Luck vs. Skill

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Luck vs. Skill

Post by Brother_Petros on Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:05 pm

Fellow Knights,
I know this is going to sound stupid and ridiculous...(gotta love when a post starts like this) but a friend of mine and I are having a debate on the topic of "fate" in warhammer. He asked me what our easiest opponent is and I responded daemons and most xenos armies. He then said that daemons could beat us if they set up their armylist right and got lucky...And I told him that anyone can beat anyone with luck, and now we're having a major debate over luck versus skill.

Currently, I keep saying that dice usually favor the player with the higher chances and better use of skill and tactics...And it's not working.

So how would you guys comment on this little debate of getting lucky compared to using tactical moves?

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Re: Luck vs. Skill

Post by Rivan on Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:23 pm

You actually have the right idea Brother_Petros. While luck is definitely an active element in our game, the good tactician/general can mitigate the effects with good planning, strategic movement etc. A few examples...
- making good use of cover so your termies benefit from 4+ cover save vice 5++ vs. AP2 or AP1 shots
- blocking LOS or keeping at range to prevent your opponent from shooting you in the first place
- using the right unit vs your opponent's units to benefit from better statistics (higher initiative, higher S or better T, etc)

These are just some examples but in all of these cases, you're actually mitigating the randomness of dice rolling by using statistics in your favor. However, in the end, there will still be dice rolls that will just break you even if you did all the right things or your opponent is just making all his cover or invul saves or what not. I know I've experienced both sides Smile Luck can maybe help you win a few games, but the good tactician will have a better win record in the long run.

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Re: Luck vs. Skill

Post by stormknight on Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:28 am

I don't have a problem with bad or good luck. In fact it makes the game so much more interesting. calculated tactical moves requires some thought on dice averages and what outcome is most likely to happen. Sometimes luck can have game changing effects but I would never say it wins games.

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Re: Luck vs. Skill

Post by Zealadin on Wed Mar 07, 2012 2:02 am

You are both right, your opinion representing the middle ground and more likely reality, and your friend's opinion representing the extremes in which a player can fail every armour save, and every to hit roll, losing them the game no matter how they play.

I would hazard to say you are 'more' correct of the two opinions.

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Re: Luck vs. Skill

Post by MJSwasey on Thu Mar 08, 2012 9:04 pm

In addition, the same amount of "luck" can be manipulated by the good player to seem luckier.

For example, lets say you have 1 really powerful shot that has a 75% chance to kill a rhino, or 30 smaller shots that add up to a 75% chance to kill a rhino. They're the same, right? Wrong. The 1 shot has a higher variance on the expected outcome (higher "entropy"), and there fore you could get luckier, or you could get extremely unlucky. If you fired that one shot 10 times, it's MUCH more likely to get 10 kills, and also MUCH more likely to get 0 kills.the 30 shots, fired ten times, will perform closer to average - so they will rarely go on a killing spree, but will rarely wiff. Therefore, a good player will use the 1 shot when he either absolutely needs to go on a spree or it doesn't matter, and the 30 shots when he just wants to garuntee he does good damage and doesn't wiff.

The 30 shots approach also has the benefit of being capable of killing 30 units every time, where as the 1 shot can at max kill one.

All these differences from the same exact 75% "luck"!


Also, a good player plans for luck, where as a bad player doesn't. So if you have 6 meltaguns and 3 vehicles you need to kill, the bad player might position himself so that 2 meltaguns can hit each vehicle. The good player will put 3 meltaguns between the left and mid vehicle and 3 between the mid and right vehicle. The single meltagun now has the same chance of killing the vehicle (the "luck"), but you've planned for good luck and bad luck - so if you get lucky on your first shot, you dont waste your second, instead you can just put it into the other vehicle. and if you wiff your first two, you're not out of luck - if the other group of 3 destroys the other 2 vehicles, you can use the 3rd meltagun to pwn that remaining tank. now, if you roll the exact same number of dice as before and get the SAME EXACT RESULTS ON EACH DIE, ie the "luck", you have a higher chance of killing more tanks.

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Re: Luck vs. Skill

Post by Aubec le noir on Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:28 am

though i'm a lucky man (that's my friend's opinion) i think that skills will be superior and more reliable than luck ... always ! Wink
luck is so a dirty B..ch ! Razz Razz
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Re: Luck vs. Skill

Post by Requiem on Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:22 am

Skill makes a game, luck can break it imho Razz I've seen several games (in my short wargaming career even hehe) completely turned around because of a series of bad rolls or lucky rolls...
Of course skill is something you train, luck is something a bit more random which some people seem to have more of than others haha Razz
Even despite the random luck factor, skill matters most though

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Re: Luck vs. Skill

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