Over the last few weeks I have been trying out several new dice and, in particular, I am trying to get my Dwarves to perform as an interesting and powerful force. So far I have failed in this endeavour, which is a bit of a pity, but I think that my restricted set of dice is letting me down as I have mostly collected from Battle Boxes and old starter packs and I am therefore sadly lacking in monsters (I only have 3, and two of those are Gargoyles where I can never remember to use to dispel magic) and 3 health dice (do not even have a Wizard). I will therefore have to start getting in a few Kickers to remedy the situation.
One die that has impressed me amongst my Vagha collection, however, has been the Mammoth Rider, and I have therefore decided to feature him as Die of the Week this time around.
The Mammoth Rider
I always get interested in a die when it has SAIs on it, as this unpredictability is the thing that makes the game what it is. SAIs are often the things that help ‘David’ in a battle against ‘Goliath’, in other words, they give the underdog a chance even when badly overpowered or outnumbered.
Therefore when I find a die that has two SAIs on it, even if they are the same, it always makes me interested in including it in my army (or several of them the same to really test their effect).
The Mammoth Rider has two faces containing the Trample SAI and is therefore a candidate for consideration.
The Trample SAI
The important thing about Trample is that, unlike a lot of SAIs, it always gives two types of results, and not just one or the other (like Fly, for example). This means that it generates both Melee and Manoeuvre simultaneously. This is very important when a racial ability allows the unit to count one of them as something else.
In the case of the Vagha, they have the ability of Mountain Mastery whenever in a terrain containing the Earth element. Mountain Mastery means that any melee results they roll count as manoeuvre results so, on Highland, Flatland and Swampland, all trample results count as double manoeuvres. On other terrains, this ability can be introduced using an appropriate minor terrain, for example, a Coastland (Air and Water) with a Flatland (Air and Earth) or a Swampland (Water and Earth) minor terrain will also allow Mountain Mastery to be used.
The Mammoth Rider Basics
- Side 1 – 3 x IDs
- Side 2 – 3 x Tramples (3 Melee plus 3 Manoeuvres)
- Side 3 – 3 x Saves
- Side 4 – 3 x Tramples (3 Melee plus 3 Manoeuvres)
- Side 5 – 3 x Melee
- Side 6 – 4 x Melee
Just by virtue of its melee ability alone, it deserves its place in the Dwarven infantry, as it shows an expected value of 2.667 results every time it is thrown and between 1.419 and 3.914 results 66% of the time.
It also has a very good manoeuvre rating and a much needed save too. It is when it is used in a terrain with the Earth element, however, that things start to get interesting.
As can be seen here, the Manoeuvre result soars to an expected value of 3.667 and between 1.612 and 5.721 results 66% of the time.
The Mammoth Rider, therefore, is a must have if you want to take control of manoeuvring terrains but, once at the 8th face, he makes it almost impossible for the army to be outmanoeuvred, especially on Highland, Flatland and Swampland where the Earth element is present.
Before moving on, however, it needs to be remembered that the Vagha have a second racial ability, Dwarven Might, which allows them to count saves as melee when counter attacking. The statistics for counter melee attack on Highland, Feyland and Wasteland terrains looks like this.
Although the expected value of the melee hit has only gone up from 2.667 to 3.167, the important thing here is that the chance of a successful hit has gone from 83.33% up to 100%!!! Yes, this guy is 100% certain of doing at least 3 points of damage in a counter attack. This is definitely worth remembering before taking on an army containing a Mammoth Rider at melee range – you are going to get hit, so you need to make certain that you either knock him out, or that you have saves.
As can be seen here, using one of these units on Highland, Flatland and Swampland is pretty powerful stuff, but I have decided to see what happens with three Mammoth Riders in the Same army.
Results for 3 Mammoth Riders in 1 Army
As the highest possible result that can be generated with 3 Mammoth Riders is 18, I have looked at the probability of getting each value from 0 results up to 18 results for each type of action. The last column give results on earth-containing terrains.
In Graphical form for Melee, Missile and Magic.
And for Manoeuvre, Save and Enhanced Manoeuvre (Earth element present)
To complete the picture, I have done the same exercise for 3 Mammoth Riders at the 8th face terrain.
I think that it is fair to say that an army containing 3 Mammoth Riders at a Highland terrain on 8th face is going to need a lot of magic and special actions to shift it down to 7th face.
I hope that you have enjoyed my little exercise in taking apart our little friend and trust that you will make suggestions as to other statistics you feel might be of use.