a Tau player--he pounded my Necron Lord with heaps of shooting but failed to kill him, which let me charge some Firewarriors, killing a bunch and blocking a huge fire lane.

However, later on two stealth suits, heavily outmatced, beat a load of my soldiers in combat and ran them down, phasing me out. That was a great game. :)

28-06-2005, 10:56
Army Selection: 30%
Setup: 20%
Tactics: 45%
Luck: 5%

Army Selection: is important but its your tactics that will dictate the correct units to use in any situation. So the two are inter-dependent. Without the right troops the tactics won't work. Without the right tactics the troops are better known as targets.

Setup: although it is important to get things in the right place it is possible to compensate for errors here as a game develops so not scoring highly.

Tactics: should be taken into account from the moment you think of which codex to use maybe even before. See army selection for my reasoning. So important you can't win at all without them.

Luck: until recently it would have got a zero then I lsot a game due to bad dice, first time in a while as my plans always account for terrible luck but there was another level beyond that and I fell headlong into it. The next game made up for it so all in all luck is the uncontrollable but it shouldn't swing games exept in extreme circumstances.

28-06-2005, 11:38
PB is quite right to say that the luck will balance out over a gaming career, but I'm assuming we're talking about individual, stand alone battles here?

The way I looked at it was kind of; if I screw this up, but everything else goes to plan, what percentage of games will I lose?

To which I feel confident in answering ten percent for luck.

Commander X
28-06-2005, 11:58
Army selection - 35%
Now matter how good you might be, without a good army, you're not going anywhere.

Setup - 10%+Tactics - 10%
Might be me, but I don't see anything special happening here. Apart from obvious things like getting CC troops to the enemy fast and making sure shooting troops don't get assaulted, I've never heared of any game-changing things because of tactics.
Luck - 45%
For prove look at one of our local players. Because of his amazing rolling(the bad way), he loses more than half of his games simply because the dice-gods appearantly hate him, and no list, tactic or setup is going to change that.

28-06-2005, 12:01
:chrome: I'd put it like this:

Army selection - 0%
Deployment - 0%
Tactics - 85%
Luck - 15%

Or somewhere thereabouts. Because I feel that selecting an army and deploying is part of the tactics.

28-06-2005, 12:19
Army Selection: 10%
Set Up: 10%
Tactics: 70%
Luck: 10%

Well as you can see I don't rate army selection too high, this is because only a really really bad list should have little chance of winning, otherwise a real pro can beat you, with good tactics and strategy.

Set up - a game shouldn't be too fixed on where you are first turn, the board should be big enough and have enough terrain so you could easily remedy a bad setup, of course if you just infiltrate your whole army in front of a gunline then you will die (hence the 10% for set up)

Tactics - to me this incorporates strategy since there is no strategy section here, important things include - knowing when to fall back, learning to set up traps or decoy attacks well, poker face and choosing how much you want to keep back as a reserve.

Luck - I know its a dice based game, but unless you have really bad dice rolls throughout your game then there is no excuse for defeat. :P

Karloth Valois
28-06-2005, 13:04
Army Selection: 40%
Set Up: 20%
Tactics: 20%
Luck: 20%

Army selelction is the biggest factor in 40k, much bigger than in WHFB. Yesterday we played 6 500 point games with different people fighting the same guard army (with no vehicles) to start off our campaign tournament. Despite the guard having lots of terrain to hide behind, and for some of the players it was thier first or one of thier first 40k games, they still managed to beat expirienced 40k players using the guard because the guard deliberately had a pretty crappy list (so everyone could win their first campaign game and actually get into the city).

Really there are limited tactical options in 40k once the game has actually started. Lots of ranged units or fast moving units means positioning is fairly not important compared to FB. Luck is a bigger factor too, it doesn't matter how good you are, if you're rolling ones your not going to win the game likewise with lots of vehicles in 40k a single lucky shot can lose or win you a game.

28-06-2005, 13:09
Army Selection: 35%
Set Up: 20%
Tactics: 25%
Luck: 20%

I feel that army selection prior to the game will make or break the battle. Knowing what your opponent will field gives you a massive advantage. If he's packing batteries of lascannons then do the swarm thing and avoid throwing points into Armour. By knowing what your enemy has you can tailor your force to counter it. Set-up, well...After turn 1 your plans have usually gone out the window, thats the nature of the game so whatever you have decided to do during setup is only valid for that turn. Tactics and luck go hand in hand, the best tactics to apply are the ones that give you the best chance in luck.

28-06-2005, 13:12
I feel that army selection prior to the game will make or break the battle. Knowing what your opponent will field gives you a massive advantage. If he's packing batteries of lascannons then do the swarm thing and avoid throwing points into Armour. By knowing what your enemy has you can tailor your force to counter it.

?? since when does your opponent have to show you his army list? also you shouldn't be building army around what your enemy takes, you should just make one list before the battle (not knowing his) then stick to it. It does specifically say in the rulebook you don't have to show your opponent the army list.

28-06-2005, 13:15
I wasn't being clear enough.
Guys at the local gaming group will always take the same army ( heavy in the fromage department ) and claim they can never be beaten. You don't know the list exactly but one SoB player will always pack 3 Exorcists and he ALWAYS plays by that,

28-06-2005, 13:46
ah, my mistake then, no worries but that guy must be one hellava SoB :)

28-06-2005, 13:48
Army Selection: 70%
Deployment: 10%
Tactics: 20%
Luck: 0%

Let me clarify... There is nothing so important as composing a good army. An armylist isn't hard to create. However an armylist where all units works in harmony and the where the factors: "Fragility", "Long range strenght", "Close Combat power" and "How much it hurts to lose a unit" have been as effectivily weighed to create a list that is hard to beat. I do alot of number crunching and for me an armylist usually takes about a month to complete after revising it over and over again. It takes time and lots of patience to create harmony, at least for me.

Their is a couple of thing that matters in deployment. Taking the enemy units into consideration and hiding your units appropiately. Getting a good position for your units to deploy in. With the amount of cover to let your deployment be flexible enough. Put appropiate unit in appropiate places as you want some screens from the start or a good postion for your unit to reach the correct unit that the opponent have that you consider an appropiate task for that unit to destroy.

In a game like 40k where the rules isn't so complicated and it usually works so that one can do damage on whatever and there is no hinderence for making that damage that has to do with tactics. What is somewhat important is to make sure that the vital units harmfull for your unit in question can't hurt that unit. As well as target the appropiate opponent unit with the unit in question. Also one should know what kind of damage one can expect that one's unit will do to the opponent's unit and vice versa.

When you roll so many dice that one does in a game. The odd chance of a skew in probability isn't very big anymore. Specially with orkz. I refuse to consider luck as a part of a won game. It's all statistical probability for my deal.

28-06-2005, 13:49
ah, my mistake then, no worries but that guy must be one hellava SoB :)

Betcher ass. In games like that, who ever gets the first turn has the favor. ( First-turnsies should have been one of the criteria ) because when those things fire, prepare to start taking heavy casualties.