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"Black Powder command probabilties calculated." Topic

19 Posts

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Comments or corrections?

Last Hussar Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2010 6:42 p.m. PST

Chances of getting various moves in Black Powder. It works on = or -1 of target number – 1 move, -2 is 2, 3 or more under 3 moves. Maths in Fail column, um, fails due to rounding. It doesn't show for the special rule where = is a fail.

Command Fail 1 2 3
12 0% 8% 8% 83% – Blunder anyway!
11 3% 14% 11% 72%
10 8% 19% 14% 58%
9 17% 25% 17% 42%
8 28% 31% 14% 28%
7 42% 31% 11% 17%
6 58% 25% 8% 8%
5 72% 19% 6% 3%
4 83% 14% 3%
3 92% 8%
2 97% 3%

The Sentient Bean18 Feb 2010 6:58 p.m. PST

As Han Solo once said long ago in a galaxy far, far away "Never tell me me the odds!" :)

50 Dylan CDs and an Icepick18 Feb 2010 7:05 p.m. PST

Why is there a greater chance of getting three moves, than two moves ?

The Nigerian Lead Minister18 Feb 2010 7:21 p.m. PST

That's because if you roll three under the command rating, you get three moves, roll two under the command rating,you get two moves. At higher command ratings, there is more chance of getting three moves than two moves since there is only one number two under command but an increasingly greater number of results three or more under. Two dice BTW.

Last Hussar Supporting Member of TMP18 Feb 2010 7:27 p.m. PST

Depends on the Command value – you get 3 moves if the roll was 3 or less than the modified target value. Thus if you have a CV of 9+ the range of numbers available are much higher, and include 7, which on its own accounts for 16% of all 2d6 throws. Once your command starts lowering this disappers.

For a CV of 8 or less 1 move is the most likely pass. The rules state the Average commander is an 8 (this is from memory) Sticking a unit in attack column gives +1, so early in the game, before units start getting Shaken your columns will move quickly. Once you get into line to shoot you lose this.

Last Hussar Supporting Member of TMP19 Feb 2010 3:24 a.m. PST

Why is there a greater chance of getting three moves, than two moves
Actually you're right – that is a bit odd – troops are either tardy or aggressive – not much in between.

Lord Armchair19 Feb 2010 3:52 a.m. PST


Discusses this very thing and suggests alternate system, which looks good.

advocate19 Feb 2010 5:29 a.m. PST

Bear in mind that you have to specify what you want to do BEFORE you find out how many actions you have. So rather than looking at the individual percentages of getting 3, 2 or 1 action, look at the chances of getting AT LEAST 3, 2 or 1. Getting more actions than you need to complete your orders is irrelevant (they will not be used); getting fewer may leave you exposed to enemy attacks.

kevanG19 Feb 2010 7:36 a.m. PST

I dont understand the 'Blunder anyway' point on the table.

each line has one chance of a blunder

Being a 12 doesnt mean you roll a 12.

Last night I was told I was 'doing it wrong' when I stated I had command rolls of 9 and 10 and that there aren't any command roll modifiers commander of 8 with troops in march column and some of them on a road…

somehow I was told I needed a 4 or less to get 3 moves….

bill554919 Feb 2010 9:27 a.m. PST

You were quite right about the command modifiers.

It is odd that you can get 3 moves far more often than 2. Angus and I had already discussed the option that Lord Armchair links to ie that a 2 or 3 less gives 2 moves.

About the command modifers for march columns and limbered guns why give them this when they also have the advantage of a Free Move if they fail an order.

Fergal19 Feb 2010 9:28 a.m. PST

kevanG, I don't think there's any point in trying to explain this to you any longer as you seem diabolically opposed to the rule set, but I'm a glutton for punishment.

If your command rating is 12 (impossible) then a roll of 12 would still pass the command test, but 12's are always blunders. Hence, blunder anyway.

kevanG19 Feb 2010 9:53 a.m. PST

basic command rating 10
+ 2 for march column on road = 12

Not impossible

but the best troops in the most controllable formation.

As the 12 is always a fail irrelevant of the command roll..It isnt 0 % its 1/36 say 3% for real numbers and the 8% on a 1 move is really 5 ish.

You may have given it up explaining to me, but I'm willing to carry on.

The top line should be;

Command Fail 1 2 3
12 3% 5% 8% 83%

Fergal19 Feb 2010 9:57 a.m. PST

Sorry, 12 is always a blunder.

kevanG19 Feb 2010 10:05 a.m. PST

Hmmmm…. would someone else like to explain this?

This is my try.

On the table, the numbers running from 2 to 12 under command is the modified command roll… isn't the die roll.

So yes, 12 is alway a blunder…thats why the line saying you have a 0 % chance of failing is not quite right.

Fergal19 Feb 2010 12:29 p.m. PST

At this point, you're just being obtuse. Good day sir.

Last Hussar Supporting Member of TMP19 Feb 2010 5:15 p.m. PST

12 line is just their for completeness- ie if there wasn't a blunder rule.

CATenWolde21 Feb 2010 6:09 a.m. PST

Guys – regardless of modifiers, a Staff Rating can never exceed 10 or go below 5 (p.28).



Arteis21 Feb 2010 9:49 a.m. PST

If I recall correctly, the authors have said somewhere that the commnd system dice rolls (in keeping with the rules' vision) were designed as an easy-to-remember way of adding unpredictability to the game and getting troops into action fast.

The 2 and 3 moves match the dice throwing, so are dead easy to remember in the heat of battle.

While the changes people are suggesting appear to make statistical sense, they are veering away from that 'easy-to-remember' mantra, and from the huge amount of satisfied playing that has already taken place, probably qite unnecessary.

Having said that, the rules are designed to be tinkered with if desired, so people who prefer a more statistical result and who are not worried about it being a *little* harder to remember, may prefer the revisions.

Albino Squirrel21 Feb 2010 9:21 p.m. PST

Thank you for mentioning that, CATenWolde. I had forgotten about that when I wrote my blog post on this topic.

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