Hello Forum goers! This is my first post, and from lurking the boards for a while (not that a lot happens here most of the time), I am unsure if anyone enjoys this part of the hobby as much as I do, but I figured I’d try to start a discussion anyway. I didn’t see much other discussion on it that wasn’t wildly out of date (IE kow 2nd ed)
As can be seen in the linked google doc, aptly named for its general lack of readability, I was looking at what you pay in the undead army (because its the one I play) to deal a wound to your opponent. Obviously the killing power of a unit is not all you are paying for, but I found what you get for the more expensive wounds to be surprising in many cases.
For anyone looking at the document, I am aware that my rounding on the average wounds is wildly inconsistent.
A couple of things to note about the method here.
I used whichever unit size had the best points per attack, as it will naturally have the best points per wound. In the case of a troop being less than 1 point difference to a horde, I used the horde.
I did the math using any combat upgrades available to the unit, but no magic items or external auras. So skeletons and revenants have two handers, vampire lord has blood frenzy, etc. but zombie units are not benefiting from vicious for example.
Mages got left out because obviously they are not costed for their damage and it would be fruitless.
TC was assumed to be active for average wound calculation, and there was an assumed defense of 5+. Obviously things will change if defense is low enough to waste some of the CS or if TC is turned off.
Things that I noticed the most was the premium that gets paid for movement, and that upgrading to a regiment is almost entirely a defensive buff. I am in no way suggesting that movement isn’t worth a significant amount of points, just look at the price increases to mounts they decided on for 3rd, but it does mean in a lot of cases, taking the slower option is more efficient if they are just going to front line your forces anyway.
This shows itself best with soul reaver cav vs inf. You pay 10 more points, downgrade 1 CS to 1 TC, and double your footprint, for 2 additional movement. The offensive power is the same. This makes inf a significantly better use of points once the fighting starts. Although both of them are by far the most well costed wounds in the list. Which means if you are bringing a hammer that isn’t a bunch of great weapon wielding Vampires, you should plan to surge it into a flank, because that is the only thing they cannot do better than the other hammers.
Speaking of paying for movement, and good surgeable hammers, the zombie trolls vs wights surprised me the most for this whole thing. I see wights touted as the other reliable hammer in the undead army, and mv 7 with fly is for sure something to be valued, but as a flank surgeable hammer you get way more bang for your buck with the trolls, and that’s before adding the vicious aura. I had always been annoyed with the zombie troll unit because the regiment version is just a worse mummy troop in literally every single possible way. (which is never what I expect to see with KOW units honestly), and so didn’t look too hard at the hitting on 4s horde version over the hitting on 3’s wights. But the wounds aren’t massively different, as seen by what you pay for them.
The other thing I noticed is that combat characters cannot just run off and do combat. You pay way too much vs the offensive power they give. Which is probably why vampires never take the blood rage option, better to stick around for support when your wounds aren’t that point efficient. If only duelist worked vs heros and not just individuals… I’m pretty sure avoiding hero hammer was a design goal for Mantic, so kudos guys!
A comparison I’d also like to mention is vamp on pegasus vs Lykanis. I used to always pass up the Lykanis as the Pegasus was my 50MM fast flanker of choice, but with the new slayer aura virtually equalizing their attacks, and the vamp paying for the opportunity to pay for spells even if you dont take any (this irks me with the regular vampire lord too, paying for the opportunity to pay feels bad), The lykanis is really only losing 1 movespeed and flight, for a significant cost reduction.
I am aware this is twice I’ve mentioned “only” giving up flight for significantly cheaper combat power, but maybe, like me, you all hadn’t thought too hard about how much you are paying for it when it may not be necessary and could let you fit in something that is.
I’m really not sure how to feel about the revenants. I never liked any of the skeleton units from a mechanical standpoint personally, and this edition the math seems to support my gut feeling. The revenant points per wound is solid enough, but only on giant footprints, and for inf you have to sacrifice the 5+ def that make them attractive to begin with, and with Cav its only for the round you have TC. Both revenants and skeletons don’t seem to offer enough as shambling hammers, but otherwise seem worse than zombies and mummies as anvils. It almost feels like something is there for the revenants though, I just cant place what.
Shooting as both expected and unexpected is horrendous for undead. I was not surprised to find the archers to be the worst way to spend points on damage, but with how many people swear on bringing 2 catapults for consistency, it sure is a consistent way to pay a lot for wounds.
And finally on a related/not related note, since I hardly think a whole other thread is a worthwhile place to cry about it, I sure miss my zombies legions having 40 attacks. It still didn’t make their points per wound very good, but I am a fan of the bucket of dice approach.
For anyone that made it this far in this long, disjointed, ramble of a first post, thank you. I’ve kind of lost the opportunity to nerd out about KOW irl, and really wanted to drop my thoughts somewhere. Please feel free to add your own musings, tear my thoughts apart, or just have a good rest of your day.