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Savage Worlds – The Math Part 1

I've run the math with the various SW systems, you can see some of the actual results on the savage world forums, it's an assload of numbers that are fairly boring to look at,  so I'm not going to put them here.   Here's the breakdowns for what I've tested so far  (running half a million simulations at every possible attack die versus every possible parry versus every possible toughness between 4 and 10 on the target.)

Given Savage World's age someone else has probably already done all this and better than I have but I couldn't find it with a quick google and the math intrigued me after someone asked about something on post I made about damage and I thought well why not just program up a little routine to simulate it.

Real mathematicians could probably give you a real statistical formula to figure all this out, me I'm a brute force kind of person and went with the Monte Carlo simulation approach.

Called Shot Head/Vitals -4 attack/+4 damage -
This is only a valid option against a creature with a toughness greater than 8 (and then it's still a slight penalty) or a creature that can only be damaged by head shots or if by calling a shot you bypass armour of 2 points or more.  At 2 points of armour it's slightly better than not doing it, about 2-5%.  At 3 points it's roughly 5-10% better than not calling the shot.

Aimed Shot +2 attack, once every round without additional edges, cannot move in the same round. -
This is only a valid option if you've got the Marksman Edge which allows you to take an Aimed shot every round.  Otherwise attacking every round is a much better option (between 5% and 30% better) than attacking every other round at +2.   It's always a valid opening shot if you have the time to burn.

Wild Attack Melee only - -2 Parry, +2 Attack/+2 Damage -
This is a very valid option if you're fighting one target, always wild attack.  If you're fighting two targets, it becomes roughly 50/50 as to being a minor good thing or a minor bad thing and comes down to the luck of the draw for initiative on the second round.   Don't use a Wild Attack when you're getting attacked by three or more creatures unless you're feeling lucky.    This goes out the window if you have the Sweep edge which lets you attack everything around you.  Then it's back to a no-brainer long term.

Agility/Smarts Trick +2 on your next action versus the target, the target is shaken on a raise -
Never a good idea for you on the pure math of it.  The benefit is if you are near the top of the initiative order and other people have a chance to attack your target.  Then it's a very good idea because if you get a raise it's like giving every one else a +4 damage bonus that attacks that target.   This is always a good option if you have a high agility or smarts and no combat skills.

Taunt/Intimidate - Target is -2 Parry until it can go again -
This is only of minor penalty to you if you get to go twice before the target due to initiative.  Of great benefit to your team if you're near the top of the initiative order because a raise shakes the target and that's like giving a +4 damage to everyone else who attacks it.

Double Tap / 3 Round Burst / Full Auto - +1 damage/attack - +2 damage/attack - 3 attack rolls at -2.
These are always better options than single shot without considering any other factors such as ammo supply.

Comments (5) Trackbacks (2)
  1. How would multi-action figure into tricks and intimidation?

    I’m guessing that the penalty would negate any advantage for the one paying it.

    On the other hand, the tradeoff between what is tactically/mathmatically sound and what is most fun/interesting can probably be altered by a GM willing to give out bennies for cool stuff and good roleplaying.

  2. Whether you trick/will one turn and attack the second to avoid map or take the map and attack same turn doesn’t matter. The simulation shows you’ll incap more targets personally by just attacking normally each round. Both tricks and will tests are really by the math of use to your teammates due to the raise chance.

    Definately in regards to what’s cool and what’s statistics. I’m just going to quit urging my players to try them thinking they’re going to help them get better results.

    And there are some not obvious benefits like in a low ammo situation aimed shots become viable again.

  3. Love it! Thanks for this. I mean, of course there are exceptions, but this helps me as a player. Finally, after seven years, someone optimized the system. 😉

    You do have Tricks and Tests of Will mixed up there, though. Should be reversed.

  4. I would like to make every maneuver viable and wild attack less overpowered. Do you have suggestions?

    I have some, but i dont have the means to test if they work or not.

  5. I’m not able to really do a apples to apples comparison any longer, I’ve rewritten my combat simulator too much for balancing the math in the gaming system I’m writing but it’s ‘reasonably’ close enough that what I’m doing might be of help, I’ve changed the naming, numbers and mechanics a bit to match Savage Worlds mechanics and namings from what I’m designing to make it as compatible as I can with Savage WOrlds.

    Aimed Shot – +2 to hit, it must be the only action you take on your turn and you provoke Opportunity Attacks.
    Called Shot (Vital area) – -2 Attack, +3 damage.
    Wild Attack – +4 Damage with melee attacks and you are at -2 Parry until the start of your next turn. If you miss with this attack you provoke Opportunity Attacks.
    Double Tap – Use a Shooting die of the next smaller size to gain +1 on attack and damage rolls.
    Burst Fire – Use a Shooting Die of the next smaller size, roll twice and take the higher of the two rolls. Note you only get to roll the Wild Die once.

    Maneuvers specific to my system –

    Precision Attack- +2 to hit, -3 Damage. Melee Only. You sacrifice Damage for Accuracy. Useful against High Parry, Low Toughness
    Power Attack – -2 Attack, +3 damage. Melee Only. Sacrifice Accuracy for Damage. Useful against low Parry but high Toughness targets.

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